No matter what season you visit Boston in, you may have to deal with a few rainy days. Rain falls in Boston all year round, so it’s best to pack an umbrella and be prepared.
But if you wake up in the morning and find the rainfall has already started, what’s there for you to do? Although Boston has many great outdoor activities, like catching a game at Fenway Park or hopping on a swan boat in the Public Garden, there’s also plenty to do indoors.
Looking for things to do on a rainy day in Boston? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best rainy-day activities in Boston, from mind-blowing museums to unique experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Stick to this list, and you’re bound to love your Boston trip, rain or shine!
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15 Fun Rainy-Day Activities in Boston
1. Explore the Museum of Fine Arts
If you’re an art lover, visiting the Museum of Fine Arts is one of the best indoor things to do in Boston. With an incredible collection of nearly 500,000 works of art, this museum lets you dive into art that spans centuries and explores diverse cultures. Featuring both ongoing and rotating exhibitions, there’s always new art to take in here every time you visit.
2. Eat at the Boston Public Market
The Boston Public Market is what to do on a rainy day in Boston if you’re looking to fill up on delightful treats from local makers. From bagels to popovers to fresh-squeezed juice, there are unique treats galore. Pick some foodie friends and sample your way around the market. Those with a sweet tooth will especially love this rainy-day Boston activity!
3. Experience the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a work of art all on its own. This Boston indoor activity has a vast collection of art, but what makes this museum really stand out is its stunning courtyard. Listen to the rainfall while you marvel at an array of seasonal floral displays, the beauty of which is amplified by the unique stone carvings and statues that dot the courtyard.
4. Play Retro Games at VERSUS
Looking for something to do on a night out in Boston when it rains? Have an adults-only party at VERSUS, an arcade bar that combines both modern and retro games for a night of high-energy fun.
After 7 pm, VERSUS is strictly for the 21 and up crowd. Enjoy a few of the bar’s inventive cocktails while you challenge your friends to see who can get the highest score on Pac-Man.
5. Discover Something New at the Museum of Science
Expanding your mind at the Museum of Science is one of the best indoor things to do in Boston. This museum on the Charles River features over 700 interactive exhibits, live presentations, a five-story domed IMAX theater, and a planetarium. You’ll uncover whole new worlds when you spend a day exploring the many exhibits, from discovering the ever-growing universe of AI to blasting off into galaxies beyond our own.
6. Let Your Imagination Soar at the Boston Children’s Museum
Wondering what to do on a rainy day in Boston with little ones? Take them over to the Boston Children’s Museum, a place where they learn through the power of play. Whether they’re interested in art, engineering, or the intersection of both, they’ll find numerous exhibits that will make them see their world in a new light.
7. Have a Board Game Night At Knight Moves
With over 600 titles, there’s a board game at Knight Moves for every type of player, from those wanting an hours-long quest to groups looking for a speedy and easy party game. This board game cafe over in Brookline is the perfect thing to do in Boston when it rains. Enjoy some hot cocoa while you battle your friends to see who reigns supreme.
8. See a Movie at the Brattle Theatre
There are several independent movie theaters in and around Boston, like Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre or the Somerville Theatre. And seeing a movie at any one of them is one of the best rainy-day activities in Boston.
But the theater that will always have my heart is The Brattle. This Harvard Square institution specializes in repertory programming, meaning that they’ll focus on one particular director, subject, or genre for a block of movies. They also do showings of new releases and classic films beyond those blocks.
9. Visit the New England Aquarium
When the rain hits Boston, you likely won’t want to spend your day out on the water. But how about going under it?
The New England Aquarium is home to thousands of animals, from California sea lions to African penguins to giant Pacific octopuses. Getting up close to these unique creatures and learning about them and their habitats is one of the best things to do on a rainy day in Boston.
10. Tour the Taza Chocolate Factory
Got a sweet tooth? Head over to Somerville for one of the coolest indoor things to do in Boston. Here, you can tour the Taza Chocolate Factory, where you’ll learn how they make their stone-ground chocolate and even sample tons of their unique chocolate. Just remember to book your tour online in advance, as this group tour tends to fill up fast.
11. See a Show in the Theater District
Over in the Theater District, you’ll find a litany of beautiful and historic theaters, from the Boston Opera House to the incredibly ornate Wang Theatre to the several theaters owned by Emerson College.
Shows here range from touring Broadway shows to hilarious comedy shows to plays put on by today’s students and tomorrow’s stars. For many shows, you’ll want to get your tickets in advance, as several high-profile performances sell out early.
12. Step Inside the Mapparium
The Mapparium, part of the “How Do You See the World?” exhibit at the Christian Science Plaza, is one of the most unique things to do in Boston when it rains.
You’ll enter inside a three-story globe that shows you one moment in time, 1935, the year of its completion. The beautiful stained-glass exhibit contains a narration that will lead you through this time capsule, letting you learn how much the world has changed in less than 100 years.
13. Have High Tea at the Boston Public Library
Visiting the Boston Public Library, with its stunning architecture and massive collection, is one of the best indoor things to do in Boston all on its own.
But for an even more unique experience, you can book a high tea in the Courtyard Tea Room. If tea on its own doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can instead head to the Map Room Tea Lounge, where you’ll find tea-infused cocktails!
14. Have Brunch at Trident Booksellers & Cafe
For more fun for book lovers, head to Newbury Street to find Trident Booksellers & Cafe. There’s nothing like ducking inside here on a rainy day in Boston to try their delicious brunch. And while you wait for your table, you can peruse the shelves and find your next favorite read.
15. Shop the SoWa Vintage Market
Open on Sundays and the first Friday of each month, the SoWa Vintage Market is a thrifter’s paradise. When you visit here, you’re bound to unearth one-of-a-kind vintage finds, from antique furniture to artwork to jewelry. You never know what’s in store for you at this beloved market.
There you have it! The 15 best things to do in Boston in the rain. What are your favorite rainy-day activities in Boston? Let us know in the comments!
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