Thursday, September 21, 2023

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Fun Interactive Things To Do In Nyc

Play Around With Reality At The Museum Of Illusions

10 Things to do in NEW YORK CITY WITH KIDS

Do you believe in magic? If not, you just might after visiting the Museum of Illusions, where you and your kids can explore the wild world created by human perception.

Peek into a bottomless pit, challenge your senses with imbalanced rooms and optical illusions, and take a seat in the famous Beuchet Chair, which will make you look absolutely tiny!

You can also swing by the smart playroom to try some brain-teasing games, and keep an eye out for magicians and other performers throughout the space. Within these tilting walls and through these spiraling doors, anything is possible!

Ride The Bronx Zoo Bug Carousel

Praying Mantis, Dung Beetles, Lady Bugs, and Grasshoppersoh my!

Because youll find all these larger-than-life insects , and more, at the Bronx Zoos truly unique bug carousel.

Aptly located near the famed zoos butterfly exhibit:

This one-of-a-kind carousel features sixty-four different, hand-carved, vibrantly painted, wooden insects that you can hop aboard as you whirl and twirl your way through the ride.

Truly the first and only carousel of its kind:

The Bug Carousel is a fun and educational experience that has been worming its way into childrens hearts since 2005.

And while youre aboard:

Dont forget to admire the lovely, painted murals that line the center of the ride and listen to the beautiful sounds of the insect world since the carousels music was created using the sounds of insect recording from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Address: 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10460, United States

Hours: The zoo and carousel are open daily from 10:00 am t0 4:30 pm with final admissions occurring 45 minutes before closing.

How to Get There: Take either a New Haven or Harlem line train to Fordham and board the Bx9 bus once youre here. Ride the bus for four stops, get off at Southern Boulevard and East Fordham Road, and walk to the zoo from here.

Price: Included with a total experience ticket , otherwise it costs $6 to ride the carousel.

City Lights Helicopter Night Tour

Theres nothing quite like New York at night and seeing it twinkling in the darkness from above is super special. This night-time flight takes a similar route to the Manhattan day tour, but focuses on the sights that come to life after dark.

Gaze down at Times Square in all its brightly lit splendor and check out the Rockefeller Center and George Washington Bridge from your comfy seat. Of course, the most iconic illuminated landmark has to be the Statue of Liberty, which poses as the centerpiece of your tour.

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Day Or Night Pay A Visit To The Jane Hotel

Take one look at The Jane Hotel and you can feel the notable presence. In 1912, The Jane Hotel hosted the remaining Titanic survivors for the days following the Atlantic tragedy.

Now, The Jane Hotel offers a unique hotel experience, an Italian restaurant, Old Rose, as well as a seasonal rooftop bar and popular nightclub.

If you want to stay more on a budget, check our guide on 3 best hostels in New York City.

Address: West Village, NY

Peruse Through Some Of The Murder Mysteries Youll Find Inside The Mysterious Bookshop


Bibliophiles of the world, rejoice!

Because NYC is chocker box full of truly bizarre, specialty bookshops of every variety.

And the Mysterious Bookshop is no exception.

Opened in 1979 by Otto Penzler:

This quirky, Tribeca bookshop quite literally has a mystery around every corner.

Thats because:

This shop is the worlds oldest and biggest bookstore, selling exclusively mystery, crime, and espionage-related novels.

Even though you wont find any over-the-top decor that features rogue corpses dangling off a bookshelf or two, you will find an office door or two that is roped off with some ominous, yellow, police caution tape that reads, Crime Scene, Do Not Cross.

Youll also see every inch of the almost 20-foot tall bookshelves here packed with books about death and destruction, with a section devoted to Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, James Patterson, and now-defunct detective magazines like Black Mask.


If youre looking for even more bookish bliss, then saunter on down to the stores low ceilinged basement, where youll discover an assortment of standard, as well anthologies and first edition, of mysterious books of every variety.

Address: 58 Warren Street, New York, New York

Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

How to Get There: Take either the 1, 2, 3 or A/C Train to Chambers Street and walk to the bookshop from there.

Price: Most books here cost between $10 and $15.

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Rockefeller Center Art And Architecture Guided Tour

This tour explores the iconic Rockefeller Center, as well as other magnificent locations in Manhattan. You’ll learn about the vision behind the museum and marvel at its art deco design.

Other points of interest include the statue of Atlas, the blossoming Channel Gardens and the Rockefeller Plaza, which houses stunning hand-painted murals.

Feast On Some Of Grandmas Cooking From Around The World At Enoteca Maria

Love unique and quirky NYC restaurants?

This Staten Island Italian eatery hosts a regular series called Nonnas of the World, where culinary-inclined grandmothers from different cultures share some of their top recipes with the restaurants clientele.

Though the restaurant specializes in Italian fare, the nonnas have cooked up roti, seafood curries, and all kinds of dishes to the delight of patrons.

