Are showers in the forecast for your trip to Albany? Don't let it rain on your parade! Discover Albany indoors with fascinating tours, interactive exhibits and much more. Scroll on for ideas on how to spend a rainy day in Albany County. 


New York State Capitol Building

Visit the New York State Capitol

Knock one of the fifty state capitol buildings off your bucket list! 45-minute guided tours of the New York State Capitol Building explore the legislative chambers, Hall of Governors, Governor’s Reception Room, Hall of New York, historic staircases, and carvings. Climb all 444 steps on the breathtaking Million Dollar Staircase and try to spy some of the 77 famous faces carved throughout the staircase. Make sure to view the recently added portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the staircase's first addition in 125 years. Free guided tours are offered on Mondays through Fridays at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM. To kick off First Friday each month, the Capitol will hold extra tours at 5:30 PM. 


Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center

Learn About Nature While Indoors at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Discovery Center

If the weather cancels your outdoor hiking plans, you can still explore the Albany Pine Bush Preserve at the Discovery Center! Inside the Discovery Center, dive into the unique fire-dependent habitat with multi-sensory and hands-on exhibits. As you wander throughout the Discovery Center, you'll learn about the geologic history, restoration, scientific research and protection of the preserve. Plus, you'll learn about the plants and animals that call the Albany Pine Bush Preserve home. If there is a break in the rain showers, explore the trails just outside the Discovery Center to see the unique habitat firsthand! 


Albany Institute of History & Art Hudson River School New York State Museum

Explore Albany's Museums! 

Rain or shine, the Albany Institute of History & Art is a must-add to your Albany itinerary. One of the oldest museums in the country, the Institute is home to a treasure trove of art and historical objects documenting the life and culture of New York's Upper Hudson Valley from the late 17th-century to present. Or explore the cultural and natural history of New York State at the New York State Museum. It's the oldest and largest state museum in the country! Explore Black Capital: Harlem in the 1920s, an exhibit celebrating the rich and diverse culture of Harlem, view the Cohoes Mastodon, a skeleton discovered in 1866 during construction of Harmony Mill No. 3 near Cohoes Falls, and marvel at the splendor of the Minerals of New York exhibit showcasing an array of alluring minerals and gems.

Take a trip to Albany Center Gallery to explore artwork and installations made by talented emerging artists. Stop by Stacks right next door after your trip to sip on a cozy cup of coffee and watch the rain fall from their large storefront windows. Head to the Albany Barn during their open gallery hours for another opportunity to support local talent. 

If you're visiting Albany on a rainy Sunday, stop by the Albany Firefighters Museum. Led by active and retired Albany Firefighters, the museum preserves over 150 years of professional firefighting history and is open 10 AM to 2 PM each Sunday. 

Ten Broeck Mansion
Photo provided by Relentless Awareness

Uncover Albany's Rich Past at Historic Homes & Heritage Sites

Learn about Albany's rich 400-year old history by visiting one of the city's historic homes or heritage sites.

Visit the Stephen & Harriet Myers Residence, operated by the Underground Railroad Education Center. The historic site reflects Underground Railroad history from the perspective of Stephen Myers, a man formally enslaved, and from the perspective of Black abolitionists.

Explore Ten Broeck Mansion, the historic home of Revolutionary War General Abraham Ten Broeck, to tour the sweeping formal gardens and Federal-style mansion.

Check out Historic Cherry Hill, now open after a decade-long restoration, to learn a story of America through the lives and experiences of the five generations of the Van Rensselaer family.

Right next door to the Discover Albany Visitors Center, pay a visit to the Irish American Heritage Museum which tells the story of Irish immigrants in the United States. Or travel to the American Italian Heritage Museum on Central Ave to learn about the history and heritage of Italian immigrants in the US. 

The Vandy

Shop Along Broadway in Downtown Albany

Grab your umbrella and take a quick shopping trip down Broadway. Stop into the Vandy Thrift Shoppe for home goods and name brand men's and women's clothing at low prices. There are plenty of thrifty treasures to find! Proceeds from this shop directly support Vanderheyden's mission to empower youth, adults and families to build brighter futures. 

Make sure to grab some Albany souvenirs at Fort Orange General Store, a shop that specializes in hand-picked home goods and gifts featuring the work of emerging designers and small artists.


Take on the Rock Wall at Dick's House of Sport

Enjoy an indoor adventure and book a 15-minute session to climb the veritcal rock wall at Dick's House of Sport in Latham. The wall offers 5 different climbing routes for a variety of skill levels.


Apex Entertainment in Crossgates

Enjoy a Day of Shopping and Entertainment at Crossgates

Crossgates is the largest shopping, dining and entertainment destination in the Capital Region. Stay dry from the rain with an entire day of indoor fun with escape rooms, arcade games, trampoline parks, bowling and much more. Crossgates is home to over 180 shops, so there is a store everyone will be interested in. Cap off the day of indoor fun with a stand-up comedy show at Funny Bone or catch the latest blockbuster movie.