7 Off the Beaten Path Things to Do in NYC

I don’t know about you, but one of my goals while spending the summer in New York City is to avoid tourists. Because this season is the most touristy season of them all, this can be a very difficult task. Unless you get creative. Luckily for you, we’ve done most of the brainpower already. From museums of morbid anatomy, to prohibition-era speakeasies, there are hundred of things to do that get you away from the well trodden paths of New York City. So, take a chance this season and venture the road less traveled with 7 Off the Beaten Path Things to Do in NYC this summer.

Riis Park Beach1. Jacob Riis Park Beach Bazaar

If you’re down to make the trek, it’s definitely worth it. Jacob Riis Park is the new home to Brooklyn’s famous Night Bazaar, which was unfortunately shut down in it’s original location to be replaced by a…wait for it…BMW dealership! But the Night Bazaar promoters have certainly proved they can make the best out of a bad situation, because the Beach Bazaar is killing it. With similar top-notch food vendors, free live music, and overall good vibes, the Jacob Riis Beach Bazaar will be a much needed break from the city, and all of those tourists clamboring through it with their paper maps and DSLRs. Be sure to check out their event calendar, which features an upcoming Volleyball Tourney, and live DJ sets.

H {N)Y P N(Y} OSIS 2. H {N)Y P N(Y} OSIS at Park Avenue Armory

What can only be described as a “sensory journey”, Phillipe Pareno’s H {N)Y P N(Y} OSIS exhibit at the Park Avenue Amory has critics and viewers thrilled, and mesmerized. By combining just about every medium imaginable, including the body of the viewer, Pareno complicates the meaning of a live art exhibit by shifting it from a fixed position to one that is an evolving, and situational experience. In other words: You become the art. You become the exhibit. This concept has me absolutely floored, and will certainly be talked about for years after its following. Not many people know about this exhibit yet. So if you want to get in before word gets out, we suggest getting H {N)Y P N(Y} OSIS tickets soon.

Pete's Candy Store Quiz-Up3. Trivia Night @ Pete’s Candy Store

Though the competition can get ugly, Trivia Night is not something to be squandered, especially when $15-75 bar tabs are on the line. At Pete’s Candy Store, you’ll definitely be able to find some respite from the city bustle. Located in Brooklyn, Pete’s is known for more than just their inventive cocktails and grilled cheeses. Every Wednesday at 7:30, you can try your mind at Quiz-Off. And because Pete’s trivia nights are notorious for being one of the hardest games in the city, the competition will be scarce, and tough (certainly no sane tourist would dare enter the arena). So, grab your nerdiest friend, and try a night at Pete’s for some ultimate trivia night bragging rights.

Queens International Night Market4. Queens Night Market

The Queens Night Market is back on Saturday July 11th, and will feature 50+ food and shopping vendors. The Market is an open-air, family friendly experience. With small-scale live music from neighborhood musicians and booths from local merchants and artist vendors, the Queens Night Market acts as both an entertaining event, and a curatorial experience of the borough, a rich and untapped well. We think spending a night in culturally vibrant Queens will definitely prove to be tourist free, since it is a bit out of the way from Manhattan. But it’s their loss, and more food for us. The Market opens at 6PM, and we suggest getting there right about then, as the best food vendors are sure to run out of their rare delicacies by 8.

The Back Room NYC5. Step Back in Time in a Speakeasy: The Backroom Bar

The Backroom Bar, located in New York’s Lower East Side, is one of the last remaining true prohibition bars from back when the country was high and dry. The bar, very secretly placed on Norfolk Street, still upholds its discreet digs by being adequately hard to find. But after you make your way in, the charm of the place will immediately make it worth the trouble. Backroom Bar still serves alcohol in teacups (you know, just in case), and features free, 20’s style live jazz every Monday in the Lucky Lounge. All apologies, this suggestion is far from family friendly, but every Off the Beaten Path blog needs to offer some respite for those tired and thirsty adults.

Morbid Anatomy Museum 6. Morbid Anatomy Museum + Festival of Arcane Knowledge

While everyone else is gridlocked on the steps of the Met, venture out to Brooklyn to get your museum fix. The Morbid Anatomy Museum will be celebrating it’s one year as perhaps the most unique museum in New York. The museum is dedicated to celebrating histories and artifacts that have fallen in the cracks between high and low culture. In other words, people come to the Morbid Anatomy Museum to see things they’ve never seen before. Pretty much the perfect fit for an “off the beaten track” day in NYC. On July 18th, the Morbid Anatomy Museum will be ringing in their 1st birthday with the “Festival of Arcane Knowledge”, featuring demonstrations, drinks, screenings, a costume contest, and more. This could be the best (and weirdest) party a museum has thrown in years—stand aside Met Gala.

50 kent7. Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival & 90’s Fest at 50 Kent

To conclude our “off the beaten track” blog, we’re going to leave you with one of the most underrated and least talked about music venues in New York City. 50 Kent is located in Williamsburg, so it’s only a matter of time before it becomes filled with Manhattanites. Home to some of the most unknown music festivals, 50 Kent is a simple, energy filled event space where locals and music lovers gather to have a good time. This summer, 50 Kent will host two major music events: the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival & 90’s Fest. Common and Mobb Deep will be hosting the hip-hop fest, while Blind Melon and Smash Mouth will take over rehashing 90’s vibes. 50 Kent is out of the way from Brooklyn traffic, so we hope it’ll stay mildly tourist free, at least for this summer.

We hope these out of the ordinary suggestions will help you have a fun, and tourist free summer. This is our off-beaten track, let us know about yours in the comments below!

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