40 Surprisingly Nerdy Things to do Now in Denver

Welcome to the Mile High City, where the nerdy culture is thriving!

Denver is not only known for its beautiful mountains and outdoor adventures, but also for being a haven for all things geeky and nerdy. Whether you’re a board game enthusiast, a comic book aficionado, a science fiction fanatic, or a tech geek, the city has something to offer.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best nerdy activities to do in Denver, from gaming cafes and comic book shops to horror bars and cosplay events. So, dust off your D20, grab your lightsaber, and let’s dive into the nerdy side of Denver!

All activities are within two hours from the city proper:

Interest-Based Nerdy Travel Experiences

Standard Travel Needs – Nerdy Style

About The Author

Hi, I’m Kate.

I started planning unique travel experiences way back in 2008.

And I quickly realized that quirky, nerdy experiences were going to be a big part of my travel planning success.

So I set out to explore as much as I could.

And thanks to years of reading and experimenting, I’ve had a ton of success with travel planning…

…including the top 3 performing nerdy guides on this site:

  1. Nerdy Experiences in Washington DC
  2. Unique Experiences in San Diego
  3. Ultimate Guide for Nerdy Travel Accessories

Check out these ideas in Denver and you could have an awesome trip planned within the next 20 minutes.

What do you like?

We want to know more about the types of nerdy activities you are most interested in. Please fill out the one question form below to help us improve our content. No personal information required – thanks in advance!

What are the Top Nerdy Experiences Unique to Denver?

1. Best Nerdy Evening Event: Nerd Night Denver

This monthly event brings experts from all walks of life together to cover topics ranging from the US War on Drugs to Mating Strategies, and they do it all in bite-sized, 20-minute presentations that are as entertaining as they are enlightening.

And the best part? You can enjoy a drink or two while you’re learning! Because let’s face it, molecular biology is always more fun when you’re sipping a cold brew with friends. So come join the knowledge-hungry and beer-thirsty crowd at The Bug Theatre once a month for Nerd Nite Denver.

2. Best Nerdy Drinks: The Molecule Effect

Welcome to The Molecule Effect, where good vibes and great drinks collide! This Denver gem is a well-curated café bar with an aesthetic that blends metallic industrial with modern retro.

And if you really love the ambiance, take it home with you! All the art pieces are created by local artists and are available for purchase.

With calm music playing at the perfect sound level, the Molecule Effect is the perfect spot to fuel up while getting some remote work done. Or you can just sip on one of their famous espresso martinis, and let your worries melt away. If espresso martinis aren’t really your thing, try one of their other popular drinks: an Autumn Rose Latte or Pistachio White Chocolate Mocha.

Recommended: Where to Meet The Best Nerdy Guys Right Now

3. Best Nerdy Gaming Experience: Denver Board Game Night

Whether you’re a seasoned pro with a massive board game collection or a newbie who’s only played Monopoly, fear not! Denver Board Game Night loves welcoming new players and introducing them to the wonderful world of modern board games.

In fact, the more, the merrier!

The group is all about making new friends and playing awesome games. So, don’t be shy, approach any game players, introduce yourself, and ask questions.

Whether your interests align with modern classics (Dominion and Power Grid), brand-new releases, European games, collectible card games, wargames, miniatures, or pretty much anything else – come out to play! Just roll some dice, draw some cards, and have a blast.

4. Best Eerie Place to Drink: Slashers Bar

Slasher’s Bar is the best place in Denver for a frightfully good time! The decor is dreadfully amazing, with creepy yet captivating horror-themed elements that create an immersive atmosphere.

As you sip on expertly crafted cocktails that are carefully balanced and bursting with flavor, don’t forget to catch a few minutes of the domestic and international horror movies playing on the TVs throughout the bar (with subtitles). The fluorescent wall art adds a cool and edgy vibe, and the expanded seating in the back with cozy sofas makes it a perfect spot to chill with friends.

And let’s talk about the cocktails – they’re not only delicious, but they also come with fun extras like fake eyeballs, blood bag drinks, and even tiki cups that you can take home as a memento of your thrilling night out. This is a haunt you won’t want to miss!

5. Best Game Shop: All C’s Collectables

With a huge selection of various collectibles, from sports cards to trading cards, comics to coins, and even signed athletic memorabilia, All C’s Collectables is a haven for enthusiasts of all kinds. Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon collectors will be thrilled with the large selection of cards, and nightly gaming events with a friendly group of players who make it a welcoming experience.

The card inventory is always fresh, and they offer booster boxes, packs, and singles at fair prices. While the prices may be a bit higher than the ones you can find online, All C’s Collectables often offers special deals (10% to 20% off) on their Facebook page so you can snag a great find without breaking the bank.

6. Best Nerdy Horror Event: Ghouls Night Out

Looking for a frightfully fun night out? Look no further than Ghouls Night Out! These folks know their horror, and they’ve been hosting epic trivia nights since early 2020.

This ghastly group is the talk of Denver among horror genre devotees, and they’ve got a special night where friends and foes alike can battle it out to prove who knows the most about their favorite twisted tales. Held twice a month on the first and third Wednesdays at Electric Cure, you can join them to test your horror knowledge and compete for awesome prizes like bar tabs, free shots, swag from new scary movies, and the ultimate prize – horror trinkets!

From trivia about everything from Stephen King to Halloween, there’s a theme for everyone. So gather your fellow horror aficionados, sharpen your horror trivia skills, and get ready for a spooktacular night of fun and competition at Ghouls Night Out!

7. Best Family Friendly Gaming Spot: Game Train USA

All aboard the Game Train USA in Denver – a one-of-a-kind gaming experience that’s bound to delight gamers of all ages! With over 600 games to choose from, ranging from classic favorites to modern hits, there’s something for everyone.

The atmosphere is truly top-notch. As soon as you enter the locomotive, you will feel like you’re on an 1890’s First Class Victorian dinner train. The special sound effects, motion effects, and window-shaped videos showing your railcar’s journey through the countryside will transport you to an immersive steampunk gaming environment.

And let’s not forget about the food and drinks! Game Train USA has a full menu including delicious mixed drinks, coffee and hot entrees. If you prefer themed activities, they also have tons of themed events such as wine tastings, murder mystery nights, holiday activities, bingo and more. This is truly a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

8. Best Nerdy Nightlife: Milk

Welcome to the magical world of Milk Bar – a wonderland experience like no other! With its many rooms, interesting staircases, and creative use of space, this gothic labyrinth is one of the best nightclubs of its kind in Denver, or even the nation!

As you navigate through the maze-like layout, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of reality and into a surreal realm reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange. If you need a little break from dancing and drinking, check out the classic arcade games such as Joust, Mortal Kombat, and Pac-Man that will transport you back to your childhood.

Sure, the prices may be steep, but this place has character, and a reliable fortune teller, that is hard to find elsewhere. Milk Bar is a true gem in Denver’s nightlife scene, where you can let your imagination run wild and dance the night away in a truly unique and unforgettable setting.

9. Best Nerdy Spot for Book-Lovers: Mutiny Information Cafe

Welcome to Mutiny Information Cafe, where good vibes and geekdom collide in the best way possible! This place is a haven for every kind of nerd, with its oozing character, charm, unique offerings, and friendly feline that roams the store.

From comic books and pinball machines to records and VHS movies, you’ll find yourself in nerd paradise. They host regular events like stand-up nights, open mics, and live poetry to keep the fun going. Plus they have a diverse selection of locally created literature and art.

And let’s not forget about the coffee menu, serving up everything from drip to espresso to French press, with lattes, mochas, matcha, and a rich spicy chai from Boulder-based Sherpa Chai. Vegans and vegetarians will also find snack options, and there’s a variety of bottled sodas, energy drinks, candy, and CBD products and powders to satisfy all cravings.

What are the Best Nerdy Local Cultural Experiences?

10. Essential Denver Museums

Denver has a wide variety of museums for culture and education seekers to choose from, these are our favorites:

  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science – From prehistoric fossils to dazzling gems, from breathtaking dioramas to cutting-edge exhibits, this museum has it all. You can marvel at the towering skeletons of long-extinct creatures, touch real meteorites from outer space, and even embark on a journey through the cosmos in the state-of-the-art planetarium.
  • Denver Art Museum This iconic institution is a treasure trove for art lovers, boasting a diverse collection that spans across time, continents, and artistic styles. From classic masterpieces to contemporary creations, there’s something for everyone to admire and be inspired by. Wander through the galleries and marvel at the breathtaking paintings, sculptures, and installations that tell the stories of human expression and creativity. The interactive exhibits are a delight for all ages, allowing you to get up close and personal with the art and even try your hand at creating your own masterpieces. With rotating exhibitions and special events, there’s always something new and exciting to discover at the Denver Art Museum.
  • History Colorado Center – Step into a time machine and embark on a journey through Colorado’s rich history, from the ancient cultures that once inhabited the region to the pioneers and miners who shaped its rugged landscape. With its state-of-the-art exhibits, immersive displays, and hands-on activities, the museum is a treasure trove of stories, artifacts, and experiences that transport you to different eras and cultures.
  • American Museum of Western Art: The Anschutz Collection – Saddle up and prepare to be transported back in time at the American Museum of Western Art: The Anschutz Collection! This hidden gem in the heart of Denver is a true treasure trove for Western art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. As you step into the museum, you’ll be greeted by a stunning collection of artwork that brings the spirit of the Wild West to life. From epic landscapes to iconic cowboy portraits, the gallery walls are adorned with masterpieces that capture the rugged beauty and untamed spirit of the American West.

11. MeowWolf Convergence Station

This mind-bending, interdimensional playground is like stepping into a sci-fi movie where reality and imagination collide in the most spectacular ways.

From the moment you step through the portal, you’ll be transported to a universe of immersive art, interactive installations, and sensory overload. The colorful and whimsical landscapes are like a psychedelic dream come to life, with secret passageways, hidden chambers, and mind-bending illusions that will keep you guessing at every turn.

Plus, with its prime location in the heart of Denver, you can easily spend hours diving into this otherworldly realm before venturing out to explore the vibrant city. So, whether you’re an art enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or just looking for an out-of-this-world experience, the Denver Meow Wolf Convergence Station is a must-visit destination that will leave you with memories that are truly out of this world!

12. International Church of Cannabis

This one-of-a-kind church is not your typical place of worship, but it’s sure to leave you with a spiritual “high” like no other. When you enter the chapel doors, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors, intricate murals, and an atmosphere that feels like a cross between a psychedelic art gallery and a cosmic party.

If you’re a fan of hemp-related botanical delights, you’re in for a treat! The church is a sanctuary for cannabis enthusiasts, where you can partake in the sacrament of the “Elevationist” faith and enjoy the herb in a safe and welcoming environment.

Whether you’re a cannabis connoisseur or simply curious about the intersection of spirituality and modern culture, a visit to the International Church of Cannabis promises to be an uplifting and mind-expanding experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a sense of wonder in your heart. Come join the groovy congregation and let your soul soar to new heights in this funky and fun-filled sanctuary!

13. Elitch Gardens

Imagine the fluffy aroma of popcorn and cotton candy filling the air as you wait in light for a fun ride with friends or family. Whether you’re testing your skills at the games, taking a spin on the Ferris wheel, or zipping through the air on a roller coaster, there’s always a sense of lighthearted joy in the air.

And when night falls, Elitch Gardens transforms into a dazzling wonderland with twinkling lights and dazzling displays. With memories of thrilling rides, tasty treats, and laughter-filled moments, your visit to Elitch Gardens will be a whirlwind of pure fun and happiness that will stay with you forever. So buckle up, hold on tight, and get ready for an adventure you won’t forget at Elitch Gardens!

What are the Best Nerdy Board & Video Game Shops?

14. Enchanted Grounds

Welcome to Enchanted Grounds, where coffee and gaming magic fuse! Sip on delicious espresso drinks made with beans from Coda Coffee while playing a board game with some friends. Or indulge in a refreshing brew of loose leaf tea from The Tea Spot while pouring over a cozy new comic book.

This place has a drink or snack for every mood. From fruit smoothies and frappes to a wide selection of local pastries, breads, burritos, sandwiches, snacks, caramels, and chocolate bars, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! Enchanted Grounds is a haven for board game enthusiasts, with a vast selection of games to choose from. Just ask the friendly staff for a list, and they’ll pull your chosen game from out back.

15. Golden Game Guild

Step inside Golden Game Guild and prepare to be amazed by the array of games that await you. There are plenty of seating options, private areas to play and an immense library of games ranging from classic board games to the latest tabletop adventures. Why not play a few games you’ve been eyeing before making a purchase? It’s the perfect place to test-drive your gaming dreams. So gather your friends, roll the dice, and let the games begin at the Golden Game Guild!

And if you’re not sure where to start, just check out the packed schedule of events on the back wall – from game nights to tournaments, there’s always something happening!

16. MeH Gaming

Whether you’re into Magic the Gathering, Flesh and Blood, Pokémon, or other tabletop games, this place has got you covered. Sure, the outside might not be much to look at, but what really makes MeH Gaming special is the attentive owner, Kyle, and the welcoming community that’s ready to greet you with open arms. MeH is more than just a business, it’s a community-driven service that’s all about the love for gaming.

Need a snack to fuel your gaming session? No worries, snacks are available for purchase, so you can keep your energy levels high as you roll those dice, shuffle those cards, or make your strategic moves on the board. Plus, its open 7 days a week and has good air conditioning.

With a spacious gaming area, regular tournaments, a friendly owner, and a welcoming community, you’re in for a gaming experience that’s more than just a game, it’s a whole adventure! Get ready to roll, draw, and play to your heart’s content at MeH Games!

What are the Best Nerdy Theater, Film & Shows?

17. Landmark’s Mayan Theater

Prepare for a cinematic experience like no other at the Mayan Theater! This historic gem has been screening new releases, as well as independent, foreign, and avant-garde flicks since 1930.

Fun fact: it even survived a tumultuous patch in the 80s when it almost closed down!

Fast forward to today, and you’ll find a movie theater that’s a haven for movie lovers on a budget, with super reasonable ticket prices, a great beer selection, and popcorn that’s truly buttery perfection. The theater itself is small and cozy, with cushy seats that are oh-so-comfortable.

And the best part? Before Showtime, you’ll be treated to the nostalgic sight of a red curtain being drawn up. So settle in, relax, and get ready to be transported to a world of cinematic magic at the Mayan Independent Theater!

18. Red Rocks Amphitheater: Film on the Rocks

With five events throughout the summer, there’s plenty of movie magic to enjoy Red Rocks Park. The park has been the home of “Film on the Rocks” for over 20 years, and it’s easy to see why – with its stunning natural amphitheater and breathtaking views, it’s the perfect backdrop for a night of outdoor cinema.

From family-friendly classics like The Sandlot to beloved favorites like Dune and The Greatest Showman, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The Box Office opens four hours before showtime, so be sure to check the calendar for door times before your visit.

19. The Denver Magic Show

Get ready to be blown away by the Denver Magic Show, where grown-up caliber magic meets Colorado audiences every Monday at 7:30pm at the Patterson Inn!

Prepare to be mesmerized as each magician brings their unique style and personality to the stage, presenting a dazzling spectrum of magic that will leave you in awe. With a 90-minute runtime, get ready for an evening of mind-bending illusions, jaw-dropping tricks, and awe-inspiring mentalism that’s been perfected through thousands of performances.

Get up close and personal with the magic, as the show promises an intimate experience that will leave you scratching your head in wonder. So grab your friends, sit back, and prepare to be amazed at the Denver Magic Show! It’s an evening of enchantment you won’t want to miss.

20. Movie Filming Locations

Denver is home to the filming locations for a bunch of amazing movies and TV shows. If you’re a movie fan, then you’ll definitely want to check out these awesome sites. From iconic fighting flicks to themed adventures, there’s something for every type of nerd on this list.

Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to geek out in the city that works! Just don’t forget to bring your sports car (you know, for extra authenticity).

What are the Best Nerdy Nature Experiences?

21. Denver Botanical Gardens

If you’re looking for a blooming good time in Denver, look no further than the Botanic Gardens! Not only will you be mesmerized by the stunning array of flowers, plants, and trees, but you can also tantalize your taste buds with delicious food and drinks available for purchase right inside the garden. Or bring your own goodies and non-alcoholic drinks as a picnic to enjoy in the beautiful surroundings.

With so many fun features to explore, from the serene Japanese pavilion to the intricate bonsai trees, the beautiful conservatory, art galleries, science pyramid, and even a small horticulture library, there’s always something interesting to see.

And don’t miss out on the spook-tacular Halloween event and dazzling Holiday light shows in the fall and winter – they’re simply magical!

22. Denver Adventure Zipline Tours

Get ready to zip, soar, and fly through the beautiful Rocky Mountains on Colorado’s longest and fastest ziplines. With lines ranging from 850 feet to over 1,900 feet, reaching speeds of up to 60 mph and heights of up to 250 feet, it’s an adrenaline-pumping experience you won’t forget!

With over 1.5 miles of ziplines to conquer, you’ll be in for an epic adventure surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery, just 30 minutes from Denver. Feel the rush of the wind in your hair as you glide through the mountain peaks and take in the stunning views below. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

After your zipline adventure, take some time to unwind and celebrate at the nearby pub, Colorado’s Best Beers. Treat yourself to regional microbrews, whiskeys, wines, appetizers, and more, as you relive your thrilling experience with fellow adventurers. It’s the perfect way to top off an incredible day of ziplining and immerse yourself in Colorado’s vibrant beer culture.

So, strap on your gear, buckle up, and get ready to soar with Denver Adventure Zipline Tours. It’s an adventure of a lifetime that will leave you with an exhilarating rush and memories that will last a lifetime. Let’s zip, cheers to the thrill-seekers!

What are the Best Festivals, Conventions, and Live Events in Denver?

23. Fan Expo Denver

Fan Expo Denver is a geek extravaganza that’ll make your inner nerd squeal with delight. From comics and gaming to cosplay and celebrity meet-and-greets, it’s a mecca for all things fandom.

With a schedule packed full of panels, workshops, and activities, there’s always something exciting happening at Fan Expo Denver. Meet your favorite comic book artists, rub elbows with TV and movie stars, and dive into the latest merch and collectibles that’ll make any fan’s heart skip a beat. Or get your cosplay game on point and show off your creative skills among fellow fans.

You definitely don’t want to miss the special energy and excitement that fills the air as fellow fans buzz with enthusiasm and the atmosphere is saturated with geeky camaraderie. May the force be with you as you embark on this geek-tastic adventure!

24. Colorado Anime Fest

Get ready for a three-day celebration of all things anime and cosplay that’ll leave you feeling like you’re in your very own anime world.

Usually held in the Spring, each year’s fest promises to be an action-packed schedule filled with exciting events, special guests, and fun contests that’ll keep you on your toes. You might even get a chance to meet some notable and famous voice actors who make an appearance – how cool is that?

