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12 Quirky & Fun Things To Do In Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Looking for quirky and fun things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn?

You’ve come to the right place.

Williamsburg is one of my absolute favorite neighborhoods in New York City and has enough to do to easily fill a week or more.

My suggestion:

Check out the atypical itinerary below, and make sure to watch the video for additional ideas.

If you’d love to spend your day exploring with a local while also leaving with professional photos to keep, check out my private NYC Photo Journey. For a quick snapshot of what to expect, you can also visit @nycphototour on Instagram. You can also email [email protected] with inquiries.

Psst, don’t forget to pin this post for later!

Fun things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Fun Things To Do In Williamsburg [Video]

Before we dive into this post sharing what to do in Williamsburg for a quirky day…

Check out my video above!

It features a walk over the Williamsburg Bridge from Manhattan followed by more cool things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

You’ll discover some of my favorite spots along and around Bedford Avenue, Kent Avenue, and Driggs Avenue, from rooftop bars to thrift stores and beyond.

I made the video a few years after writing this post, so think of it as bonus suggestions to the guide below.

One final tip before we dive into the experience:

Grab my free Ultimate Travel Planning Kit — which also includes a Google Map of this Williamsburg itinerary.

Add the map to your phone to have it ready to go!
oddfellow ice cream in williamsburg
Photo via Oddfellows Ice Cream

1. OddFellows Ice Cream

Address: 175 Kent Avenue

When looking up New York tourist information, you’ll likely read a lot about the local food — which shouldn’t be missed!

Like many Williamsburg establishments, OddFellows Ice Cream is focused on artisanal eats. Their small-batch homemade ice cream is crafted with hormone-free New York ingredients.

What makes this a quirky stop isn’t necessarily the sustainable process by which it’s made, but the flavors.

While they do rotate what is on the menu, you can expect options like:

  • Tobacco Leaf-Smoked Chili Huckleberry
  • Chorizo Caramel Swirl
  • Beet Pistachio Honey Goat Cheese, and Grapefruit Jalapeno Sorbet
  • Strawberry Tomato Sorbet
  • Manchego Pineapple with Thyme
  • Sesame Kumquat Pumpernickel
  • Miso Butterscotch Cherry
  • and more!

Those adventurous enough to try these unusual flavors are often pleasantly surprised by the tastiness of the innovative combinations.

This is a great spot if you want to cool down during a hot NYC summer. It’s also one of the most Instagrammable places in New York City!

Additionally, it’s very close to the waterfront, where you can head with your ice cream cone to take in incredible free views of NYC.

The City Reliquary in Williamsburg. Photo via Jessie on a Journey.

2. City Reliquary

Address: 370 Metropolitan Avenue

New York City is full of prestigious museums housing important collections that showcase the city’s history.

While the City Reliquary certainly features meaningful pieces of Big Apple heritage, it’s not the types of things you’d find at the New York Historical Society or the Museum of the City of New York.

First, there are innovative rotating exhibits like “Keep Your Eye On The Donut” — which looks at highlights in NYC’s donut history — and “Over Spilt Milk,” a showcase of pivotal milk moments and artifacts and stories of farmer struggles.

In the permanent collection, view pieces like L-train paint fragments, a “very old shovel,” horse bones, a decaying birthday cake, geological core samples, Statue of Liberty memorabilia, vintage signs, a burlesque booth, and other oddities and bits of “junk” that tell the story of New York City.

Make sure to check their event calendar as there’s always something going on at this atypical establishment.

Their space is truly one of the most unique things to do see in NYC!

things to do in williamsburg
Poster for the Brick’s annual Clown Festival. Photo courtesy of Joe Kolbow.

3. The Brick

Address: 579 Metropolitan Avenue

The Brick is not your usual theater.

Featuring experimental shows, fringe-style performance, and nerd humor, it’s home to the annual Clown Festival and Comic Book Theater Festival.

Check their schedule to see what quirky events are on the calendar for when you’re looking fun unusual Williamsburg things to do, as there’s sure to be something you’ve never experienced.


4. Brooklyn Bowl

Address: 61 Wythe Avenue

The Brooklyn Bowl is where locals head when they want to see live up-and-coming musical talent for cheap; however, one can also experience the joy that is buzzed bowling.

Drink Brooklyn-sourced beers and international wines and spirits while enjoying 16 lanes, concerts projected on big screens over the pins, a DJ on Saturday nights and a social atmosphere.

things to do in williamsburg
Learn the art of butchery at The Meat Hook. Photo courtesy of The Meat Hook.

5. The Meat Hook

Address: 100 Frost Street

At The Meat Hook they don’t just sell sustainable farm-raised meats, they teach you how to cut them through a variety of butcher and cooking courses held in conjunction with the Brooklyn Kitchen.

Some butcher classes offered include Knife Skills, Whole Fish Butchering, Pig Butchering, and Knife Sharpening.

If you’re more interested in the cooking side of things, some options include Thai Street Food, Advanced Cake Decorating, A Taste of Spain, Homemade Pizza with Roberta’s, Empanada, and Handpie Making and the Art of Braising.

This experience is a must when looking for quirky things to do in Williamsburg!

things to do in williamsburg
Some of the fashions you may find at Artists & Fleas. Photo courtesy of Artists & Fleas.

