New York City is a hub of excitement. It is called the city that never sleeps because there is always something happening. That’s the reason why millions of people travel to New York City every year. There is so much to do and it can be hard to pack everything into your trip. And there are the obvious stops like Times Square, The Met, the giant Macy’s, etc. While these are places that you should definitely check out, there are a lot more quirky spots to see. These are locations that will be unlike anything you can find in your hometown. They will all provide you with a fun time. Each of these spots have a one of a kind theme that makes them special. You may not have thought to go to these places right away, but you should definitely check them out.
1. Museum of Illusions
This is a New York City experience that messes up your perceptions a little. The Museum of Illusions will take up hours of your time, and that is just because of the confusions. This is kind of like an art museum as you will look at pictures that demonstrate various optical illusions. You may see some famous photos of optical illusions, and you may also find something new. You can even participate in some optical illusions to get even more confusing. Look at photos of yourself and not even know how to explain what is happening to you. There are some optical illusion games you can play and some cool items you can buy. There are dozens of illusions you can look at that will give your brain a workout. This is a thrilling museum for all ages that will have you laughing and learning.
2. New York Starbucks Roastery
Everyone has been to a Starbucks at least once in their life, but you probably have not been to a Starbucks like this one. There are only a few roasteries like this in the world, which means you should take the chance to visit the one in New York City. This is a twenty three thousand foot store that is unlike any other coffee shop. You can still buy coffee here like any other place. However, you will get a much wider variety of coffee. There is also a lot more you can buy throughout the shop, such as merchandise and other coffee related items. Now the excitement does not end there. You can also take tours through the roastery to see how the coffee is made. There are many different tours, tastings, and experiences you can book to make yourself feel fancy. This is not just a coffee shop, it is a coffee experience.
3. Harry Potter Store
How about a store for wizards and muggles alike? The Harry Potter store is an experience meant for any Harry Potter fan. It is not as extravagant as Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, but it is still a sight for fans. You can buy all of the Harry Potter merchandise you could ever want at this store. So many exclusive products to show off the book and movie series that you love. You could even buy your very own wand or something personalized. If you want to have something tasty, have a glass of butterbeer at the butterbeer bar. If you don’t want to spend any money, there are some great photo opportunities to be found that will make it look like you are at Hogwarts. There is so much to see at this store, and it will really excite your inner child.
4. Museum of Ice Cream
Everyone loves ice cream, which means that this museum is for everyone. As soon as you see this bright pink building in New York City, you’ll know that you are in for something sweet. Since it is a museum, you will be able to do some learning. You will get to learn about the history of ice cream and how it is made. That being said, don’t think of this like any normal museum. You will also get to enjoy some tasty ice cream in a variety of flavors. You will get to play on a colorful playground themed around ice cream. Then there is the large pit of sprinkles you get to play around in. This is a museum where you get to play around and have a delicious time. If you want to learn but also have a playful time with tasty treats, this is where you should go.
5. Strand Bookstore
I’m sure you have been to a bookstore at least once in your life. The Strand is a bookstore that is filled with history and quintessentially New York City. It is an independent bookstore, one of the largest in the country. It has three stories and is known as “18 miles of books”. It is referenced frequently in movies and tv shows, and was the workplace for many artists in the 1970s. You can explore the usual sections like fiction and history, but also fun sections like fashion and photography. Not to mention all of the merch you can buy, and the many fun socks. You can get lost in this bookstore for hours and feel a warm environment only found in an independent bookstore. The rich culture of this store will change the way you see bookstores.
You might have already heard of Chinatown as it is very iconic. I just want to make sure that this is not a neighborhood that you miss. There are Chinatowns in cities besides New York City, but the one here is something special. Going to Chinatown is like stepping into a whole new world. You will see a large culture right in front of you that is different from where you started. You can go to some of the best Chinese restaurants in the city. People don’t leave Chinatown hungry. You can also check out the markets to see what interesting things and produce that people are selling. There are also some unique little stores to go in to buy some clothes or toys. There aren’t really chain stores found in Chinatown, a lot of independent shops and restaurants. It is a unique experience that will take up a fun couple of hours.
7. Museum of Moving Image
If you are a film buff, this is the place for you. You can learn all sorts of film knowledge and history from this museum. A lot of the exhibits are traveling or not permanent, so even if you have already been there, you can come back for something new. There is always a lot to see about different movies. There might be exhibits about certain people that have left a large mark on media history, like the Jim Henson exhibit. There could also be exhibits about certain films or tv shows to show how they are made. You can also learn about what goes on behind the scenes on a film set and what makes everything possible. Even if you are not in the film industry, you should still find everything to be fascinating. There are also some small film festivals that are sometimes held at this museum that you can get tickets for for exclusive access. It is an educational experience, and will change the way you see films.
8. Museum of Sex
Your vacation to New York City should be about having fun, so don’t put limits on your fun. Why not have a risque time? The Museum of Sex is unlike any museum you have ever been to before. This place is definitely not meant for children, so keep that in mind when you are planning your vacation. When you enter the museum, you enter through the gift shop, which is filled with sex toys, sex games, sexy art, and other similar items. Then after you check your ticket, you go into the museum. You will learn about the history of sex, porn, and kinks in fun ways. There are some traveling exhibits, but most of the museum stays the same. Then there is Superfunland. It is an erotic carnival with sexy games and prizes. I don’t want to give too much away, but it is unlike anything you have ever experienced. This will probably be the wildest museum of your life.
9. Sleep No More
Maybe you are looking for something a little theatrical. Sleep No More is storytelling in a whole new way. This is a show that takes place at a hotel of multiple stories that you will walk through. The fun part of the play is that the audience is almost involved. This is supposed to be an adaptation of Macbeth, but it is much different than any version of Macbeth that you have seen before. This is an immersive play where you get to decide what show you are seating. You could go to this show many times and have a different experience each visit. It is a journey and it is based on what excites you. You can follow any actor that you want and explore whatever catches your eye. Groups will probably end up separated and that just adds to the mystery of it all. You will also wear masks the whole time for more mystery. It is intended for people eighteen older as what you see can be a little grown up, such as nudity. This play will make you rethink the limits of theatre as you explore a whole new world.