Registration is a breeze through the event’s official website, so you can secure your spot and join the nearly 3,000 people who attend this epic convention. Once you’re in, prepare to be wowed by the Vendor’s Hall, where you’ll find a treasure trove of manga, Japanese candies and drinks, swords, kimonos, and more. And if you’re into art, the Artists Alley is a must-visit, with talented artists showcasing and selling their amazing works.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! Colorado Anime Fest knows how to party, and the rave is a highlight of the weekend for many participants. Dance the night away to awesome beats and immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere.

And let’s not forget about the festival’s charitable side. Each year, Colorado Anime Fest chooses a charity to fund, making it not just a celebration of anime, but also a way to give back to the community.

So mark your calendars, pack your cosplay, and get ready for an unforgettable weekend of anime magic at Colorado Anime Fest. It’s a must-attend event for any anime fan, and you won’t want to miss out on the fun! See you there!

25. Aspen Film Shortsfest

Aspen Film was established in 1979 by Ellen Kohner Hunt with the goal of using cinema to inform, enlighten, enrich, and entertain. The institute has a long history of producing exceptional and unforgettable experiences for both dedicated and casual movie fans.

Aspen Film, which has a presence throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, manages a significant film event every season, provides a robust education program, and sponsors a variety of special presentations. Every one of the more than 200 films they screen there each year is a regional premiere, many of which could not otherwise be accessible to people in the area. About 30,000 people take part yearly.

What are the Best Nerdy Tours & Classes?

26. Goat Hike Along the Ol’ Miners’ Trail

The Goat Hike along Ol’ Miner’s Trail is a fantastic opportunity to capture beautiful panoramic photos of mountain scenery, learn about the history of the area, and interact with friendly goats. The tour starts 20 minutes west of Boulder at the Stage Stop. You will start the hike by being introduced to the “girls” (goats) and some charming Western lore then progressing through the historic living museum starting with the Cloud City mining district.

The guide will share stories from miners’ journals and point out relics from their lives & mines. You’ll get to see old mine portals, the school house and root cellar, stone walls, mine tunnels, and stone cabin foundations.

The adventure will culminate with the famous Downhill Goat Race, where each hiker will guide her goat down the hillside to the winner’s circle. Your tour will culminate where it started, Stage Stop, at which point you can enjoy the area more or grab some lunch at a local spot.

27. Twilight Ghost Tour

On this spooky, small-group walking tour of the city center, learn about Denver’s shadowy past and see some of its most iconic structures.

You’ll meet your trained historian tour guide to depart for some of the city’s creepiest places in Denver like the Crawford Hill Mansion, Poet’s Row, Patternson Inn (the most haunted place in Denver), and more, enjoying a spine-tingling stroll by the mystery of twilight. Allow your tour guide to lead you around the eerie neighborhoods while pointing out haunted homes, recounting historical scandals, and stumbling across paranormal activity.

28. Build a Hybrid Pocket Pipe

This fun, interactive workshop is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to create unique wood and resin Pocket Pipes from scratch.

There are no kits involved, so you will select the wood blanks, cut, carve, polish, and even add an engraving yourself.

And of course, you’ll have to try out your finished product! So feel free to bring tobacco or any other smoking material for the end of class.

Whether you’re a beginner or have experience with woodworking, all levels are welcome. In fact, Pocket Pipes are an excellent item to learn & practice basic wood working skills. If you’ve never tried tried wood working before, definitely consider joining in the fun!

29. RiNo Arts District Food Tour (River North Arts District)

Discover the hip, industrial part of Denver while sampling some of the greatest food the RiNo Arts District has to offer. This three-hour walking culinary tour will give you samples from five acclaimed neighborhood eateries, share engaging tales about the history of Denver’s developing culinary scene, and show you the vibrant murals adorning streets & alleyways.

Your knowledgeable local guide will meet you at Il Posto, a classy locally-owned Italian eatery on Larimer and have you sample Japanese fried chicken, fresh house-made burrata, Mexican street tacos, speciality NY-style sourdough pizza, and mochi doughnuts.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Stay?

30. The Ramble Hotel

Welcome to The Ramble Hotel, where magic and escapism await you in Denver’s vibrant RiNo Art District. Get ready for an unforgettable stay in this 50-room boutique hotel that’s sure to captivate your senses.

First up, you’ve got to check out the Death & Co Cocktail Bar – it’s the brand’s first outpost outside of its iconic New York institution, and it’s sure to impress with its expertly crafted libations. And if you’re in the mood for some entertainment, head to the cozy ballroom/theater and event bar for a night of fun and excitement.

Hungry? No problem! The Ramble Hotel has you covered with a brand-new restaurant from Work & Class, a popular local spot that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds with its delicious offerings.

And let’s talk about the rooms – they are simply dreamy! With separate living rooms and claw-foot tubs, you’ll feel like royalty as you relax and unwind in your cozy abode. It’s all about the little touches that make your stay extra special.

At The Ramble Hotel, they have a deep respect for the magic and escapism that hotels can offer, and they’re committed to making your time with them a break from the ordinary. So get ready to immerse yourself in the unique and enchanting experience that The Ramble Hotel has to offer. Your adventure awaits!

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Eat in Denver?

31. The Crypt

The Crypt bar keeps all the Denver spooky vibes alive and well. Get ready to immerse yourself in a horror-themed atmosphere that’s sure to send shivers down your spine in the most thrilling way.

Step outside to the large patio and two main rooms that can easily accommodate all you fellow ghouls and gals. And speaking of events, The Crypt knows how to throw a party with their fun concerts that are sure to get your heart pounding. And with plenty of ample parking nearby, you won’t have to worry about finding a spot for your hearse.

Now, this may not be an “actual” goth bar, but it definitely has all the goth vibes and a campy horror aesthetic that will make you feel right at home. From photos of dead people to horror film memorabilia, skulls and crossbones, and a steady immersion of red light, you’ll be surrounded by the perfect atmosphere for mischievous fun.

When it comes to the menu, you’ll find that it’s mostly vegan, but fear not! You can still order a real beef cheeseburger if you want to indulge in some carnivorous delights.

So whether you’re a horror aficionado, a lover of all things goth, or just looking for a unique and immersive experience with pinball machines & pool tables, The Crypt is the place to be. Get ready for a night of mischievous nerdery and thrilling escapades that will keep you coming back for more. Don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure and your appetite for the eerie!

32. Tatsu Izakaya

Calling all anime fans and foodies alike! Tatsu Izakaya in Denver is a must-visit spot for a unique dining experience.

As soon as you step inside, you’ll be transported to a classy Japanese bistro with cute anime accents. The menu itself is a treat, with a playful reference to Naruto’s “Ninja Way” and many anime series themed food options.

But it’s not just the ambiance that’s impressive, the food is a delight for the taste buds too! From fresh sushi and flavorful ramen to crispy katsu and smooth sake, Tatsu Izakaya has something for every palate. And don’t forget to try their boba, the perfect sweet and chewy treat to complete your meal.

So, whether you’re a die-hard anime fan or simply looking for a fun and delicious dining experience, Tatsu Izakaya is the place to be in Denver. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will make your taste buds and inner otaku jump for joy!

33. Happy Camper Pizza

In our humble opinion, there’s nowhere in the entire universe that can beat the unbeatable combination of pizza, booze, vibes, and happiness that you’ll find at Happy Camper Pizza.

Between the dining room decked out with trailers, and the creative abundance of lights, disco balls, firepits, and neon lights there is more than enough summer camp ambiance to pull out a guitar and sing some songs around the campfire.

And let’s not forget about the menu, where you can take your pick from delicious options like meat’za, veggie’za, and a large s’mores platter. So pull up a patio chair or bathtub bench, grab your friends, and enjoy an bear-free evening of good food and brews.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Drink in Denver?

34. The Tabletop Tap

Welcome to The Tabletop Tap, where the fun never ends and the beer is always flowing. Get ready to indulge in a gaming paradise like no other!

With 200 board games to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you’re a fan of classics like Monopoly or Parcheesi, or prefer something more modern like Love Letter, Ticket to Ride, or Terraforming Mars, they’ve got something for everyone. And if video games are more your style, why not challenge your friends to a game of Pac-Man, Galaga, or the infamous Frogger?

The Tabletop Tap believes that the best way to unwind is with a pint of beer and a good game. Grab your friends, grab a brew, and settle in for a night of friendly competition and laughter. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the world of tabletop games, you’re sure to have a blast in the cozy and welcoming taphouse.

So gather your crew, pick your games, and let the good times roll at The Tabletop Tap. Cheers to a night of fun, laughter, and epic gaming adventures!

35. Grandma’s House Brewery & Beer

If its been a while since you had a batch of fresh baked cookies and a beer, then its time to a visit to Grandma’s House Brewery. The best place to celebrate all things “craft”.

Step into their charming taproom at the heart of Denver’s historic Antique Row neighborhood, and you’ll feel right at home. With a large outdoor patio, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a cold brew and soak in the Colorado sunshine. But it’s not all about the beer! They love hosting events and artists to bring the community together. From regular bingo nights to partnering with other craft-related businesses for special events, there’s always something happening at Grandma’s House.

So come on down to Grandma’s House Brewery, where good beer, good company, and good times await. Cheers to honoring the craft and making memories that would make grandma proud!

36. The 1UP Arcade Bar

If you’re all about that pinball life and old school arcade games, then you’ve got to check out 1 Up Arcade bar in Denver. This place is a treasure trove of retro goodness, with walls lined with games from the 1970s all the way up to the 2000s.

And the selection of pinball machines? It’s out of this world! You’ll be in nostalgia heaven as you flip and tilt your way through classic games. Plus, there’s even skeeball for some extra fun.

And of course, you can’t forget the ice-cold domestic beers to quench your thirst while you rack up high scores. This place is a must-visit if you’re all about that good ol’ fashioned fun and a trip down memory lane. Game on!

37. Fiction Beer Company

Visit the place where the magic of literature and the art of brewing come together in a quirky and imaginative way. The craft beer recipes are like chapters in a story, each with its own unique flavors, aromas, and textures that are inspired by classic favorite works of fiction. And with medals awarded from The Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup, you know that we aren’t the only ones who really like their beer.

As you step into Fiction Beer Company’s taproom and brewery, you’ll be greeted by a bar made of books and tables carved with quotes that are sure to tickle your literary fancy. Each beer is a real page turner!

So, whether you’re a book lover, a beer aficionado, or just looking for a fun and unique experience, Fiction Beer Company is the place to be. Cheers to a brew-tiful story!

38. Akihabara Arcade & Bar

Akihabara Arcade and Bar is an epic arcade bar extravaganza, with a plethora of game options that will make your head spin. When you step inside, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a little slice of Japan with the vibrant anime-inspired decor. From fighters to side sliders and racing to rhythm & dance games, they’ve got it all!

And let’s not forget about the drinks! The menu is packed with creatively themed alcoholic beverages that will transport you straight to video game nirvana. Sip on a Pacman cocktail, revive with a phoenix down shot, or channel your inner royal with a Princess Peach cocktail, and so much more!

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Shop?

39. The Wizard’s Chest

Looking for a magical adventure? Look no further than The Wizard’s Chest in Denver! This family-owned store has been enchanting visitors since 1983, drawing inspiration from the fantastical worlds of popular fiction books (think Middle Earth, Harry Potter, etc). With 16,000 square feet of whimsical delights, including costumes, toys, games, and more, you can easily pass a few hours in this truly magical place.

40. Tattered Cover Book Shop

Check out the largest independent bookstore in the state! With eight locations in and around Denver, including a new one in downtown Colorado Springs, Tattered Cover is a community hub where book lovers can gather, connect, and make memories.

Host to over 500 author and community events each year, Tattered Cover offers a diverse selection of new and used books, magazines, apparel, and unique gift items. Owned by local Denverites who see it as more than just a bookstore, Tattered Cover is a place where everyone feels at home. So put down your devices and step into a world of literary wonder at Tattered Cover Bookstore!


Now you know – Denver isn’t just for quality cannabis and beer lovers, although it isn’t bad to enjoy those things either! Denver is a place for white knucklers, retro gaming lovers, and fans of all types. Bring yourself and leave with a little more.

64 Surprisingly Nerdy Things to do Now in New York City (NYC)

Nerds unite! The mecca of technology, fandoms, and gadgetry is calling, and it’s none other than New York City.

Pack your pocket protectors, grab your favorite nerd shirt, and let’s hit the road to the Big Apple with our top 63 nerdy things list. This guide is designed for the nerdy and the nerdy at heart.

All activities are within two hours from the city proper:

Interest-Based Nerdy Travel Experiences

Standard Travel Needs – Nerdy Style

About The Author

Hi, I’m Kate.

I started planning unique travel experiences way back in 2008.

And I quickly realized that quirky, nerdy experiences were going to be a big part of my travel planning success.

So I set out to explore as much as I could.

And thanks to years of reading and experimenting, I’ve had a ton of success with travel planning…

…including the top 3 performing nerdy guides on this site:

  1. Nerdy Experiences in Washington DC
  2. Ultimate Guide for Nerdy Travel Accessories
  3. Best Nerdy Spots in San Diego

Check out these ideas in NYC and you could have an awesome trip planned within the next 20 minutes.

What are the Top Nerdy Experiences Unique to NYC?

1. Best Nerdy Secret Society: The Secret Science Club

Welcome to the Secret Science Club in New York City, where the coolest minds in science come together to share new ideas and a few booze! Whether you’re a science geek, a curious cat, or just looking for a fun night out, you’ll be entertained and amazed by what you see and learn at this exciting club.

From social psychologists to environmental scientists, this not so secret “club” hosts some of the brightest minds on invigorating topics. Each month you’ll hear tales of alien life on other planets, learn about the latest technological innovations, and even witness experiments that will make your hair stand on end (in the best possible way). The best part is that its all free!

So grab your lab coat, grab a “beaker” of your favorite beverage, and come on down to the Secret Science Club. We guarantee that you’ll have a blast!

2. Best Immersive Nerd Shopping: World Headquarters Flagship Stores

If you’re a nerd and want to indulge in your favorite fandoms, shopping at specialty stores is like entering a magical realm where you can level up your nerd game and collect all the loot you’ve been dreaming of.

Harry Potter World Store

Nintendo Store

The Lego Store 5th Ave

Disney Flagship Store

Google Store

Apple Store 5th Ave

Petco Pet Kitchen

Hershey’s Chocolate World

American Girl Doll Store

3. Best Place to Feel like a Spy or Superhero: SPYSCAPE

Spyscape is a secret agent themed museum that offers an immersive experience for adventure seekers and thrill-lovers that will transport you into the world of espionage. It’s the perfect place to bring out your inner secret agent.

The museum features a spy gadget room, a virtual reality room, a cyber-espionage room, impressive museum gift shop, and much more! Throughout these rooms you’ll have the chance to participate in challenges and activities designed to test your spy skills, such as solving puzzles, cracking codes, and completing secret missions.

Additionally, the Batman experience allows visitors to test their detective skills in immersive spaces and communicate with iconic DC characters via an interactive mobile app. Its a great dive into the action of Gotham city, but make sure you watch out for the Riddler!

4. Best Museum-Like Shopping Experience: The Evolution Store

Welcome to The Evolution Store, where science and nature come to life in unexpected ways! This quirky shop is like a mini-Natural History Museum, complete with taxidermy animals, framed butterflies, and small animal skulls. You can even find custom jewelry made from real specimens! The pricing is decent, but be warned – things can get expensive fast. But hey, where else can you find a giant beetle magnet for your fridge or a dinosaur tooth for your desk?

5. Best Nerdy Spot to Read: The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library is a hidden gem that book lovers absolutely must visit. As soon as you step inside, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a scene from Harry Potter. Although you can’t take the books home, you can definitely take your memories!

The book room is a dimly-lit space that houses a rare collection of literature and historical artifacts that will transport you to another time. As you exit, make sure to look up at the beautiful domed ceiling covered in paintings that rival those found in Italian cathedrals. Take the glass elevator to the upper levels for an aerial view of the main floor and the charming cafe.

And don’t miss the section of the museum on the upper floor where you can learn about JP Morgan and the design process of the building. If the weather is nice, take a stroll in the modest yet enjoyable outdoor garden.

Recommended: Ultimate List of Harry Potter Travel Accessories

6. Best Nerdy Events Calendar: Nerd York City

Nerd York City is a comprehensive event resource for all things geek in NYC. Find like-minded individuals and connect with the local geek community at one of the many events. From comic book conventions and gaming tournaments, to book signings and fandom bar trivia, the calendar is always updated with the latest events and information!

Recommended: Where to Meet The Best Nerdy Guys Right Now

7. Best Nerdy Toy Store: Forbidden Planet

If you’re in the Big Apple and looking for a place to geek out, then Forbidden Planet should be at the top of your list.

This long-time local gem is a mecca for fans of all things pop culture, from comics and anime to Star Wars and horror. It’s like a treasure trove of awesomeness, with shelves upon shelves of rare collectibles and must-have merchandise. And if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, don’t worry – the staff here are all experts in their field and can guide you to your perfect purchase.

And don’t forget to check out the Terminator skeleton in the window – it’s a must-see!

8. Best Horror Experience: Flying Fox Tavern

A ghostly wind blows corn stalks in the moonlit field. Something shuffles deliberately in the darkness. And you feel a bead of sweat drip down your forehead. Nope, it’s not just your imagination. Something is stalking on your screen, primed to to kill your extra spending money: The Flying Fox Tavern in Queens, NYC.

Enjoy the chill of Halloween all year long at this frighteningly solitary bar and restaurant known for its classic horror film decor. With trendy neon bats dangling above the geometric coffin-printed wallpaper and a cocktail menu full of eery items like The Count, Vampira, and Nandor, you are bound to have a skull-crushingly good time!

9. Most Unusual Museum: The Museum of Interesting Things

Step right up, folks, and behold the wonders of the Museum of Interesting Things! This place is chock-full of quirky antiques and vintage curiosities that will take you on a journey through time.

You’ll find yourself transported to eras gone by, with exhibits ranging from typewriters to gramophones to medical devices that look like they belong in a mad scientist’s laboratory. The museum’s founder and curator, Denny Daniel, is like a real-life Willy Wonka, eager to share his knowledge and passion for these fascinating relics with anyone who’s willing to listen.

Whether you’re a history buff or just love weird and wacky things, the Museum of Interesting Things is a must-see destination in the Big Apple. Just remember, you’ll need to make an appointment to visit, but trust us, it’s well worth the effort.

What are the Best Nerdy Local Cultural Experiences?

10. Essential New York Museums

What does an inquisitive traveler do when the husky NYC storms blow? Take a step indoors to explore one (or many) of the incredible cultural museums – of course!

