House of Yes
Where: Bushwick, Brooklyn
Flashy inside and out—both for its elaborately costumed performers and clientele and its orange-, red- and pink-painted exterior—this dance club and performance venue is a local favorite and a safe space to let your freak flag fly. Expect nights filled with aerial performers, drag queens and lots of technicolor garb.
Terrazas de Arroz
Where: Doyers Street, Chinatown, Manhattan
Chilean-born and NYC-based artist Dasic Fernández is known for his large-scale, vibrant art installations. His polychrome murals often appear three dimensional, creating optical illusions on streets and buildings in cities like Miami, Santiago and Riyadh. Fernández’s Terrazas de Arroz installation on Doyers Street in Chinatown is made to resemble the astounding rice field terraces in Yunnan, China. The 44-color mural spans all of Doyers Street between Pell Street and Bowery.
Museum of Ice Cream
Where: Soho, Manhattan
This dreamy, hands-on museum will satisfy your sweet tooth and your Instagram feed with 13 installations covering three floors. Step inside an all-pink subway car, dive into a pool of rainbow sprinkles and slide down the Ice Cream Portal for the 360 experience. Then get your sugar (and booze) fix at the café with spiked or regular milkshakes and other sweet treats.
Subway Station Art
Where: Various locations
Mesmerizing mosaics can transform New York City subways into underground art exhibits. Take the dazzling aquatic motif found at the 81st Street station (and pictured here), which signifies to straphangers that they’re close to the American Museum of Natural History. The Bleecker Street station, meanwhile, features Leo Villareal’s colorful LED installation Hive, which you’ll see as you take the escalator to the upper platform. And a new mosaic installation, Soundsuits, by artist Nick Cave, brightens the 42 Street connector between Times Square and Bryant Park with its spirited, finely detailed figures in every color.
Dan's Parents House
Where: City Island, The Bronx
This toy store may appeal more to nostalgic adults than kids, with hard-to-find figurines and paraphernalia predominantly from the 1980s appearing in display windows—making both the house itself and its contents a colorful sight. The name is literal: owner Dan Treiber did in fact purchase the sea green and mauve house he grew up in from his parents. In addition to running the store here, Treiber brings a haul of retro goodies to the Brooklyn Flea market on Sundays in Dumbo.
Where: Astoria, Queens
The exterior of this popular Queens doughnut shop is just as colorful as the icing on the deep-fried treats themselves. You’ll have plenty of time to take in the teal and hot pink decor—and if you’re lucky, hear a DJ spin punk records—while you wait to place your order. Try the rainbow cookie crumb cake to both see and taste the rainbow.
The Nature of Color
Where: The American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side, Manhattan
Through December 5, AMNH invites visitors to explore the meaning of color and its role in evolution and our world. This exhibit’s vibrant, interactive displays let guests “paint” walls and step inside various monochromatic rooms to explore individual hues in depth. It is meant to challenge our perception of colors found in flowers, fauna and fashion.
Where: Lower East Side, Manhattan
There isn’t a single color you can’t find at Economy Candy, a shop lined floor to ceiling with sweets (their website even lets you search by color). The 1930s-era store sells old-fashioned favorites like Chupa Chups Melody Pops and Push Pops, along with novelty confections and nostalgic items such as vintage trading cards and Pez dispensers.
Where: Stapleton, Staten Island
The brick facade of this beloved family-owned Sri Lankan restaurant on Staten Island features an elaborate, colorful mural, as well as an intricate bas-relief. The dining room is just as ornate, with multihued tapestries that hang from the ceiling, bright blue Tibetan-style wooden masks, and statues of Buddha brought directly from Sri Lanka. The owners also run a nearby Sri Lankan museum.
Where: The William Vale, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
This interactive installation at the William Vale hotel in Williamsburg is the feat of artist Jen Stark and her technologist collaborators. Stark’s psychedelic visuals and sacred geometries are brought to life through augmented reality, projection and sound. Followers of the LA-based artist will recognize her signature liquid-like rainbow patterns that have been realized as complex 3-D sculptures and murals.
To see more of what makes NYC so colorful, visit our Attractions and Museums guides.
10 Colorful Places to Visit in NYC Right Now
Exploring New York City is a multisensory experience. Countless blocks and street corners throughout the five boroughs present something unexpected to stimulate any one of those senses. That something is frequently a burst of color—a striking mural or a constellation of objects in many shades and hues.
We’ve gathered a few of these art installations and colorful spaces in our photo gallery. Click through for kaleidoscopic pop-ups, permanent polychrome displays and even candy-colored treats to eat—and then go check them out to find your own rainbow connection.