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.
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 Million Dollar Staircase and try to spy some of the 77 famous faces carved throughout the staircase. Free guided tours are offered on Mondays through Fridays at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM.
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!
Rain or shine, the Albany Institute of History & Art is a must-add to your Albany itinerary. The museum 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. The Hudson River School: Landscape Paintings is an ongoing exhibit featuring nearly ninety breathtaking paintings by legendary Hudson River School artists such as Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey, and Asher Durand. The museum frequently rotates special exhibits, so make sure to check out the latest exhibit on display.
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.
Photo provided by Relentless Awareness
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. Or 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. To take a deeper dive into Albany's heritage tourism, click here.
Photo provided by Relentless Awareness
Discover the cultural and natural history of New York State at the New York State Museum. It is the oldest and largest state museum in the country! See The World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response to learn about the history of the World Trade Center, the September 11 attacks and the following rescue efforts. 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. Marvel at the splendor of the Minerals of New York exhibit showcasing an array of alluring minerals and gems from the Herkimer ‘Diamonds’ (quartz) to glow-in-the-dark minerals.