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art – This world-renowned art museum houses over 2 million works of art. From ancient civilizations to contemporary art, the museum offers a diverse collection of works from all over the world. The stunning architecture and grand halls provide the perfect backdrop for an awe-inspiring collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and more. With a constantly evolving collection, there is always something new to discover.
  • MOMA The Museum of Modern Art, also known as MoMA, has a vast collection of modern and contemporary art that is a “must-see” for art lovers and enthusiasts alike. The MoMA’s collection includes works from famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Salvador Dalí, as well as a large collection of modernist architecture, photography, and design.
  • The Intrepid – This former aircraft carrier has been transformed into a museum, showcasing the history of military aviation, naval and maritime history, and the space program. Visitors can explore the ship’s many exhibits, including aircraft and spacecraft, as well as interactive displays and historical artifacts. The Intrepid also features a state-of-the-art planetarium and a submarine, which visitors can tour. With its impressive collection and educational value, the Intrepid is a great place for families, students, and anyone interested in history, technology, and military history.
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – With its iconic spiral architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim Museum is a masterpiece in and of itself. The museum’s collection features works by some of the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Jackson Pollock.
  • American Museum of Natural History – This iconic museum houses one of the largest collections of specimens and artifacts in the world, including over 33 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and more. With its world-class exhibitions and cutting-edge research, the museum provides visitors with a unique and educational experience. From the Hall of Biodiversity, which showcases the diversity of life on Earth, to the Rose Center for Earth and Space, which explores the mysteries of the universe, the American Museum of Natural History offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a student, a scientist, or just a curious traveler, this museum is a true gem in the heart of New York City.

11. 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is an essential stop for those who want to honor the memory of the brave individuals who lost their lives on that tragic day in 2001. The location is gorgeous, quiet, and clean, making it a great spot to reflect & meditate.

Take the guided tour and be ready to immerse yourself in the history of what happened, with visuals, presentations, and survivor interviews that will leave a lasting impact. You’ll also see personal effects and other items that deserve respect, and voice recordings of people saying their last goodbyes. The whole experience is emotional and informative.

It truly feels like you’re reliving the event.

12. Full Day “Must See” Tour of NYC

On this extensive, one-of-a-kind tour, take in all the attractions of New York City. By walking, taking the subway, and using the Staten Island ferry.

You will experience the Big Apple like a native New Yorker!

The tour will include essential famous New York sites like Times Square, the Broadway theater district, Grand Central Terminal, the Brooklyn Bridge, One World Observatory, the Statue of Liberty, and many more!

13. Ghostbusters HQ

Address: 14 N. Moore St, New York, NY 10013

The old Tribeca firehouse known as Hook and Ladder 8 served as “Ghostbusters” headquarters in the 1984 film and its several animated series and video game sequels.

Today the fire station is fully operational and firefighters distinguish themselves with an x-ed-out ghost logo on their badge. If you visit at a less busy time the firefighters will be happy to give you a little tour of the interior and some artifacts within the building.

Fun Fact: Ghostbusters isn’t the only place fans have seen Hook & Ladder 8. In 1995 a Seinfeld episode titled “The Secret Code” also featured the exterior of the station.

14. Chinatown Fair

Chinatown Fair in New York City is the best place for a fun and funky gaming experience!

With its bright lights and loud sounds, Chinatown Fair is sure to transport you back to your childhood. From skeeball to Pac-Man and tons of old-school video games, there’s something for everyone. So whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just looking for a fun activity, head on over to Chinatown Fair for a good time you won’t soon forget!

15. Society of Illustrators

The Society of Illustrators is a legendary institution that celebrates the world of illustration and its impact on culture and society. It has a rich history of showcasing some of the most talented artists in the field and providing a platform for creative expression.

The Cartoon Exhibit is a must-visit for all fans of the genre, featuring a diverse collection of cartoons and comic art that will have you laughing and ‘marvel’-ing at the imagination displayed on each colorful strip. The entire basement floor showcases classic favorites to modern masterpieces. Plus visitors learn about the involved process of publishing a strip for large audiences.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just looking to be entertained and inspired, the Cartoon Exhibit is sure to be a fun and lighthearted experience that you won’t soon forget.

What are the Best Nerdy Theater, Film & Shows?

16. Angelika Film Center

The Angelika Film Center is a movie-lover’s paradise. Whether you’re in the mood for a thought-provoking documentary or a quirky indie comedy, you will enjoy the revolving line-up of independent, arthouse, and foreign films shown in state-of-the-art screening rooms.

Additionally, the center boasts a cozy cafe area, serving a menu full of locally sourced gourmet foods, pastries, craft beer and wine. Enjoy the taste of NYC from the comfort of your plush seat as you escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to immerse yourself in some truly unforgettable cinema.

17. Broadway Up Close

Broadway is the long-held favorite for musicals and theater in New York City. And Broadway Up Close makes the magic of the theater truly come to life!

The company offers a variety of tours guided by a talented group of working actors and stage managers who are passionate storytellers.

Discover the distinction between a Broadway theater and an Off-Broadway theater, learn how a show is produced from early auditions to opening night, catch a few ghost stories, and much more! Each guide will bring a unique and authentic perspective to the tour by sharing personal anecdotes and stories from their careers to give visitors an up-close look at behind-the-scenes Broadway.

Whether you’re fellow thesbian or an audience enthusiast, Broadway Up Close will take you on an engaging and informative journey that is sure to “break the fourth wall”.

18. Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image is a movie-lover & pop culture enthusiast dream come true!

The museum is known for giving guests an impressively in-depth view of the film industry’s inner workings. With its vast collection of movie props, costumes, memorabilia, and immersive experiences, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into the silver screen.

Whether you’re a fan of classic Hollywood or the latest blockbuster, the Museum of the Moving Image will have something for you! Exhibits rotate through various themes such as Jim Hansen’s Muppets, Star Wars, and The Walking Dead, so you should check the calendar & event schedule before you go.

Additionally, the museum regularly hosts screenings of classic, independent, and international film exhibited in a sleek, modern theater.

19. Caveat

Caveat is a science nerd’s paradise! Whether you’re into science comedy, biology story-telling nights, or philosophical happy hours, this stylish cabaret underground venue has got you covered.

The shows here are top-notch and will have you laughing and learning at the same time. Even if you’re not a science geek, the programming is so diverse that there’s bound to be something for everyone.

And did we mention the popcorn flavoring bar? It’s pretty cool and definitely worth checking out. So grab some friends, family, or a first date and head to Caveat for a night of intellectual fun!

20. Fireside Mystery Theater

The Fireside Mystery Theater is a unique and entertainment experience that combines elements of old-time radio with a modern and macabre twist.

The theater stages live events once a month at The Slipper Room in NYC, for a fully immersive audience experience. Become part of the storytelling at the live performance featuring a full cast, an improvised score, sound effects, and musical acts to complement the twisted original audio drama variety show.

Before visiting – check out the podcast here!

What are the Best Nerdy Books, Board Games & Comics?

21. Strand Books

Strand Books is the ultimate destination for book lovers and nerd aficionados alike. With its massive multi-floor collection of books on every subject under the sun, it’s the perfect place to lose yourself in a world of knowledge and discovery.

If you’re looking for nerdy subject matter such as science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, or classic literature, you’ll be sure to find something that ignites your passion!

22. The Compleat Strategist

If you’re looking to unleash your inner board game geek, head on over to the Compleat Strategist – one of the highest rated board game shops in the NYC. With hundreds of games in stock, whether you’re looking to discover new games, or just geek out with fellow enthusiasts, you’re sure to have a blast.

Get ready to roll some dice, buy some nerdy goodies, and have some serious fun!

23. The Grolier Club

If you love books and spending time in book-ish places, stop by the Grolier Club. Not only is it a quiet, lovely place to turn a few pages, but also its a mini literature museum with rotating exhibits about noteworthy publications. Over the years exhibits have ranged from Walt Whitman and Sherlock Holmes to “animated” advertising.

Its free to the public, but daytime hours are limited so check operating hours in advance!

24. Hex & Co

Beers, bites, and board games galore! For as little as $10 you will have access to a massive board game selection (as the shop boasts the largest board game collection in NYC) for as long as you want to play.

There is plenty of space to sit and play with your friends or even make some new ones!

For those who appreciate more serious table top games, stop by for Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering groups that meet weekly. See the website for specific times.

25. The Uncommons

As “Manhatten’s First Board Game Cafe“, The Uncommons knows a thing or two about quality board gaming experiences. If the seasonal rotating snack menu doesn’t entice you to stay, the massive collection of games and friendly staff definitely will. Hunker down with some friends and a few new games or snuggle in with a familiar one… no matter what game you choose you’re in for a lot of fun!

What are the Best Nerdy Nature Experiences?

26. Hidden Tropical Rainforest

It’s time to break away from your usual geeky hideouts and embark on an adventure to a hidden gem of New York City – the Ford Foundation’s Hidden Tropical Rainforest!

In the bustling city of skyscrapers and concrete jungles, there lies a secret oasis, where the atrium is thick with clean air and the ambiance serene. Give yourself a little “botany break” to relax in this little slice of heaven.

27. Movie Filming Locations

New York is home to the filming locations for a ton of amazing movies and TV shows. If you’re a movie fan, then you’ll definitely want to check out these awesome sites. From superhero blockbusters to heartwarming romantic comedies, there’s something for every type of nerd on this list.

Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to geek out in the city that works! Just don’t forget to bring your superhero cape (you know, for extra authenticity).

28. Croton Water Dam

What did the fish say before he hit the wall? — “Oh, dam.”

Get ready to be awed by the sheer power of the great outdoors and man’s ability to harness nature’s might! Pack a picnic, bring your camera, and make a day trip to the New Croton Dam… a must-visit destination for anyone who loves adventure and outdoor fun.

What are the Best Nerdy Rides, Escape Rooms & Virtual Experiences?

29. Beat the Bomb

Attention all thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts! Are you looking for a pulse-pounding experience in the heart of New York City? Look no further than “Beat the Bomb,” one of the hottest escape rooms in town!

The most popular “missions” require groups of four to six people to use their strength and mental ability to disarm either a paint or foam “bomb” within a given period of time. You will wear protective hazmat gear and move through five high-tech gaming rooms including a lazer maze, echo chamber, sequencer, and more.

The paint bomb mission has had over 200,000 players to date…are you next?

30. Great Wolf Lodge

Escape the winter blues by splashing and sliding down the wildest water slides, floating down a lazy river, or lounging in the hot tub with your pack.

Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park resort is a giant playground for grown-ups and kids alike, with a wide range of activities that will make you howl with joy.

When you’re not making a splash, you can join in on the fun at the arcade, swing on the ropes course, or have a blast at the mini-golf course. And at the end of the day, curl up in one of their cozy rooms to let the wolf in you have a little rest.

31. Modern Pinball NYC

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of battling against gravity, using only your skill and a little bit of luck to rack up those high pinball scores.

Modern Pinball is long-time local haunt is the perfect blend of old-school arcade fun with a touch of modern technology eduction. Throughout the game house there are informational cards to educate players about the history of pinball and an “Interactive Pinball Exhibit” that shows the inner workings of a real machine.

32. Escape the Room

Escape the Room – it’s not just a game, it’s an adventure! And in NYC, the adventures are bigger and better.

You have 60 minutes to escape one of seven uniquely themed rooms (Jurassic Escape, Meltdown, The Dig, The Clock Tower, The Submarine, The Office, and The Home). Every room has a unique theme, plot, set of riddles, and escape route.

Sorry we can’t say more, but the staff is very tight lipped about their rooms and even tighter lipped about how to get out of them!

33. American Dream: Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park

If you’re looking for a new adventure that’s guaranteed to satisfy your inner childhood nerd-tastic tendencies, then get ready to jump into Bikini Bottom with SpongeBob and his friends, and fight against Shredder and the Foot Clan with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

At American Dream: Nickelodeon Universe Theme park you’ll be able to relive your favorite TV moments and enjoy your favorite characters, all while getting your heart racing on some of the most epic rides and attractions. Here are a few you will dig:

  • Aang’s Air Gliders (Avatar The Last Air Bender)
  • Kraang Prime Panedmonium! (TMNT)
  • Sandy’s Blasting Bronco (Spongebob)
  • The Shellraiser (TMNT)
  • The Shredder (TMNT)
  • Timmy’s Half Pipe Havoc (Fairly Odd Parents)

From thrilling rides to immersive experiences, the Nickelodeon Universe is a smorgasbord of fun for the whole family.

34. Escape Virtuality

Are you ready to put your gaming and problem-solving skills to the test? This VR Escape room is the ultimate nerd adventure. Immerse yourself in a virtual world filled with puzzles and riddles while you become the hero in your own story by escaping a Pharoh’s tomb or a creepy dissection ward.

With VR technology, the possibilities are endless and the experience is unlike anything you’ve ever encountered before. And let’s not forget the added bonus of being able to team up with your friends, fellow nerdy cohorts, or even strangers to take on these escape room challenges together.

So, gather your nerdy people and prepare to have your minds blown at a VR escape room. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

35. Exit Escape Room

Exit Escape Room is a cutting-edge, high-tech escape room with intense 60 minute scenarios. Designed by hi-tech & interior design professionals, this escape room zone provides three thrilling, engaging, and interactive escape room games. The most popular, High Speed NYC, requires players to escape from a speeding subway train to save their group and has been highly rated by many escape room reviewers. It’s urgent, challenging, and remarkably similar to the real trains you’ll ride throughout NYC.

What are the Best Festivals, Conventions, and Live Events in NYC?

36. Genre Events Geek Database

If you’re ready to venture out into the city to make some fellow geeky friends or broaden your knowledge on a particular topic, then the Genre Events Geek Database is for you!

This calendar is jam-packed with geeky goodness and is perfect for those who love all things nerdy. From comic book conventions and film festivals to gaming tournaments and expos, this calendar has got you covered. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to trade in your calculators for cosplay gear and join the nerd herd in exploring the city’s coolest events.

37. New York Comic Con

“Welcome home, hero. This is your event. Where you can feel unafraid to geek out. Where you’re accepted and embraced for being yourself, regardless of your cultural background, physical ability, personal identity, or self-expression. Where you can experience the best in pop culture because no matter what fandom you’re passionate about, we have it waiting here for you. Be inspired by award-winning comic artists and Japanese anime creators. Get star struck over your favorite TV and film idols. Treat yourself to exclusive fandom gear and unique artwork. But most importantly, create all of those memories with the people you care about the most. Because this event is for you. To embrace your inner hero or root for the villain. To geek out as a family. To celebrate a weekend together you’ll never forget.”

– NYCC Website

38. The Bell House

If you’re tired of the same old bar scene and looking for something a little more nerdy… Look no further, my friend, because the Bell House is the place to be!

From comedy history nights and slam poetry to live podcasts and retro dances, there’s always something nerdy happening at the Bell House. Trust us, this is one nerd hangout you won’t want to miss!

What are the Best Nerdy Tours & Classes?

39. The Drunken Laboratory

Are you ready to put your creative science skills to the test while saving the city? Then the Drunken Laboratory in NYC is the adventure for you.

This intimate, immersive experience lets you take on the identity of a scientist and get your hands dirty with some exciting experiments. The goal is to work with your team to execute each experiment with accuracy and creativity, all while sampling some delicious amalgamated drinks.

So grab your lab coat, round up your smartest friends, and head to the Drunken Laboratory for a night of nerdy fun. You won’t want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind science and sip experience!

40. Superhero Bus Tour

Grab your cape and wind up your lasso because you’re about to embark on a journey of epic proportions!

This tour takes you on a wild ride through the city, visiting all the iconic locations from your favorite superhero movies and TV shows. From the Daily Planet building to intergalactic battle sites, this tour is a nerd’s dream come true.

And with a “sidekick” local guide full of superhero knowledge, you’re sure to leave the tour with a new appreciation for all the things our trusty heroes do. Don’t wait for the next inter-dimensional catastrophe to save the day – book your super hero bus tour today!

41. Brooklyn Brainery

Since 2010, the Brooklyn Brainery has been offering an eclectic selection of classes for on a wide range of topics including Opera 101, Australian desserts, HTML, food garnishing, and pretty much everything in between.

The teachers come up with their own course topics and Brooklyn Brainery coordinates the scheduling, sign-ups, promotion, and materials. Classes can be in-person or online and typically last one to four weeks. They include all materials and teaching fees so you just need to show up with curiosity in your heart and a smile on your face.

42. Holographic Tours

If you’re into all things sci-fi, tech and virtual reality, then Holographic Studios is a must-see place for you! You’ll be able to see holograms come to life right before your very eyes and walk through a virtual world that’ll make you feel like you’re playing holochess with Chewbacca.

Your tour guide, “Doctor Laser”, will enthrall you with the amazing holographic feats, debunk the myths surrounding holography, and teach you the science behind the art. ​Additionally, you will tour the green photographic safely lit, subterranean laser laboratory where holograms are created. Here are a few things you will see:

  • Images that jump right out of the hologram and the world’s largest collection of motion image holograms
  • Celebrity portraits including Andy Warhol, Phyllis Diller, Isaac Asimov among others.
  • Holographic sculptures from Russian museums that look so real you will swear they are not holograms.
  • Cylindrical holograms with fully moving images that are visible from all sides.
  • Multi-channel holograms that change from one image to another as you walk past them.
  • Hologram stickers and novelties.

It is highly recommended that you reserve a spot at least two days in advance for a tour.

43. Hack Manhattan

Whether you have an interest in electronics or gardening, textiles or 3D printing, Hack Manhattan is the place to come, work, and be a part of the community. There are many interesting tools and machines available for makers, and if you need something that they don’t have there is a good chance they will make it for you!

  • 3D printers
  • 3-axis mill
  • Router table
  • Soldering stations
  • Sewing machines + Sergers, plus free fabrics and threads
  • Homebrewing equipment for making beer
  • Bench grinder
  • Hand tools for wood and metalworking
  • Infrared soldering station
  • Bandsaw
  • Mitre saw
  • Track saw

Although, this collective requires membership fees for regular use, they host a range of courses, classes, and events in addition to free, monthly Open House nights. Shakespeare readings and Fixer’s Collective repair sessions are the two primary recurring events.

44. Food Tours!

If you’re the type to fantasize about eating at places like Monk’s Cafe and Good Burger, we recommend exploring New York’s delicious, vibrant, and innovative culinary scene on one (or both!) of two highly popular food tours:

New York City Bagel Tour

Experience bagels like never before as you eat your way through three of the city’s top bagel shops. Learn the origins of this traditional NYC dish as you sample authentic, kettle-boiled bagels, the finest cream cheese, and a creative Montreal-New York hybrid bagel.

All food is included in the tour price and be prepared to sample many unique bagel toppings.

NY Mafia Themed Food Tour

Get a behind-the-scenes look at notorious historic Mafia crime families as you tour the gangland district of New York’s East Village and Little Italy. Your guide, a retired NYPD police officer, will enthrall you with tales of ruthless behavior, secretive dealings, and astounding real-life occurrences. All while enjoying two delicious sit-down tasting meals.

Chinatown & Little Italy Food Fest!

On this guided food tour, chow into the flavors and traditions of two of New York City’s best gastronomic areas: Chinatown and Little Italy. Discover “locals only” places to sample homemade mozzarella and fresh fried dim sum. Come hungry, skip the lines, and leave happy!

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Stay?

45. Library Hotel & Bar

Just like the roughly 6,000 books in the Library Hotel’s collection, the floors and rooms are arranged using the Dewey Decimal Classification® system. Each of the 10 levels pays homage to one of the Dewey Decimal categories, and each of the 60 rooms is individually decorated according to the theme of the level. With between 50 and 150 books and pieces of art in each room that explore the subject of the room, you will want to carve out some time to stay in and cuddle up with a few good reads.