Cant enjoy the nonnas cooking in person?

Enoteca Maria now offers some of their most famous sauces to go!

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Stop By The Sprinkles Cupcake Atm

Raise your hand if you love sugar almost as much as you love life itself?

Because if so:

Then youll love the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM on NYCs Upper East Side.

And yes, you really did just read that correctly.

Because not gonna lie, all of my gastronomic dreams instantly came true the minute I realized that a cupcake dispensing ATM actually existed in the world.


These delectable little desserts are actually pretty dang delicious since theyre always fluffy, moist, flavorful, and emerge with the perfect ratio of icing to cake.

They also come in a fantastic assortment of flavors like salted caramel, red velvet, carrot, cinnamon sugar, lemon coconut, and more!


The lemon coconut is definitely my favie fave.

What are you waiting for? Stop by one of the most creative ATMs EVER and pick your du jour dessert today since unusual things to do in NYC really dont get much sweeter than this.

And yes:

That wicked awful pun was 100% intentional.


Every time I mention this place to a total, cupcake ATM virgin, their eyes well up with wonder, they become giddy beyond belief, and start doing a little happy dance as their inner child totally takes over.

Which makes all the sense in the world since this ATM is straight-up Willy Wonka level magical.

***For any of my dietarily restricted friends, Sprinkles has vegan and gluten-free options available too. And for a full list of NYCs other, super Instagrammable desserts, check out this post right now!***

Get Your Bowl On At Brooklyn Bowl


Bowling might not sound like the most exciting date night, but theres nothing boring about Brooklyn Bowl. This energetic venue is a great spot to go on a date.

Not only is it a bowling alley, its also a bar, live music venue, and dance club. In addition to bowling, they host concerts, themed dance parties, karaoke nights, and other fun events.

And heres a tip:

After youve had your fill of bowling and fun, head around the corner to Westlight, the trendy cocktail bar atop the William Vale Hotel mentioned earlier as another great date night spot. Or, if youre craving more of a party atmosphere but still want great views, head to Berry Park.

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Enjoy A Free Museum Day

NYC has more museums than you can count, and while most have a cost, there are several museums that are always free or work on a pay-what-you-like model .

Some of these museums are top names, such as the Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, and the New York Public Library.

Additionally, there are numerous museums that offer free days, when they will accept donations from the grateful public, including the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the National September 11th Museum.

Read our post where we list all of these opportunities.

Experience Spy Life At Spyscape

If you or someone you know are fans of James Bond, youll probably love Spyscape. Dive into the mysterious world of spies and channel your inner spy at this interactive museum. Spyscape also includes an exhibition of spy archives, including one of the original cars driven by 007 himself.

You can also discover some of the real-life gadgets used by actual spies around the world and uncover the truth about code-breaking. You can even put some of your skills to the test by using them to crack clues in several Spyscape challenges.

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The New Victory Theater

New Victory is a theater in the heart of Times Square. It is the first and only full-time performing art theater in NYC for families and kids. Usually, the evening show starts at 7 pm . They have a lot of variety to perform such as plays, dancing, circus acts, puppet shows, and more. You may filter your search by date or age.

Take The First Virtual Reality Journey Through Earth


Learn more about this globe we call home and how our small actions can affect its future in the first multi-sensory and augmented reality journey through Earth.

With AR, VR, project mapping and interactive art installations, Arcadia Earth will take you on a journey to see the world from your own perspective.

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Jet Ski Around Manhattan

Address: Jersey City, NJ

When checking out on the best and fun things to do n New York City, I did not expect this one.

If you have the need for speed then its essential to check out New York Harbor Jet Ski Tours. Tours range from 1-3 hours and $150 $450 depending on the length and distance and are well worth every minute.

Get out of the city, ride along the Hudson River, to the Statue of Liberty and beyond with your adrenaline pumping.

Note: Discount Prices for Monday-Thursday tours.

Baseball Experience At The Nyc Yankee Stadium

On a Saturday there are a lot of fun things to do in New York City for adults but one highlight is heading to the Bronx to watch the New York Yankee play. Baseball games in NYC are super popular and youll be surrounded by locals and New York Yankee Fans. Like with most other teams, the people come for the experience. The beer, the burgers and the atmosphere. At the end of the day it doesnt even matter who wins or loses.

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Take In A Manhattan Skyline View From Westlight

Located in the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, Westlight is a beautiful cocktail bar showcasing even more beautiful views that is perfect for couples looking for a fun date night in NYC.

This year-round lounge has a wrap-around deck offering 360-degree views of New York City. In the warmer months you can sit outside, while in cooler months you can put on a coat to go out and take in the views or simply gaze out through the bars floor-to-ceiling windows.

Drink recommendation:

The Amber Glow featuring El Silencio Mezcal, Grand Marnier, Aperol, orange, and Thai chili. Yum!

