5 NYC Museums You’ve Never Heard Of



You know about Manhattan’s famous institutions, like the MoMa and the Met, but the city’s cultural tapestry extends well beyond Museum Mile. Here, we’re spotlighting the city’s smaller, unsung museums that are worth your time.

The Skyscraper Museum

A Must Visit For: Architectural enthusiasts, history buffs and people hanging in Battery Park
It’s Strange Because: It’s one of the smallest museums in NYC, with the largest subject matter
Gift Shop Score: Vintage photographs of the Empire State Building

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Located in Battery Park, the Skyscraper Museum is a hidden gem near the The Freedom Tower. Scale models of Manhattan depict the famous skyline. There’s also a focus on international buildings, with exhibits on the world’s tallest buildings.

General Admission $5; 39 Battery Place

Morbid Anatomy Museum

A Must Visit For: Halloween lovers, doctors and taxidermists
It’s Strange Because: The library has thousands of medical and art journals exploring death.
Gift Shop Score: A glass-encased mutant butterfly

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A contrast to the high-art performances at BAM and lively landscapes at Prospect Park, both nearby, this downtown Brooklyn museum is all about death. Recent programs cover the dark arts in the early 20th century and post-mortem paintings in the 18th and 19th centuries.

General Admission $8; 424 3rd Ave., Brooklyn

Museum of Food and Drink

A Must Visit For: Foodies and chefs
It’s Strange Because: You can eat and smell the exhibits!
Gift Shop Score: Edible chemistry sets

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A brand-new addition to the restaurant-dense neighborhood of Williamsburg, the Museum of Food and Drink is a comprehensive celebration of food. The inaugural exhibition, “Flavor: Making It and Faking It,” is a depicts the history of artificial flavoring through scientific insights on the evolution of vanilla and MSG and “smell machines.” The museum began an interactive events series in November with a “touch-inspired” dinner from star Moroccan chef Mourad Lahlou.

General Admission $10; 62 Bayard St, Brooklyn

Museum at Eldridge Street

A Must Visit For: Families and history buffs
It’s Strange Because: It’s housed in a 128-year-old synagogue.
Gift Shop Score: Jewish cookbooks

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The Museum at Eldridge Street is located in a National Historic Landmark synagogue on the Lower East Side, which has some beautiful new additions like an ocean-blue stained glass window. It’s great for families: Events include a themed scavenger hunts on the second Sunday of the month, showings of Fiddler on the Roof, and walking tours of the Lower East Side.

General Admission $12; 12 Eldridge St.

The Noguchi Museum

A Must Visit For: Design nerds
It’s Strange Because: The museum itself is a Noguchi piece
Gift Shop Store: Akari Light Sculptures… or Floor Lamps

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Designed by mid-twentieth century sculptor and experimental artist Isamu Noguchi, this museum is an open air sculpture garden with an indoor art gallery. The space is as eclectic as its creator’s portfolio, which gardens, furniture, set designs, lighting designs  and ceramics. Visitors stroll on walkways through pebbled yards with vine-covered walls and stone statues.

General Admission $10; 9-01 33rd Rd, Queens, NY

*Cover image, akari light sculptures at Noguchi Musuem via Flickr

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