5 Unique NYC Museums You Need to Visit

Woman wearing wireless black headphones and looking around in dark room of interactive exhibition of museum with colorful illumination

We all know that New Yorkers are a melting pot with eclectic personalities, some strange – and New York museums are no exception. Sure, there’s MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, and the lesser-known Met Cloisters, but have you ever longed for offbeat museums, filled with possessions and points of view that are infinitely more relatable? We got you.

We’ve put together a list of 5 Unique NYC Museums You Need to Visit.

First off is our favorite, the Museum of Food and Drink (affectionately known as MOFAD). Of all the museums out there on this planet, no other amalgamation of objects has ever called to our soul more acutely than MOFAD. MOFAD has exhibits you can EAT, but also uses food to educate the public about culture, human evolution and the complex systems that exist in food accessibility. The museum also offers rotating exhibitions, as well as classes and other types of programming. A must-see for foodies and curious folks alike.

Our next museum appeals to the Prohibition times and roaring twenties loving, Peaky Blinders fans in all of us….as well as those interested in the history of American Gangsters. The Museum of the American Gangster in the East Village is an homage to the origins and evolution of organized crime in America, right upstairs from a former speakeasy. This museum has photos from the Prohibition era, bullets from major shootouts, and apparently a death mask worn by John Dillinger? For folks who grew up loving Al Capone and the Godfather, this is the real deal, savvy?

For those who prefer the more aesthetic type of museum, there’s Mmuseumm, dedicated to Object Journalism. It’s dedicated to “contemporary artefacts that illustrate the modern world.” It’s wheelchair accessible and available for 24/7 viewing. They also offer timed and guided tours, and you can purchase their catalog of objects online. It’s an experience unlike any other and makes you think about our existence in a deeper way.   

4th on our list of 5 Unique NYC Museums You Need to Visit is the Museum of Sex off 5th Ave, for audiences that are 18+. This museum catalogs the history of human sexuality, with ever changing exhibits that shock, confuse and delight the public. Past exhibits have been on cam life, punk lust, couples virtual reality experiences, and sensual burlesque art. This museum is definitely not for the prudes, as everything from the imagery to the gift shop is graphic, and the latter has many…..ahem, toys and other gadgets as your perverted heart could desire.

We lied – the last museum on our list has our hearts just as much as MoFAD. We present to you, the Museum of Ice Cream, located at 558 Broadway. The dairy gods have blessed us with 13 installations that you can walk through, take selfies with, and even take a bite out of. These include the Rainbow Tunnel, the Sprinkle Pool, the Celestial Subway and the Oh Yeah Room (where you can eat dessert suspended by floating balloons).

You also get a welcome beverage with your ticket and other sweet treats. However, be warned- tickets for this museum are usually sold out a couple of weeks in advance so you should book as early as possible. You can also add on other items to your ticket such as MOIC ice cream, cocktails, milkshakes, etc. It’s a multisensory experience, that we think you’re sure to love, with other locations in Austin and Singapore.

What do you think of our list of 5 Unique NYC Museums You Need to Visit – are there other special museums in NYC you’d like us to showcase? Tell us about your experiences and we might continue this list!

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Sprinkle pool at Museum of Ice Cream

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