Boston in the Rain

Rainy Day Activities

30+ Boston Activities for Rainy Days

What to Do in Boston in the Rain

Don't let rain dampen your Boston visit! 

Our list of over 30 top things to do in Boston on rainy days will give you plenty of suggestions so that drizzles and downpours won't turn your visit to the city into a wash-out.


Even better, you'll get get to see and experience some wonderful places that you might otherwise miss.

Best of all, these rainy day activities in Boston are also fun things to do on sunny days . . . and even those other "s-word" weather days we try not to use . . . snow, sleet, and worst of all, slush.

Top Photo:  Downtown Crossing near the Theatre District on a rainy Boston afternoon in November


Indoor Sports & Culture for Rainy Days in Boston

Spend a Day in a Museum

"Daughters of Edward Darley Boit," painted by John Singer SargentĀ in the Museum of Fine Arts
"Daughters of Edward Darley Boit," painted by John Singer Sargent in the Museum of Fine Arts' Arts of the Americas wing

Spending a day in a museum is a time-honored way of avoiding bad weather - rainy days, steamy days, snowy days.

With over 30 city museums to choose from, finding one to fit your interests shouldn't be a problem.

But if you're dealing with a day-long bone-chilling drizzle or soaking downpour, choose one of the bigger museums:


Save on Entrance Fees

To save on admission fees if you're going to more than one museum, get a Boston discount card.  You can choose from 2 types:

  • Boston CityPASS - Gives you free admission to 4 attractions including the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, and 2 other attractions.  Good for 9 days.
  • Go Boston Cards - Gives you free admission to New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, and Boston Children's Museum, plus almost 40 other attractions.  Available for 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days - you choose.
Save BIG with Go Boston discount card
CityPASS Boston discount card at www.boston-discovery-guide.com

Explore the World of Science

Museum of Science Boston Exhibit
Museum of Science Butterfly Garden - Photo credit: Ted

Special Exhibits at the Museum of Science

What I Eat: Around the World in 25 Diets - Now through June 30, 2020 - See similarities and differences in the ways diffferent cultures approach and consume food through these fantastic photos and stories - Free with museum admission.

Dogs!  A Science Tail - Feb 9 - June 30, 2020 - Understand the science behind why we love dogs, and understand how they see, hear, and smell the world - Free with museum admission.

Permanent Exhibits

With 29 fascinating permanent exhibits for all ages, there's always something to see, do, and learn.  Here are just a few of the most popular:  Butterfly Garden (extra fee), Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff, Cosmic Light, Dinosaurs, Hall of Human Life, Live Animal Care Center, Mathematica, Nanotechnology, Natural Mysteries, New England Habitats, The Light House - plus 17 more!

Where:   Boston's Museum of Science
When:   Daily, 9am-5pm; open until 9pm on Fridays; occasional special closings occur
Admission:  $29 general museum admission ($24 for kids).  Buy online to skip the line.  Get free museum admission when you have a GoBoston Discount card or Boston CityPASS card. 
Imax Theater and Planetarium:  Additional fees apply

Watch a Game or Concert at TD Garden

TD Garden, home to the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins, and frequent site of star-studded concerts, Disney on Ice, and other stellar events is next to North Station (Orange and Green T lines). 

Check out the schedule:

TicketLiquidator Discount Code - Enter TLSPRING to get $10 off orders of $250+
TicketNetwork Discount Code - Enter TNTIX to get $10 off orders of $300+


See more events at TD Garden

See a Show in the Theater District

Boston's Theatre District on a rainy afternoon
Boston's Theatre District on a rainy afternoon

Boston theaters present everything from Broadway musicals to cutting edge drama.  Going to a show is a favorite year-round Boston activity - you'll find a huge number of choices in the downtown Theatre District:

Find all theater shows and performances

Laugh at a Comedy Act

You'll forget all about the rain by catching a show at one of Boston's comedy clubs.   Stand up, improv, ensembles...whatever your preference, you're sure to find interesting choices:

Find all comedy shows and performances

Catch a Live Radio Broadcast at Boston Public Library

Head over to Boston Public Library (free admission!) in Copley Square on Tuesday or Friday, 11am-2pm, and watch a live Boston Public Radio broadcast in the BPL Studio (go in the Boylston Street entrance). Then enjoy the library's museum-worthy art, dazzling architecture, cafes/coffee bars, and of course, all the books.

Go Bowling!

Kings bowling alley in Boston
 

One of Boston's best kept secrets are our bowling alleys.  Easiest to get to by T in the rain is Kings (50 Dalton St), close to Prudential Center in Back Bay (in fact, if you're staying near Pru Center, it's an easy walk, even in the rain).  Great for family fun before 6pm, and then strictly 21+. 

Big screens, beverages for all ages, and food will add to your enjoyment. 

Find out more on Kings' website

Watch a Movie

Loews Movie Theatres, located on Park Street across from Boston Common
Loews Movie Theatres, located on Park Street across from Boston Common

Even if you're normally addicted to Netflix when you're at home, going out to a movie on a rainy day can be a lot of fun, especially if you're visiting a different city.

For movie theaters showing first run commercial films, check Loew's Boston Common 19 (very close to the Park St T station).  Thanks to the theater's 19 screens, you're likely to find something of interest. 

But for indie films, foreign films, and repertory film series that defy description, see what's playing at the Brattle Theatre near the Harvard Square T station in Cambridge, and also grab a bite to eat.

Check out all of Boston's movie theaters

Chinatown is only a couple of blocks away - so grab an umbrella and head over to one of these fun Asian restaurants for a meal after your movie.