Floor themes include the following (with a few of the room themes listed for fun!):

  • Social Sciences (Law, Money, World Culture)
  • Literature (Mystery, Fairy Tales)
  • Languages (Ancient Language, Asian Language)
  • History (Biography, Ancient History)
  • Math & Science (Astronomy, Dinosaurs, Botany)
  • General Knowledge (Journalism, Museum, New Media)
  • Technology (Computers Medicine, Manufacturing)
  • Philosophy (Love, Paranormal, Psychology)
  • The Arts (Fashion Design, Music, Photography)
  • Religion (Mythology, Native American Religion)

Additionally, the hotel has a 24 hour library reading room stalked with an Italian espresso machine, fruit, health bars, snacks, soft drinks, and of course many books.

46. Chelsea Pines Inn

Recommended: How to Decorate a Hotel Room for a Birthday

Discover this tranquil, boutique haven with a stunning private garden right in the middle of Chelsea, New York City. This walk-up hotel, which was first constructed as a private residence, has managed to retain a quaintness and intimacy that is difficult to find in Manhattan.

Posters of Hollywood’s Golden Age luminaries adorn each distinctive guest room – Do you like Singing in the Rain or Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Or maybe you’re more into obscure oldies such as The Mating Game or Rally Round the Flag Boys? Either way, the perfect room exists for you at Chelsea Pines Inn.

In addition to free local calls and Wi-Fi, amenities include luxury Gilchrist & Soames toiletries and free breakfast each morning. Don’t forget, the guest lounge is open whenever you want a cup of coffee and something sweet!

47. The Roxy Hotel New York

The Roxy Hotel New York and the area around it has long been a center of creativity in New York City. This central hub for music, cinema, dance, and art was formerly known as the historic Tribeca Grand Hotel and rebranded in 2015 to be The Roxy Hotel.

Today, visitors can enjoy the magnificent 1920s movie theater, iconic ’90s dance club, and luxury modern, art deco fusion themed rooms. The hotel continues to be the trailblazer it was intended to be with in-house establishments including Paul’s Cocktail Lounge, Roxy Bar, The Django jazz club, Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee, and Roxy Cinema New York.

If you choose to stay the night, you will enjoy luxury amenities such as a TEAC turntable and a collection of carefully selected vinyl albums, a Marshall speaker, a Samsung smart TV with streaming capabilities, Tivoli clock radio with bluetooth, 100% Egyptian cotton linens and a fully stocked Smeg refrigerator with a gourmet minibar.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Eat in NYC?

48. Ellen’s Stardust Diner

If you’re looking for a restaurant that offers both good food and good entertainment, Ellen’s Stardust Diner is the place to be. It’s a ’50s-themed diner that serves classic American dishes, but what really sets it apart are the singing servers.

These talented performers belt out show tunes as they take your order and deliver your food, hoping to get noticed and land a spot on Broadway. The atmosphere is lively and fun, with a line that can stretch around the block just to get a seat. The waiters don’t just sing at the front of the restaurant either, they’ll roam around and engage with the diners, making for a truly interactive experience.

The food is decent, but the real highlight is the entertainment, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in NYC.

49. Sea Witch



Ahoy there! If you’re looking for a place to set anchor and enjoy some delicious comfort food and drinks, then the Sea Witch bar and restaurant is the perfect spot for you! With a façade that resembles a boat’s stern, you’ll feel like you’re already at sea as soon as you approach.

Inside, you can order a variety of scrumptious dishes, like oysters and fried clams, at the window and then wait for your food at the bar, which is adorned with welded anchor chain barstools and a lively atmosphere. And don’t forget to check out the décor – from a mermaid mural to a skeleton of a shark’s jaw, there’s plenty to keep your eyes entertained.

If you’re lucky enough to snag a seat outside, you’ll be surrounded by fishponds, flagstones, and a peaceful ambience. And with music from classic bands like Van Halen & the New York Dolls and drinks like their famous Old-Fashioned cocktail, it’s no wonder the Sea Witch is always packed with people having a great time!

50. Captain Cookie & the Milk Man

Indulge in your love for cookies surrounded by like-minded, superhero-loving fans. Whether you want to pick up or delivery to your doorstep, Captain Cookie will save the day with freshly baked cookies prepared from scratch, dairy products from regional creameries, and made-to-order ice cream sandwiches.

If you’re not in the mood for a cookie, try out their edible cookie dough, ice cream, milkshakes, or floats.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Drink in NYC?

51. The Cauldron Co. & Wizard Exploratorium

The Cauldron Co. & Wizard Exploratorium is the most magical place in NYC!

Located in the heart of the city, this cozy wizarding potions bar is the perfect spot to cast a spell or two over a cold pint and design the love elixir of your dreams. Be transported into a magical world where you can choose to take a potions making class, explore a townhouse full of magic, enjoy an enchanted afternoon tea, grab a spellbinding snack, or attend a fun event.

The atmosphere is enchanting, with flickering candles and bubbling cauldrons scattered throughout the space and the staff is incredible.

Gather your friends, grab your wands, and head on over to The Cauldron for a night of magic and merriment!

Recommended: Ultimate List of Harry Potter Travel Accessories

52. KGB Bar

If you’re in the mood for a taste of the Soviet era without having to jump on a time machine, look no further than KGB Bar. This cozy little spot boasts a variety of fine spirits and beers, along with some seriously cool artifacts from the good ol’ USSR.

But it’s not just the decor that’s a blast from the past – the bar regularly hosts readings and publication parties, transporting you to a world of literature that could only come from the likes of Dostoevsky or Solzhenitsyn. But if you’re lucky, you might even catch some excellent live music to round out the experience.

Who needs a DeLorean when you’ve got KGB Bar?

53. Alice’s Tea Cup

Welcome to Alice’s Tea Cup, the most whimsical and fantastical teahouse in all of NYC! This charming little spot promises an unforgettable experience for all who enter.

The tea selection is positively massive, and every order comes with a cute matching cup, saucer, and kettle. But that’s not even the best part – the scones are out of this world! Complete with delicious jam and clotted cream.

And if you’re celebrating a special occasion or have little ones in tow, the fairy dust treatment is a must-try. So come on down to Alice’s Tea Cup, where the tea is hot and the vibes are magical. Have a Tea-riffic day!

54. Barcelona Bar

Looking for a bar that’s equal parts sultry, quirky, and just plain fun? Look no further than Barcelona Bar in NYC! With over 100 themed shots on offer, each with funky names, this narrow dive bar is a unique experience you won’t soon forget.

When you order a themed shot, the real fun begins! The bartender will dress you up in a costume, play the appropriate music, and launch into a full-on skit inspired by the movie or TV show the shot is named after. Aviator sunglasses for Top Gun, Indiana Jones hats, ancient goblets for Return of the King – the accessories are just as much a part of the experience as the shots themselves. And with surprises in store for most of the shots, you never know what kind of antics the bartender will get up to while you’re knocking back your drink.

Whether you’re on a fun date or out with a rowdy group, Barcelona Bar is the perfect spot for a night of themed, boozy hilarity.

55. Apotheke Mixology

If you’re looking for a bar that’s equal parts chic, cozy, and mysterious, Apotheke in NYC is the spot for you. This speakeasy-style bar is so well hidden, you might think it’s tough to find, but trust us – it’s worth the search.

The decor is straight out of a French boudoir, complete with blush banquettes, leather armchairs, and beautiful tile work. And unlike some bars, which can feel a bit too grungy, Apotheke strikes the perfect balance of elegance and whimsy.

And when it comes to the drinks, forget your run-of-the-mill cocktails – Apotheke’s beverages are more like alcoholic elixirs, categorized as “aphrodisiacs,” “health & beauty,” and “painkillers.” Whether you’re in the mood for something sultry or refreshing, Apotheke has got you covered.

So don a classy outfit and join the fun crowd at Apotheke, where the jazz is smooth, the drinks are potent, and the vibes are oh-so-mysterious.

56. Oscar Wilde

Step into the world of Oscar Wilde and experience the Victorian era with a twist. The Oscar Wilde bar and restaurant boasts a long marble bar that stretches on for days, the perfect spot to sip on a cocktail and indulge in some classic American bites.

This bar is inspired by the witty and vibrant spirit of Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, and you’ll see that in every detail. The ambiance is a perfect balance of refined elegance and bold charisma, just like Wilde himself.

It’s not just a bar, it’s a whole vibe.

You’ll be surrounded by quotes and historical decor that will transport you to another era. Even the bathrooms are stunning! With impressive seasonal holiday decoration changes, there’s always something new to see and experience at this one-of-a-kind spot. Come and live life to the fullest with Wilde abandon!

57. Nerd Be Cool Espresso Lab

Looking for a nerdy-cool spot to satisfy your caffeine cravings and sweet tooth? Look no further than Nerd Be Cool Coffee Shop! This small little shop packs a big punch with its quirky interior, featuring a large mural of Albert Einstein cruising on a motorcycle and a neon pink sign of e=mc2.

As you peruse the walls filled with unique snacks, don’t miss out on the chance to try their one-of-a-kind lattes. We highly recommend the golden latte, which reminded us of a spicy chai, and the matcha mango latte – a refreshing twist on the classic matcha latte. And did we mention their other interesting drink options? Try the matcha, espresso tonics, and drip coffee (if you’re a drip coffee fan you will love it!).

So whether you’re a nerd, a cool kid, or somewhere in between, Nerd Be Cool Coffee Shop is the perfect spot to chill and caffeinate.

58. Jupiter Disco

Jupiter Disco is a bar that is truly out of this world! The sci-fi themed decor is neon-lit and retro, like something straight out of a classic sci-fi movie.

The sound system is top-notch, and the music is a mix of dark electronic sounds and 80s synth beats. The drink menu is displayed on monitors using cool pixel fonts that look like they’re straight out of an old-school video game.

It’s cozy, yet futuristic, and the perfect spot to dance the night away while sipping on creative cocktails. If you’re looking for a unique and fun night out, Jupiter Disco is definitely worth a visit.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Shop?

59. Video Games New York

Step back in time and immerse yourself in a world of pixels and nostalgia at VideoGames New York. This place is like a treasure trove for any video game enthusiast, and stepping inside is like taking a trip down memory lane.

They have games from your childhood that you probably thought were lost to the sands of time, and at prices that won’t make you go bankrupt. The staff is always ready to lend a hand, offering up advice and recommendations to help you on your gaming journey.

So whether you’re looking to relive those classic moments or add to your collection, VideoGames NYC has got you covered. It’s definitely nerd heaven, and we wouldn’t want it any other way!

60. Twenty Sided

If you’re looking for a place to level up your game collection, you’ve got to check out Twenty Sided! This place is packed with everything you need to take your tabletop gaming to the next level.

They’ve got a wide selection of DnD and MTG gear, including all the latest sets and sealed products. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just getting started, they’ve got all the minis, dice, and other cool games you need to make your gaming adventures unforgettable.

And, if you’re looking to get involved with the gaming community, Twenty Sided hosts some fantastic community events that you won’t want to miss. So, grab your fellow gamers and head to Twenty Sided Shop for a gaming experience that’s sure to be a critical hit!

61. Thinksphere

If you’re a DIY enthusiast or a tech geek, then Tinkersphere is the perfect place for you! This high-end retail store is a techie’s paradise, with all the electronic parts and gadgets you could ever need to create your own robot or craft your own electronic masterpiece.

With a wide range of kits and products, Tinkersphere has something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned tinkerer or a newbie just getting started. The knowledgeable and friendly staff is always on hand to offer advice and help you find the perfect parts for your project. Plus, forget waiting weeks for mail-order parts – Tinkersphere has everything you need right here in NYC, ready to take home today!

With a selection that would make RadioShack jealous, Tinkersphere is the go-to spot for all your electronic needs.

62. Fortress of Solitude

If you’re a comic book fanatic, look no further than Fortress of Solitude! They’ve got everything you need, from the latest releases to rare back issues, and even some modern toys, shirts, & posters to add to your collection. Plus, they have periodic free comic book days with a treasure trove of goodies!

63. Tannen’s Magic Shop

On the surface, Tannen’s Magic Shop is a magician’s paradise, supplying pros and beginners alike with everything they need to put on a good show – from essential props, books, videos, to even classes. And let’s not forget about the bathtub once owned by the great Harry Houdini – this place is full of surprises and magic around every corner.

But what sets Tannen’s apart is the after-hours magic show that’s unlike anything else! The atmosphere is just fantastic: an intimate and cozy setting that makes you feel like you’re part of something truly special. With only a few people in the audience, you’ll get to see some truly incredible feats of magic that will leave you spellbound.

Finding Tannen’s may be a bit of a trick, but it’s definitely worth the effort for an experience you won’t forget!

64. Kinokuniya NYC

When you step into Kinokuniya, it’s like stepping into an authentic Japanese bookstore right in the heart of NYC!

With a vast collection of books, magazines, keychains, collectibles, Funko Pop figures, and stationery from Japan, you can find anything from manga and graphic novels to art and design books, cookbooks, travel books, children’s books, and more. In addition to its extensive selection of Japanese-language materials, Kinokuniya NYC also carries a selection of English-language books, including a variety of manga and anime titles.

The store also frequently hosts events and workshops related to Japanese culture, such as book clubs, language exchange meetings, and art exhibits. Check out the events page before you visit!


Now you know – NYC isn’t just for beer-swilling sports fans and fresh bagel lovers, although it isn’t bad to enjoy those things either! New York is a place for Brainiacs, toy lovers, and fans of all types. Bring yourself and leave with a little more.

36 Surprisingly Nerdy Things to do Now in Philadelphia

Are you in need of a break from your usual routine of coding, gaming, and binge-watching sci-fi movies? Well, it’s time to ditch the computer and put your problem-solving skills to the test as you explore the exciting city of Philadelphia.

From exploring the vast collections of world-class museums to indulging in specialty shops and immersive science fiction experiences, this city has it all. So put on your favorite geeky t-shirt and get ready to nerd out with our top 36 nerdy things to do in Philadelphia.

All activities are within two hours from the city proper:

Interest-Based Nerdy Travel Experiences

Standard Travel Needs – Nerdy Style

About The Author

Hi, I’m Kate.

I started planning unique travel experiences way back in 2008.

And I quickly realized that quirky, nerdy experiences were going to be a big part of my travel planning success.

So I set out to explore as much as I could.

And thanks to years of reading and experimenting, I’ve had a ton of success with travel planning…

…including the top 3 performing nerdy guides on this site:

  1. Nerdy Experiences in Washington DC
  2. Unique Experiences in San Diego
  3. 60 Essential Travel Accessories

Check out these ideas in Philadelphia and you could have an awesome trip planned within the next 20 minutes.

What do you like?

We want to know more about the types of nerdy activities you are most interested in. Please fill out the one question form below to help us improve our content. No personal information required – thanks in advance!

What are the Top Nerdy Experiences Unique to Philadelphia?

1. Best Nerdy Comedy Show: The Mask and Wig Club

If you’re looking for a wild night out in Philadelphia, the Mask and Wig Club is the place to be! This quirky musical comedy group from the University of Pennsylvania has been entertaining audiences with their outrageous productions for over 100 years in their classy 1800’s clubhouse which historically served as a church, a stable and carriage house, and dissecting rooms for Jefferson Medical College.

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic musical or a zany sketch comedy show, the Mask and Wig Club has something for everyone. Join the fun! You’ll leave with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

2. Best Nerdy Way to See the City: Badass Women’s History Walking Tour of Philadelphia

Harriett Tubman

Ladies, don’t think this tour is just for you! Fellas, come on down too!

Learn the history of Philadelphia’s forgotten female heroes in some of the most popular parts of the city. From the “forgotten founder” Hannah Callowhill Penn, to the prominent “conductor” of the underground railroad, Harriet Tubman, these ladies were ahead of their time and paved the way for future generations of women.

This tour will give you the opportunity to enjoy historic Philadelphia with a small group (no more than 10 people) while learning about local women who made significant contributions to politics, medicine, and other fields. Participants say its one of the best tours in Philly

3. Best Nerdy Cinematic Experience: The Universal Sphere

This giant, globe theater produced by Steven Spielberg is a must-see for any film-loving visitor to the city. Whether you’re a fan of technology, cinema, or just love gazing up at the stars, the Universal Sphere has something for you.

The best part about the Universal Sphere is that it’s not just a static exhibit – it’s a fully immersive experience. You will be transported through time and space to explore new ideas while watching the presentation, “The Power of I”. The sphere and surrounding exhibit are free to visit, but you typically need to make a reservation in advance.

So if you’re a nerd who loves all things technology and creative, be sure to add the Universal Sphere to your Philadelphia itinerary. You won’t be disappointed!

4. Best Magical Experience: The Cauldron Co. & Wizard Exploratorium

The Cauldron Co. & Wizard Exploratorium is the most magical place in Philly!

Located in the heart of the city, this cozy wizarding potions bar is the perfect spot to cast a spell or two over a cold pint and design the love elixir of your dreams. Be transported into a magical world where you can choose to take a potions making class, explore a townhouse full of magic, enjoy an enchanted afternoon tea, grab a spellbinding snack, or attend a local event.

The atmosphere is enchanting, with flickering candles and bubbling cauldrons scattered throughout the space and the staff is incredible.

Gather your friends, grab your wands, and head on over to The Cauldron for a night of magic and merriment!

Recommended: Ultimate List of Harry Potter Travel Accessories

5. Best Nerdy Local Food: Philadelphia Bread

Sounds crazy, but Philadelphia locals swear that they have the best bread in the world. Definitely the type of claim that needs to be tasted tested in person. Right?

There are tons of delicious bread joints to try, however these are the best spots according to Google reviews and to be honest they are all fantastic!

6. Best Mysterious Experience: Genie’s Secret Bazaar Philadelphia: An Exploratory Magical Adventure

Step into a world of charm and wonder at Genie’s Secret Bazaar Philadelphia: An Exploratory Magical Adventure!

This unique and immersive experience will transport you to a mysterious realm where anything is possible. As you explore the bazaar, you’ll encounter all sorts of enchanting sights and experiences, from carnival games and illusions, to fortune tellers and mystical creatures. The delicious food vendors, beer from a local brewery, and grand finale will have you dancing into the streets!

Whether you’re a fan of magic or just looking for a fun and unforgettable adventure, you’ll definitely want to check out Genie’s Secret Bazaar. Its fun for all ages, so come and let your imagination run wild at this magical bazaar in Philadelphia!

7. Best Fusion Drink Shop: The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop

Welcome to The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop, a peaceful hangout where positive energy and novelty come to life! Nestled in the heart of downtown, this quirky little shop is the perfect spot for anyone with an appreciation for the weird and wonderful.

With its cozy atmosphere and charming decor, you’ll feel right at home as you browse through the collection of curiosities while sipping on steamy, fresh brewed tea. From rare antiques and one-of-a-kind gifts to an international selection of teas and an Herbal Apothecary & Bump Bar, there’s something for every heart & soul at The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop.

Recommended: Where to Meet The Best Nerdy Guys… Right Now

8. Best Themed Escape Room: The Gotham Escape Room

Are you ready for an adrenaline-filled hour of high intensity critical thinking and puzzle solving? If so, it’s time to break out of your comfort zone and break into your escape room!

