Shhhhhh! Secret Museums of Brooklyn

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Museums make a great day out… or date. You learn something cool, see neat old stuff, and look cultured and sophisticated. But there are really only so many times you can see the Met, MOMA, or the Natural History Museum. And with all the tourists clogging things up, you never get much of a chance to really look at anything good, right?

Let’s shake things up a bit and visit some of the off-the-beaten-path museums in Brooklyn. These places are just as amazing as the big guys, without the crowds. Have a fascination with food? We’ve got a museum for that. Want to learn everything about mass transit? We’ve got you covered. Are you a pinball wizard? There’s even a place for you.

Check out the hidden, secret, and unusual museums of Brooklyn for an adventure you’ll never forget.

Coney Island Museum

Maybe not completely hidden, but often overlooked. The Coney Island Museum showcases some of the best of things about Coney Island — from funhouse mirrors to rare century-old postcards to odd collections you won’t see anywhere else (1950s thermoses, anyone?). Take your time wandering through history to the Island’s best and most popular time periods, and then have fun exploring the current attractions on Coney Island.

New York Transit Museum

If you’ve ever taken the subway, or sat on a bus, then you need to go to the NY Transit Museum. You can hop on board a vintage subway car and pretend you’re off to a speakeasy during Prohibition or to a sock hop during the 50s. Ever wondered what it’d be like to sit behind the giant wheel of a city bus? Make your dreams a reality. It might seem like a weird topic for a museum, but trust us, you’ll have a blast.

Louis Armstrong House

There are few people in history who could dream of rivaling the talent of jazz musician Louis Armstrong. His house in Queens was turned into a museum housing Louis and wife Lucille’s extensive collection of recordings, tapes, photographs, instruments, and more. Personal collectors have added their collections to the museum over the years, creating one of the best places in the world to learn more about the Jazz Age and Louis Armstrong.

The Museum of Food and Drink

Who doesn’t like food? Trick question — everyone likes food. The Museum of Food and Drink brings together food, culture, and the world around us to give an active and multi-sensory experience unlike any other. Chefs and food experts from all around give lectures and insights into specific aspects of food and culture — from the ancient world to alcohols to cultural experience and more. Take your time seeing, touching, smelling, and yes, even tasting the exhibits.

House of Wax

No, not the 1953 film starring Vincent Price. And really no, not the 2005 movie “starring”… Paris Hilton. We’re talking about the museum and bar in Brooklyn. “Combining mixology with the macabre,” House of Wax presents one of the most unusual experiences on this list. Take a stroll through the dark side of history, featuring realistic anatomical displays and death masks from the famous and infamous. Then wash away the nightmares with a signature cocktail. A perfect date night for the dark and twisted in all of us.

The City Reliquary

This tiny little spot in Williamsburg includes permanent collections, rotating collections, and community collections of some of the most random things in New York. Vintage Statue of Liberty figurines, World’s Fair souvenirs, and even a chunk of the Flatiron Building are just a few of the things you could see in this microscopic museum. It might not look big, but make sure you set aside plenty of time to ensure you get a chance to see all of it.

Sunshine Laundromat

A laundromat? On a museum list? How does that make sense? Well, cool your heels for a minute and we’ll explain. The laundromat might look ordinary and unassuming from the front, and you’d be right. But hidden in the back room is something truly worth seeing. No, not washing machines from the last century — although that would be kind of cool. Tucked behind a washing machine door is the entrance to a world of PINBALL. One of New York’s best collections of pinball machines is, in fact, hidden in a laundromat. See? We knew what we’re doing. Race you there.

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