Our 8 Favorite Rainy Day Activities in Boston

Rainy autumn night in Boston

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

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.

01 of 08

View Amazing Animals at the Aquarium

Giant tank scene at the New England Aquarium

Lorianne DiSabato / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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.

02 of 08

Take Your Loved Ones Bowling

Candlepin bowling

Jonathan Hinkle / Flickr / CC BY 3.0

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.

03 of 08

Have Fun at the Movies

AMC Assembly Row 12

Sarah Pascarella / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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.

04 of 08

Jump and Climb Around

Boston Bouldering Project

Boston Bouldering Project / Facebook

If your kids have the 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 Boston Bouldering Project facility. Or play Ultimate Dodgeball as you jump, or bounce on a trampoline at Sky Zone Trampoline Park in nearby Everett. You won't miss the outdoors when you're halfway up a boulder or vaulting off a trampoline wall.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Become an Artist

The Paint Bar

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

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.

06 of 08

Sample Local Craft Beers


Courtesy of TripAdvisor

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.

07 of 08

Head to the Museums

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

TripSavvy / Violet Smirnova 

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.

08 of 08

See the Colorful Mapparium

Inside the Mapparium

Karen Kasmauski / Getty Images

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.