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, (c) Boston Discovery Guide
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Indoor Sports & Culture for Rainy Days in Boston
Spend a Day in a Museum
Spending a day in a museum is the time-honored way of avoiding bad weather while also soaking up some culture. It's a good strategy for rainy days, steamy days, snowy days, and even those days when you want to feel cocooned from the outside world.
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:
- Visiting with kids? Head to the Boston Children's Museum (best for ages up to about 10 or 11) or the New England Aquarium (avoid long lines by getting your tickets in advance).
- Teens and adults? In addition to the Aquarium, try the Museum of Fine Arts - be sure to visit the spectacular Arts of the Americas Wing and check out the mummies in the Egyption rooms.
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.
Explore the World of Science
- New England Climate Stories - Meet fascinating New England animals
- All Aboard! Trains at Science Park - Visit miniature landscapes with fantasic model trains - through January 16
- Gaia - View our planet in a new way through UK artist Luke Jerram's artwork with NASA images of Earth's surface
- Mental Health: Mind Matters - Get insights into understanding mental health through this interactive exhibit
With fascinating permanent exhibits for all ages, there's always something to see, do, and learn. Here are just a few of the most popular: Engineering Design Workshop, Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff, Cosmic Light, Dinosaurs, Arctic Adventure, Hall of Human Life, Live Animal Care Center, Mathematica, Exploring AI, Natural Mysteries, New England Habitats, Project Vaccine.
Where: Boston's Museum of Science
When: Daily, 9am-5pm; open until 9pm on Fridays
Admission: $29 general museum admission ($24 for kids; children under 3 free). 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:
Enter DISCOVERY 10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets
See a Show in the Theater District
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.
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
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.
If the rain reaches the miserable level, here's the perfect solution: Join a 5-hour 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
Fun Winter Activities
Go for a Walk in the Rain . . . and Explore & Shop in Downtown Boston
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:
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
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)
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.
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.
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