Or, maybe just the hidden vault behind a bookcase in your escape room.

If you’re new to escape rooms, you will appreciate the solid mix of challenging and fun puzzles. The staff is notoriously friendly, helpful, and willing to give you a tip if you need it.

If you’re a more seasoned escapee, you will be impressed by the expansive & spacious rooms, clever themed puzzles, exciting audio affects, and attention to minute details. No “pre-packaged” rooms here – every room is a labor of love!

Be aware that if you attempt a more horror themed room, they can feel pretty realistically scary. Don’t book one of those rooms unless you are ready for an unnerving experience!

9. Best Nerdy Natural History: Wagner Free Institute of Science

The Wagner Free Institute of Science in Philadelphia is a singular time machine to archaic earth!

This charming museum is filled to the brim with fascinating scientific artifacts and specimens. From ancient fossils and minerals to exotic taxidermy and interactive exhibits, there’s something for every science enthusiast at The Wagner Free Institute.

And the best part? Admission is completely free!

Take a trip down humanity’s collective pre-historic memory lane and discover the wonders of science at The Wagner Free Institute. Although its full of them, this museum is hardly bare bones!

10. World’s Largest DIY Skatepark: FDR Skatepark

Nerds, get ready to break out your skateboards and impress the cool kids at FDR Skatepark! It’s time to show off your mad skate skills and prove that brains and athleticism can coexist.

If that isn’t quite the case for you, don’t worry about falling, just remember the age-old nerd motto: “failure is just an opportunity to learn and improve.

Located below the I-95 flyover, FDR Skatepark boasts over 30,000 square feet of ramps, pipes, and half pipes. The park is divided into many areas, including the central park, which is located beneath the noted overpass, the adjacent and linked pool area, a small ramp, and a vert ramp.

It is decorated with a dynamic assortment of tags and artwork that creates a captivating visual experience. Professionals and writers for publications like Thrasher and Skateboarder have called the park a concrete skateboard heaven.

So grab your helmets and knee pads, and let’s hit the ramps! Just try not to get too distracted by all the flashy graffiti and rad music blasting from the speakers.

Skate on, nerds!

What are the Best Nerdy Local Cultural Experiences?

11. Essential Philadelphia Museums

Philly has a wide variety of museums for culture and education seekers to choose from, these are our favorites:

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art – The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art and culture. Located in the heart of the city, this world-renowned museum is home to an impressive collection of over 240,000 works of art, spanning more than 2,000 years of history. From ancient artifacts and classical paintings, to modern sculptures and contemporary installations, the museum has something for every type of art lover. In addition to the permanent collections, the museum also hosts a variety of special exhibitions and events throughout the year, making it a dynamic and constantly evolving place to visit.
  • Barnes Foundation The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia is a world-renowned art museum that is home to one of the largest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Modernist paintings in the world. The collection, which was amassed by Dr. Albert C. Barnes, includes works by artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. In addition to the paintings, the Barnes Foundation also has an impressive collection of African sculpture, decorative arts, and furniture. The museum is housed in a beautiful building that was designed by architect Paul Cret, and it features a series of galleries that are arranged according to the principles of “harmonic proportion.”
  • Philadelphia Zoo – The Philadelphia Zoo was founded in 1859 and was the first zoo in the United States. The zoo is home to over 1,300 animals from around the world, including lions, gorillas, and penguins. Visitors can take a walk through the zoo’s various exhibits, such as the Big Cat Crossing and the PECO Primate Reserve, to get up close and personal with the animals. In addition to the animal exhibits, the zoo also has a number of educational programs and events, such as animal demonstrations and conservation talks.
  • Rodin Museum – The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia is a stunning architectural masterpiece that houses a vast collection of works by the renowned French sculptor, Auguste Rodin. The museum, which was opened in 1929, is home to over 140 of Rodin’s most famous sculptures, including “The Thinker” and “The Kiss.” The museum’s collection also includes a number of Rodin’s drawings and paintings, as well as works by other artists that were inspired by his work. Visitors to the museum can take a self-guided tour or join a guided tour led by knowledgeable docents.

12. Reading Terminal Market

The Reading Terminal, located in the bustling city of Philadelphia, is a food lover’s paradise!

With over 80 unique vendors offering everything from delicious Amish cooking to mouthwatering dim sum, there’s something for every craving.

But the Terminal isn’t just a place to fill your stomach – it’s also a hub of activity, with live music, cooking demonstrations, and even a mini-market selling locally grown produce.

So if you’re looking for a fun and tasty adventure, be sure to come hungry – trust us, you won’t be able to resist all the amazing eats.

13. The Masonic Temple

If you’re looking to add a little mystery and intrigue in your time in Philly, the Masonic Temple is the best kept secret!

This grand, historical building has been around since 1873, and it’s filled with hidden network of rafters, ornate grand halls, and all sorts of Masonic symbols and artifacts.

But don’t worry, this isn’t some creepy, shadowy place. The Masons are actually a fraternity of men who value education, charity, and brotherhood. They’ve been around for centuries, and their temple in Philly is a testament to their enduring legacy.

So if you’re in the City of Brotherly Love and want to explore a little bit of brotherhood history and mystery, make sure to check out the Masonic Temple.

14. Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley is a historic gem nestled in the heart of Philadelphia. With its cobblestone streets and charming row houses, it’s like stepping back in time. The Alley is home to some of the city’s oldest houses, with some dating back to the early 18th century. But don’t let the age fool you, these houses are still standing strong and are filled with character and charm.

Visitors can take a stroll down the Alley and imagine what life was like in colonial America. It’s easy to get lost in the quaint atmosphere, with charming gardens and colorful storefronts. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a resident dressed in colonial garb, adding to the historical atmosphere.

But Elfreth’s Alley isn’t just a museum piece. It’s a thriving community, filled with artists, craftspeople, and small businesses. The Alley is home to a number of unique shops and galleries, offering everything from handmade pottery to vintage clothing. It’s the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts or to treat yourself to something special.

Overall, Elfreth’s Alley is a must-see for anyone visiting Philadelphia. It’s a little slice of history that brings the past to life in a fun and charming way.

15. Eastern State Penitentiary

If you’re a fan of creepy, abandoned prisons, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is definitely the spot for you! This abandoned prison is known for its ominous architecture and notorious inmates such as Al Capone & ,”Slick Willie” Sutton.

While you’re there, you can explore the cellblocks and check out the prison’s famous solitary confinement cells. And if that’s not sinister enough for you, there are also several ghost stories associated with the penitentiary, making it a must-see for any paranormal enthusiast.

But don’t worry, the Eastern State Penitentiary isn’t all spooks and scares. The prison also has a rich history of being one of the most famous and expensive prisons in the world.

So if you’re looking for a mix of history and scares, the Eastern State Penitentiary is the perfect place to visit.

16. Independence Hall & The Liberty Bell

Independence Hall is where America’s founding fathers gathered to sign the Declaration of Independence, paving the way for the birth of the United States as a nation.

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of freedom because it was rung on July 8, 1776 as a beacon for Americans to come hear the Declaration of Independence rung for the first time. It also has a giant crack running through it, but that just adds to its charm.

Together they are a dynamic duo of American heritage and patriotism.

What are the Best Nerdy Theater, Film & Shows?

17. Secret Cinema

The Secret Cinema is a pop-up film experience that has presented hundreds of original programs in places all over Philadelphia: nightclubs, bars, coffee shops, museums, open fields, colleges, art galleries, bookstores, and occasionally even theaters and film festivals.

Since it began in 1992, the Cinema has focused on programs devoted to educational and industrial films, cult and exploitation features, cartoons, rare television, local history, home movies, erotic films, politically incorrect material, and the occasional Hollywood classic.

The goal is to explore uncharted film territory and genres that fall between the cracks. Secret Cinema never uses video/digital projection during screenings—as long as it is available on actual film, that is.

18. Movie Filming Locations

Philadelphia is home to the filming locations for a bunch of amazing movies and TV shows. If you’re a movie fan, then you’ll definitely want to check out these awesome sites. From iconic fighting flicks to historical themed adventures, there’s something for every type of nerd on this list.

Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to geek out in the city that works! Just don’t forget to bring your boxing gloves (you know, for extra authenticity).

What are the Best Nerdy Nature Experiences?

19. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Feeling a little artsy? Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens are a true, hidden one-of-a-kind mosaic art installation.

Created by artist Isaiah Zagar, the Magic Gardens are a stunning display of color, texture, and whimsy. With everything from murals and mosaics to found objects and folk art, the Magic Gardens are a feast for the senses.

Guided tours are available for you to learn all about the history and inspiration behind this unique creation. So if you’re looking to tap into your inner artist and explore something truly magical, make sure to visit Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on your next trip to the city!

20. Best Nerdy Childhood Throwback: Oldest Permanent Disk Golf Course

Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park houses the oldest permanent disc golf course in the world. Sedgley Woods is a 27-hole course that is FREE to the public, year round from sunrise to sunset.

The Friends of Sedgley Woods, a group that cares deeply about the course, frequently has a member on hand to answer inquiries and take visitors around. If you visit, make sure to take good care of the course!

21. Reading Viaduct

For nearly a century, the Viaduct was an elevated rail track that brought trains into the industrial Center City. It traversed a variety of neighborhoods in the northern area of the city.

Philadelphia City is renovating the Viaduct to serve as a magnet for residential and commercial growth in the nearby areas which have historically been considered to be an “eyesore”. Fans of history, technology, and modernization will love visiting the modernized rail park.

What are the Best Festivals, Conventions, and Live Events in Philadelphia?

22. Philadelphia Science Festival

The Philadelphia Science Festival is a nine-day, community-wide celebration of science that takes place annually in April. Featuring lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions and a variety of other informal science education experiences for all ages, the Festival aims to provide opportunities for all Philadelphians to positively engage with and build a community around science, engineering, and technology.

What are the Best Nerdy Tours & Classes?

23. The Great Philadelphia Comedy Magic Walking Tour

This comedy walking tour is a real knee-slapper – if you fall for every joke you’ll constantly be stumbling!

Take this one-of-a-kind tour that combines the best of two worlds: hilarious comedy performances and jaw-dropping magic tricks. As you explore the city’s historic streets and landmarks, you’ll be treated to a series of hilarious and mind-boggling performances from some of the best comedians and magicians around.

Whether you’re a fan of stand-up, magic, or both, you’re sure to have a blast on this tour. It’s definitely one of the most fun and unique ways to experience Philly!

24. Cemetery and Cereal Killers Walking Tour of Philadelphia

On this spooky, small-group walking tour of Center City, learn about Philadelphia’s shadowy past and see some of its most iconic structures.

You’ll meet your trained historian tour guide to depart for places like the Betsy Ross House, Elfreth’s Alley, Christ Church, and more. As you see the sights you will hear ghost stories, tales of serial slayings, and psychopathic killers such as the Corpse Collector, the Frankfort Slasher, and H.H. Holmes.

After 2.5 hours of morose tales, sign-off your sorted adventure with a free beverage or moonshine sample. Your choice!

25. Espresso & Latte Art Class

This fun, interactive workshop is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about milk-based drink recipes and sharpen their latte art abilities.

Learn new skills from a barista with years of expertise in the speciality coffee sector at a roastery training lab. You will be fully equipped with tools, brewing equipment, and professional coffee machines to unleash your creative genius.

The studio is conveniently located in the heart of Philadelphia, close to several well-known landmarks and dining options.

26. Food Tours!

If you’re the type to fantasize about eating at places like Paunch Burger and Los Pollos Hermanos, we recommend exploring Philadelphia’s delicious, vibrant, and innovative culinary scene on one (or both!) of two highly popular food tours:

Underground Donut Tour: Philadelphia’s First Donut Tour

Learn more about the city of Philadelphia through the medium of donuts!

You’ll try some of the best doughnut shops the city has to offer: Federal Donuts, Beiler’s Donuts, and other off-the-beaten path shops. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history of Philadelphia, each donut location, and how they fit into the larger food scene.

If you like donuts and happiness then this tour is for you.

Philadelphia Cheesesteak Tour by Segway

On this 2-hour guided, small-group Segway tour, discover the Philadelphia cheesesteak like no other before.

This 5-mile tour visits five of the city’s most authentic cheesesteak businesses, where you will learn about the origins of this famous sandwich and sample the best cheesesteaks in the city. From Chinatown to Society Hill and South Philadelphia – we’ll cover it all!

All the required equipment, a guided Segway training session, and tour photos are provided. Bring an empty stomach, and dress according to the weather in flat, closed-toed shoes.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Stay?

27. Wm. Mulherin’s Sons Hotel

This stylish boutique hotel between Fishtown and Olde Kensington is housed in a beautifully restored whiskey factory that dates back to 1890. It has just 4 modern apartment-style rooms that are each individually decorated in an industrial-chic style, complete with concrete floors, wooden ceilings, and exposed brick walls.

Luxurious king size beds, custom-made furniture with hand picked artwork, fixtures, vintage rugs, living plants and cacti are all lovely amenities. A great, quaint Italian restaurant and pub with wood paneling and a fireplace can be found on the ground level.

If you take a deep breath, perhaps you can smell the odor of ancient whiskey barrels seeping from the building’s pores, or is that just your imagination?

28. 250 Year Old Home in Rittenhouse Filled with Art

Come stay in a funky, three-story Airbnb in the fancy neighborhood of Rittenhouse Square (free paring included... which might be enough of a reason to book immediately)! This place has a cool courtyard and lots of unique touches like hand-laid flooring, a claw-foot tub, and a chalkboard door. Plus, it’s located in one of the oldest and most prestigious areas of the city, which is home to lots of fun events all year round.

Recommended: How to Decorate a Hotel Room for a Birthday

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Eat in Chicago?

29. Queen and Rook Game Cafe

If you’re looking for a unique nerdy hangout spot in Philadelphia, you’ll definitely want to check out Queen and Rook Game Cafe!

This cozy little cafe is more than just a place to grab a drink and a bite to eat – it’s also a haven for gamers of all kinds. Whether you’re a fan of tabletop games, video games, or just about anything in between, you’ll find plenty to do at Queen and Rook. With a huge selection of games to choose from, and a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder this place is a favorite among Philly gamers.

So if you’re looking to get your game on and meet some like-minded people, make sure to pay a visit!

30. Pizza Brain

“Go for the World’s First Pizza Museum, stay for the incredible (and strange) pies” – Philadelphia Magazine

This pizzeria is known for its impressive collection of pizza-themed memorabilia, which has earned it a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest collection of pizza-related items. From vintage pizza boxes and signs, to pizza-themed board games and action figures, there’s plenty to see and marvel at while you enjoy your meal.

31. Tattooed Mom

Overall, the atmosphere is laid back and energetic, with stickers and doodles adding to the hipster vibe. Enjoy high quality vegetarian and meat-filled options from the ever changing, funky menu.

If you’re looking for something unique and original, head upstairs to find the fortune teller machine and fun interactive art. The entire area is covered in artistic murals and decorations, creating a wacky and edgy atmosphere.

This is definitely a place worth checking out.

Dirty Little Secret Menu – Maybe its manipulation, maybe its love but the secret menu at Tattooed Mom always keeps me coming back for more! There are always new and exciting items to try making each visit a surprising adventure that you’ll just want to gobble up.

Street Art Culture – From the very first tag to the most recent wheat paste, local and international street art has a long history upstairs at TMom’s. An unplanned and spontaneous display of creativity by local and visiting artists as well as the innumerable people who stop by every evening is what makes this gallery constantly change.

No Longer Blank Canvas – The birth of the upstairs as a vibrant art space is in part tied to a 1999 exhibition by brothers Noah & Nathan Rice. That year the Brothers Rice brought their 5,000 umbrella wheat pastes and they’ve been hanging there ever since.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Drink in Chicago?

32. Barcade

Ready to drink, eat, and game all at the same time? Look no further than the Barcade!

This retro-themed bar and arcade is the perfect spot for anyone who loves a good craft beer and a good old-fashioned arcade game. With a constantly rotating selection of brews on tap and a wide variety of classic and modern arcade games, there’s always something new to discover at Barcade. And if all that gaming makes you hungry, you’re in luck – the menu is packed with delicious pub grub that’s sure to hit the spot.

So whether you’re looking to relive your childhood at the arcade or just want to try out some new beers, Barcade is the place to be.

33. Function Coffee Labs

Function Coffee Labs is known for its knowledgeable baristas who bring coffee brewing science to a whole new level. These people are serious about their beans!

The shop also offers a scientific presentation for pourovers (served in beakers) and unique private classes in espresso, pourover & tasting.

Function Coffee Labs is a great destination for coffee enthusiasts who want to learn more about coffee culture and try new brews.

34. Chibi Cafe Co

If you’re a nerdy cafe-goer in search of your perfect hangout spot, look no further than Chibi Cafe Co in Greenville!

This cozy little cafe is the ultimate destination for all types of nerds, with a wide variety of nerdy goodies and activities to enjoy. Whether you’re a fan of anime, video games, or just about anything else nerdy, you’ll find something to love at Chibi Cafe Co. Plus, with a menu full of delicious and unique drinks and snacks, you’ll be able to fuel up while you geek out.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Shop?

35. The Nerd Mall

Nerd Mall is a dream come true for those looking for nerdy goodies. From vintage action figures and rare comics, to the latest and greatest video games and pop culture collectibles, The Nerd Mall has something for every type of nerd & hobbiest.

In addition to buying board games, customers also have the option to rent board games.

36. Brave New Worlds

If you’re in search of your next nerdy fix, then you need to check out Brave New Worlds Comics! This place is a true paradise for all kinds of geeks and nerds, with an impressive selection of comics, graphic novels, and other nerdy goodies.

But it’s not just about the merchandise – the staff at Brave New Worlds are true experts in all things nerdy, and they’re always happy to help you find the perfect comic or recommend a new series.

So whether you’re a hardcore comic fan or just looking to geek out with like-minded people, Brave New Worlds Comics has you covered.


Now you know – Philadelphia isn’t just for beer-swilling sports fans and cheesesteak lovers, although it isn’t bad to enjoy those things either! Philadelphia is a place for techies, retro gaming lovers, and fans of all types. Bring yourself and leave with a little more.

50 Surprisingly Nerdy Things to do Now in Chicago

Are you a self-proclaimed nerd looking for a thrilling adventure in the Windy City?

You’re in luck! Chicago is packed with exciting and unique activities for the nerdy and the nerdy at heart.

From exploring the vast collections of world-class museums to indulging in specialty shops and immersive science fiction experiences, this city has it all. So put on your favorite geeky t-shirt and get ready to nerd out with our top 49 nerdy things to do in Chicago.

All activities are within two hours from the city proper:

Interest-Based Nerdy Travel Experiences

Standard Travel Needs – Nerdy Style

About The Author

Hi, I’m Kate.

I started planning unique travel experiences way back in 2008.

And I quickly realized that quirky, nerdy experiences were going to be a big part of my travel planning success.

So I set out to explore as much as I could.

