When rain or cold weather keeps kids inside, it can be hard to keep everyone entertained. Of course, NYC offers plenty of amazing children's museums and exhibits, indoor play spaces and classes and activities where families can take shelter when bad weather arrives, but sometimes staying home can be just as much fun—if you know the right games.
Whatever the reason you're staying put, try one of these 50 indoor, boredom-busting games, crafts and other things to do with kids to turn a rainy day into a memorable one.
1. Bake without losing your sanity.
2. Get crafty: Halloween finger puppets, anyone?
3. Let the kids raid your closet and put on a fashion show.
4. Cuddle up with a pile of books.
5. Build, create and invent with STEM-inspired toys.
6. Play "Simon Says" or "Follow the Leader."
7. Grab a deck of cards and teach your kids the simple joys of Rummy, Spit or Slapjack.
8. Gather the family to enjoy a story podcast.
9. Make your own instruments; then, lead a marching band parade through the living room.
10. Get little ones psyched about their next museum outing with kids' books about NYC's amazing museums.
11. Pop some kernels and watch a classic movie.
12. Get geeky with the New York Hall of Science's awesome suite of STEM-inspired apps.
13. Write letters (on actual paper with actual pens and pencils) to out-of-town relatives or friends.
14. Check out an online camp—not just for summertime!
15. Freeze Dance.
16. Anything that involves bubble wrap.
17. Make math fun with these amazing math apps.
18. Blow up some balloons, toss 'em in the air and don't let them touch the ground.
19. Learn to code.
20. Keep your heart rate up with Wii Fit or Xbox One games.
21. Make a marshmallow catapult and see who can catch the most in their mouth.
22. Play dominoes or line them up and let them fall—kids will love seeing the chain reaction.
23. Have a tie-dye party, or opt for an easier tie-dye alternative (with built-in science lesson!).
24. Make a watercolor masterpiece.
Grab a bin of Legos and get building. Award prizes for a rainy day twist. Photo via Bigstock.
25. Pull out the building blocks and Legos and create a mini city.
26. Embrace your inner Einstein with cool science experiments.
27. Play "I Spy" or "21 Questions."
28. Make paper-bag puppets and put on a show.
29. Make the easiest bird feeder ever.
30. Become an origami master.
Fort building never gets old for kids. Photo by Jennifer Robbins via Flickr.
31. Grab some sheets and make a good old-fashioned fort. Perfect for playtime—and naptime!
32. Make shaving cream sculptures in the sink.
33. Snuggle up with a warm cup of cocoa or try a vanilla cinnamon steamer as an alternative.
34. Tackle a challenging puzzle as a family.
36. Explore NYC—in a book!
37. Challenge your brood to a game of charades.
38. Then find your voices with a karaoke concert.
39. Make your own granola bars.
40. Use hallways for classic games like "Red Light, Green Light" and "Leap Frog."
41. Decorate pinecones, paint flower pots or make leaf art.
42. Go bowling at home.
43. Learn a few magic tricks to wow your friends.
44. Pillow fight—'nuff said.
45. Get all dressed up and host your own fancy tea party (be sure to invite the dolls and stuffed animals).
46. Crack open those activity books you have piled up.
47. Get everyone together for a family scavenger hunt.
48. Create colorful salt paintings.
49. Have an indoor "camp out" with sleeping bags, a tent, board games and s'mores.
50. Cook dinner together.
Find more great indoor activities in our WeeWork Activities Guide and sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.
Top photo via Shutterstock.
This post originally published in November 2008.