Boston On a Rainy Day: 10 Things To Do
Boston doesn’t really have a dry season as it rains throughout the year. You can experience a delightfully sunny day walking around the cobblestone streets, exploring the Boston Common and the Public Garden, or riding the famous Swan Boat. But it can also be too cold and rainy to go out, let alone spend the day at the beach or tour one of the Boston Harbor Islands. Instead of wasting the day in your hotel room on a rainy day in Boston, use this as an opportunity to discover new places you’ve never been before.
Sure, you’ve already been to Boston Children’s Museum, the Boston Public Library, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. But there are many more cultural attractions and endless fun things to do in the Massachusetts capital. Try some of the best indoor activities in Boston like challenging yourself in an escape room, playing arcade games, doing arts and crafts with the whole family, or seeing a movie at a movie theater.
There are plenty of ways to get out despite the wet weather and enjoy indoor adventures. If you’re worried about your bags getting soggy too, use a Boston luggage locker. It’s the best way to protect your belongings as you entertain yourself in Boston on a rainy day.
Go Indoor Rock Climbing
Get your heart pumping and test your strength, agility, and endurance at one of the indoor rock climbing facilities in Boston. Rock climbing is an exciting sport you can easily do without having to hike huge mountains or overcome challenging routes. Head to Rock Sport Climbing in South Boston with other locations in Massachusetts and experience a thrilling climbing journey. Established in 1998, this indoor sports facility has provided memorable experiences for climbers of all ages and skill levels.
You can also check out Central Rock Gym at 99 Beverly St Boston, providing guests and members access to world-class fitness and indoor rock climbing facilities. Whether you’re a beginner climbing a wall for the first time on a Boston rainy day or an experienced climber looking to hone your skills, Central Rock Gym has got you covered. They have experienced staff to work with you and help you achieve your fitness and climbing goals. If you’re a new member, you can take advantage of the Climbing progression Program. It’s a four-part series designed to teach you the necessary skills to progress from your current level.
Learn and Discover at the Museum of Science
No matter your age or interest, visiting the Museum of Science will be an unforgettable experience. It allows visitors to play, wonder, imagine and discover the mysteries of the world and things around them through its interactive and hands-on exhibits. Plus, it’s only a few minutes from downtown Boston, so you’ll have easy access to a few attractions around the city.
One of the permanent exhibits in the Museum of Science is the Hall of Human Life. It’s a new biology exhibition featuring over seventy interactive components. It will take you on a remarkable journey through the human body and discover its mystery. If you want to know what it feels like in the Polar region, navigate the newest permanent exhibit in the museum, the Arctic Adventure. You’ll feel the cold ice without getting wet, hear the sounds of cracking ice, and see the animals and scenery in the region.
There's no question a visit to this museum is one of the best rainy day activities you should do in Boston. It is located at Science Park, Boston, and is open from 9 am to 5 pm.
Visit a Trampoline Park
One of the fun things that will get you active and relieve your stress on a rainy day in Boston is jumping on a trampoline. It’s a wonderful activity for kids and kids at heart! Thankfully, the city has plenty of trampoline parks where you can jump around for hours without getting in trouble.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park is a favorite destination among Bostonians, offering incredible trampolines and exciting attractions in the Boston area and beyond. It’s the original creator of the iconic wall-to-wall aerial action and continues to invent new epic ways for visitors to gather, play, and compete.
No matter which branch you visit, Sky Zone guarantees sufficient space, so you have enough room to move and be yourself. You’ll love it here that you’ll want to come back even on a sunny day. It features SkyHoops, a Warrior Course, Warped Wall, Open Jump Courts, Foam Zone, and more.
Mary Baker Eddy Library and The Mapparium
The Mary Baker Eddy Library houses an extensive collection of books, documents, photographs, and original materials related to the beliefs and history of Christian Science. It opened in 2002 and has become a historic landmark in the Back Bay area. As you explore the library, you’ll learn about the life of Mary Baker Eddy, whose written work has become the basis for Christian Science.
Located inside the library is The Mapparium, a giant stained-glass globe built by Old World artisans in 1953. When illuminated with hundreds of lamps, this massive world-famous globe lights up, giving you a chance to see the world in a unique way. It is one of the key attractions in the city you can tour for twenty minutes. It features documents, letters, and artifacts highlighting the history, significance, and construction of this impressive artistic and architectural achievement you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Meet Sea Creatures at New England Aquarium
Situated at the Boston Harbor is one of the city’s premier visitor attractions called the New England Aquarium. In fact, the New England Aquarium is one of the global leaders in ocean exploration and marine conservation. So coming here won’t only be an exciting visit for a rainy day but also an excellent educational experience about sea life, making this aquarium a perfect place for families.