And thanks to years of reading and experimenting, I’ve had a ton of success with travel planning…

…including the top 3 performing nerdy guides on this site:

  1. Nerdy Experiences in Washington DC
  2. Ultimate Guide for Nerdy Travel Accessories
  3. Best Nerdy Spots in San Diego

Check out these ideas in Chicago and you could have an awesome trip planned within the next 20 minutes.

What are the Top Nerdy Experiences Unique to Chicago?

1. Best Interactive Gothic History Museum: Medieval Torture Museum

While the idea of an interactive torture museum might sound a little painful & gruesome, the Medieval Torture Museum errors on the side of friendly photo ops, “playing” with torture devices, and informative middle-age incarceration education.

For about 40 – 60 minutes you will be transported into the minds of fanatics, madmen, and murderers to discover one of the darkest parts of human history. The museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of confinement and torture devices, many that are displayed as interactive exhibits for guests to sit or stand on.

With the motto “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it” — Fair warning! Many visitors say that it’s a bit “creepier than expected” and advise against bringing children under 13. However with an overall 4.9 star rating on Google, we definitely recommend stopping by on your trip!

2. Best Nerdy Figure Tribute: Walt Disney’s Birth Place Home

If your childhood was filled with talking toys, beautiful princesses, swashbuckling pirates, and flying carpets, you can likely thank the creative genius of legendary founder, Walt Disney.

Tour one of “the happiest places on earth” for the man who brought the magic to millions of children.

Due to the restoration efforts from a team of dedicated fans, Chicago is fortunate to have one of the few remaining locations where Walt spent significant time in childhood. Unfortunately, many of the other important places in his life have been substantially altered or lost which makes this location a true “diamond in the rough”.

Recommended: Where to Meet The Best Nerdy Guys… Right Now

3. Best Magical Experience: Harry Potter Magic at Play

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you don’t want to miss the Magic at Play experience at Water Tower Place! This interactive exhibit takes you on a journey through the wizarding world, with plenty of exciting activities and displays to keep you entertained.

Start your journey as a First Year student at Private Drive making your way to Hogwarts via Platform 9 3/4, the Hogwarts Express, and boats across the lake.

Once you arrive at Hogwarts, you’ll have the chance to visit the Great Hall, where you can be sorted into your House and have your photo taken with the iconic floating candles. You can also share a glass of Butterbeer with some other wizards at the bar, and and try your hand at Quidditch in the Quidditch Pitch.

The whole experience is sprinkled with hands-on activities and iconic photo opportunities.

But be warned – the Magic at Play experience isn’t just for Muggles! You may just run into a few characters from the Harry Potter series along the way. So grab your wand and join the fun at the Magic at Play exhibit in Chicago’s Water Tower Place!

Recommended: Ultimate List of Harry Potter Travel Accessories

4. Best Video Game Store: Retro Dimension

Dust off your Nintendo 64, plug in your controller, and prepare for “Sudden Death”… Are You Ready?

Serious and casual retro gamers alike will appreciate the rare selection, quality tested games, fun displays, and fair prices at Retro Dimension. If you have questions about console set-up or obtaining rare games, the passionate staff will be your Navi.

As one of the most sincere customers put it, this shop is “Hands down the best retro gaming store in Chicagoland.”

5. Best Nerdy Mind Bending Experience: Mindworks: The Science of Thinking

If participating in the research for scientific geniuses like Dr. Octavius, Dr. Evil, Dr. Frankenstein, or Dr. Horrible, sounds like a dream cone true, then you need to visit Mindworks at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. You will have the unique opportunity to participate in active behavioral science research under the direction of Dr. Rebecca White who is decidedly less henious than any of the aforementioned doctors.

During your visit, you will explore 8 interactive exhibits designed to educate visitors about behavioral science. If the exhibits inspire you to contribute to the field of behavioral science, you may participate in researcher lead active studies on-site. You will be guided through lab work in the science of judgment and decision making and will even earn a prize such as clothing, discounts to museums, and gift cards for supporting research.

6. Best Tech Nerd Store: Chicago ComputerLand LLC

The best computer part, repair, and custom-build store in all the land!

  • If you need a part, they will have it.
  • If you have a question, they will answer it.
  • If something happens to your hard drive and all of your pictures are gone, they can retrieve them.
  • If you just feel like having a nice nerdy chat about computers, these are your guys.

Plus they specialize in all brands & operating systems, and prices are very reasonable!

7. Best Nerdy Childhood Throwback: The Lego Store

No Chicago architecture tour is complete without a trip to the LEGO store at Water Tower Place. See the famous skyline articulated in colorful bricks next to iconic Star Wars & Harry Potter LEGO creations.

8. Best Nerdy Toy Store: Geek Toy Hut

This no frills shop has a killer selection and very fair prices. Find every classic toy, video game, and comic you can remember from the last 50 years in 1 uber fun place.

  • Pokemon
  • Funko Pop
  • Star Wars
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • GI Joe
  • Dragon Ball-Z
  • Batman
  • WWE action figures
  • Digimon
  • Magic the Gathering

Since the inventory is constantly changing, make sure to go soon!

9. Best Horror Experience Shop: Horror House

A ghostly wind blows corn stalks in the moonlit field. Something shuffles deliberately in the darkness. And you feel a bead of sweat drip down your forehead. Nope, it’s not just your imagination. Something is stalking on your screen, primed to to kill your extra spending money: The Horror House in north Chicago.

This chilling shop and local event hub is a must-see spot for horror fans. In addition to top hair-raising brands such as Terror Threads, The October Academy, Western Evil and Atomic Cotton, The Horror House offers an ominous selection of collectibles, original artwork, paintings, comics, movies and more.

What are the Best Nerdy Local Cultural Experiences?

10. Essential Chicago Museums

What does a curious traveler do when the husky Chicago wind blows? Take a step indoors to explore one (or many) of the incredible cultural museums – of course!

  • Art Institute of Chicago – This encyclopedic art museum, founded in 1879, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. The museum is home to a vast collection of artworks spanning centuries and cultures, including paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts. Some of the museum’s most famous holdings include works by Monet, van Gogh, and Rembrandt, as well as ancient Greek and Roman artifacts, African and American Indian art, and contemporary art. In addition to its permanent collection, the Art Institute of Chicago also hosts a variety of special exhibitions and educational programs for visitors of all ages.
  • The Field Museum Chicago’s principal natural history museum is home to a vast collection of natural history specimens and cultural artifacts from around the world. The museum’s collections include more than 24 million specimens, including fossils, minerals, plants, animals, and cultural artifacts. Some of the Field Museum’s most famous exhibits include Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found, and the Ancient Americas exhibit, which features artifacts from indigenous cultures of the Americas. In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Field Museum also hosts a variety of special exhibitions and educational programs for visitors of all ages.
  • The Chicago History Museum – The museum’s permanent exhibits include a range of artifacts, documents, and other historical materials related to the city’s history, including its founding, growth, and development as a major metropolis. Some of the museum’s most notable exhibits include the Chicago: Crossroads of America exhibit, which explores the city’s role as a transportation hub, and the Chicago: Made in America exhibit, which explores the city’s industrial and economic history.
  • Museum of Science and Industry – One of the largest science museums in the world and is home to a vast collection of interactive exhibits and displays related to science, technology, engineering, and math. Some of the museum’s most popular exhibits include the Henry Crown Space Center, which features exhibits on space exploration and astronomy, and the U-505 Submarine exhibit, which allows visitors to explore a real World War II-era submarine.
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center – This museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and promoting education about the atrocities of the Nazi regime during World War II. The museum’s permanent exhibits include a range of artifacts, documents, and other historical materials related to the Holocaust, as well as interactive displays and survivor testimonies. Some of the museum’s most notable exhibits include the Daniel’s Story exhibit, which tells the story of a young boy’s experience during the Holocaust, and the Portrait of Survival exhibit, which features portraits and biographies of Holocaust survivors.

11. Best Childhood Nerd Store: American Girl Place

American Girl Doll Store

Who runs the world? Girls! No where in the world are Beyoncé’s power-girl song lyrics more relevant than the American Girl Place.

Not only does the store celebrate girls of various backgrounds and immigrant origins, but also inspires young women to pursue competitive careers in astronomy, medicine, and engineering. All with cute outfits, stylish hairstyles, and lively accessories.

The store is truly a modern American Girl experience.

The whole store is designed to enjoy with a doll. There is a hospital to patch up any damage, a hair & nail salon, ear piercing shop, and cafe bistro with doll-sized snacks! Even the bathrooms have doll holders in each stall.

12. Museum of Illusions

Tease your senses and tickle your mind at this immersive world of illusions! This one-of-a-kind “edu-tainment” destination offers guests more than 80 visual and educational exhibits that encourage them to both learn and have fun. As you explore rooms of holograms, stereograms, and optical illusions, learn from the knowledgeable staff and snap some social media-worthy shots.

13. Cloud Gate also known as “The Chicago Bean

This 33 ft high 110 ton stainless-steel sculpture has been an iconic part of the Chicago landscape since 2006. Cloud Gate was created by cutting 168 stainless-steel plates into curved shapes using computer technology.

Besides being fun to look at and take pictures with, Cloud Gate has been a central location for all sorts of nerdy events like a Naruto Run, “Windex the Bean” cleaning party, and “Replace the Bean with Mr. Bean”. Check out local social media to see what is going on!

14. Chicago Architectural Boat Tour

The architecture river cruise in downtown Chicago is a must-do activity for those who are interested in architecture, design, and history. During the cruise, visitors will have the opportunity to see 40 of Chicago’s most famous buildings and landmarks from a gorgeous boat, and learn about the history, architectural styles, and artistic movements.

What are the Best Nerdy Theater, Film & Shows?

15. Second City Comedy Club

Comedy and nerdiness might seem like an unlikely pairing, but in reality, the two have always had a close friendship. From the early days of stand-up comedy, when comedians like Steven Wright and Emo Phillips used their love of science and technology as material for their acts, to the modern era of nerdy sitcoms and podcasts (hello Big Bang Theory!), there’s no denying that comedy and nerdiness go hand in hand.

If you’re looking for a night of nerdy laughter and entertainment, there’s no better place to visit than Second City Comedy Club. Located in the heart of the city, this iconic comedy club has been a fixture on the Chicago cultural scene for decades, and has played host to some of the biggest names in comedy, including Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and Stephen Colbert.

Since the club is known as a pipeline for discovering top comedians, spectators are able to see some of the best up-and-coming comedic talent in the business. The training program consists of various comedic formats including improv workshops & stand up nights so shows are always fresh, funny, and full of surprises.

16. Raks Geek (Geek + Bellydance + Fire)

The nerdiest variety show in Chicago! Raks Geek shows feature everything from a belly dancing Wookie to fire spinning super heroes. The performers focus on blending artistic and technical mastery with fun, creativity, and the nerdiest fandoms out there. And the people love it! Featured both domestically and internationally on MSN, WGN-TV, The Daily Mail, and more, Raks Geek was listed as a Timeout Chicago Critics’ Pick.

Shows are one-night only and happen on a periodic basis so make sure to check the site and book tickets in advance!

17. Chicago Magic Lounge

Step through the secret laundry door and transport away from your common, banal life into a world of magic and mystery. As you’re seated in the speakeasy lounge, peruse your art deco designed menu to find sparkling cocktails such as How Houdini Died, The Great Bellini, or Gone Without a Tres and some tempting sweet and savory bites.

Open 7-nights-a-week, the Chicago Magic Lounge features performances from some of the most talented magicians in the world in shows such as:

  • Music and Magic – Music on the stage ad magic at your table
  • The Signature Show – A tribute to Chicago’s high magic history
  • The Showcase – Magic from a variety of top local magicians
  • The Family Show – “Magic for the young and young at heart”

Check out the schedule for tickets to upcoming events!

What are the Best Nerdy Nature Experiences?

18. Oz Park

Celebrate the 1939 “The Wizard of Oz” film in a whimsically designed park that is sure to delight and engage any fan of pop culture and geeky pursuits. Throughout the park there are friendly statues of the main characters: Dorothy & Toto, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion. From Dorothy’s Playlot to the Emerald Garden, this park is a wonderful place to enjoy beautiful wildlife, relax, and bask in the magic of the fantastical Land of Oz.

19. Movie Filming Locations

Chicago is home to the filming locations for a ton of amazing movies and TV shows. If you’re a movie fan, then you’ll definitely want to check out these awesome sites. From superhero blockbusters to heartwarming romantic comedies, there’s something for every type of nerd on this list.

Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to geek out in the city that works! Just don’t forget to bring your superhero cape (you know, for extra authenticity).

20. Union Stockyards Gate

Are you a fan of all things cow-related? Do you have an insatiable appetite for beef jerky and beef jerky-related paraphernalia? If so, then the Union Stock Yards Gate in Chicago is the place for you!

This historic landmark is a must-see destination for any self-respecting meat-lover, who wants to experience the history of what was once the largest meatpacking district in the world.

You can take a selfie with a giant cow head. Yes, you read that right – there’s a giant cow head at the Union Stock Yard Gate, and it’s just begging for a selfie. Trust us, your Instagram followers will be jelly.

What are the Best Nerdy Rides, Escape Rooms & Virtual Experiences?

21. Six Flags Great America

Are you ready for an adventure that will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into the pages of your favorite comic book? Look no further than Six Flags Great America!

If you’re a fan of adrenaline-pumping rides, you’ll find plenty to love in the DC Universe themed area. From the Dark Knight coaster to Superman: Ultimate Flight, there are plenty of high-speed, heart-pounding rides to choose from.

Additionally, Six Flags Great America hosts a variety of special events and shows, including holiday celebrations and live performances. If you’re a fan of live entertainment, you’ll want to check out the park’s schedule to see what’s coming up.

22. Mastermind Escape Games

Mastermind Escape games immerses you in an exciting & slightly creepy adventure where you will physically interact with your surroundings to solve puzzles and find clues.

Make a reservation and find yourself in the middle of one of these exciting games:

  • The Shed – You’ve heard disconcerting things about your neighbor. When he goes out you decide to investigate.
  • Sorcerer’s Secret – You discover an evil sorcerer’s plot against your uncle! Solve the curse and get out of his lair before its too late.
  • Outbreak: Find the Cure – Oh no! A deadly experimental virus has been released in the ventilation system of the CDC. Find your way out before time runs out.
  • Bank Heist – You’ve joined an organized crime syndicate and your first mission is to rob a bank! See how much money you can get before the police come for you.

23. The Great Escape Room Chicago

Visit the #1 voted escape room in America! With two scavenger hunt rooms, one portable escape experience, and four immersive rooms, The Great Escape Room is definitely a must visit spot.

  • Infirmary: Surgical Crisis
  • Poker Night at the President’s Bunker
  • Escape Artist: The Final Séance
  • Escape The Coliseum: The Underworld Maze

Spots are limited, so book your game ASAP!

24. Redline VR

This premiere immersive entertainment destination has it all: multiple virtual reality experiences, a fully-stocked bar, karaoke, billiards, and a massive theater (frequently featuring music, art, comedy and community events).

Individual VR bays can be rented for 30, 45, 60, 90, or 120-minutes at a time and have over 50 games to choose from. With a large projector screen that will show your friends whats going on in your headset, you will be able to win your game and share the glory with your spectators.

What are the Best Festivals, Conventions, and Live Events in Chicago?

25. St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

Grab some corned beef and cabbage and head down to the Chicago River – you’re in for a jolly green surprise!

Due to harsh political and economic conditions in mid-19th century Ireland and abundant jobs in the construction & transportation industries in the Chicago area, the city became a popular new home for many immigrant families.

According to historical records, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago was held in 1843, just a few years after the city was founded. The parade was organized by a group of Irish immigrants who wanted to celebrate their heritage and traditions.

Today, you can enjoy their legacy at one of many St. Patrick’s Day events around the city.

One of the most popular attractions is the “greenification” of the Chicago river. You can watch boats with dye cruise the river, distribute the dye via large hoses, and leave the water a bright, Irish green. Furthermore you can enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day parade, one of the largest in the country, featuring a wide variety of floats, bands, and other entertainment. It’s a great opportunity for people who enjoy attending public events and seeing unique and creative performances.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is so widely celebrated throughout the city, holiday festivities are a great opportunity to meet new people and socialize. Whether you’re attending a bar, pub crawl, or private party, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet and connect with fellow shamrock lovers.

26. Windycon

If you’re interested in cutting-edge science fiction topics from astrophysics to alien costuming then “Chicago’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention” is for you! Initially started as a Sci-Fi literary convention, prominent events are either writing (Short Story contest and Writer’s Workshop for aspiring authors) or pop culture related.

Gear-heads will be happy to find an Art Show and Dealer’s Room where local artisans showcase unique, one-of-a-kind merchandise.

27. Lollapalooza

Nerds frequently fall into certain stereotypes and hobbies that typically do not include attending mainstream music festivals.

Lollapalooza is different.

I think every nerd should experience it at least once in their lifetime. Heres why:

  1. The music. Lollapalooza is known for its diverse lineup of artists, ranging from mainstream to indie and everything in between. As a nerd, I appreciate being exposed to new music and genres that I may not have discovered otherwise. Plus, seeing live performances of my favorite bands is always a thrilling experience.
  2. The atmosphere. Lollapalooza is not just about the music – it’s also about the culture and community. There are so many people from all walks of life in attendance, and it’s a great opportunity to meet new people and make connections.
  3. The technology. Lollapalooza has a focus on technology and innovation, with stages dedicated to electronic music and interactive experiences as well as cool tech to help attendees find lost items. As a nerd, I love being able to see how tech is creatively being used to support the music industry.

28. C2E2

The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, or C2E2, is an annual gathering of lovers of comic books, movies, television, video games, and other aspects of pop culture.

C2E2, which takes place at the McCormick Place convention center, offers seminars and workshops with industry experts, celebrity signing sessions, and a sizable exhibition floor packed with merchants offering anything from memorabilia to original artwork.

Additionally, C2E2 hosts a variety of unique occasions, such as cosplay competitions and live concerts.

29. Chicago TARDIS

Chicago TARDIS is an annual convention that celebrates the long-running British science fiction television show, Doctor Who.

The convention features a variety of events and activities for true fans of the show, including: costume contests, an Alley of Delek’s, dance party, merchandise, karaoke, fan created games (including a Doctor Who RPG), on-site childcare, and more.

At its heart, Chicago TARDIS is a great opportunity for fans of Doctor Who to come together, share their love of the show with others, and learn more about the series. It is a fun and exciting event that is sure to be a hit with fans of all ages.

What are the Best Nerdy Tours & Classes?

30. Glassblowing Class

The art of glassblowing involves a thorough understanding of the properties and behavior of glass, including its melting point, viscosity, and thermal expansion.

Remind anyone of high school chemistry?

Luckily, this Airbnb Experience skips the beakers and periodic table in favor of instructing students how to create their own piece of chemistry.

Lamp-working, or torch-working, is a form of miniature glassblowing where students use a torch to create their own unique small glass piece. The instructor will explain the safety rules and demonstrate the process before helping each student make their own pendant, zipper pull, sun catcher, or light switch pull.

