Rain, rain, go away. Or not, because there’s plenty to do in New York City FREE or dirt cheap on a rainy day. Here’s how to enjoy NYC on the cheap, in between the raindrops, at one or more of these places we love:
As usual, everything we recommend is $25 or less, and most things are FREE.
See the Future
We love the FordHub City of Tomorrow, in the Oculus transportation and shopping hub in Lower Manhattan. Take a virtual reality tour of a futuristic city, try to power a virtual hybrid car by pumping your arms, and more. Suitable for all ages, from little kids to grown-up ones, open daily.
The National Museum of the American Indian is a branch of the Smithsonian, with FREE admission every day. In addition to wonderful exhibits on Native peoples from the North Pole to the South pole, there are free films and storytelling programs. Open daily.
- SEE ALSO Free admission days and times at top NYC museums
- SEE ALSO Six NYC museums always free to visit
Go to church
Visiting any one of NYC’s world-class cathedrals is free, of course. Or, take a tour of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, one of the largest in the world, and one of NYC’s true gems. There are daily guided tours of the art and architectural highlights, and three-time-a-week “vertical tours”, in which you climb a spiral staircase for a close-up view of the magnificent stained glass windows, and a picture postcard view of the city from a butress.Tours are $14 to $20, and last 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the tour. Cathedral of St. John the Divine is at 112th St. and Amsterdam Ave.
Visit the Library
The world-famous two-block-long Rose Reading Room in the main NYPL building on Fifth Avenue is open again, after a multi-million-dollar facelift. You’ll recognize it from many films and TV shows. Curl up with a good book, or just sit and people-watch. Be sure to visit one or more of the ongoing FREE exhibits.
What’s you favorite way to spend a rainy day, other than cleaning your sock drawer or binge-watching Downton Abbey?
This rainy day guide to NYC was published first in 2017 and is updated periodically.