Another option:  Jump on the T's Orange Line at Downtown Crossing toAssembly Station (about 5-6 minute ride), and enjoy plush seating and first-run movies at AMC Assembly Row.  Bonus:  Shop for bargains in the Assembly Row outlet stores, and enjoy the trendy restaurants and bars in this upscale shopping complex.  More about Assembly Row

If the rain reaches the miserable level, here's the perfect solution:  Join a Boston brew tasting tour.  A bus takes you around to the breweries and brew pubs, so you'll stay dry - plus after you taste up to 15 local brews and enjoy a meal, you won't care about the weather.

Looking for more suggestions based on the season?  Check out our recommendations:

Fun Spring Activities

Revere Beach - flying kites

Fun Winter Activities

Boston Common in winter on sunny day

Go for a Walk in the Rain . . . and Explore & Shop in Downtown Boston

Walking in Boston Common in the rain
Walking in Boston Common in the rain

Going for a walk on a rainy day gives you the chance to see the city from a new perspective. 

This short walking tour itinerary starts in beautiful Boston Common and takes you along one of the most interesting sections of the historic Freedom Trail - and then through the Downtown Crossing shopping area where you'll find fascinating small shops as well as a huge Macys.  

The route covers less than a mile so you won't actually be in the rain very long - plus you can always pop into a store, coffee bar, or restaurant along the way if the rain gets harder.

Try our rainy day walking tour itinerary

Top Hotels near Boston Common

You'll enjoy Boston Common to the fullest when you stay nearby - the hip and glamorous W Hotel, for example, is just 1 block away:

W Hotel, top choice near Boston Common

More top hotels near Boston Common:

Check out historic hotels near Boston Common


Follow in the Footsteps of Revolutionary War Heroes

On sunny days, you might want to walk along the Freedom Trail past various Revolutionary War sites.

But it's raining - so head to one of the historic Boston bars where the Sons of Liberty plotted their tea party and dreamed of revolution. 

Or enjoy a leisurely meal in one of Boston's historic Union Oyster House, where generations of Bostonians have eaten basically the same traditional New England dishes that you'll be served. 

Most of these places are very close to Faneuil Marketplace and several T stops - ask at your hotel which will be the most convenient from where you're staying.  Or better yet, stay nearby:

Hotels near Faneuil Marketplace

Enjoy Sweeping Views of Boston . . . Even in the Rain - Closing in April - so go now!

Well, the views may not be "sweeping" if the rain is heavy.  On a blue-sky day, you might want to experience the panoramic views of the city from the Prudential Skywalk.  

If in doubt about the view, don't pay out good money for Skywalk Observatory tickets on a dismal day!  Instead, head up to the 52nd floor - 2 floors above the Skywalk - to the Top of the Hub.  

Sit in the bar or lounge and order one of the specialty cocktails for about the same money you might have spent on Skywalk tickets.

You'll still be able to see some of the city unless the rain turned into a nor'easter.  If that happens, order another drink.  If you linger long enough, you can enjoy the live jazz which begins on most nights after 8pm. 


Boston Insider Tip:  Where to Stay When Rain is Predicted for Boston

If you're coming to Boston in one of the cooler months and know ahead of time that rain is predicted during your stay, a fun option is to make reservations in a hotel offering in-room fireplaces.  Bask in front of the warm fire in your room, and you won't mind the nor'easter raging outside one bit!

Tour Boston Harbor (While Staying Dry)

Downtown skyline seen during a cruise around Boston Harbor
Downtown skyline seen during a cruise around Boston Harbor

Touring the Harbor is a favorite visitor activity. . . and while most people think of doing this only when the weather is good, you can also see quite a bit in the rain. 

Two of the biggest enclosed dinner cruise boats, the Spirit of Boston and the Odyssey, continue their tours year round, rain or shine.  On cloudy nights, Boston's skyline looks even more dramatic. 

Several cruises are also usually available with the Go Boston discount card.


Shop

Shopping in Boston's Downtown Crossin in the Rain
Shopping in Boston's Downtown Crossing on a rainy November afternoon

Shopping can be lots of fun on bad weather days. 

If you're visiting from out of state or another country, remember:  you don't have to pay sales tax in Massachusetts for clothing costing under $175.  So you can save a lot of money by shopping for clothes here.

Centrally-located Downtown Crossing (Washington Street between School Street and Boylston/Essex Street) offers a huge Macy's, a variety of discounters such as TJ Maxx, DSW Shoes, and an Eddie Bauer Outlet, lots of boutiques, and plenty restaurants and coffee/wine bars.  (Our rainy day self-paced walking tour includes this area.)

Three Boston shopping malls are easily reachable by T or on foot - Prudential Center, Copley Place, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace (aka Quincy Market)

For the ultimate experience in designer discount shopping, hope on one of the carefree luxury coach trips to Wrentham Premium Outlets located about 30 miles south of Boston, where you'll find loads of deeply discounted designer brands.  Your savings can easily pay for the car . . . maybe your entire Boston vacation!  

Or consider Assembly Row factory stores - only 5 minutes from Downtown by T (subway).  You'll find low prices every day (plus sometimes huge sales), and there are lots of fun restaurants and bars here.  Kids will love Legoland, and your whole family will like the movie theater.


Check Out More Top Boston Events Each Month

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How to Save on Boston Hotels

Check out all our tips on how to find discounts, deals, and promo codes for Boston hotels.  Whether you're looking for bargain accommodations or want to pay less for luxury, we'll show you How to Save on Hotels in Boston. 

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More about how to save on Boston hotels