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Brooklyn, New York, is considered to be a top market for its family-friendly areas, public attractions, locally-owned business, and its dining and nightlife scenes.

Granted, a rainy day could impact your plans for a day out in Brooklyn. Yet, there are still many alternative things to do in Brooklyn when the weather forecast calls for a chance of rain. Many indoor venues could also serve as a sudden backup plan when the sky opens up with a light sprinkle or a heavy downpour.

Here are some indoor places throughout Brooklyn that make for some great rainy day activities.


Related: Here's What Brooklyn's Famed Prospect Park Is Known For

A Day At The Museum

Brooklyn has a number of museums tailored to your interests.

Located next to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Museum is one of the biggest museums in New York City. At 560,000 square feet, it holds a collection of 500,000 objects. A massive permanent collection of art genres can be seen on its five floors.

Categories span from American, Asian, African, and European art to Decorative and Contemporary. Its third floor is graced with ancient Egyptian art, which covers every period in this timeline. The Brooklyn Museum also contains a beautiful Beaux-Arts Court used to stage concerts and special events. It has held temporary exhibitions such as a photography exhibit about the legendary NYC nightclub, Studio 54.

Also known by its acronym, MoCADA, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Fort Greene honors African cultural traditions and holds programming, education initiatives, and exhibitions centered on social justice.

In Crown Heights, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is the first children’s museum in the United States and today still provides a place for kids to have fun hands-on experiences. With a mix of permanent and visiting exhibits, young visitors can go shopping in “World Brooklyn” or climb around in the outdoor fixture, “NEST.”

Also, in this Brooklyn neighborhood, The Jewish Children’s Museum teaches about this religion’s culture and history in a fun and engaging way.

The City Reliquary is a nonprofit organization in Williamsburg that grew from a window display to a repository holding a collection of ephemeral objects relating to New York City.

Head to Coney Island to visit the New York Aquarium, which is considered to be the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States. It is full of marine life, with a menagerie of sea lions, penguins, and river otters, while also teaching about their environmental impact on their habitats.

While in Coney Island, check out the Coney Island Museum, which preserves the legacy of this longtime amusement destination.

Learning More About NYC History

There are centers within Brooklyn that tell much about the borough and/or New York City’s history.

Based within a decommissioned 1936 subway station, the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn tells all about NYC’s mass transit system. It has a satellite location inside Grand Central Terminal.

In its heyday, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was a premier naval shipbuilding facility and launched warships, including the USS Arizona, in particular during World War II.

Having been in operation for 165 years and then decommissioned in 1966, today, the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Building 92 holds a permanent exhibit, “Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present, and Future,” which tells the yard’s chronology from its beginnings to the present day. And the Yard’s Buildings 77 and 92 are adorned with public art.

Visit the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s website for tours and schedules.

The Waterfront Barge Museum in Red Hook is based inside the Lehigh Valley Barge #79, in which this circa 1914 wooden vessel had transported goods across the Hudson River.

Historic Homes In Brooklyn

Brooklyn has historic homes reflecting different time periods of the borough, with some of them even pre-dating what we now know as NYC. Among them, the mid-17th century Wyckoff House Museum was a farmhouse once owned and occupied by Pieter Claesen Wyckoff and his family, and then future generations, until the early 20th century. Along with telling about its past, the present-day museum has an active garden and farm.

Related: A Guide To Walking The Brooklyn Bridge Like A Local

Dining In Brooklyn

Dining at a restaurant or a café is another rainy day activity. Brooklyn’s food and drink scene reflects many ethnic enclaves (Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and European, among others) and culinary innovations.

Brooklyn has a lot of quintessential places to eat, from Old School favorites, including Peter Luger Steak House, to the popular Vietnamese-American Đi ăn Đi. And see how certain foods are made via tours of Ample Hills Creamery’s Red Hook factory or Raaka Chocolate, also in Red Hook. Fine & Raw, a chocolate maker, also offers tours at their East Williamsburg factory, and Cacao Prieto, known for their Dominican Republic-sourced chocolate, also holds tours at their facility in Red Hook.

A fun way to eat your way around Brooklyn is at one of its food halls. Many of them feature locally-owned food and beverage vendors.

DeKalb Food Hall in Downtown Brooklyn holds about 40 vendors that are a mix of longtime New York City favorites - as in Katz’s Deli - and rising names.

In Sunset Park, Industry City Food Hall is a culinary and creative hub where retail coincides with restaurants and food stalls in a repurposed manufacturing spot. Its Japan Village brings the country’s products right to Brooklyn, where you can shop for groceries, ceramics, and other goods. You can also order udon, onigiris, and other Japanese foods from its respective food hall.

Time Out Market New York in Dumbo holds just over 20 food concepts, with vegetarian, fish and seafood, dessert, meat, and breakfast options to appease diners.

Independent Bookstores In Brooklyn

Browsing through a bookstore on a rainy day is always a page-turner. Brooklyn has some good independent bookstores to see and shop from.

Greenlight Bookstore's About Me webpage refers to itself as "a neighborhood bookstore with a forward-looking sensibility." It has locations in Fort Green and Flatbush. Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill showcases the joy of reading with selections curated in mind for children and adult readers.

Community Bookstore in Park Slope is a long-timer - founded in 1971 - with a community garden and shelves holding new title releases. In 2013, it took over a neighborhood bookshop and renamed it Terrace Books. McNally Jackson has stores in Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn, with their open-floor layout being just as enticing as their book inventory.