The car came, the car ran through a puddle, the man was submerged with a toxic mixture. So goes the story of getting caught in the rain in the city. It’s right up there with bottomed out grocery bags and poo-encrusted sneakers. However, that doesn’t mean you have to sequester yourself in your apartment whenever a little rain comes to town. From old-school bowling alleys and VR arcades to cozy bookstores and dine-in movie theaters, there are many great places to spend a rainy day in NYC. So pop on your poncho and seek shelter from the storm at these great destinations:
The Gutter Bar LIC, Long Island City
This no-frills bowling alley is the perfect place to pass a rainy day. After a few drinks from the bar, you’ll be bowling strikes or smashing ceilings in no time. I was legitimately sore after bowling two games so don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a sport.
Books are Magic, Cobble Hill
Hide under your umbrella long enough to reach Books Are Magic, an inviting neighborhood bookstore situated in charming Cobble Hill. Walk a few short blocks to East One Coffee Roasters and dive into to your new book as the invigorating aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air.
Alamo Drafthouse, Downtown Brooklyn
Head to the Alamo Drafthouse for all your rainy day needs. Enjoy a “Royale with Cheese” or a bowl of buttered popcorn while you gaze up in wonder at a cinematic tour de force or the newest rom-com starring your favorite guy from that one show. No need to sneak in airline-sized bottles of wine; Alamo Drafthouse has a great selection of craft beers and specialty cocktails.
Covenhoven, Crown Heights
The board games of your childhood live on at Covenhoven. After sinking a couple destroyers and performing some meticulous operations, you can reward yourself with one of the many tasty beers and ciders this laid-back bar has to offer. If it clears up, there’s a nice little patio out back where you can munch on a doughy pretzel or gooey grilled cheese sandwich.
Brookfield Place, Manhattan
If you thought the days of hanging around malls were over, you’ve been missing out. While you certainly won’t find a Hot Topic or an Auntie Anne’s in this upscale shopping mecca, Brookfield Place is still a great place to pass a rainy day. The atrium style lounge area offers panoramic views of the Hudson River, the food hall has some seriously tasty bites, and it’s a prime people-watching spot. Oh, and they also have shops, lots of shops.
Kick Axe, Gowanus
Whoever thought alcohol and axes would make such a good duo!? Kick Axe did and they want you to get in on the fun. Essentially, you arm yourself with a sharp axe and throw. As long as you keep your friends at a distance, you’ll be good. The cost is $35+tax/pp for a 75 minute slot.
Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn Navy Yard
If you’re a fan of whiskey, or just looking for a boozy way to spend a rainy day, Kings County Distillery should be on your itinerary. Located in the newly developed Brooklyn Navy Yard, the distillery offers $16 tours complete with a whiskey tasting. Personal favs include the Chocolate Whiskey and Moonshine. If you’d prefer to skip the tour, head straight to their cozy tasting room at the entrance of the Navy Yard for a cocktail and a tasty cheese plate. Rain be gone!
Brooklyn Boulders, Gowanus
Climb on! If you can’t bare the idea of passing a rainy day cooped up in your tiny apartment, Brooklyn Boulders might be your kind of place. This truly massive warehouse space has an incredible 22,000 Square Feet of climbing surface. If you’ve never climbed before, no need to worry, an intro course will run you $79.
Jump into the Light, Lower East Side
Escape the rain and jump into an alternate realty at this VR arcade in the Lower East Side. They have a variety of games to choose from and the staff is very helpful. Plus, coming in at $40 for a day pass, it’s one of the cheaper VR arcades in the city. Full disclosure, I vomited in the bathroom after trying the skydiving simulation… some things are just too real.
New York Public Library, Midtown Manhattan
Turn off your TV, jot down the title of that book your uncle recommended, and head to one of the most iconic libraries in the world for a relaxed day of reading. Take a break to marvel at the architecture and appreciate just how lucky you are to be sitting in this truly remarkable New York gem. You won’t regret it!
A couple more spots worth checking out on a rainy day in NYC:
Brooklyn Bowl, Williamsburg
Essex Market, Lower East Side
Printed Matter, Chelsea
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, Gowanus
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By Cory Keny