Fantasma Combines Magic, History in New York

While the rest of New York’s tourists flock to Times Square or wait in line at the major museums, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for the city’s “off the beaten path” attractions.

Fantasma Magic and its Houdini Museum provides not only an education on one of history’s most famous magicians, but also the chance to learn a trick or two yourself.

Also: Travel: Lost in the Magical, Educational Realm of Belinda Sinclair

At its heart, Fantasma is a magician’s supply depot. Whether a beginner or an experienced performer, the wizard or sorceress in question can pick up decks of cards, foam balls, flash paper and any other supplies a magic act needs replenished.

Meanwhile, with the store’s contacts throughout the magic world, Fantasma takes in the latest and greatest magic feats from around the planet in its inventory — offering them to magicians looking to freshen up their shows. (And, they are feats, not tricks. Dogs do tricks. I love dogs, too, but I wouldn’t pay to watch one manipulate a deck of cards.)

Perhaps most importantly, Fantasma specializes in kits and instructional materials for young magicians in training. We’re not talking about Harry Potter. Fantasma looks to inform and inspire real life young people who enjoy showing off feats of magic to their families and friends. I’ve seen the joy and confidence pulling off a little prestidigitation can bring to a kid, and I believe Fantasma is performing a public service keeping magic alive for the little ones.

A friendly, instructional staff stands ready to offer advice and answer questions. Naturally, everyone at Fantasma is a magician of one sort or another, so you’re likely to see a feat or two during your visit.

Of course, not everyone has the itch to make things disappear. With that in mind, Fantasma offers an extensively stocked and entirely free Houdini Museum featuring an extensive collection of the magician and escape artist’s actual props, outfits, lock picks and other memorabilia. You can catch more of those in the gallery below.

As if to extend a friendly hand to New Yorkers and travelers, the Houdini Museum is entirely free. Of course, its curators hope you’ll be inspired to leave with a few new magical items of your own – but all are welcome to explore the world of magic at their leisure inside Fantasma.