31. Spray n’ Sip – Street Art & Aerosol Class

Some consider graffiti to be a form of urban data visualization, as it allows artists to represent and convey information to many through visual means. This connection to data analysis and visualization aligns with the interests of many nerdy individuals, including myself.

At Studio W.I.P., guests can immerse themselves in the world of spray paint and urban art. During the interactive workshop, lead by local artists, guests will become the artist and experiment with lettering, stencils, aerosol, and cap techniques as they create part of a 50ft mural. The main goal of the workshop is to break down stereotypes surrounding spray paint and leave guests with curiosity and basic skills in using aerosol.

Guests are welcome to bring their own beverages and will go home with their own piece of art as a memento of the night.

32. Ferris Bueller at the Art Institute of Chicago Walking Tour

Enjoy Chicago Art with all the flair of Ferris Bueller and his friends.

On this tour, you’ll start by learning a short history of the Art Institute of Chicago. Then, you’ll spend the rest of your time exploring the galleries and looking at the artwork featured in the classic 1986 American teen comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

You’ll visit three floors of the museum, see 16 pieces of art, and learn about the works, their relationship to the characters, and their placement in the film. By the end of the tour, you’ll have a greater appreciation for these works of art and how they were used in the movie.

*This tour does not include admission to the Art Institute of Chicago.

33. Food Tours!

If you’re the type to fantasize about eating at places like The Three Broomsticks and The Krusty Krab, we recommend exploring Chicago’s delicious, vibrant, and innovative culinary scene on one (or both!) of two highly popular food tours:

Chicago’s Underground Donut Tour

Learn more about the city of Chicago through the medium of donuts!

You’ll try some of the best doughnut shops the city has to offer: Doughnut Vault, Firecakes Donuts, Stans Donuts, and Do-Rite Donuts. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history of Chicago, each donut location, and how they fit into the larger food scene.

If you like donuts and happiness then this tour is for you.

Micheline Standard Tapas & Live Flamenco

Experience an intimate and artistic dining experience enjoying Spanish tapas while listening to Spanish music.

As you finish your tapas, you will be treated to a performance of flamenco, a style of music that mixes stories and anecdotes of life through dance, sounds, melodies, feelings, and emotions. Afterwards, you’ll have a chance to ask questions and even participate in a small lesson.

Your instructor, Ronaldo, is a professional dancer, percussionist, and teacher who has flamenco deeply ingrained in his life, and his wife, Carla, is a chef who studied culinary in Mexico City and has worked at a Michelin Star restaurant in Barcelona. Don’t miss this special opportunity just a short distance from downtown Chicago.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Stay?

34. Publishing House Bed & Breakfast

The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast is a boutique hotel in Chicago that was once the home of the Free Methodist Publishing House. It has been renovated and was reopened in 2017 as a bed and breakfast.

The 11 rooms in the inn are dedicated to authors who have written books about Chicago and feature vintage decor, heated floors, and clawfoot tubs. The inn is located near the historic Printer’s Row neighborhood, which is home to many independent bookstores and literary events.

The owners of the inn are literature lovers and excellent cooks who serve guests a lavish breakfast each morning and freshly baked cookies and muffins throughout the day. This inn is a unique destination for book lovers looking to immerse themselves in the world of literature and publishing.

35. Tropical Penthouse Paradise

A little slice of tropical paradise surprisingly nestled in the middle of Wicker Park and not the ocean. We’ve kept things dreamy enough, you won’t even notice the sand is missing. Chicago tropical? We just made that a thing.”

– Liz, your host

Need an escape? Just add water, a flamingo, and a palm or two to this palatial escape in the middle of all the action that Wicker Park has to offer. Relax with +14 friends or family members as you soak in the natural light and fresh ambiance.

The overall tropical vibes of this laid back stay will have you checked into vacation mode as quicker than you can say Marvelous Mojito!

Recommended: How to Decorate a Hotel Room for a Birthday

36. ACME Hotel

ACME Hotel is a boutique hotel located in the center of Chicago and close to many attractions. It is designed with an eye for style and offers a creative atmosphere with a focus on art, music, and design.

The hotel has a top-notch cocktail lounge called The Berkshire Room, a hot tub bar called Bunny Slope Bar (yes, you drink in the hot tub), and a bakery called WestTown. ACME Hotel offers free delivery of Morning Joe® coffee every morning and free, fast WiFi throughout the hotel.

Each room is equipped with a state-of-the-art Hi Fi system and an Amazon Alexa for added convenience. Enjoy your hotel experience without breaking the budget!

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Eat in Chicago?

37. SafeHouse Chicago

This spy-themed restaurant and bar is a must-visit destination for any nerd looking to unleash their inner James Bond or Natasha Romanoff.

The SafeHouse is a playground for the curious mind, with secret passages, hidden rooms, and challenging puzzles that will test your intelligence and cunning. Trying to uncover all of the hidden secrets… I dare you.

The restaurant is filled with spy-themed decor and gadgets, from secret doors and hidden compartments, to fake books and hidden cameras. You’ll have a great time pretending to be a secret agent and trying out all the cool gadgets.

38. Elf’d Up

If you’re one of those people who love tacky Christmas decorations, can enjoy listening to Christmas music at any time of the year, and refuses to take down your Christmas tree until February, Elfed Up is the perfect place to unleash your inner Buddy the Elf and embrace your love for all things Christmas.

You’ll have a great time singing along to holiday classics, drinking holiday-themed cocktails, meeting Buddy the Elf, participating in Christmas trivia, and getting into the festive spirit at any time of the year!

Enjoy menu items like:

  • Buddy’s Breakfast Pasta
  • Arctic Puffin’s Fish Tacos
  • Angry Elf Shrimp
  • Swirly Twirly Wings
  • Worlds Best Cup of Naughty Coffee

39. Snakes & Lattes

Snakes & Lattes is one of the top board game cafes in Chicago. With ambiance that makes you feel like you’re in a game and over 400 board games and tabletop games to choose from. This shop is top notch!

For less than $10 per person, customers can enter the “game vault” and choose the game of their choice.

The café serves coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, as well as appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and snacks. Snakes & Lattes also offers events and private parties, and it is possible to reserve tables in advance.

Additionally they host monthly trivia nights that are always a good time!

40. The Whale

The Whale is a restaurant in Chicago with a mid-century gambling theme and a 1920s vibe.

The restaurant’s name and theme are inspired by the gambling term “whale,” which refers to a high-stakes gambler who wagers large amounts of money and receives lavish perks from casinos to entice them to gamble.

It serves elevated American fare and cocktails in large portion sizes – you won’t leave hungry or rich!

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Drink in Chicago?

41. The Geek Easy

The Geek Easy is a comic book-themed bar in Chicago with video games, karaoke, live events, and a full bar with craft beer. It has a fun and eclectic decor with good lighting and a friendly atmosphere.

The bartenders are quick and polite and the bar has a good selection of ales, meads, and mixed drinks

The space can get crowded and is not well-suited for larger groups, and parking can be challenging on event nights.

42. Galloping Ghost

The Galloping Ghost Arcade is a popular bar and arcade, known for its extensive collection of vintage arcade games and consoles.

With over 500 games to choose from, including classic titles like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter, its the perfect spot for both casual gamers and serious retro-gaming enthusiasts.

In addition to its gaming offerings, the Galloping Ghost also features a full bar with a wide selection of craft beers, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages.

43. Replay Lincoln Park

Replay arcade bar offers a range of vintage arcade games, pinball, and craft beer and cocktails in a warm industrial setting. Most of the games are free to play.

They have fun periodic pop up themes (think Jurassic Park, The Krusty Krab, Blockbuster, Game of Thrones, The Office & Y2K) with decorations, drinks, and activities to match. Super fun!

44. Wormhole Coffee

Known for its unique and eclectic atmosphere, Wormhole Coffee attracts a diverse crowd of coffee lovers and hipsters. The shop features a wide selection of hand-crafted coffee drinks, including espresso-based beverages, pour-overs, and cold brews… with the best latte art! In addition to its coffee offerings, Wormhole Coffee also serves a variety of pastries, sandwiches, and other light meals.

If you like Star Wars, Back to the Future, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then you will love the retro sci-fi decor and quirky, one-of-a-kind vibe.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Shop?

45. Graham Cracker Comics

Graham Cracker Comics is a comic book and gaming store with a wide selection of classic and modern products at reasonable prices. It is known for having a particularly large selection of older, classic games & comics, although the selection of newer games may be more limited.

46. First Aid Comics

Nestled in the heart of Chicago, this little shop is jam-packed with all sorts of graphic novels, indie comics, and of course, all your favorite superhero titles. And don’t worry, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, the friendly and knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. Or maybe they’ll just recommend something totally random and unexpected – it’s always a surprise at First Aid Comics!

So if you’re in the mood for some top-notch comics and a good time, swing by when you have some time to kill. Just try not to drool on the merchandise too much.

47. Woolly Mammoth Antique Oddities

If you have a love for all things weird and unique, Woolly Mammoth Chicago is the place for you!

This shop is filled with all sorts of interesting and eclectic items, including vintage and antique taxidermy, anatomy items, medical stuff, books, toys, skulls, and much more. The shop owner is extremely knowledgeable and can answer any questions you might have about the items on display.

48. Zombie Unicorn Comics

Are you a fan of all things undead and magical? Look no further than Zombie Unicorn Comics, the one-stop shop for all zombie unicorn-themed comic books and everything in between!

Step inside and you’ll be greeted by rows upon rows of comics featuring your favorite graphic novels, collectables, and other geeky merchandise – there’s something for every fan of the unconventional.

But that’s not all! Zombie Unicorn Comics offers additional services such as comic book pressing and cleaning and artist signature acquisition.

49. Bucket O’Blood Books and Records

Bucket ‘o Blood Books & Records is a unique store located in the heart of Chicago. Known for its eclectic mix of used books and records, the store attracts a diverse crowd of bibliophiles and music lovers.

As you enter the store, you’ll immediately be struck by the cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The shelves are packed with an impressive selection of used books and records, covering a wide range of genres and subjects. You can easily spend hours browsing the shelves, discovering hidden treasures and forgotten classics.

The store’s friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to help you find what you’re looking for or recommend something new. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just looking for something to read or listen to, Bucket ‘o Blood Books & Records is the perfect place to discover new favorites.

50. Kinokuniya Chicago

Kinokuniya is a Japanese bookstore chain that specializes in offering a wide selection of Japanese books, magazines, and other printed materials, as well as a range of Japanese stationery and gifts. In addition to its extensive selection of Japanese-language materials, Kinokuniya Chicago also carries a selection of English-language books, including a variety of manga and anime titles.

The store also frequently hosts events and workshops related to Japanese culture, such as book clubs, language exchange meetings, and art exhibits. Check out the events page before you visit!


Now you know – Chicago isn’t just for beer-swilling sports fans and deep-dish pizza lovers, although it isn’t bad to enjoy those things either! Chicago is a place for Brainiacs, toy lovers, and fans of all types. Bring yourself and leave with a little more.

39 Surprisingly Nerdy Things to do Now in San Diego

Attention all Potterheads, Oompa Loompas, Narnians, Whos (down in Whoville) and just about anyone else you can think of in the nerd-dom who is planning to spend time in San Diego!

Are you looking for something entertaining, fun, and just a tad bit nerdy to do in San Diego?

This guide will show you exactly how to make your next trip to “America’s Finest City” a truly memorable travel experience. All activities are within two hours from the city proper. You don’t have to be a nerd to enjoy this list but if you are a nerd, then these activities are definitely for you:

Interest-Based Nerdy Travel Experiences

Standard Travel Needs – Nerdy Style

About The Author

Hi, I’m Kate.

I started planning unique travel experiences way back in 2008.

And I quickly realized that quirky, nerdy experiences were going to be a big part of my travel planning success.

So I set out to explore as much as I could.

And thanks to years of reading and experimenting, I’ve had a ton of success with travel planning…

…including the top 3 performing nerdy guides on this site:

  1. Nerdy Experiences in Washington DC
  2. Nerdy Experiences in Boston
  3. Nerdy Experiences in Los Angeles

Check out these ideas in San Diego and you could have an awesome trip planned within the next 20 minutes.

What are the Top Nerdy Experiences Unique to San Diego?

1. Best Nerd Convention: Comic-Con

Most self-respecting nerds have fantasized about attending the original San Diego comic-con. Nothing can compare joining 130,000 of the most committed fans in the world, wearing full designer cosplay for, four days of unique, immersive pop culture experiences.

If cosplay and rare comic books aren’t your thing, even the most casual nerds will appreciate the breadth of pop culture activities to enjoy:

  • Blockbuster film actors, directors, and crew panels
  • Future potential TV & movie project screenings
  • Unique vendor shops
  • Funky photo ops

Activities appeal to virtually all genre interests including: horror, Western animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, books, sci-fi, and fantasy.

2. Best Nerd Museum: Comic-Con Museum

Connect with the magic of Comic-Con all year round!

The Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park was designed to give nerds and non-nerds alike an opportunity to learn about new art and pop culture. The museum’s mission is to express the unique aggregation of passion, creativity, science, technology, art and imagination found at the convention each year.

Visitors have the opportunity to see memorabilia from comics, Sci-Fi, TV shows, books, video games, anime, and more in classic museum format in addition to participating in classes, activities, movie screenings, trivia contests and programs available online anytime.

3. Best Retro Gaming Bar: Coin Haus

Pour yourself a beer (or a few!) at the self-service beer bar and lose yourself in a warehouse full of classic arcade games. Before you go, make sure to check the website for nightly specials and remember that video games are free during happy hour!

Recommended: Where to Meet The Best Nerdy Guys Right Now

4. Best Childhood Throwback: Dr Seuss Legacy

Photo Credit: Stephen Bay Photography

From early childhood, many of us grew up with the whimsical rhymes, funny illustrations, and imaginative messages of Theodore Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. A legacy tribute to the author of the nerdy catchphrase “you have to be odd to be number one” is definitely worthy of this nerdy list.

Theodore Geisel spent many of his working years living and creating in La Jolla, CA. After his death much of his estate was left to UC San Diego.

Today, visitors can immerse themselves in his life and creative inspirations at a few places in La Jolla:

  • Geisel Library at UC San Diego: The Dr Suess Collection (including nearly 20,000 items ranging from original drawings, sketches, proofs, notebooks, and other memorabilia) is typically not available for public viewing, however it is displayed temporarily during March (Dr. Seuss’ birthday) and in the summer.
  • Former Personal Residence: Gifted to UCSD upon his death. 7301 Encelia Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037

5. Space Invaders Hunt

This downtown art installation is a reverse of the original Space Invaders game: instead of being charged by aliens, you charge the aliens.

Beginning as an exhibit for the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art called “Viva la Revolution: A Dialogue with the Urban Environment”, this Space Invaders themed installation has become a modern-day scavenger hunt for gamers and treasure hunters alike.

The exhibit featured a French muralist known for creating mosaic murals of the classic space “invader” icon in urban environments. His contribution to the exhibit featured 21 icons around the city. Following the map in the link above, invader-seekers can still find most of the original mosaics as they explore San Diego’s downtown urban landscape.

6. Best Tech Nerd Store: Geeks Candy Shop

If Willy Wonka made IT equipment instead of Chocolate, his factory would look something like Geeks Candy Shop. Although the sweetness only comes from the amazing deals on all things techy (laptops to servers to monitors and even power cables), the knowledgeable staff is very helpful and merchandise well-organized like a candy factory.

Feel like a kid in a candy shop Its like eBay but without the shipping hassles!

7. Best Nerdy Toy Store: ComicKazi

If you like your nerd toys in the way Harry Potter likes his godfather, Serious, then this shop is for you! This high-quality, low-frills shop has everything you need for the best shopping experience imaginable: massive inventory selection, knowledgeable & helpful staff, and fair pricing (even on limited edition release items!).

What are the Best Nerdy Local Cultural Experiences?

8. Essential San Diego Museums

San Diego has a wide variety of museums due to the city hosting the 1915 Panama Exposition. After the exposition, many of the buildings were turned into museums. When selecting museums for your trip, these are our favorites:

**It’s important to note that February is San Diego Museum month where most museums have discounted or free admission.

  • USS Midway Museum – A unique opportunity to see the formerly confidential interiors of one of the longest-serving aircraft carriers of the 20th century. You will tour the ship through the sleeping quarters, engine room, galley, hanger deck and flight deck via a self guided audio tour. We recommend taking time to listen to the tours and presentations by docents, taking a test flight in the simulators, and seeing retired planes on the flight deck. This museum should be a high priority on any San Diego activity list!
  • Fleet Science Center – Experience fundamental science principles in light, perception, physics, technology and engineering. This hands on museum teaches through interactive exhibits that appeal to adults and children alike. Plus there is a 76 foot Imax theater with immersive educational films.
  • San Diego Natural History Museum – The San Diego Natural History Museum (known as NAT) features the ecological, environmental, and biological history of the Southern California and Baja California regions. You will get to see the allosaurus cast (named “Al”), scavenger hunts in Fossil Mysteries, the Foucault Pendulum, drawing skulls on the gigantic chalkboard, movies in the Giant-Screen Theater and more!
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps – As an active research facility, the Birch Aquarium features the most current findings in oceanography. Visitors learn about fishes and invertebrates through hands-on exhibits, outdoor tide pools full of Swell Sharks, Round Rays & Pink Abalone, and expert lead on-site programming.
  • Museum of Us – Dedicated to the anthropology of the human experience from multicultural perspective. Besides housing several interesting and unique temporary exhibits with subjects that cover everything from 10,000 years of beer-brewing history to “Cannibals: Myth & Reality,” the museum is known for having one of the most extensive collections of Ancient Egyptian antiquities in the U.S (including one of only 6 Ptolemaic child’s coffins and several authentic mummies).

9. Bonfire Nights on the Bay

Twilight is one of the most magical times to enjoy the ocean. The slightly brisk salty breeze will make you want to curl up in a cozy chair with a glass of wine, next to a warm fire and enjoy the company of locals and fellow travelers.

In this affordable Airbnb experience, you show up to the bay and let your host take care of the rest – It even includes s’mores!

10. Sunset Surfing with A Cali Surf Bro

Although nerds aren’t stereotypically the most athletic bunch, they are typically comfortable being the newbie, or in this case maybe the “hodad”, and trying a new way of life that is different from their own.

San Diego surf culture is definitely a way of life.

In this Airbnb experience you will grab a board, learn basic surfing techniques, and feel the freedom of California’s favorite ocean sport. Within two hours you will be able to stand on your surfboard and maybe even “shoot the curl”!

What are the Best Nerdy Theater, Film & Shows?

11. Rooftop Cinema Club

Sunsets, skylines, elevated food & drink and cutting-edge sound is THE NEW way to immerse yourself in the magic of urban cinema.

Enter Rooftop Cinema Club.

This downtown outdoor theater screens cults, classics, and new releases in a picturesque metropolitan environment. Although there are opportunities to interact with other audience members before the film via games, prizes, talent Q&As, and sing-a-longs, the cinematic experience is paramount. Each guest is given a state-of-the-art audio headset to ensure they catch every last word in the feature film.

Don’t forget to grab some of the unique snacks and a craft cocktail or beer!

