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Eat and Play Wednesday: Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

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Welcome to Eat & Play Wednesday, where each week Gray Line New York will be highlighting one of our friends who offer discounts with the Eat and Play Card. Today we are taking a look at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! who offers 20% off with the card.

History

Ripley’s Believe It or Not was founded by Robert Leroy Ripley who was born in Santa Rosa, CA and moved to New York in 1913. Ripley developed a fascination with oddities and his collection of them began when he started to travel around the world. In July 1933, Ripley opened an auditorium with a showcase of all his weird collections. The collection brought in nearly two million visitors. Ripley died at the age of 50, however his collection endured with the first Ripley’s Believe It or Not opening in St Augustine, Florida in 1950.Today there are over 30 Ripley’s Believe It or Not around the world. Time Square opened their auditorium in 2007.

Operating Info

Ripley’s Believe It or Not is open 7 days a week, from 9am – 1am

With the Eat and Play card you receive 20% off the price of admission at the door.

5 Quick Facts

  • Robert Leroy Ripley was born on Christmas.
  • Ripley quit school before graduating to support his sick mother
  • Ripley’s first trip abroad was to Belgium and France
  • John Arthur opened the first Believe It or Not museum
  • Ripley played semi-professional baseball back in Santa Rosa

You can purchase your Eat and Play Card online or in person at our visitors’ center at 777 8th Avenue.

 

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Review: Exploring Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Every Monday, Gray Line New York will be highlighting a “Partner of the Week” on our blog. We are going to provide a review for a new partner’s product and share our own insights and experiences. This week, our Partner of the Week is Ripley’s Believe it or Not!.

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Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium

Living in New Jersey, with an easy commute to New York City, has provided me with many opportunities to explore the countless sights and attractions of The City. However, I have never managed to make my way over to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!. After my visit on a Monday morning, I immediately regret never experiencing this surprisingly unique museum before.

When I arrived just before 10:30 a.m., I barely noticed the empty line to get inside because so many sights caught my eye in the lobby. Lights, dinosaurs, crazy objects and life-size human figures were just a few things that took my attention during the brief moment I was in the lobby. Before I knew it, I had given my name and immediately entered the museum. It was surprisingly quiet at first, and then I remembered it was a Monday morning. Throughout the whole museum, which I leisurely went at my own pace, I encountered not even a dozen other guests. However, I felt the amount of guests didn’t make a difference because of the quantity of exhibits and that no amount of people could get in my way even if it was a crowded weekend.

Nevertheless, because I did not have much prior knowledge about Ripley’s, other than to expect to see some unbelievable things, I am almost certain my eyes were wide and my jawed was dropped from beginning to end. The first sections consisted of displays of completely unique and bizarre people throughout history. From a bearded woman, to a man who could hold a dozen eggs in his world’s largest hand, I immediately understood where this place got its name, Believe it or Not!. With such amazement right from the start, I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of the exhibits had to show.

The rest of the museum had such a random mixture of images, displays, videos and hands-on experiences that you would have to see to fully understand its astonishment. Even though I do say that this is the most random museum I have experienced, in no means was it disorganized or not enjoyable. I walked on miniature wooden model boats from The Spanish Armanda, stuck my head in a cockroach display, walked into a black hole, and touched The Berlin Wall, just to mention a few of the highlights.

Although this may sound like the exhibits are childish or silly, I was surprised at the amount of history emerged in this museum. I learned about some of the most interesting facts and saw exclusive artifacts from American and World History. However, it was in no way boring, (and this is coming from someone who is not a huge fan of history). From George Washington’s hair, to a piece of the titanic to Thomas Edison’s electric chair; there were endless amounts of history’s most interesting pieces and facts. Throughout the entire experience, I wondered why all history couldn’t be this exciting.

The tour concluded with a gift-shop that included t-shirts, magnets, glasses, candy and other memorabilia from Ripley’s. You could even purchase a professional picture of yourself taken in front of a green screen that made it look like you were sitting on a beam outside, overlooking New York City. But this wasn’t the only picture you were allowed to walk away with. There were no restrictions against taking pictures and since I was able to walk through at my own pace, I was able to take great pictures to ensure this experience will be truly unforgettable.

It is accurate to say that it is nearly impossible to describe in words everything I saw and experienced at Ripley’s. But I am grateful for that because I now want to convince everyone I know to see exactly what Ripley’s is all about. If you have a couple hours, are in New York City and are looking for a unique experience, I strongly suggest paying Ripley’s Believe It or Not! a visit.

The museum intrigued my interest, sent shivers up my spine, made me laugh and also made my palms sweat a few times. You would have to visit for yourself to figure out exactly what the Ripley’s experience does for you and what all of its hidden secrets are that I chose not to include here.

To pre-purchase tickets for the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and skip the line in the beginning, visit our website now: Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Tickets

Review by Megan Ryan, Gray Line New York

Photo Credit: Flickr / Tomas Fano