Once you’ve seen your share of Egyptian Sphinxes and original Picassos on your weekend break, mix up the itinerary a bit by visiting a few quirky museums in New York.
No, New York City isn’t home to the World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn but a few exhibits come close while others offer a glimpse into the bygone days of the Big Apple.
80 Saint Marks Pl•New York
Whether you can recite every line of The Godfather or just enjoy historical facts, Museum of the American Gangster is a must-do for your New York weekend break itinerary. This interesting little museum is located within an original Speakeasy. The original bar still remains serving up your favourite libations. Visitors will need to book ahead as the only way in is with a tour guide. Travellers will find their guide well versed in the historical background of the building, history of the speakeasy, and the gangsters themselves. Don’t be fooled by the museum’s tiny size as it’s jam-packed with interesting artefacts about organized crime and prohibition.
11 East 26th St•Manhattan
For every child (or adult) who thinks math class was a waste of time, MoMath offers visitors an interactive experience highlighting just how arithmetic touches our everyday lives. This compact museum is full of hands-on exhibits offering lessons in the mathematics behind them. A few crowd pleasers include riding a bicycle with square wheels and trying to outwit family members with logic games.
278 Spring St•New York, NY
New York City Fire Museum is a collection of relics, gear, and equipment chronicling the progress of these New York City heroes from the late 18th century to today. Currently located in Manhattan’s Hudson Square district, the museum was originally housed in Long Island City when it opened in 1934. It was then relocated to a working Manhattan firehouse in 1959. After acquiring a large collection of memorabilia in 1981 it became necessary to relocate to its current location, a former firehouse dating back to 1904.
As well as preserving the history and culture of these brave men and woman, the museum offers a special memorial to the 343 members of the FDNY who heroically lost their lives on 9/11. Many artefacts recovered from debris at the World Trade Center site are on display.
Two Locations: Cortlandt Alley•New York, with a second location a few doors down.
This museum is not only the size of a freight elevator it actually is a freight elevator. This tiny museum is home to some of the most eclectic collections around. Popular attractions from around the world have included a collection of corn flakes, the shoe thrown at George W. Bush at Minister’s Palace in Baghdad, and written works left behind in copying machines. Don’t bring your entire fraternity or your big Italian family on this excursion as the museum only fits three visitors at a time.
For more unmissable things to do and see, check out our guide to the best New York tours.