For some people, a rainy day puts a damper on their vacation. However, if you are in Boston, Massachusetts, there are many indoor things to do that make the brightest of any wet day.
These picks are appropriate for families with stir-crazy kids, groups of friends traveling together, solo adventurers, and couples. And while these activities— ranging from watching movies to exploring aquariums to jumping at trampoline parks—were selected with rainy days in mind, they are also great for winter when snow and sleet make indoor activities in Boston even more appealing.
On gloomy Boston days, head to the New England Aquarium—the whole family will be amazed by the animals, from green sea turtles to anacondas and penguins. And check out great exhibits like the floor-to-ceiling Indo-Pacific coral reef, which features unique creatures like the Longnose butterflyfish and the Tomato clownfish. All the colors of the tropical fish are just the antidote needed for a gray and rainy day outside. You can also see these aquatic creatures in a movie at the Simons IMAX Theater, the largest screen in New England.
Take Your Loved Ones Bowling
Match the thunder and lightning outside with strike after strike at bowling alley. There is a nice selection of alleys in Boston, both 10-pin and candlepin (which features a smaller ball and thinner pins). Take your pick from local hole-in-the-wall lanes, such as South Boston Candlepin, or sleek see-and-be-seen venues like Kings Boston. You'll also find bowling/pizza joints like Sacco's Bowl Haven at Flatbread Somerville (the Flatbread Company is onsite), about a 20-minute drive from downtown Boston.
Whether you are seeking art-house cinemas, multiplexes with IMAX and 3-D, stadium-style theaters, or intimate screening rooms, Boston's movie theaters have something for everyone. If you want to see the latest big-budget popcorn flick or an award-winning foreign film that just arrived stateside, chances are you'll be able to find it in Boston. Two popular movie theaters right in the city include the Showcase Icon Theater in the Seaport and the AMC Boston Common.
Jump and Climb Around
If your kids have energy to burn or cabin fever on a wet day in Boston, don your athletic wear and visit an indoor climbing or trampoline park to get the heart rate going. Ascend large indoor rocks at the 40,000-square-foot Somerville's Brooklyn Boulders facility. Or play Ultimate Dodgeball as you jump, or just bounce on a trampoline at one of Sky Zone Trampoline Park's Boston-area locations. When you're halfway up a boulder or vaulting off a trampoline wall, you won't even miss the outdoors.
Sure, you could visit a Boston-area art museum on a rainy day, or you could create your own work of art. The Paint Bar in Newton, about a 15-minute drive from Boston, offers classes in which you design a theme-based painting in a relaxed, encouraging environment. There are studio classes with fun music and supplies included for adults, plus beer, wine, and snacks available for purchase. The Paint Bar also has regularly scheduled classes for kids of all ages, including a toddler open studio offering the little ones a chance to move around and have a blast.
Craft breweries are popping up all over the Boston area, and while the most popular are those that have outdoor patios for warmer months, there are plenty that have indoor sections. Order a flight of beers to try at breweries like Somerville Brewing Company, Dorchester Brewing Company, and Hopsters in Fort Point, where you can actually brew your own beer—come back when it's ready to try it out for yourself.
Head to the Museums
There are many museums to explore in the city of Boston, which make a great activity for a dreary day. Depending on what neighborhood you're in and what your interests are, pick from one of the following: Boston Children's Museum, with Kamishibai Japanese storytelling most Wednesdays and Saturdays; Museum of Fine Arts, one of the world's most extensive art museums; Museum of Science, where you can catch an IMAX film or a Planetarium show; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, featuring national and international pieces.
Grab your umbrella and head to the don't-miss, colorful attraction at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston. The Mapparium is a three-story stained-glass globe built in 1935 and is known around the world. Watch the presentation that goes along with the display, which includes music, words, and LED lights to show how ideas and the world have changed over time. Also check out the exhibit, “The Mapparium: An Inside View,” featuring documents and artifacts explaining the construction and importance of this notable artistic achievement.