New York City: Off the Beaten Path Things to Do

Fun, Irreverent, Quirky, and Different

New York City is busting at the seams with activities, things to do, museums, galleries, monuments, parks, and more. And unfortunately that means that some of these amazing places get overlooked because the "main attractions" get all of the attention. But don't worry, we have assembled a list of the best "off the beaten path" places for you to visit so that you don't miss out on anything amazing. So, on your next visit to New York, check out some of these great places, too.
Museum of the Moving Image
Museum of the Moving Image
The Museum of the Moving Image features exhibits about the movies and the technology that was involved to create these films. There are often temporary exhibits that rotate through and cover such topics as video games and other forms of media as well.
36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY, 11106
Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market
Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market
Located inside Chelsea Market, this pop-up style market offers independent Brooklyn art, design, fashion, and vintage items. There are more than 30 sellers that change frequently to keep the selection interesting and dynamic. If you're looking for an alternative to the typical retail experience, then this market is a nice option.
88 10th Avenue @ W. 15th Street
Interested in more travel advice for New York City? Check out The Best Family-Friendly Activities on Staten Island and The Best Family-Friendly Activities in Manhattan.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden
On Staten Island this 83-acre garden and cultural center is home to not just gardens, but also historical buildings from the 19th century which were a home to retired sailors. Tudor and Victorian style buildings are mixed in with interesting garden areas representing different environments. A Chinese garden area has a koi pond and bamboo paths which make for a scenic walk. The cultural center hosts events and educational programs as well.
Cottage Road, West New Brighton, NYC, New York, 10301
Prospect Park Zoo
This 12-acre zoo located on the east side of Prospect Park in Brooklyn is home to a variety of primates, amphibians, farm animals, birds, and more. The shetland sheep are a popular favorite, as are the numerous colorful frogs and other amphibians in the hall of animals exhibit. It's fun for the whole family!
450 Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Heights, NYC, New York, 11225
Dyckman Farmhouse Museum
Dating back to 1785, this is the oldest remaining farmhouse in Manhattan. It's located in a small park in the Inwood neighborhood.
4881 Broadway, NYC, New York, 10034
Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium
Located on Long Island near Huntington, this aquarium's goal is to educate the public about the waters of New York in order to help the freshwater ecosystem. Surprisingly, it has the biggest collection of New York state's reptiles, fish, and amphibians. It's run by a non-profit, and admission is very affordable. You can feed the fish and browse both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, 11724
Queens Museum
The most impressive exhibit at this museum is The Panorama of the City of York, which is an almost 10,000 square foot scale model of the city and its five boroughs. The museum is housed on the grounds of two World's Fairs, and it continues to grow in size and popularity.
New York City Building, Meridian Rd, Queens, NY, 11368
Smorgasburg
This is the largest weekly open-air food market in America, attracting 20,000-30,000 people to Brooklyn each weekend. There are more than 100 local vendors to chose from and this is the perfect place to enjoy New York City's local culture. You can experience the diversity of its culinary scene, try new and diverse foods, and step away from the typical tourist's circuit. This is also a great place to interact with locals, people watch, and see New York from outside of the tourist's perspective.
Planning a trip to New York City? You might also be interested in Educational Places and Activities in New York City and Things to Do in the Winter in New York City.
Studio Museum in Harlem
This museum opened in 1968 as the first African American fine arts museum in the country. It continues to feature contemporary African American artists that are locally and nationally recognized.
144 W 125th St, New York, NY, 10027
Queens Night Market
This family-friendly night market not only has vendors that sell art, food, and antiques, there are also cultural performances and fun activities that everyone can enjoy. This is an open-air market that's found in Queens and it's an interesting place to wander and experience local New York culture.
Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, Queens, New York City, NY
MoMA PS1
This international studio program is located in a Romanesque Revival building that once served as a public school. The building is filled with artwork and features work by international artists from around the globe.
22-25 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY, NY 11101
American Folk Art Museum
The American Folk Art Museum features craft-based work from self-taught artists. There are quilts, early American portrait paintings, as well as performances and discussions that are open to the public.
2 Lincoln Square, New York, NY, 10023
The Asia Society
The Asia Society headquarters houses a number of galleries with art exhibits ranging from ancient India to medieval Persia, to contemporary Japan. The works combine public and private collections to create a large and impressive gallery of Asian art and culture.
725 Park Ave, New York, NY, 10021
Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)
MoMATH offers kids the opportunity to visualize math and engineering in a fun and playful way. There's a laser "wall", a Math Square, a Jumbotron, and more. Whether your kids love math or need a gentle nudge, this museum will bring it all to life.
11 E 26th St, New York, NY, 10010
Planning a trip to New York City? You might also be interested in The Best Science Museums in New York City and The 17 Best Children's Museums in New York City.
The Cloisters
The Cloisters is located in a park by the Hudson Rivers and you can reach it by following a charming path that leads to a castle. This is where you'll find the Met's medieval art and architecture collections. Popular exhibits include the Unicorn Tapestries, the 12th century Fuentidueña Chapel and the Annunciation Triptych by Robert Campin.
99 Margaret Corbin Drive, New York, NY, 10040
How much does it cost?

Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $19 to $1,301. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $319. A few of the best options are below.

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