Unusual New York: Top 30 Unusual Things to Do in NYC

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia
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Unusual activities in New York

Take a helicopter tour of New York

Who has never dreamed of flying over Manhattan and admiring the skyline from above? Know that it is perfectly possible and easy to organize! Choose your tour according to the length of time you want to complete (12 to 30 minutes) or your budget (between $ 199 and $ 325 approximately).



Then, bring your camera, and keep your eyes open! My little advice: take your helicopter tour At nightfall. You will thus enjoy beautiful colors and lights illuminating the city.

If you want to know more about the course of a helicopter flight over New York, I invite you to read my article where I relate my experience (unforgettable).

You must book your flight in advance on the internet. There are two very serious companies that I recommend to you, Manhattant Helicopters and Liberty Helicopter. You can book your flight on their City Sight reservation center, by clicking here.

Here are the different flights offered by the two companies.

The Ride - a Broadway show on a bus!

The Ride is a fairly new attraction in New York. Launched in 2010, it is a truly unusual activity, since it offers a Broadway show inside and outside a bus. This attraction turns the streets of New York into a real spectacle, which you can admire through the bus's huge picture windows.



Commedians take place inside but also in the streets and the concept is really original. For having already done it, I really recommend it, it's worth the detour. The tour lasts 1h30 and also allows you to discover the most emblematic places of the city.

The price is certainly not cheap ($ 74) but be aware that the attraction is free for all those who have a New York Pass.

Discover New York by bus

Since we're talking about the bus, the Big Bus is also a rather unusual way to discover New York. Large open-air bus, the Big Bus will allow you to discover the main monuments of the city from another angle. Throughout the visit, a guide will tell you about the history of the city and fascinating anecdotes about the various emblematic monuments. Throughout the day you can hop on and off the bus as you wish (there are a total of around 40 stops on the route). To continue your tour, you just have to wait for the next bus.

You can buy your tickets individually for around $ 55 on the City Sight website. Note that this attraction is free if you have a New York Pass.

See a sports match

Go see a comedy on Broadway

Aladdin, the Lion King, the Snow Queen… Who hasn't heard of the famous Broadway comedies?

Also, I advise you to do it in advance andbuy your tickets online in order to save time and benefit from the best prices.


For this, I recommend the Superbillets site, which has the advantage of being in French and offering unbeatable prices.


Book my tickets

Head to Harlem to listen to gospel music

Of course, you've heard of the famous gospel masses taking place in America. Also, why not attend? To do this, go to the Harlem district, a historic site of African-American culture. You will find there the First Corinthian or the Abyssian Baptist Church as well as the Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church, which I recommend. Go there in the morning, and mix with the locals!

Also, for more information, visit our article dedicated to gospel masses in Harlem.

Take a dance class in Harlem

In addition to attending a gospel mass in the Harlem district, I recommend that you take a swing class there! This may allow you to be able to dance afterwards in one of the jazz clubs from the neighborhood ? In any case, it will be an unusual moment and really fun !

To do as a couple, with friends and even with family, at any age.

Take the Water Taxi

You probably know all the famous yellow cabs in New York. But do you know about Water Taxis? Same color, same functions except… they float!

Rather than getting stuck in city traffic jams, why not take the sea lanes and breathe the sea air rather than the pollution? Water taxis have transported New Yorkers and tourists since 2002 along the East River, Hudson and Manhattan Harbor.


It is a very original way to discover the city. It takes around $ 30 for a 24-hour pass (you can hop on and off at will during this period).

Note that if you have a New York Pass, the Water Taxi is free. You can book your New York Pass, on the official website, by clicking here.


Take a Tai Chi class in Chinatown

During your visit to the city, you will undoubtedly pass by the Chinatown district. Also, I advise you to find out about the Tai Chi classes that take place there. They are free, open to all and take place in the open air, within the Columbus Park. What to start the day on the right foot, like a local!

Attend a jazz concert at the Blue Note

Lover of jazz and local atmosphere, I invite you to meet at Blue Note, located at 131 West 3rd street, in Greenwich Village. Then, order a drink and some snacks to relax from your beautiful day of sightseeing, and soak up the atmosphere.

Then go to dinner in the neighborhood to end this beautiful evening.

Visit New York by bike

Exploring New York by bike is an original way to discover the city. Walking around Central Park or crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on its two wheels is pleasant and will change you a bit from walking. Count between $ 30 and $ 40 to rent bikes for a day.

Again, you can rent bikes for free for 24 hours if you have a New York Pass.

Learn how to make cupcakes

A photo shoot in the city

Do you like pretty photos, and you always have yours in hand? How about playing the star, with a real photographer? You would also have memories of yourself, and not just landscapes!

If you are a couple or a family, it is really a good plan to have quality photos for beautiful memories.

Count a small hundred euros for 2 hours and per person. It's not cheap, but it's worth it!

Take part in a treasure hunt

If you are a fan of thrillers and puzzles, why not take part in a treasure hunt in the heart of the Big Apple?

Suitable for everyone, there are several that I recommend: Strayboots, Accomplice and Secret City. You will be taken to walk the streets of New York to answer your puzzles, which will allow you to discover the city at the same time.

Board the Roosevelt Island Cable Car

Unusual cultural places

Le Morgan Library and Museum

The unusual museums of New York

The Gangster Museum

Prohibition, does that mean anything to you? What if you learn a little more about this period as well as the big gangsters of the United States? To do this, head to the Gangster Museum in the East Village.

Open daily from 13 p.m. to 18 p.m., admission is $ 20 per adult and $ 12 for students, children and seniors.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

I already told you about the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, temple of weirdness and extravagant objects. There you will find many objects from all over the world, making you travel a bit in an original world.

Le New York Transit Museum

The New York subway is an attraction in itself. Moreover, there is even a museum dedicated to him, the New York Transit Museum! Go learn a little more about the history of the latter, located next to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Admission costs $ 7 but is free if you have a New York Pass.

Shopping and unusual restaurants

Le Brooklyn Flea Market

Smorgasburg market

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