6. Artists & Fleas

Address: 70 N. 7th street

This weekend artist, designer, and vintage market sells eclectic goods and period clothing, with an endless supply of one-of-a-kind pieces, gawk-worthy fashions, and unusual products.

At Artists & Fleas, you can purchase everything from whimsical women’s clothing to gold-gilded leaf necklaces to posters printed on recycled NYC cycling maps and much, much more.

Even if you’re not interested in shopping, it’s worth stopping in for an atypical browse and to enjoy a coffee and the live DJ.

things to do in williamsburg
Photo via The Painting Lounge

7. The Painting Lounge

Address: 438 Union Avenue

The Painting Lounge is a BYOB paint spot where you can get tipsy while learning to paint a masterpiece.

You’ll first trace a drawn-for-you outline of the picture through carbon paper, so it’s pretty foolproof (and even if you’ve had too much merlot you’ll head home with something worthy of your living room wall).


Afterward, head next door to Barcade for craft beer and retro video games.



Address: 121 Wythe Avenue

You may have heard of a wine sommelier, or even a beer sommelier (a cicerone), but did you know there is such a thing as a hot sauce sommelier?

At least there is at HEATONIST, where staff can help you choose the perfect hot sauce for your dish.

Inside the shop — which features 100+ varieties of small-batch hot sauces — you can also do a free guided tasting.

Just make sure to bring your own water, as they don’t sell it and things can quickly get spicy!

Bulletin in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Photo via Bulletin in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

10. Bulletin

Address: 145 Wythe Ave

Looking for a gift shop that holds nothing back and isn’t afraid to shout their feminist beliefs from the mountain tops?

Enter Bulletin.

This store sells goods for women, by women.

Everything is unique, and if you’re a woman you’ll likely find more than a few items that speak to you, whether it’s the “Equality” tees, the “Think Outside My Box” totes, the “Boss Babe” rings or something else.


You’ve got to love those gorgeous all-pink walls.

Sips and sweets at Martha’s Country Bakery. Photo via Jessie on a Journey.

11. Martha’s Country Bakery

Along with locally beloved homemade treats, like one of the best slices of cheesecake in New York, Martha’s Country Bakery features an expansive beverage menu and is one of the most Instagrammable cafes in NYC.

Here you can order traditional lattes and teas, as well as more unusual drinks, such as Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate — served frozen or hot — and a Cappuccino Milkshake.

Want a cup of quirky coffee?

Upstate Stock features a number of innovative lattes, like a Campfire Latte laced with smoked maple syrup.

After sipping, peruse their adorable shop of New York-made goods.

Good times in Williamsburg. Photo via Freehold.

12. Freehold

Visiting Freehold is one of the more fun things to do in Williamsburg.

Here you’ll find a hotel without hotel rooms.

Say what?

You read that right.

This enormous venue features numerous spaces, from beautiful daytime workspaces similar to what you’d find at a boutique hotel to a separate cafe room to back lawn.

Notice the travel-themed accents, like a front desk check-in area and humorous sign sharing the Lobby Rules, like “Ping Pong Olympians must play with off hand”.

A few fun and quirky onsite experiences include:

  • Lobby comedy shows each month — one of my favorite free things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  • Sipping cocktails from their large eight-person punch bowls, like the “Waterbury Royale” made with vodka, fresh watermelon, lime, and sparkling wine
  • Playing backyard ping pong or searching the interiors for the hidden game room with skee-ball and Big Buck Hunter
  • Strike a pose in the photo booth
  • Move through the multiple spaces to feel like you’re constantly switching venues
view of manhattan from williamsburg
Photo of Manhattan skyline from Williamsburg via Jessie on a Journey. Click here for a full list of Brooklyn tours.

Bonus: Fun Williamsburg Tours

While I lead private photo tours through my company, NYC Photo Journeys, there are also a number of fun public tours in Williamsburg offered by other companies.

Some of these include:

Hotels In Williamsburg

Looking for accommodation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn?

Click here for a list of Williamsburg hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local stays:

Travel Insurance

While you hope everything runs smoothly, sometimes travel just doesn’t go according to plan.

This is why I recommend always purchasing travel insurance. The scary truth is it only takes one bad accident to lose everything — or be thankful you were covered.

Personally, I use SafetyWing, as they’ve got a large network, offer both short-term and long-term coverage (including limited coverage in your home country), are budget-friendly, and offer $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

What are your favorite quirky and fun things to do in Williamsburg?

If you’d love to spend your day exploring with a local while also leaving with professional photos to keep, check out my private NYC Photo Journey. For a quick snapshot of what to expect, you can also visit @nycphototour on Instagram. You can also email [email protected] with inquiries.

Enjoyed this post on things to do in Williamsburg? Pin it for later!

things to do in williamsburg, brooklyn
Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

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  1. Ummi Nadrah on December 19, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Ohhh..I LOVE this kind of lists! I have an ever-growing bucket list that has now reached over 600 items, and you’ve just added 12 more.

    By the way, I saw your NYC photo tour. I’ve never been to the US, and judging from the current situation it might be a while before I travel anywhere, but I’ll bookmark that for my future trip. Have a good day!

  2. Robin Williams on May 24, 2021 at 6:45 am

    My name is robin williams, I am a travel blogger, I love to travel Mostlly in USA. This is the very nice post about quirky & fun thing to do in williamsburg, brooklyn. Thank you for sharing this post.

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