Best Things To Do In Times Square Nyc
Times Square is the beating heart of Manhattans Midtown West where costumed characters entertain crowds under the bright lights of massive digital billboards. There is always a line of people on the red staircase above the TKTS Discount Booth. Bryant Park offers a verdant oasis surrounded by a jungle of skyscrapers. Gullivers Gate and Madame Tussauds museum are fun attractions to visit. Hours/availability may have changed.
Why We Recommend This Kid Friendly Activity
Eating out in a cool restaurant is perfect If youre looking for fantastic family activities in Times Square. At this food place, your kids will find the menu of comfort food yummy and to their taste.
Plus, this restaurant is like a mecca for game addicts because of the many arcade games you can try out.
Visit The Iconic Hard Rock Cafe For Lunch Or Dinner
Grab a burger and an ice-cold beer as you take in the sights of Times Square at the legendary Hard Rock Cafe.
With walls lined with noteworthy memorabilia and regular live music its one of those quintessential American spots that everyone should visit, no matter how many times youve been before in other cities.
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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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More Times Square Hotels
You dont have to stay in Times Square to enjoy New York, we have stayed everywhere from Queens to Brooklyn and up town. You can read our entire breakdown of where to stay in new york here: Complete Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in NYC
But here are a few more recommendations for hotels in Times Square.
Casablanca Hotel by Library Hotel Collection Located steps from Times Square this hotel has well-appointed rooms, great amenities, and wine and cheese every afternoon! Definitely one of the best places to stay in Manhattan. Check out Availability and prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com
Hilton Garden Inn Times Square The perfect location really close to the subway station. Rooms are small but you are steps from Broadway theaters, Restaurant Row, TKTS, famous 42nd Street, and much more. Check out Availability and Prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com
Park Central Hotel New York Located in Upper Midtown, a short walk from Times Square, this hotel is within walking distance to all the main sights, close to Central Park and the subway. The rooms are really comfortable. Great value for your money. Check out Availability and prices on TripAdvisor
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Grab Food At Rupert Jee’s Hello Deli
One of the most beloved personalities from the David Letterman years of the Late Show is Rupert Jee.
Jee is the owner of Hello Deli, which is located just around the corner from the marquee entrance to the Ed Sullivan Theater.
Stephen seemed to signal that he hasn’t forgotten about Rupert when he staged a tirade over the lack of tomato in a BLT he had ordered for lunch.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this isn’t the last time that Colbert includes Hello Deli.
You can take a look inside Hello Deli with Google Street View.
Hit Up The Local Playgrounds
Believe it or not, there are a handful of playgrounds near Times Square. One favorite is on 42nd Street between 11th and 12th Avenues, where you’ll find a play structure called Playground designed by artist Tom Otterness. Youngsters find this bronze reclining creaturewith slides for legsawe-inspiring. The spot also has benches, a small patch of grass, an enclosed dog run, and a toddler play area. This public park is tucked between the Silver Towers skyscrapers and can be hard to spot. Other popular neighborhood playgrounds include Hell’s Kitchen Park on 10th Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets, and Manhattan Plaza’s on 43rd Street near Ninth Avenue. The Hudson Yards playground is farther south, but if you hop on the 7 train for one stop, you can check out this special romping spot.
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The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is a CBS talk show that is taped every weekday at NBC Studios at the Ed Sullivan Theater. The taping of the show is open to the public and is one of the most popular free entertainment events at Times Square. Stephen Colbert is a popular American comedian who succeeded David Letterman in 2015. Since he took over, the show has become much more political. While the entrance is free, getting the tickets for the show is not easy. Tickets are released about two months in advance and are gone quickly. Taking part in the show taping is so popular that some visitors do not mind being put on the waiting list just in case someone cancels.
The Daily Show Studios, 513 W. 54th St., between 10th and 11th Sts., New York City, NY 10019
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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.
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Ditch The Subway Consider A Pre
New Yorks subway system is iconic iconic for being incredibly difficult to navigate. So why struggle to get around the Big Apple after hopping off a plane?
Rather than look like an obvious out-of-towner, consider a pre-organized airport transfer to save the stress of getting to and from your hotel. Plus, seeing the city through the window of a luxurious SUV en route to your accommodating is an enviable thing to do in and of itself!
Sit In The Crowd For The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
As we mentioned before and as youve probably realized by now with the likes of Trevor Noah and Jimmy Fallon already mentioned there is no shortage of late-night TV show entertainment options in Midtown!
For those looking to catch some laughs after a long day, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert runs five evenings per week on CBS and if youre lucky and patient enough, you can score tickets to sit in the audience for free .
With celebrities such as Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Sean Penn, and Bradley Cooper already making appearances you can be sure of a night filled with entertainment!
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Cloud Social 6 W 32nd Street
Cloud Social offers guests some of the best-priced rooftop drinks in NYC, but the real allure is the spectacular views of One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building.
Cocktails are $15, craft beers are $9 and wine is $12 and up. You can save a few dollars during their happy hour that runs from 3 pm-7 pm daily.
