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Fun Cheap Things To Do In Times Square

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THE TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN TIMES SQUARE – NEW YORK CITY

Celebrate everyone’s favorite decade at the Museum of the City of New York. Day-Glo DecemberA Very 80s Holiday at the Museum takes inspiration from current exhibition New York, New Music: 1980-1986. There are holiday lights, an interactive Santa hologram, an ’80s arcade , and programming like family-friendly scavenger hunts.

Hug Your Favorite Cartoon Character

While rather cliche and certainly a little cheesy, snapping a photo with one of your favorite cartoon characters whether it be Elmo, Winnie the Pooh, Elsa, Batman, Oscar the Grouch, Buzz Lightyear, or a human version of the Statue of Liberty is quintessential Times Square.

Keep in mind that, behind the mask, these people are still street performers so will expect a tip or donation in exchange for the photo be sure to negotiate ahead of time so that youre not hit with a curveball.

Nerd Out At The New York Public Library

Looking for things to do alone in NYC for free?

When it comes to things to do in the city by yourself, it doesnt get much better than the New York Public Library. The massive main branch in Bryant Park is a book lovers dream, housing roughly 2.5 million books.

The library offers free daily tours of the building highlighting its history and vast collection. Or if you just want to take some time to read and enjoy the scenery, grab a spot in the iconic Rose Main Reading Room.

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Find Out Who’s Buried In Grant’s Tomb

The largest mausoleum in the United States is located in Harlem. The Gen. Ulysses S. Grant National Memorial houses the remains of our 18th president and his wife, Julia. Admission is free, and that includes entrance to the memorial and the visitor center, and to all ranger-led programs. While there, take time to reflect on the memorial’s simple quote: Let us have peace.

What To Do In Times Square: Dave And Buster’s Times Square

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Dave and Busters is a family-friendly chain that combines a sports bar with traditional American food and hundreds of popular arcade games. Their first bar was established in 1982 in Dallas, and the Times Square location is an immense, colorful, brightly lit, and hugely popular spot with a premium bar featuring imaginative cocktails and more than 20 beers on tap. Guests can watch their team play on one of the massive HDTVs with stadium-quality surround sound. The menu is huge and includes everyones pub favorites such as chicken and waffle sliders with crispy breaded chicken with a sweet and spicy campfire sauce and applewood smoked bacon, all piled on mini Belgian waffles. The newest games are constantly being added, including the popular Halo: Fireteam Raven. Besides electronic games, there are also billiard tables and bowling lines.

234 W 42nd St 3rd floor, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 646-495-2015

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The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

Participating in the filming of the Daily Show With Trevor Noah is one of the most popular Times Square attractions. Although comedian Jon Stewart is no longer the host of the show, this is still one of the best sources of free entertainment in New York City and visitors are still lining up trying to get the tickets. The show tapes every day, Mondays through Thursdays, starting at 6pm and ending at about 7pm to 7:15pm. The studio where the show is taped is in Hells Kitchen at 733 Eleventh Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets. Interested visitors have to reserve their tickets in advance and pick them up on the day of taping at the studio location.

The Daily Show Studios, 513 W. 54th St., between 10th and 11th Sts., New York City, NY 10019

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See The World In Miniature At Gullivers Gate

Perhaps because I love travel, or maybe because great craftsmanship and art excite me, this is one of my favorite things to do in Times Square. See the whole world in two hours at this collection of superb replicas of many of the major world sites.

See the great architecture of the ancient worlds of the Middle East, the natural wonders of South America, Europes greatest cities, Asia’s landmarks and of course the great New York City in small scale. The New York City replicas include small yellow cabs, skyscrapers illuminated with real lights and detailed replicas of some of NYCs iconic buildings. The excellent rendition of the Grand Central Terminal is complete with trains and an exact reproduction of the terminal’s architecture.

Just the artistry of the incredibly detailed models is worth the visit, but add the educational element of visiting the world in one day and this lesser-known attraction is a must in Times Square. Gullivers Gate is located at 44th Street and 7th Avenue. Plan a visit online.

Time Square’s M& M Store has more than chocolate

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See Shakespeare In The Park

You dont have to fork over a ton of money to see a great theater performance. Each year, the Public Theater hosts Shakespeare in the Park, a summer series at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The series draws celebrity names, and offers the chance to score free tickets for each days performance through a lottery system.

Choose A Neigborhood And Wander

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One of the best parts about going to New York alone is you really dont need a moment-by-moment plan. In fact, a worthwhile way to spend your time is choosing a neighborhood, wandering around, and seeing what you stumble upon.

