NYC is known for its many museums, especially popular offerings like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or The American Museum of Natural History. While these classics are definitely worth visiting if you haven’t already, it’s the city’s more underrated offerings, as is often the case, that are worth wandering off the beaten path of tourism to find. In honor of Museum Day we did the searching for you and rounded up some hidden gems you probably haven’t heard of yet where you can see everything from side show paraphernalia to tenement apartments.
The Museum of The American Gangster- 80 St Marks Place, Manhattan, NY
Housed in an old speakeasy in the East Village. This super cool museum explores the history of organized crime. It highlights how crime shaped politics and culture in the city and you can even grab a drink at the bar afterwards.
Tenement Museum-103 Orchard Street, Manhattan, NY
The tenement museum of the Lower East Side is one of my personal favorites. The museum walks you through real tenements that previously housed NYC’s immigrant population. The museum will also take you on a walking tour of the neighborhood.
The Coney Island Museum-1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
This pick is only open on the weekends during the Fall/Winter months, but it’s totally worth hoping on the train to the beach to take a gander at old funhouse mirrors and posters from the theme park.
Museum of Sex-233 5th Ave, Manhattan, NY
Interested in exploring the depths of human sexuality and also bouncing around in a unique bouncy house? The Museum of Sex is the place to go with their famous boobs bouncy house and unhbited ehxbitions.
City Reliquary-370 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY
This not-for-profit museum houses an ever-changing display of NYC artifacts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The backstory of the museum is even more unique than the museum itself; it started as a display in an apartment window and morphed into a museum in 2002.
Do you have a favorite underrated museum in NYC? Let us know in the comments!