The Ripley's empire of Odditoriums began at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair and has since grown to over 30 permanent institutions around the world. The 42nd street Odditorium is the largest--and therefore, presumably, the best--in the world. With over 500 artifacts on display and dozens of unrelated 'thrills' and 'wonderment', this is an excellent option for those days when nothing else in New York City fits the bill.
What You Will See
Robert Ripley coined the term 'Odditorium'. The museum calls its artifacts 'curioddities'. The only shared characteristic of the more than 500 items on display is that they are weird: unique, rare, unbelievable, or controversial. You will see a two-headed calf, a shrunken human head, instruments of torture, and models of human curiosities and world record holders. Beyond the curioddities there are several other premium experiences, games, escape rooms and other diversions for the whole family.
Why You Should Go
Ripley's shares a wall with Madame Tussaud's and both occupy a specific and necessary place in the landscape of New York City tourism. Consider these places museums for those who do not think they like museums. You will still see things you won't see anywhere else. You will still learn something of history and distant cultures. But it is presented in a way that you don't even know you are learning. There is a time for Ripley's, and when that time comes, go in proud, with an open mind.