If you’ve ever checked out the Manhattan’s museum scene, you’ve probably been around the block – er, Museum Mile – and visited The Guggenheim, the Met, and the other major players. Manhattan is also home to tons of “other” museums that shock, entertain, and explore the oddities that make this city so unique.
Spice up your cultural agenda and check out some of Manhattan’s favorite alternative museums:
- Museum of Sex
All blushing and giggles aside, the Museum of Sex puts quite the educational and explorative spin on, well, sex. With a rousing display of objects and ephemera ranging from kinky to downright shocking, the permanent collection candidly explores the relationships between sex and art, entertainment, technology, and education. The museum is adults-only, so leave the kids and any immature friends at home.
- Location: 233 5th Avenue (at 27th Street)
- Hours: Sunday - Friday: 11AM-6:30PM; Saturday: 11AM-8PM
- Admission: Adults 18+: $14.50 plus tax, Senior Citizens and students $13.50 plus tax
- Get there: N/R/W to 28th Street, 6 to 28th Street
- Skyscraper Museum
Located alongside the century-old towers of Lower Manhattan, the Skyscraper Museum is perfect for any architecture, design, or tall-building enthusiast. Browse the exhibitions and learn how technology, construction, and historical influences have built and shaped the high-rise complexes that dominate New York’s phenomenal skyline.
- Location: 39 Battery Place
- Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12PM–6PM
- Admission: Adults $5, Senior Citizens $2.50
- Get there: R/W to Whitehall/South Ferry
- Sony Wonder Technology Lab
I’ve you’ve ever imagined yourself filming a newscast, designing a video game, or programming a real robot, this place is for you. The Sony Wonder Technology lab is a four-floor, hands-on playground featuring the latest digital equipment and technology used in the entertainment, medical, and research and development fields. Tell your kids their friends can come along too – admission is free.
- Location: 56th Street and Madison Avenue, in the Sony Plaza Public Arcade
- Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10AM-5PM; Sunday: Noon-5PM. Closed Mondays and major holidays
- Admission: Free
- Get there: 4, 5, 6, N and R to 59th St. / E, V, to 5th Ave. / F to 57th St.
- Museum of the City of New York
The Museum of the City of New York brings you back – way back – to the Big Apple’s earliest days of elevated trains, bustling harbors, and top hat-and-tails dinner galas. Exhibitions also explore New York’s current infrastructure, fashions, landmarks, and culture. A wide variety of multimedia presentations, performances, and public programs keep visitors and immersed and involved.
- Location: 1220 5th Avenue (at 103rd Street)
- Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10AM–5PM
- Admission: suggestion rates are $9 Adults, $5 Seniors and students. Free admission on Sundays 10AM–12PM
- Get there: 6 to 103rd Street, 2/3 to 110th Street
- Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
Tourists flock to this popular Midtown attraction, and for good reason. Where else can you mingle with world leaders, schmooze with movie stars, and get up close and personal with major sports icons? Figurines are somewhat still, very quiet, and might melt in the sun, but a few pictures of you posing with an incredibly lifelike Justin Timberlake will definitely make your friends jealous.
- Location: 234 West 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
- Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM–8PM; Friday-Saturday 10AM– 10PM.
- Admission: Adults 13-59 $29, Children 4-12 $23, Senior Citizens $26
- Get there: A/C/E, S, 1/2/3, N/R/Q/W trains to 42nd Street/Times Square