Abandoned Hospitals, Drag Queen Bingo, and Pizza Tours Galore – Buckle Up for the Weirdest Ride in the Big Apple
If you’re looking for something different in New York City aka NYC, there’s plenty of odd and offbeat activities that exist–from exploring abandoned buildings to attending drag queen bingo nights and fun at the historic Stonewall Inn, these activities will offer a unique and exciting experience.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, these activities provide a chance to see a different side of the city and have fun in a way that’s outside the usual tourist attractions.
So many NYC options, there’s never a dull moment in the city that never sleeps!
- Visit the Morbid Anatomy Library in Brooklyn, which features exhibits on death and the macabre.
- Take a graffiti and street art walking tour in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
- Attend a drag queen bingo night at the legendary Stonewall Inn in NYC’s Greenwich Village.
- Explore the abandoned City Hall subway station, which can only be seen from the 6 train.
- Attend a comedy show at The Creek and The Cave in Long Island City, Queens.
- Go on a ghost tour of Greenwich Village, where you’ll hear about the area’s haunted history.
- Attend a midnight screening of a classic cult film at NYC’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema.
- Visit the Morus Alba art gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which features odd and quirky exhibits.
- Take a trapeze lesson at the Trapeze School on the Hudson River in New York.
- Visit the Mmuseumm in Chinatown, which showcases obscure and mundane objects in a tiny space.
- Take a tour of the abandoned Ellis Island hospital, closed for nearly 70 years.
- Visit the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, where you can see sword swallowers, fire eaters, and other sideshow acts.
- Go on a haunted pub crawl in the East Village, where you’ll hear ghost stories and drink at historic NYC bars.
- Visit the Museum of Sex in Flatiron, which features exhibits on the history and culture of human sexuality.
- Stroll through the Green Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where you can see the graves of famous New Yorkers and enjoy the beautiful architecture and landscaping.
- Attend a lecture at the Morbid Anatomy Library, which has a collection of books and artifacts about death and the macabre.
- Go on a food tour of Flushing, Queens, where you can try authentic Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese cuisine.
- Visit the Obscura Antiques & Oddities store in the East Village, which has a collection of strange and unusual objects for sale.
- Take a sunset cruise on the East River, where you can see NYC’s city skyline from a unique perspective.
- Visit the City Reliquary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which has a collection of artifacts and ephemera related to New York City’s history and culture.
- Explore the abandoned North Brother Island, once home to a hospital and quarantine station.
- Visit the Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital Ruins, once a quarantine hospital and now a hauntingly beautiful ruin.
- Take a dip in one of the city’s public pools, such as the Astoria Pool in Queens, one of the city’s largest.
- Visit the Houdini Museum of New York in Queens, which showcases the life and career of the famous magician.
- Go on a walking tour of the High Line, an elevated park built on an old railway line.
- Attend a drag queen karaoke night at Lips in Midtown, where you can sing with the performers.
- Visit the Museum of the American Gangster in the East Village, which features exhibits on the history of organized crime in America.
- Take a boat tour of the abandoned military forts in New York Harbor, such as Fort Totten or Fort Wadsworth.
- Go on a pizza tour of the city, where you can try some of the best slices in different neighborhoods.
- Attend a performance by the Blue Man Group, a unique theatrical experience that combines music, comedy, and art.
Did you know?
NYC’s Mmuseumm in Chinatown, a tiny, quirky museum housed in a converted freight elevator. The museum features exhibits of obscure and mundane objects, such as a collection of prison contraband, a display of fake vomit, and a group of presidential aspirin tins. It’s a genuinely unique and offbeat experience that’s worth checking out!
A little history:
Many of NYC’s odd and offbeat activities have a fascinating history that makes them even more intriguing. For example, the City Hall subway station, which is now abandoned, was once a grand station with a beautiful skylight and ornate tilework.
The station was closed in 1945 due to its curved platform and inability to accommodate longer trains–the station can only be seen from the 6 train as it makes its turnaround.
The Morbid Anatomy Museum was founded in 2008 and was dedicated to studying death and the macabre. It featured exhibits on topics such as taxidermy, medical specimens, and funeral rituals and hosted events such as lectures, film screenings, and workshops.
The Stonewall Inn, now a National Historic Landmark, played a pivotal role in the LGBTQ+ rights movement when patrons fought against a police raid in 1969. This NYC event sparked the Stonewall riots, widely considered the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
Just outside of NYC is Coney Island, home to the famous circus sideshow and the Astroland amusement park, has been a popular destination for New Yorkers and tourists since the late 1800s. The area has entertainment and amusements, with attractions such as Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park attracting millions of visitors over the years.
Enjoy these odd and offbeat activities in NYC have deep roots in the city’s history and culture and offer a unique glimpse into its past and present.