10 Odd and Unusual Museums in New York

Museum lovers and fans of everything unusual, this list is for you. The museums on this list do not always find their way onto the pages of traditional tour guides. These are the places that will make you feel like a real pioneer, a museum Columbus. If you still don’t believe museums can be fun, this list is here to show you how terribly, terribly wrong you are. Still traumatized by the last time you had to spend two hours staring at the obscure paintings? Curious about life, culture and science? In love with New York? You will find something you like on this list.


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#1. The City Reliquary
Tiny museum, huge city

This is a great destination for those who love New York and want to learn more about the city. The City Reliquary has amassed an impressive collection of New York related items. Check out their programming: their seminars and parties are a great way to get to know New York and New Yorkers.

 370 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

#2. Morbid Anatomy Museum

If you are craving some disturbing imagery and exhibits washed over with a cup of good coffee, Morbid Anatomy Museum is your best bet. This small collection started as a blog concentrating on the macabre in our life. Today, the physical incarnation of the blog features a coffeehouse and a great programming, check their exhibitions schedule!

 424-A 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

#3. Coney Island Museum

Did you know Coney Island had a museum dedicated to its mostly glorious past, present and future? Well, it does, and it’s a pretty amazing. You can see lots of curious 50s and 60s memorabilia, a 3D model of original Luna Park or whatever current exhibition has on display, which is usually something exciting.

 1208 Surf Ave

#4. The New York Transit Museum

If you grew up loving toy trains (and still do), The New York Transit Museum will be a Christmas come early for you. Geek out over the vintage train cars and find out what happened to New York trolleys. The activities at the museum will hold both adults and kids captivated.

 Boerum Pl at Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn Heights

#5. Museum of American Finance

Learn how to manage your finances…. from all of the American history. Museum of American Finance has everything you need to know about banking, entrepreneurship and financial markets in America. It’s all about the money: watch, listen and learn, the money really is talking in this museum!

 48 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

#6. Torah Animal World Museum

This is your chance to see what Noah saw when he boarded the ark, minus the flood. As for the animal companions, Torah Animal World Museum has got this. In 2008 a rabbi from Brooklyn came up with an idea to collect stuffed copies of all the animals mentioned in Old Testament in one place.

 1603 41st St, Brooklyn, NY 11218

#7. Museum of the American Gangster

Crazy about Prohibition fashion and music? Fascinated by the stories of criminal masterminds and bloody gunfights in the streets of Chicago? Time to dispel the myths: Museum of American Gangster tells it like it was. Former speakeasy houses original documents and memorabilia of the era. Also available are tours of the speakeasy itself.

 78 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

#8. Conjuring Arts Research Center
Museum of magic

It’s time to learn some magic! Or, at the very least, a couple of magic tricks. This and much more you can do at Conjuring Arts Research Center, which boasts of an impressive collection of books on all sorts of supernatural activities and occupations: from palm reading to ventriloquism. A bonus for the lovers of traditional fine arts: original medieval manuscripts.

 11 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001

#9. Mmuseumm

The smallest New York museum takes up a freight elevator and contains some truly weird objects. If you call the free number for audioguide, the weird turns to inspiring: each of the seemingly random objects tells a little story, all of which in turn paint a much larger picture.

 4 Cortlandt Alley b/t Franklin St & White St, New York City, NY 10013

#10. Lower East Side Tenement Museum

The immigrants’ stories are what a lot of American history is built on. The Tenement Museum offers a tour through the lives, troubles and hopes of the immigrants who lived at 79 Orchard Street. You can see their apartments and learn about their jobs and families. This is a real time machine experience!

 103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

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