New York City is full of unique, odd, and weird things to see and do! Here are 10 of my favorite unusual things to do in New York City.
1. Touch Lady Liberty’s Giant Toes
When you visit the Statue of Liberty don’t miss out on the Statue of Liberty Museum! It includes a wonderful movie and lots of cool exhibits relating to the history of Lady Liberty and how it was designed, built, and shipped over to America.
One of the more unusual exhibits is a bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty’s left foot! Her shoe size is officially “879” and her sandals are 25 feet long.
2. Meet The Old Guys From The Muppet Show
If you ever watched “The Muppet Show” you’ll instantly recognize the two old guys in the balcony that constantly threw out insults to the performers on stage! Their names were Statler & Waldorf. (They were named after two famous New York City hotels.)
This unique experience is located at Museum of the Moving Image in Queens where some of Jim Henson’s original Muppets are on display – including Statler & Waldorf! You can also see Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the Swedish Chef in addition to characters from Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street.
3. Play The Big Piano At FAO Schwartz
Just like in the classic Tom Hanks’ film “Big” – you too can play the BIG piano at toy store, FAO Schwartz! The original store closed its doors in 2015 and the iconic piano was moved to another location. Now that the store has reopened in Rockefeller Center – the big piano is back and ready for you to play! (Take off your shoes, please!)
The new version of the store is absolutely amazing! It’s full of fun toys and employees showcasing the latest gadgets and games. The big piano is located on the second floor.
4. Ride The Carousel in Central Park
The Central Park carousel has been a favorite pastime since 1871! Did you know the original carousel was powered by a mule and horse that were hidden in a compartment below?
Each year, more than 250,000 people take a ride on the Central Park Carousel – now on its fourth version. The current version was built in 1908 and is one of the largest carousels in the world with 57 hand carved animals.
5. Visit The New York Transit Museum
Located in an abandoned subway station, the New York Transit Museum is dedicated to sharing the stories of mass transportation and the workers that built the subway tunnels beneath New York City over 100 years ago.
Visitors can explore vintage cars, view photographs, and check out rotating exhibits. Note that the museum is only open Thursday – Sunday, 10-4.
6. See Ruins of the 1964 World’s Fair
Flushing Meadows Corona Park was the site of the 1964 World’s Fair. While most of the structures used at the time were demolished within a few months after the fair’s conclusion – a few of them are still standing. (Although barely!) One of the most notable structures is the former “Tent of Tomorrow” and the observation towers of the New York Pavilion.
At the time, the tent covered a $1,000,0000 map of New York that showed every Texaco gas station in the state. (They sponsored the map.) Fun Fact: the ’64 World’s Fair featured the original “It’s A Small World” – the iconic Disney attraction.
7. Eat Some Of This Unusual but Beautiful Toast at Davelle
Toast may not sound like much of a meal – especially in a place like New York City. However, you’ve probably not seen toast quite like variety served at Davelle. Davelle, a small Japanese cafe located at 102 Suffolk Street serves beautiful creations on toast that are almost too beautiful to eat!
The “innovative toasts” are served on pieces of newspaper!
8. Visit The Ghostbusters Headquarters
There are many iconic movie locations in New York City but one of the coolest is the firehouse from the movie Ghostbusters! Hook & Ladder Co. 8 has been updated a bit since it first debuted on the big screen in the 1980s. But you’ll instantly recognize it as the headquarters for Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston.
There’s a Ghostbusters logo on the ground in case there’s any confusion and the actual firefighters are sometimes kind enough to give tours of the place when they can. It’s easy to get to if you’re exploring lower Manhattan.
9. Read At The Oldest Book Club in North America
The Grolier Club was founded in 1884 as a society of bibliophiles in New York City. It is the oldest book club in North America. While it’s free and open to the public for visits – becoming a member is quite difficult. Thankfully you’re probably just there to take a peek at the huge collection of books and exhibits.
The rotating exhibits can be fascinating. One exhibit featured favorite books of U.S. presidents including signed books by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
10. Pay Respects To Magician Harry Houdini
Some people have been waiting for decades for the ultimate escape artist to break free from the coffin. No such luck so far. Harry Houdini was a regular performer in New York City and is buried in a small Jewish cemetery in Queens.
The Machpelah Cemetery is definitely an unusual experience in New York City. It happens to be the final resting place for several other Houdini family members including his parents, brothers, sister, and grandparents. Houdini’s wife was supposed to be buried next to him but her Catholic family refused to bury her in a Jewish cemetery.
10 Unusual Things To Do In New York City
- Touch Lady Liberty’s giant toes
- Meet the old guys from The Muppet Show
- Play the Big Piano at FAO Schwartz
- Ride the carousel in Central Park
- Visit the New York Transit Museum
- See the ruins of the 1964 World’s Fair
- Eat some beautiful toast at Davelle
- Visit the Ghostbuster’s headquarters
- Read at the oldest book club in North America
- Pay respects to magician Harry Houdini