NYC Cultural Treasure Hunt: 10 Activities For A Rainy Day

Julia Goicochea

From winter snowstorms to summer heat waves, New York sees its fair share of bad weather. In the city that never sleeps, there’s more to rainy days than Netflix binges and take-out dinners. For bar-hoppers, bowlers, and more, here are ten of our favorite rainy day activities.

Yuzu Eskimo

1. Spot Dessert Bar

Dessert Shop, Restaurant, Bar, Asian, American, Dessert

Instagram addicts will love Spot Dessert Bar, an Asian-inspired café serving creative confections almost too pretty to eat. Escape the rain while you indulge in chocolate green tea lava cake, condensed milk ice cream, and smoked coconut cheesecake. Sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, Spot’s extensive and unique menu will keep you busy long after the rain has stopped.

2. Saturdays

Store, Shop

© Ana Reyes/Flickr
The sun’s always shining at Saturdays, a SoHo surf shop marrying laid-back living and downtown-cool. Featuring everything from coffee table books to wet suits, the shop’s curated collection of men’s goods exudes a refreshing, bohemian spirit. Also hosting an espresso bar stocked with La Colombe brews, Saturdays is the perfect place to lounge and explore while dreaming of better weather to come.

3. Caracas

Bar, Restaurant, Venezuelan

Brooklyn Museum
© Jon Grizzle
Embark on a culinary journey at Caracas, a Venezuelan eatery serving up tasty and traditional Latin fare. The restaurant’s flavorful menu of cheese-stuffed plantains, chorizo croquettesand plenty of popular arepavarieties will transport you to sunny Venezuela with just one bite. Also offering an array of tropical-inspired desserts and cocktails, Caracas makes rainy city days feel like a vacation.

4. Brooklyn Museum

Museum, Ruins, School

Robert Gober, Untitled Leg. 1989 – 1990, 11 3/8 x 7 3/4 x 20” (28.9 x 19.7 x 50.8 cm) | Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Dannheiser Foundation,
Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Dannheiser Foundation, | © 2014 Robert Gober.
Spend a rainy day visiting one of New York’s best-quality cultural institutions notfeatured on the average tourist’s to-do list. Honoring the diversity of its patrons, the Brooklyn Museum offers collections and exhibitions focusing on everything from Williamsburg murals to feminist installation artwork. Balancing global and local influences, Brooklyn Museum promises patrons an enriching and educational cultural experience.

5. Nitehawk Cinema

Cinema, Theater, Movie Theater

Rainy days and movie-watching go hand in hand, and with its fully-stocked bar and elevated movie snack menu, Nitehawk Cinema beats out your living room for the best venue to watch a film. Trading in candy and chocolate for meatball hoagies, spicy fried pickles, and truffle butter popcorn, Nighthawk redefines the concept of ‘dinner and a show.’ Showcasing contemporary indie flicks and documentaries alongside time-honored classics, this unique spot offers something for every film fanatic.

6. Meow Parlour

Cafe, Contemporary, French

Meow Parlour
Courtesy of Ethan Covey / Meow Parlour
Meow Parlour is New York City’s long-awaited answer to those pesky ‘no pet’ policies. Manhattan’s first-ever cat café unites sweet treats, free wifi, and furry friends under one roof, allowing animal-lovers to interact with adoptable cats while munching on macaroons, Blue Bottle coffee, and more. Good fun for a great cause, Meow Parlor is an ideal spot for a rainy day catnap.

7. Beauty Bar

Nightclub, Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub

Martinis, manicures, and more await you at Beauty Bar, a delightfully kitschy night club/nail salon catering to a diverse crowd of fun-loving New Yorkers. An unbeatable ladies’ night destination, Beauty Bar’s live comedy shows, ’80s playlists, and retro décor are sure to cure your rainy day blues.

8. Rose Main Reading Room


Sit back with a good book at the Rose Main Reading Room, one of the New York Public Library’s most iconic aspects. A haven for bibliophiles and aficionados of local history, the room provides a peaceful and elegant environment for reading and studying.

Rose Main Reading Room is currently closed for repairs and is set to re-open in 2017.

9. The Butterfly Conservatory

Museum, Park, Building

Bad weather doesn’t have to keep you from experiencing nature. The Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History invites patrons to explore its indoor arena filled with flowers, foliage, and free-roaming butterflies while learning about the environment’s flying friends. Educational as well as entertaining, this exhibition is an excellent option for those rainy days you don’t want to spend indoors.

10. The Gutter

Bar, Pub Grub, American

Combining your love of craft beer and bowling, The Gutter is a no-frills Brooklyn bowling alley boasting a vintage vibe, affordable prices, and laid-back environment. With its ‘adults only’ policy and carefully-curated selection of brews, The Gutter is a great place for kids-at-heart to indulge in some grown-up fun.

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