Any true Bostonian will tell you ‘weather’ is an unacceptable excuse to not do something. Especially when some of best places to visit in Boston are indoors.
So grab your umbrella, zip up your rain jacket, and make the most of your visit by checking out a few of these ideas for things to do in Boston when it rains.
Looking for some fun things to do indoors?
Admission to a bunch of the below activities is available on the Go Boston® Card.
Choose as you go from dozens of fun attractions and save up to 55% off combined admission vs paying at the gate.
A few of the available indoor activities include…
- New England Aquarium – must visit!
- Museum of Fine Art
- Harvard Museum of Natural History
New England Aquarium
Get a dose of the outdoors indoors at the New England Aquarium to learn all about marine life and get up close to all your favorite marine animals.
Featured exhibits include “Science of Sharks,” “Amazon Rainforest,” “Gulf of Maine,” and “Seadragon Exhibit.” There are also areas that showcase their playful penguins and fascinating jellies — two of the most popular exhibits.
You’ll also get the chance to get up close and personal with some of the sea life at the Aquarium’s Shark and Ray Touch Tank exhibit.
Getting in: New England Aquarium tickets and a discount on the nearby IMAX are included on the Go Boston Card.
Go Museum-Hopping on Rainy Day
There’s no better time to go museum-hopping in Boston than when it rains.
Get caught up on new exhibits at your favorite museums or finally get around to visiting ones you’ve been meaning to, but haven’t.
Museums get you indoors and out of the rain, while Boston’s diverse museum offerings provide an experience completely unique to the city.
No matter your interests, there’s a museum that will keep you entertained for the day.
Museum of Fine Art
Swing by the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and take a stroll through galleries featuring works of art ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary with a strong emphasis on Art of the Americas.
You’ll see lots of famous works by artists like John Singer Sargent, Degas, Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, and more.
It’s recently been honored as one of the top 25 museums in the entire U.S. by a TripAdvisor poll, which is an impressive accolade!
Getting in: Museum of Fine Arts tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Visit three museums in one: a Comparative Zoology Museum, a Herbaria Museum, and a Mineralogical and Geological Museum at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
You’ll get to see various natural phenomena from around the world, including large whale skeletons, to a 1,642-pound amethyst geode, and you’ll even get to touch meteorites from outer space.
My personal favorite feature of this museum is the “Glass Flowers,” which is a collection of exquisitely crafted glass models of individual flora from around the globe. They’re incredibly realistic and truly beautiful.
Getting in: Harvard Museum of Natural History tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy a day at the Museum of Science, one of the world’s largest science centers and Boston’s most visited cultural institution.
Hands-on exhibits explore fascinating topics, such as electricity, physics, biology, astronomy, and more.
Their newer Hall of Human Life has been a big hit with visitors in the last couple of years, and features exhibitions that explore the wonder that is the human body. It encompasses more than 70 interactive components and is worth an hour or so of your time.
Getting in: Boston Museum of Science tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Boston Children’s Museum
Exploring Boston with kids and looking for some fun indoor activities?
Visit the Boston Children’s Museum, designed for kids and families with exhibits geared towards engaging kids and getting them interested in a range of topics related to science, culture, environmental awareness, health and fitness, and more.
Getting in: Boston Children’s Museum tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Explore what’s new and exciting on the art scene at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) located in the trendy Seaport District right on the water.
Featuring art and installations from the hottest contemporary artists, the ICA is at the heart of a flourishing arts scene in Boston.
You’ll get to see art in a range of mediums that go beyond typical visual art exhibitions, including music, film, performance, and more.
Getting in: Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Visit the site of the infamous Boston art heist, a crime which remains unsolved, and the home of hundreds of important works of art ranging from European, to Asian, to American art.
Designed in the style of a 15th-century Venetian palace, the museum itself is considered a work of art worth visiting.
You’ll also enjoy peering through the windows at their charming gardens (some of which are covered!) to get the full experience.
