Get Hands-On! NYC's Best Interactive Museums for Adults

From a raunchy carnival to a test of your spy skills, the city offers a diverse range of engaging exhibits to suit any adult traveler’s itinerary.

May 10, 2024

NYC's Most Engaging Museums for Grown-Ups

When you're not soaking in the art at The Met and MoMA, why not spice up your Manhattan adventure with a visit to one of NYC's immersive experience museums? Ditch passive observation for hands-on fun! From a raunchy carnival to a test of your spy skills, the city offers a diverse range of engaging exhibits to suit any adult traveler’s itinerary. We've compiled a list of museums that offer the perfect blend of entertainment and education for your trip.

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Ok … On to the list

Museum of Sex / Super Funland

Learn about human sexuality in a whole new way at the Museum of Sex in New York City! Dive into a quirky yet introspective journey exploring everything from erotica and porn to the impact of technology on sexual behavior. With over 15,000 items in their permanent collection and rotating exhibitions, this museum offers a unique perspective on gender studies, technology, behavior, and sex culture. 

But the real fun begins in Super Funland, where interactive experiences await behind closed doors. Embark on a 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, try your luck at the Love & Lust Deity Derby, test your skills on the La Matadora Erotic Mechanical Bull, or get your fortune from an erotic fortune-telling machine modeled after RuPaul. With games, rides, and even a psychedelic carnival bar you can slide into, the Museum of Sex promises a playful yet educational adventure for adults.

The House of Cannabis (THC NYC)

Dive into the city's (recently legalized) cannabis culture at THC NYC, the House of Cannabis museum that opened its doors on April 20, 2023. Step inside this multi-sensory journey into the sights, scents, sounds, sensations, and stories of cannabis. THC NYC offers immersive exhibitions exploring cannabis's influence on music, art, fashion, and social justice. From the trippy Disorientation Room to the musical adventure of The Euphorium, and the thought-provoking stories in The Forum, each space invites visitors to engage and explore. Plus, don't miss the live events like glass blowing demonstrations that take place on the first floor.

INTER_ AM

INTER_ is a recent addition to the vibrant New York City immersive gallery scene, having opened its doors in Soho during November 2022. This experiential, multi-sensory museum aims to guide visitors toward a profound state of introspection by exploring themes related to personal identity, nature, water, fluidity, space, and air. The immersive exhibition masterfully integrates a sound bath, captivating light installations, and elements of meditation, all intertwined with interactive digital art. Stepping into INTER_ feels less like a traditional gallery visit and more akin to a serene meditation retreat, and that's precisely the intention. It's also the ideal destination for adult travelers seeking a moment of tranquility after a long day sightseeing.

ARTECHOUSE

Beneath the iconic Chelsea Market, ARTECHOUSE NYC has transformed a century-old boiler room into an exceptional artistic haven and interactive experience in New York City. Step into this underground wonderland where art and technology collide to create immersive digital installations that push the boundaries of creativity. Explore captivating digital art projections, featuring interactive installations that respond to your movements, allowing you to step inside the art and engage with it firsthand. And while you're there, don't miss the hidden cocktail bar Tippler, also located in the basement of Chelsea Market, for refreshments after your digital adventure.

Mercer Labs

Close to the World Trade Center Memorial and the Oculus, Mercer Labs, the Museum of Art and Technology, is NYC's newest interactive hotspot for tech and art lovers. With fifteen experimental exhibition spaces, it offers captivating light shows, a 4D listening/meditation room, and even a playful slide into a ball pit. Created by experimental visual artist Roy Nachum, known for Rihanna's "Anti" album cover art, and Casa Cipriani’s Michael Cayre, Mercer Labs provides a maze-like experience, stimulating all five senses with cutting-edge technology like a large-scale 4D sound system and synchronized LED microchips.

Spyscape

Spyscape in Hell’s Kitchen stands as an exciting fusion of a museum and an espionage training hub, offering aspiring spies a chance to hone their skills and spy movie and history buffs to see both real and fictional spy gadgets. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of real-life intelligence agents, including luminaries like Alan Turing and Virginia Hall, as well as fictional spy hero James Bond. But the true excitement comes from putting your own abilities to the test as you navigate a laser maze, undergo a lie detector examination, and tackle various other challenges. Get hands-on with interactive elements designed by real intelligence operatives and top psychologists, determining your own spy profile along the way. If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a spy, here is your chance to try it out.

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