In this thesis, we have investigated strongly correlated bosonic gases in an optical lattice, mostly based on a bosonic version of dynamical mean field theory and its real-space extension. Emphasis is put on possible novel quantum phenomena of these many-body systems and their corresponding underlying physics, including quantum magnetism, pair-superfluidity, thermodynamics, many-body cooling, new quantum phases in the presence of long-range interactions, and excitational properties. Our motivation is to simulate manybody phenomena relevant to strongly correlated materials with ultracold lattice gases, which provide an excellent playground for investigating quantum systems with an unprecedented level of precision and controllability. Due to their high controllability, ultracold gases can be regarded as a quantum simulator of many-body systems in solid-state physics, high energy astrophysics, and quantum optics. In this thesis, specifically, we have explored possible novel quantum phases, thermodynamic properties, many-body cooling schemes, and the spectroscopy of strongly correlated many-body quantum systems. The results presented in this thesis provide theoretical benchmarks for exploring quantum magnetism in upcoming experiments, and an important step towards studying quantum phenomena of ultracold gases in the presence of long-range interactions.