Getting in: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Experience the cutting edge of science and innovation at one of the most popular scientific institutions – the MIT Museum.
You’ll get to interact with robots, learn all about holography, see one of the largest archives of nautical technology in the US, study architecture and design, and more – you’ll even get an inside look at current MIT research on display.
Getting in: MIT Museum tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Immerse yourself in all aspects of JFK’s presidency. One of America’s most iconic leaders, JFK and his legacy attract visitors from all over the world.
See everything from close-up looks at rare family photos, to then-Senator Kennedy’s 1960 campaign for the presidency, to clips of press interviews, to historic artifacts, and more.
The JFK Presidential Library and Museum is a wonderful Boston activity on a rainy day.
Getting in: JFK Presidential Library and Museum tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Old State House
This Boston icon offers visitors an interactive way to explore and experience Boston’s Revolutionary history.
With tours and performances occurring every half hour and multi-sensory exhibits in historic period rooms, there’s lots to discover at the Old State House.
Getting in: Old State House tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Get an inside look at the daily operations of the U.S. Senate at this engaging, state-of-the-art exhibition where you can explore topics like how a bill becomes a law, U.S. Senate history, and more.
Your visit will leave you with a renewed appreciation and better understanding of the U.S. political system.
Getting in: Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United State Senate tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Mary Baker Eddy Library & Mapparium
Take a walk through the globe and see a rare 1611 edition of the King James Bible at the Mapparium, a unique, three-story, painted-glass globe and museum.
It’s an especially nice place for families with children, as it focuses on engaging the active mind and encouraging learning.
Getting in: Mary Baker Eddy Library & Mapparium tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
More Indoor Activities in Boston
A must-see for LEGO® fans ages 3-10, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center features lots of entertaining indoor fun for a rainy day in Boston.
Choose from entertaining LEGO®-themed fun such as the center’s two interactive LEGO® rides, featured films in the 4D cinema, the LEGO® Fire Academy Soft Play Area, and more.
Getting in: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston tickets are included on the Go Boston Card.
Sam Adams Brewery TourLearn about the entire brewing process and see it in action, from start to finish at the Sam Adams Brewery.
Visitors over 21 can sample beer after the tour and can receive a complimentary piece of glassware – the perfect souvenir for your trip to Boston.
Insider Tip: If you love craft beer, Boston is the town for you. Another hot spot is the Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall, which is located right by the ICA. If you’re willing to drive, Night Shift (in Everett) is immensely popular, too.
Getting in: Sam Adams Brewery Tours are free to the public.
Shop at CambridgeSide GalleriaLocated in Cambridge, near the Museum of Science, the CambridgeSide Galleria offers over 120 shops ranging from top name brands to boutiques.
A rainy day in Boston is one of the best reasons to spend a little time poking around the shops.
There are plenty of dining options in the mall, too, so it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat during a busy day of sightseeing.
Insider tip: Go Boston Card holders can enjoy a complimentary gift and valuable discount coupons to the CambridgeSide Galleria shops.
The Shops at Prudential CenterLocated right in Back Bay, The Shops at Prudential Center is one of Boston’s top shopping destinations.
You’ll find over 75 shops and restaurants, including Lord & Taylor, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Saks Fifth Avenue, and more.
Insider tip: Go Boston Card holders can enjoy a complimentary PRUferred Shoppers Card.
Visit Cheers the BarVisiting Cheers, the bar featured in the American TV classic Cheers, is a Boston must.
The Cheers Beacon Hill location has the famous façade of the bar featured in the show while the Cheers Faneuil Hall location is home to an authentic replica of the TV set’s bar interior.
Insider tip: Go Boston Card holders can enjoy a 15% discount at both Cheers locations on lunch, dinner, or gift shop merchandise.
Quick Rainy Day Recap
See? You can stay dry all while having plenty of great options for things to do in Boston when it’s raining out.
We hope these ideas helped inspire you to create a fun-filled indoorsy itinerary.