12. The Prestige – Magic Lounge & Showroom

Mix magic, mystery and humor in this interactive dinner show experience in the Gaslamp District of Downtown. You’ll start in an elegant lounge with amateur magician bartenders who perform coin & card tricks. As you wait for the show to begin, explore the décor and learn the history of magic.

When the reservation begins, you will be guided into the showroom dinner parlor through a secret entrance. Enjoy the three course meal of a salad, entree, and dessert with menu options for all taste preferences & dietary restrictions. Finally, you’ll experience a puzzling & mystifying magic show from an awarded magician. You are guaranteed to leave interested and amazed – The Prestige offers a unique experience to be remembered!

13. The Sugar Factory & Theatre Box Movie Theater

Make your next cinematic flick even sweeter with the ultimate menu of saccharine-loaded treat options! This is the recipe for a syrupy, delicious evening:

  1. Order dinner – we recommend selecting one of the rainbow options (burgers, pancakes, or tie dye milkshakes)
  2. Visit the sweet shop (literally every candy imaginable)
  3. Grab a beverage at the bar (um… 36-ounce alcohol infused smoking candy goblet?? Yes please!)
  4. Head to the chic theater complex attached for your feature entertainment

14. Top Gun Filming Locations

If you like your movies to have fast planes, g-force, and cheesy beach football games, then a visit to the filming locations from Top Gun is a must-do San Diego attraction.

Click on the links below to see specific locations (Google Maps geo links).

From Top Gun: Maverick, you can visit the following filming sites: Naval Air Station North Island, I-Bar (Hard Deck Bar), Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, and Highway 1.

If your interested in sites from the original Top Gun, we recommend The Top Gun House (now a bakery!), Liberty Station, and Kansas City Barbecue.

What are the Best Nerdy Nature Experiences?

15. Arabian Horse Experience

Whether its Arod (Legolas’ horse in Lord of the Rings), Roach (Geralt’s horse in the Witcher), or Stayer (Perrin’s horse in the Wheel of Time) having a sturdy steed is an essential element of fantasy literature.

Known for their appealing physical appearance, endurance, gentleness, and speed Arabian horses are the oldest breed known to man (dating back to 3000 BC). The Arabian breed is featured in the heartfelt family classic The Black Stallion.

In this Airbnb experience a true enthusiast will give you the full lowdown on this exceptional animal. You will start with the biology, history, pedigree, and maintenance of Arabian horses and end with a full feeding and riding session. Plus, your host will give you Arabian coffee with customary fruit and nuts.

All skill levels are welcome and don’t forget to see the fish, chickens, pheasants, quails, ducks, turkeys and parrots on the property.

16. Harper’s Topiary Garden

Step into the closet of a magical world where instead of being turned into stone, animals are turned into lush, green bushes. And instead of an evil witch seeking for power, a kindly set of gardeners makes creations to beautify the world.

Thanks to over 15 years of work from the Harper family, visiting their Topiary Garden may make you feel like your in the magical land of Narnia.

For those who don’t have a natural green thumb, Topiary is…

The horticultural practice of training perennial plants by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and subshrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, whether geometric or fanciful.

The term also refers to plants which have been shaped in this way.


When you visit this home in Mission Hills, San Diego you’ll see 50 different creations in the garden art gallery including: a whale, bunnies, a dog, a dinosaur, and an entire herd of elephants.

Anyone is welcome to enjoy this outdoor art exhibit, but if you visit please respect the privacy of the owners & their creations.

What are the Best Nerdy Rides, Escape Rooms & Virtual Experiences?

17. Legoland

Did you know that the best nerd toy ever has its own theme park?

If you have kids under the age of 12 – definitely go! Your kids will love it.

If you don’t have kids but love LEGOs, fantastic ambiance, light roller coasters, Botanical Gardens, and getting access to exclusive LEGO sets you should probably consider making a stop.

One of the most impressive highlights of the park is seeing the many awesome LEGO structures, buildings, and characters in MiniLand & around the park.

  • Star Wars: Continually expanding and diversifying the mini-Empire—like the scale model of the Death Star, a 1,900-pound masterpiece made with half a million plastic bricks. Check out LEGO-constructed landscapes like the Jawa sandcrawler on Tatooine, an underwater Opee sea killer on Naboo, and displays of the planet Jakku from The Force Awakens.
  • Mini-city: Visit New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Washington DC all in one place.
  • Famous Figures: See busts of famous personalities, including William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth II, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington made out of Lego blocks.

18. Belmont Park

Belmont Park is a historic amusement park located on the ocean’s front of Mission Beach. The park was developed by sugar magnate John D. Spreckels and opened on July 4, 1925 as the Mission Beach Amusement Center.

Located on the surf and sand of Mission Beach, Belmont Park is San Diego’s only beachfront amusement and entertainment center! From the historic Giant Dipper Roller Coaster to the dynamic oceanfront restaurants, Belmont Park is the quintessential Southern California beach experience.

Take a stroll through the park and grab a Monster Waffle Cone then check out all the action on the Boardwalk. Sit down for a delicious bite to eat or one of 69 beers on tap at Draft South Mission after a fun-filled day of mini golf, rock climbing, and rides. No matter your age, the park has something everyone in the family can enjoy. However you choose to spend your day, Belmont Park is the best way to play!

19. Lockdown Escape Rooms

Visit some of the best, fully immersive escape game experiences in San Diego! Over the years Lockdown has become an enthusiast favorite due to quality design, unique puzzles, interesting storylines, and attention to detail.

You and your group can test your logical reasoning, mental finesse, and intelligence in one of four great themes at the Hillcrest location: Medieval, Western, Voodoo and Science.

Spots are limited, so book your game ASAP!

What are the Best Festivals, Conventions, and Live Events in San Diego?

20. Sand Castle Building Competition

If you like artsy reality TV shows (think baking, fashion design, glass blowing, etc), then you will love the in-person Sand Castle Building Competition in Imperial Beach, CA. Every June the finest Sand Castle artists in San Diego and the USA gather for a two day tournament of sandy grit and skill.

Competition events consist of a breakfast with the Mayor, exhibition of sand castle construction, the Sand Castle Ball, and a Winners Award ceremony. Spectators are welcome to view the sand castles throughout the event.

21. San Diego Bay Parade of Boats

San Diego is a unique place to celebrate Christmas. Since its only snowed 5 times over the past 125 years, Christmas is marked by holiday decoration instead of frozen precipitation.

Although, travelers have the opportunity to ice skate on the beach (Hotel del Coronado), make sand angels instead of snow angels, and view a holiday pet parade, one of the most festive ways to celebrate with locals is to attend the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights presented by the local boating community.

For over 50 years, 80 owners extravagantly decorate their boats for over 100,000 spectators. There is no cost to view the parade, however it gets a little brisk by the sea in the evening so make sure to bring a sweater!

What are the Best Nerdy Tours & Classes?

22. Falconry Experience Over the Beach

Although this falconry experience doesn’t involve fighting with the Avengers and donning Captain America’s vibranium shield, it will definitely show you the power Falcons and how they influenced Marvel character Sam Wilson to become The Falcon.

Wilson’s adventure started when he took his adopted pet Falcon, Redwing, to the tropics for a hunting expedition only to discover that the the other hunters were former Nazis with nefarious plans (w/supervillain Red Skull).

Your adventure will start when you visit the majestic cliffs of La Jolla to free fly falcons over the sea. After that, who knows where your adventure will lead?

In this experience you will learn how to call and release trained birds using a falconry glove, get an up-close view of simulated hunting behaviors, and admire the aerial skills of swooping, ground-skimming, & high speed diving. Additionally there will be plenty of time for questions and pictures with the birds!

23. Olympic Training Center Tour

The Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center opened in 1995 as an Olympic Training Center. In the mid-80s, the USOC put out a request for a city to bid to raise funds to design and build a warm-weather, sea-level training facility with access to a lake. The San Diego National Sports Training Foundation won the bid and raised funds for the initial phase of development while the Eastlake Company donated 150 acres in eastern Chula Vista. The facility was then gifted to the U.S. Olympic Committee to own and operate. The Chula Vista Olympic Training Center was the first center to be master-planned from the ground up as an Olympic Training Center and is dedicated to the development and performance of America’s future Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Ground was broken on the facility in 1990 and it officially opened in June 1995. Since then, the training center has benefited thousands of Olympians, Paralympians, Olympic & Paralympic hopefuls, numerous community groups, and countless visitors from around the world.

24. Gaslamp Historic True Crime Tour

Lights, camera, MURDER! Explore Hollywood and uncover the secrets of this world famous neighborhood.

Explore the dark underbelly of Hollywood with the ultimate Haunted Hollywood walking tour. As the sun sets over Hollywood, you will be led on a fright filled walk down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams to visit haunted hotels, theaters, and landmarks.

If you love Hollywood, the paranormal, or true crime – this is the tour for y…Crea

25. Create Tiny Ceramics on a Mini Potters Wheel

Join me in the land of miniatures. You will learn how and get to create tiny pottery on a mini pottery wheel. No previous pottery experience necessary! 

Overlooking a beautiful canyon with vistas of mountains east of San Diego, you will experience the green of fruit trees and birdsong, in this relaxing indoor outdoor art studio.

This experience includes clay, glazing and firing of the clay. You will get to choose one color of glaze per pot. The clay cannot be taken home at the time of the class because it must be kiln fired. The turn around is about a week for drying, glazing, and firing. If you are visiting from out of town, I will be able to ship it to you for a minimum of $10/box. If you are local, I will contact you to know when they are ready to pick up. Depending on your location, we can also set up a time to meet up so I can get you back your miniature creations.

26. Bees By the Bay – Hive Dive

Step aside Winnie-the-Poo, we’re leaving the hundred acre wood and entering the world of suburban beekeeping!

In this Bee-ginning level Beekeeping Class you will have the opportunity to peek inside a hive, see how bees live, learn about creating honey & beeswax, harvest popular products, and, of course, eat some honey. Just remember to have fun and bee yourself!

27. Food Tours!

If you’re the type to fantasize about eating at places like Pizza Planet and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, we recommend exploring San Diego’s delicious, vibrant, and innovative culinary scene on one (or both!) of two highly popular food tours:

A Food and Art Walk Through Barrio Logan

Discover the neighborhood of Barrio Logan, the hidden gem of San Diego, while eating and drinking your way through one of San Diego’s best kept secrets. In between tastings your local tour guide will give you a chance to explore a neighborhood that is loaded with incredible street art, one of a kind boutique shops and some of the best food and drinks in San Diego. It’s time to eat some killer food and understand the culture of San Diego.

Carlsbad Food Tours

Eat Like a Local with Carlsbad Historic Walking Food Tours 6 delicious food & wine tastings. Receive an insider’s view into the culture, history and architecture that defines the Carlsbad. Included in the guided walking tour is also our popular Tasting Guide via a QR code, which features valuable maps, exclusive guest coupons and discounts. You will learn about the origins of Carlsbad while you sample unique local favorites.

Join us on our stroll through one of the most beautiful seaside villages while creating memories you cannot forget. We will highlight the historical sites and mural art along the way.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Stay?

27. Golden Hill Tree House

Sleep among the tree branches in this luxury, urban oasis inspired treehouse. You will feel relaxed and rejuvenated as you enjoy the calming interior design, fantastic views of the Coronado islands & Mexico, a window niche with streams of natural light for quality reading, and a deep soaker bathtub with double shower heads.

Additionally, you can easily walk to some delicious restaurants or take a quick Uber to some of the best of San Diego, including downtown, the beach and the zoo!

28. Tiny Home

With nearly perfect weather year round, San Diego is the ideal location to enjoy outdoor living with an emphasis on minimalism. This tiny home, happily situated near the center of the city, is not only artfully designed on the interior, but also situated in an inviting paradisiacal garden. After a long day of adventuring around the nerdiest parts of San Diego, take some time to relax in the hammock, get cozy in the hot tub or by the fire pit, and enjoy wildlife in the fish pond.

Centrally located to the east of Downtown San Diego this Airbnb is close to both the trolly and bus lines leading to nearby cities: South Park, North Park, and Hillcrest.

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Eat in San Diego?

29. Shakespeare Pub

“Friendship makes us fresh” – William Shakespeare

British comfort food made from scratch that’s so good Brits in America claim that the flavors are “just like home.” Don’t just take our word for it, the Fish & Chips have won many awards over the years, including 2017 Best Fish & Chips in the US.

The interior is a traditional English Tudor style pub with a beverage list of the most popular brands in Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe, and the US. One distinguishing characteristic of the pub is its beer engine. One of the only establishments in San Diego to have one, the engine allows the pub to sell cask-conditioned beer, often referred to as ‘real ale’.

30. Trailer Park After Dark

Downtown bar located in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego highlighting the grit and glitter of trailer park life. They offer nightly specials, entertainment, comfort food, specialty cocktails and an ambience that will make you want to cut those jeans into shorts and bust out the Oakleys! You can reserve one of three trailers (themed by decade – 60’s, 70’s and 80’s) or just show up to grab a bite.

31. Animae

Attention Japanese culture lovers! We have a hot spot for you.

This Animae shop is hardly cartoonish, in fact it’s a world-class steakhouse restaurant owned and operated by celebrity chef and restaurateur Brian Malarkey. This sophisticated West Coast Steakhouse has strong Asian culinary influences and is one of the few restaurants in San Diego that serves Japan’s finest A5 wagyu beef.

32. One Door North

If you occasionally find yourself missing quaint childhood scout campouts or spirited renaissance fair encampments, One Door North will warm your heart and fill your stomach.

This natural themed restaurant prides itself on locally sourcing ingredients and serving a rotating menu featuring foods in season. Not only is the menu sustainably minded, but also homespun flavor focused with options like: mini corn bread muffins, a giant Bavarian pretzel​, and flat iron stake.

Also, if you bring kids or want to feel like a kid yourself, make sure to order the S’mores platter for dessert!

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Drink in San Diego?

33. Battle Mage Brewing

If you tend to choose a bar based on the quality of the fictional lore written about its historic & distinguished origin, then BattleMage Brewing is the perfect place for you! You can find said lore on their website, or just click here.

If you need further points to prove the heroic aspirations of this bar, consider the following:

  • Beer samplers are served on wooden battle axes
  • Beverage glasses have an epic wizard engraving
  • Bar seating includes a replica Game of Thrones sward chair (and enjoy a variety of other swords)
  • Walls are covered with Magic the Gathering cards
  • Drink menus have highly creative theming
  • Toilet paper roll holders are dragons
  • Dungeons & Dragons tournaments are held regularly

Choose your drink by rolling a D20 – oh wow you’ve leveled up!!

34. Brewski’s Bar & Arcade

If your idea of having a good time includes of playing classic arcade games, pinball, pool and air hockey while drinking craft beverages & cocktails, then Brewski’s Bar & Arcade is the place for you! Enjoy weekly beer pong tournaments. trivia nights and all UFC events (on PPV) from the retro-industrial bar room or spacious outdoor patio.

35. Punch Bowl Social

The former Coliseum Athletic Club in Makers Quarter, this famous boxing marquee turned Punch Bowl Social San Diego now has the spotlight on people vs. food; people vs. shots and people vs. games in true Cali style.

Here, you’ll find scratch dishes, an infamous 360 bar with craft cocktails and games like bowling, shuffleboard, karaoke and bocce ball.

Everyone is a winner. Corn hole, bowling, ping pong, darts arcade games. It’s time for some spontaneous, real-world funning.

36. The Office

The physical & cultural landscape of the 9-5 ‘daily grind’ or ‘rat race’ has changed in just the last decade. With smart phones, laptop computers & WiFi- we’ve adopted ways to be productive anywhere, anytime. The typical office as portrayed in movies & television is not-so-typical anymore…thinking outside the cubicle is to be expected (The Office has free WiFi & places to power up).

We can all agree that we’ve imagined this scene: kicking our feet up in the boss’s office, sitting in a leather throne behind a walnut desk, cocktail in hand (cue AMC’s hit show Mad Men). The concept behind The Office Bar combines the comfort and personality of a classic cocktail lounge with the a twist: you’re the boss!

Celebrities in shock instagram account , musician performances, karaoke

What are the Best Nerdy Places to Shop?

37. Calico Games

This place has pretty much all your gaming needs at a reasonably to very good price! Very few selections for newer games but the selection for older classic games are HUGE! Cashier was also very friendly and helpful, I HIGHLY recommend this place if you’re looking for that one hidden gem or if you’re just gonna browse around.

This place is great, a huge selection of games from semi-modern all the way back to Atari generation. Prices are reasonable and every game I’ve bought from them has worked. You can even find things like old Nintendo Power magazines from the ’80s. Wish I’d found out about these guys sooner! A nostalgia trip back to memory lane. They had all my childhood games and systems. I had to buy my first Christmas morning videogame that I opened up when I was a kid in 1989. They are friendly and very helpful and always have great stock of games.

38. Verbatim Books

If Verbatim Books was a person, she would be that really close friend with a ton of personality and who doesn’t care a &$*# what anyone else thinks of her.

The bookstore primarily serves the used or second hand market however they DO NOT do business over Instagram or Amazon. You can feel really good about supporting small business, and with a selection of over 35,000 books and zines, you definitely won’t feel limited by the options.

Verbatim is responsible for many of local literary events such as the North Park Book Fair and the San Diego Book Crawl (check out their events page to see the latest!). Although they won’t host individual authors for signings (to avoid favoritism), they host large readings or performances for groups of authors, local authors, musicians, performers, artists, and poets.

39. TC’s Rockets

If you loved the childhood feeling of running down massive toy aisles, digging through comic book stacks, and peering into action figured collectable filled glass cases, then you have something in common with TC’s Rockets owner Steve Lirley.

He created the comic book shop to recreate the joys of childhood for an adult customer. Inside you can find anything and everything geek, nerd, or pop culture related. The shop hosts events for gamers almost every hour of the day – if you’re looking for a strong, welcoming nerd community in San Diego, this is the place to find it.

Additionally, there is a pizza & sub shop next door


Ok townies! We hope you’re ready to get out and try some of these nerdy things in San Diego. Whether you’re a fan of games, film, magical witchcraft, or all of the above, there’s something for everyone in Sunny San Diego.

48 Surprisingly Nerdy Things to do Now in LA (Los Angeles)

Attention all Poké Fans, Marvelites, Dumbledore’s Army, and just about anyone else you can think of in the nerd kingdom who is planning to visit Los Angeles, this guide is for you!

All activities are within two hours from the city proper. You don’t have to be a nerd to enjoy this list but if you are a nerd, then these activities are definitely for you:

Interest-Based Nerdy Travel Experiences

Standard Travel Needs – Nerdy Style

Recommended: 3 Best Family Road Trips from Los Angeles to San Francisco

About The Author

Hi, I’m Kate.

I started planning unique travel experiences way back in 2008.

And I quickly realized that quirky, nerdy experiences were going to be a big part of my travel planning success.

So I set out to explore as much as I could.

And thanks to years of reading and experimenting, I’ve had a ton of success with travel planning…

…including the top 3 performing guides on this site:

  1. Nerdy Experiences in Washington DC
  2. Cheap Unique Places to Travel During Christmas in the US