Prefer a starting point? Here are a few travel guides for some fun New York City nabes:

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or step up your Instagram game with an NYC Influencer Shoot. Email with inquiries.

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Take A Break At Bryant Park

A wintertime favorite for locals and visitors alike, Bryant Park Ice Rink is the perfect spot to grab some hot cocoa or peppermint tea while you take in stunning views of New York City at night and skate around on the open-aired rink.

Of course, its just as fun in the summertime, with free movies on the lawn, regular live entertainment, and no shortage of food and drink options to keep you well-fueled.

In what is undeniably a concrete jungle, this small yet mighty slice of greenery just a 5-10 minute walk from the giant Times Square billboards always delivers a welcomed breath of fresh air.

Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour

Explore Manhattan on this super convenient and fun bus tour. You can relax while listening to informative narration and learning about the sites you’re driving past. Then, hop off at any place that piques your interest. Major landmarks and neighborhoods youll see on this bus tour include Times Square, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Chinatown, the Broadway Theatre District, and much more. Another fun option from Big Bus is the 2-hour nighttime tour, which showcases the city through amazing panoramic views.

Getting In:Hop On Hop Off Big Bus New York Bus Tour tickets are available on the Go New York Explorer pass.

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Sample New Yorks Iconic Foods At City Kitchen

Tucked away in the Row Hotel in the heart of Times Square, City Kitchen is a gastronomic paradise a food hall teeming with delicious, diverse food options.

A culinary crossroads of cultures with dishes from all around the world on offer think lobster rolls, doughnuts, overflowing tacos, Indian street snacks, and more City Kitchen invites NYCs most authentic and hyped local food concepts from all five boroughs and unites them in the epicenter of Manhattan.

For foodies looking to get a sample size of all the metropolis has to offer, its one of the unmissable things to do in Times Square.

Discover New Artists At The Museum Of Modern Art

New York new york

Although technically located outside of Times Square, this celebrated space for both traditional and emerging ideas in the art world is close enough to Times Square to make walking from Times Square quite easy.

For art lovers, the Museum of Modern Art is one of the most interesting things to do in Times Square, but even if you arent that interested in art, this museum is an excellent way to get exposed to art in its many interpretations. The collections range from the works by immortalized artists like Cezanne and Matisse to newer names with novel ideas.

Speaking of Matisse, if you are a genuine lover of art, check out my article on the novel Grounds for Sculpture where reincarnations from Renoir, Monet, Manet and other Matisse contemporaries will fascinate those willing to take a one-hour day trip to nearby New Jersey.

The Museum of Modern Art is located just outside Times Square at 53rd Street and 5th Avenue.

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Tour The Home Of One Of The Greatest Jazz Musicians Of All Time At The Louis Armstrong House

Though Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, the iconic jazz musician made his home in the Corona section of Queens.

Today, you can tour Satchmos former home, peruse photos and artifacts from throughout his career, and learn more about the great musicians life.

Guided tours of the house are offered Thursday through Saturday and make for a great day out for any music lover.

Let The Kids Loose In One Of The Citys Inventive Playgrounds

New York City has no shortage of playgrounds for kids to burn off extra energy, but some are simply cooler than others. At Ancient Playground, next to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, kids can explore pyramid-shaped climbers and check out the obelisk and sundial, both inspired by The Mets collection of Egyptian Art. The Imagination Playground at Burling Slip, designed by architect David Rockwell, encourages kids to use their imagination with giant foam blocks, fabric, and crates. Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park features playgrounds like the Sandbox Village where kids can play in little wooden houses in the sand, and the Water Lab, guaranteed to leave them soaking wet and cool on hot summer days in the city.

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Be On Good Morning America

One of the coolest things to do in Times Square that we absolutely, 100% recommend is going to see a Good Morning America Show.

Believe it or not, tickets are actually freeyou just have to snag em before theyre gone.

Oh, and dont forget to get in line at least 30-45 minutes early!

Not everybody always get in, as the producers rearrange the set and the chairs often.

You want to make sure youre at the front of the line to ensure you actually get entrance to the show.

Overall, going to see a Good Morning America show is a fun way to see the behind the scenes of this program and also get to interact with the anchors.

If youre lucky, you might even get to take pictures with one of them after!

