Located outside of Manhattan, BAM hosts film, dance, opera, performance art, theater and music concerts of all sorts. It may well be the best place in the United States for challenging, inventive, and acclaimed international productions. It’s at BAM where you’ll see highbrow theater straight from London's West End (like James McAvoy in Cyrano de Bergerac), Hannah Gadsby’s new comedy show, or a Phillip Glass symphony.

Along with the large BAM Opera House and the smaller BAM Harvey Theater, the organization has a dedicated movie theater (The BAM Rose Cinema) for art films and a café space where up-and-coming talent perform. I’ve never been disappointed by anything I’ve seen here, though occasionally I’ve had difficulty getting a seat. It may be the most consistently exciting venue in New York, and the 35-minute-long train ride it takes to get here from Manhattan is well worth the effort. For penny pinchers: Discounts are sometimes offered to students and seniors, so inquire when purchasing a ticket.