Grand Central Terminal Station

Free NYC: Things to Do with Kids

Grand Central Station is probably one of the prettiest subway stations in NYC. Who knew a train station could be NYC must-do on your itinerary?!

Besides being the backdrop of more movies than I can count, the ceiling art is stunning, and its a great place to people watch. While inside, you will find restaurants, a farmers market, the whispering walls, and shopping. After hanging out at Grand Central, you can take the S line right into Times Square, win, win!

Did you know Grand Central has around 750,000 visitors a day? Second to Times Square! If you love learning about history, this NYC landmark has a lot of it! You might even want to consider taking a tour.

NYC Insider travel tip: If you plan to shoot with a Tripod, supposedly you are not allowed to use it at Grand Central Station.

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Take The Ferry From Staten Island

Staten Island? What is that? If this is your first time in New York City, you might have not heard of Staten Island. In fact, Staten Island is the forgotten borough of NYC.Even though there is not much to do in Staten Island from a touristy point of view, the Staten Island ferry is a way to see the beautiful waterfront of NYC as well as having a closer look at the Statue of Liberty.In my opinion, the Staten Island ferry is the best place to see the Statue of Liberty. You are not too close and not too far. And you also have the Manhattan skyline as the background for your photos!What you should not do in New York City is to take one of that overpriced Statue of Liberty cruises if you want a good view of the statue! You are too close for a nice photo!Is it weird to take the Staten Island Ferry? Yes, but it is so worth it. I would consider this activity a top unusual thing to do in NYC as a tourist!

  • Operating Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but the frequency of service is lower outside of rush hours

Fly Over Nyc On A Helicopter Tour

What better way to see New York City at night than flying over it on a scenic nighttime helicopter tour? You can choose a variety of time slots to fly in, including during sunset and after dark.

Once in the air, you’ll enjoy aerial views of all the major landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, and Central Park. Your pilot can also offer more information on the New York landmarks you see from above. Taking a nighttime helicopter ride over NYC is something you’ll never forget.

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Journey To The Pridelands With The Lion King Show

For over a quarter of a century, The Lion King has been wowing Broadway audiences.

With spectacular songs, a heartwarming story, and an amazing blend of live action and puppetry, this show is a love letter to live theater, and makes an unforgettable experience for youngsters.

Whether youve watched the movie 8,000 times or have never heard the story before, its an iconic part of the NYC theater scene. Book your tickets and experience the Circle of Life for yourself!

Uncover New Visual Perspectives Of Nyc In A Futuristic Exhibition

50 Fun Things To Do With Kids In New York

Visit an alternative museum to experience art and technology in a new immersive way. ARTECHOUSE is a futuristic museum with exhibitions covering the relation between art and science and the role of the individual observer.

The ongoing exhibition, Machine Hallucination: NYC, aims to unveil how our perception of this ever-changing iconic city can be altered through new forms of visual representation.

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Savor The Cultural Diversity Of Nyc At The Ganesh Temple Of Queens

There are unique things to do in New York that are also spiritual like visiting the Ganesh Temple, one of the most important places in Queens.

Located in Flushing, its the first authentic Hindu temple built in North America and is seen as one of the most important temples in the West.

The temple acts as an important community center for New Yorks Hindu community and visitors are always welcome though note that there is a dress code and photography of the temples shrines is prohibited.

One of the temples biggest draws is probably its canteen, which serves some of the best South Indian food in the city.

Be Wowed By Guggenheim Museum

First opened in 1939 by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Guggenheim Museum, or the Guggenheim, on the Upper East Side, features both a permanent and an ever-changing rotation of exhibits.

If the current exhibits arent to your taste, the sheer wonder of the building itself is enough to incite an incredible feeling of awe. And inside, various unique architectures make the building fun to photograph inside and out.

For first-timers, starting from the top floor and working your way down is probably the best option. As you rise in the tremendous spiral rotunda, remember to peer down at the crowds, which is a work of art itself.

Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for students, seniors, and disabled people, and free for children under 12 and members.

A downward view of Guggenheim Museum.

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Visit The Tomb Of President Ulysses S Grant

Ulysses S. Grant was a decorated General and the 18th President of the United States. Grants wish was to be buried next to his wife when he passed. The request seems simple enough, but it wasnt. His options for a final resting place were limited because women were not allowed to be buried in notable military cemeteries at the time.

When Grant died from throat cancer in 1885, the mayor of New York offered to have him buried in NYC. His wife, Julia Grant, supported the offer and a large fundraising initiative took place to build what would become the largest tomb in North America.

Today, visitors can pay their respects to President Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Grant by visiting his tomb in the Upper West Side. Its one of the best things to do in New York City.

Grants Tomb is undoubtedly one of the most famous buildings in New York City due to its significance, especially with history buffs. You can get free tours of the mausoleum through the National Park Service.

Address: W 122nd St & , Riverside Dr, New York, 10027

Further reading: 11 Important National Park Sites in New York City

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