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Sometimes Free Museums In Nyc

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Museums in New York City can be extremely expensive, but many offer occasional free afternoons or evenings or pay-what-you-want times: much better for your budget, but youll be dealing with more of a crowd than normal. Below are some of them, but you can download a more complete free guide or any of several other helpful resources for a visit to New York Cityat Travel New York Now.

Museum of Modern Art: This is my absolute favorite modern art museum, with art from the post-war period until today. It owns the true icons of each movement.

MoMA:Open daily 10:30-17:30, until 20:00 on Fridays. Normally, admission is $25, but every Friday night, admission is free from 17:30 to 21:00. 11 West 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. If you decide to go when its not free, get this skip-the-line ticket.)

Jasper JohnsFlag from 1954-55 at MoMA in New York City

Museum of Chinese in America: If youre curious about immigrant history, this museum in Chinatown is a good place to visit, along with the Tenement Museum. Its in an impressive building, designed by Maya Lin.

MOCA: Open Tuesday-Sunday 11:00-18:00 and until 21:00 on Thursdays. Admission normally $12, but admission is free on the first Thursday of the month. 215 Center Street, between Howard and Grand and one block north of Canal Street.

A cap pistol inscribed with Chinese must go, on display at the Museum of Chinese in America.

The New Museum is all cutting-edge contemporary art, even the building itself.

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Grab A Bite To Eat At Los Tacos No1

Serving up some of the citys most popular Mexican fare, the Los Tacos No. 1 menu features a wide range of tacos and burritos filled with everything from asada to pollo, and carnitas to chorizo all covered in fresh sauces and salsas that will have your taste buds tingling for more.

Sitting amongst the hustle and bustle of Times Square, its the perfect and quick alternative to the run-of-the-mill hot dog carts.

Stop And Smell The Roses At The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Want to know how to find yourself in NYC? Go for a nice, contemplative stroll at one of the citys botanic gardens!

Located in Brooklyns Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden features 52 acres of flowers, trees, and more that are sure to add some color to your life.

If youre visiting NYC in spring, this is when the garden really comes to life with rows of cherry trees in full bloom. Bring a camera and some comfy shoes to fully enjoy this incredible corner of Brooklyn.

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Inside Ripleys Believe It Or Not

Quite possibly one of the most bizarre museums you will ever set foot in, with over 20 galleries dishing up over 500 head-scratching pieces, the unique Ripleys collection has been delighting visitors for decades.

The infamous Odditorium is a maze-like collection of artifacts ranging from shrunken heads to strange human feats such as an eight-foot-tall man, to random objects in the ilk of rare coins, multi-headed animals, or a guitar made entirely of matchsticks.

Statues Of Times Square

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While walking around Times Square, you might notice a couple of statues on display. One is the George M Cohen Statue. This statue of famous American composer George Cohen with the inscription quoting his most famous song Give my regards to Broadway.

The other is a statue of Father Duffy. Duffy was a First Lieutenant and chaplain of the Fighting 69th Infantry in World War I. In 1920, he was appointed pastor of the Holy Cross Church serving the theater district community for more than a decade. Father Duffy Square was dedicated to him in 1939 and is located in the northern triangle at the Red Staircase.

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National Geographic Encounter Closed

If you want to check out the underwater world of National Geographic Encounter, it seems to be closed from what we can tell. Its too bad because this 60,000-square-foot space in Times Square, looked like it was an amazing way to immerse in the underwater world. Like Gullivers Gate, we wanted to keep this on the list because many people still search for the National Geographic Encounter.

Grab Some Sporting Apparel At The Lids Store

Something for the sports fanatics, head to Lids Store where you can grab all your favorite MLB or NFL hats and apparel.

With a variety of options from all the most popular teams across America, this is your one-stop-shop for fans who want to represent their favorite players and sports and a perfect spot to grab some last-minute merch if youre planning on checking out the New York Rangers or Islanders , Knicks , or Mets or Yankees , or Jets .

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Top Must Visit Paid Attractions In New York City

New York City is easily one of the best cities in the world for truly amazing tourist attractions. Many are cheap and some of the most iconic are even free, but there are small number of classic NYC attractions you do have to pay for.

So, lets kick things off with the things you do have to pay for in New York City. That way you can build up an idea about how much of your travel budget you want to spend on attractions.

Optional but Highly Recommended

The New York CityPASS covers every attraction in this section, with the exception of One World Observatory.

We strongly recommend you buy a pass if you plan to visit more than three or four of these top rated attractions. You will save money.

We each used a CityPASS and saved a stack of money that went to a better cause pizza slices!

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