There are plenty of exhibits to explore with thousands of aquatic creatures to see, both large and small kinds. You can even enjoy watching films from a giant IMAX theater at the Simon Theater with a whopping six-story high screen and an immersive digital surround sound system. Besides this, two of the most popular attractions are the Giant Ocean Tank, a four-story coral reef home, and the Marine Mammal Center, where you can witness northern fur seals interact and engage with their trainers.
The aquarium is open daily, but the opening hours vary depending on the seasons. During spring and summer, the opening hours from Mondays to Thursdays, including the weekends, are 9 am to 6 pm, while on Fridays, it’s 10 am to 8 pm. During fall and winter, its opening times are from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays, while the closing time for weekends is 6 pm.
Marvel at the Fine Arts Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Five Arts Boston has been around since the late 1800s, having been founded in 1870. Even from the beginning, it contained thousands of paintings. From the early 1900s, the museum's collections grew tremendously. Now, the museum has over 8,000 paintings. Furthermore, almost 500,000 works of art are featured here, making it one of the largest museums in the world.
You can explore a wide range of collections at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, from ancient Egyptian to contemporary. You can also view special exhibitions and experience innovative educational programs. The museum is located in downtown Boston and opens every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 5 pm. However, the closing time on Fridays has recently been changed to 10 pm.
Visit Harvard Science and History Museums
Even if you’ve been to different museums in Boston on a rainy day, you shouldn’t miss the chance to explore the distinctive Harvard Museums. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm are the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. It costs about $15 to visit these museums, but free for students.
The Natural History Museum holds around 11,000 specimens obtained from Harvard’s comprehensive collections, including massive whale skeletons, sea creatures in glass, hundreds of mammals, and the only mounted skeleton of the 42-feet-long Kronosaurus. The Peabody Museum features a large, historic collection of anthropological materials from around the world. A visit to this museum will transport you back into an undiscovered world through the stunning archeological finds housed here.
The other two museums - the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments - offer free admission. They are open from Sunday through Friday only from 11 am to 4 pm.
Enjoy Retail Therapy
If you’re bored while in Boston on a rainy day, it’s time to reward yourself and have some retail therapy. From small boutique shops to high-end shopping malls, there’s no shortage of shopping places to discover in the city. You can explore some vintage shops for some interesting finds to add to your collection or shop at a nice boutique to get souvenirs for your friends and loved ones.
But whatever you're looking for, your first stop should be the Prudential Center, a one-stop shopping destination in the heart of Back Bay. This shopping Center offers an enclosed space perfect for a rainy day, allowing you to shop all you want without worrying about being soaked in the rain. It is home to more than sixty shops, an array of outstanding stores, and restaurants waiting for you. Once you’ve shopped to your heart’s content, you can go to the Prudential Tower’s Skywalk Observatory. It’s a famous Boston attraction that gives visitors 360-degree views of the city.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Rainy days don’t have to be long, uneventful days for art lovers. Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art and take your time soaking in every unique piece of art in the gallery. It was founded as the Boston Museum of Modern Art in 1836, and since then, it has showcased contemporary art in all media types, including film, video, performances, visual arts, and literature.
Besides the works of art in the gallery museum, you’ll also admire the building’s interior and exterior architecture. The ICA is housed in a 65,000 square-foot world-class contemporary art building with a structure of international architectural status. It was designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, featuring flexible column-free galleries with moveable walls and a glass wall facing the beautiful Boston Harbor.
Check out the Old State House
While it may not be ideal to go on a Freedom Trail walking tour in Boston on a rainy day, you can always explore one of its major stops, the Old State House. Built in 1713, the Old State House is the city’s oldest surviving public building. It had witnessed the famed 1770 Boston Massacre, which site is marked by a cobblestone circle beneath the House’s balcony. It has been devastated by three separate fires and endured storms and other natural disasters that could’ve destroyed the entire building.
Today, the Old State House stands as a witness to the colorful and dramatic 18th-century history of the city of Boston. It’s an over 300-year-old National Historic Landmark where you can see essential artifacts and beautiful art and enjoy tours and multi-sensory exhibits in various historic period rooms.
Boston on a Rainy Day
A rainy day in Boston may be cold, dark, and dreary, but it’s no reason to be disheartened. You shouldn’t let the gloomy season affects what should have been a fun and activity-filled vacation.
Let's say you’ve already dined outside, been to a bowling alley, check out the movie theaters, and explored the galleries and library. Still, you haven’t exhausted all the rainy day activities you can enjoy in the city. Let your creative juices flow and welcome the rain with some exhilarating indoor adventures in Boston.
Looking for even more things to do in Boston on a rainy day? Check out these other guides:
Best Brunch In Boston: The Definitive Guide
Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Boston
The Best Museums In Boston