Magical New York: 5 Ways to See Magic in the City

Magician performing a trick on stage

Our fair city is home to some unique characters, including those who love magic (ahem, it’s us, sue us, we’re five). We’d love to show you our magical New York: 5 ways to see magic in the city. There’s a ton of magical history related to NYC, from the Magic Towne House that took over Third Avenue in the 1970s and 1980s to David Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty disappear in 1988. Harry Houdini’s grave is even located in Queens, considering he took a jump into the East River for one of his tricks back in his heyday.

Amateurs and professional magicians all flocked to New York, finding a home in the city’s audiences for their need to dazzle and delight. To pay homage to our favorite magicians, we thought we would highlight some museums and places of magic:

First off, and most famously, is Tannen’s Magic Shop – it’s New York City’s longest running magic shop that has been open since 1925. It holds many tricks from world famous magicians, as well as some of Houdini’s personal artifacts. Much to our glee, Tannen’s also hosts a magic camp every year for magicians from the ages of 11-20, giving scholarships for those who want to attend. And if you learn best one-on-one? Well, you’re in luck! Tannen’s offers private lessons (in person, or on Zoom).

Additionally, New York is home to a bunch of seasonal magic shows – currently, we see notices for magic OG, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This show encourages you to: “Prepare for spectacular spells, a mind-blowing race through time, and an epic battle to stop mysterious forces, all while the future hangs in the balance”. Just in time for Halloween there’s also David Caserta’s Haunted Illusions, which features “mind-blowing magic and comedy that gets the whole audience into the act”, where has “people levitating, disappearing, and reappearing right before your eyes”.

A New York staple, there’s the Monday Night Magic Show – an off-Broadway magic show at The Players Theatre that’s geared for adult audiences. It starts every Monday at 8 PM, and you can buy tickets online. It was originally started by Michael Chaut in 1997 after the last remaining live magic show was canceled – he scoured the city for talent and brought us the MNMS cast players, who practice sophisticated magic.

And while the following may not be “magic” in the purest sense, we still think it’s “magical”: The New York Museum of Illusions off 8th Avenue is incredible, with guided tours, custom events, birthday parties, etc. If you’re like us and have somehow still maintained a childlike sense of wonder at magic and illusions, you might enjoy the Photo and Optical Illusions and the Holograms here.

Additionally, the Museum of Illusions has an Infinity Room, a Tilted Room and a Reverse Room as well as a “Bottomless Pit.” There are even more illusions like “Head on a Plate” or the Hollow Face Illusion that are interesting, and make you examine the way our brains and eyes work together. Tickets are available online – we recommend that you don’t miss this.

We’d love to hear your suggestions on magical places within NYC! Where have you been that you’d love to see included within this list? What else have you experienced that’s magical and spooky that you think we would enjoy? Let us know!

If you liked this post, take a look at “6 Best Witchy Stores in NYC” and “3 Popular Psychics in NYC“.