New York has a lot of entertaining things to offer to visitors and locals alike. But once you’ve covered the most iconic sites, or if you want to lose the crowds, you will need to go beyond the obvious. If you are looking for unusual things to do in New York, these will surely get you off the beaten path.
Visit the Tenement Museum
Located on the Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum takes visitors back in time to give them a glimpse of what it was like to be an immigrant in New York in the late 19th century – early 20th century. Housed in a five-story brick building, it is estimated that some 7000 people from over 20 countries lived in the historic building.
Here is a costumed interpreter in character as Victoria Confino who lived at 97 Orchard Street with her family circa 1916. You can meet Victoria and hear about what life is like living at 97 Orchard during the weekly program MEET VICTORIA offered on Saturday and Sunday to the public. #history #nyc #immigrant #Tuesday #picoftheday #instagood #ny #les #lowereastside #museum #architecture #newyork #cool #newyorkcity #instadaily
Take a Break at the Cloisters
This quiet spot in northern Manhattan offers a welcome respite from the hectic pace of NYC. The Cloisters are a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it houses the museum’s extensive collection of art and architecture from Medieval Europe.
Square or rectangular in shape and surrounded by covered passageways, a cloister is the nucleus of monastic life: an open-air courtyard with proximity to spaces that serve the essential needs of the community—chapter house, dormitory, refectory, church. Visit The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of the Met devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, in Fort Tryon Park. #metmuseum #TheCloisters
Dine in a Train Car at Le Train Bleu
Hidden in the sixth floor of Bloomingdale’s in midtown Manhattan, Le Train Bleu is a restaurant modeled as an old train dining car. For over 30 years, this quirky restaurant has been offering a very unique experience right in the heart of New York; while still remaining one of the city’s best kept secrets.
Go on a Street Art Hunt
One of the best ways to go off the beaten path while traveling is to go searching for street art or to join one of the several street art tours available. New York is one of the best cities for street art, so it is no wonder that it attracts artists from all over the world.
Shop at Brooklyn Flea
Ranked as one of the top markets in the United States, the Brooklyn Flea features over a hundred vendors selling furniture, vintage clothing, antiques, jewellery and much more. If you are looking for the perfect souvenir for your trip, you’ll probably find it here!
Explore an Abandoned Subway Station
New York’s subway system is one of the oldest in the world. As such, there are a number of stations that are now closed or abandoned for one reason or another. The most famous of them all is the City Hall station and you can visit it by joining one of the tours organised by the New York Transit Museum.
Visit MoMA PS1
MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest contemporary art institutions in North America. Affiliated with New York’s Museum of Modern Art, this exhibition space hosts some of the most avant-garde contemporary art in the world.
#GreaterNewYork opened today #free to the public! Jeffrey Gibson's 'Burn For You' is just one of the amazing sculptures in the figurative sculpture room of #GreaterNewYork at #MoMAPS1. It challenges stereotypes of Indian authenticity and identity through a self-conscious hybrid symbolism of indigenous techniques, materials, and practices. Come check out how #NY artists see the world around them. @thomaslax @veruka_salt @derriduh @maaglio @klausbiesenbach
Have a Drink at The Backroom Bar
If you want to revisit what it was like to experience the Prohibition era, head down to The Backroom Bar. One of the two speakeasies that still operates from those days in New York, this classic bar features vintage decor, period pieces and cocktails served in tea cups; just like in the old days!
Go Backstage the Metropolitan Opera House
Go where few people have gone before by taking a backstage tour of the Metropolitan Opera House. Held during the performance season, these tours give visitors a glimpse into what goes on in the rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms and stage area.
Go Kayaking on the Hudson River
If you want to keep active, kayaking on the Hudson River is a great way to spend the afternoon. The Manhattan Community Boathouse is a nonprofit organization that offers free kayaks to use during summer.
Addresses & Contact Details
What other unusual things to do in New York would you recommend? Share it with us in the comments section!