Happy Hour specials change daily but costs are $12 for a cocktail, $8 for a glass of wine, and $7 for a nice bottled beer.
The rooftop is larger than most, complete with an array of plush seating options including a more intimate balcony located on the eastern side of the bar.
The music is mellow and low during the day and a bit more hip and boisterous in the evenings.
Reviews: Users of both the TripAdvisor and Yelp community praise Cloud Social for their relaxed atmosphere, amazing views, and well-priced drinks.
Learn To Dance At Swing 46
Where jazz meets cocktails, Swing 46 is an awesome option for those looking to combine a bit of culture and movement with a hand-crafted drink.
Located on W 46th Street near 9th Avenue, just around the corner from Times Square proper, this speakeasy-style bar is inspired by old-school New York and brings you back in time through live music, rustic decor, a chic atmosphere, and free dancing lessons to boot!
If cocktails arent your thing, theres still a sizeable menu full of modern takes on traditional American fare, prepared using only the freshest ingredients.
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Attend A Live Taping Of A Late Night Show
Most of the major late-night hosts tape their shows in the area right around Times Square and you can attend a live show with your favorite host. The biggest ones in the area are the Late Show With Stephen Colbert at the Ed Sullivan Theater, the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon in the Rockefeller Building, or the Daily Show With Trevor Noah at the CBS Building. The best part of seeing a taping is that they are free to attend, assuming you can get a ticket. Reservations generally open a couple of months in advance, so be sure to plan ahead if you have an upcoming trip.
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.
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New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Times Square is the site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop. About one million revelers crowd Times Square for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, more than twice the usual number of visitors the area usually receives daily. However, for the millennium celebration on December 31, 1999, published reports stated approximately two million people overflowed Times Square, flowing from Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue and back on Broadway and Seventh Avenue to 59th Street, making it the largest gathering in Times Square since August 1945 during celebrations marking the end of World War II.
The New Year’s Eve celebrations are usually overseen by thousands of police officers. Aluminum barriers are erected to accommodate spectators for the 2020 celebration, attended by a million people, barriers were erected from 38th to 59th Street and from Sixth to Eighth Avenue. Typically, the celebrations create large amounts of waste. The New York City Department of Sanitation estimated that by 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day 2014, it had cleared over 50 short tons of trash from the New Year’s celebration, using 190 workers from their crews and the Times Square Alliance.
Check Out A Unique Performance Of Drunk Shakespeare
Dishing up a saucy take on Shakespeares classics script with a cocktail menu to boot, Drunk Shakespeare is 90 minutes of laughter and history twirled into one.
Differentiating itself from the typical plays, this iconic show gets one professional actor to down 5 shots of whiskey before attempting to perform in a Shakespearean play as you can imagine, its chaotic, rowdy, and a whole lot of fun.
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The New Victory Theater
The New Victory Theater is the only full-time performing arts theater for kids and families in New York City. It is an off-Broadway theater located in Times Square. The New Victory offers a year-round, full season of theater, dance, circus, puppetry, opera, physical theater, and many other kinds of performance art. The theater occupies a historic structure that was built in 1900 by Oscar Hammerstein and designed by renowned architect Albert Westover. The building was originally named Theatre Republic, and it opened its first season with the play Sag Harbor with Lionel Barrymore. Many of the original architectural features of the theater are still standing, such as large dome with lyre-playing cherubs along the rim. The theater was carefully refurbished in 1995 and renamed the New Victory Theatre.
209 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth At The Hersheys Or M& m Chocolate Stores
If you have a sweet tooth or a chocolate addiction, the three floors of chocolate goodness in these two stalwarts of the chocolate world will feel like you died and went to heaven.
Located right across from each other at the corners of Broadway Avenue and 48 Street, Hersheys Chocolate World and the M& M store both contain three floors filled with chocolate and chocolate memorabilia that the true chocolate lover will love perusing.
In addition to round balls of chocolate goodness, the M& M store offers M& M branded clothing, stuffed toys, mugs and the chance to personalize your chocolate. Right across the street, the Hersheys store has all the Hersheys favorites and more.
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Where To Eat In Times Square
Times Square have some great restaurants to visit. Hakkasan is a firm favourite, serving Chinese food as well as the Red Lobster and Gallaghers Steak House for delicious seafood and a hearty steak. The Wasabi Sushi & Bento is perfect for a Japanese fix and Ellens Stardust Diner is one of the most popular and fun restaurants with theatre students and actors singing whilst they wait on your table!
Feel Nostalgic At Bowlmor Lanes
We know that going to Times Square does not remind you of the bowling nights from your childhoodbut it should. Bowlmor plays host to numerous locals-only bowling and social clubs that make us want to dust off our old bowling bag and reserve a lane. If youre not much of a bowler, theres still fun to be had: Stop by the bar before checking out the billiards table and full state-of-the-art arcadeits adults only after 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
222 W. 44th St. bowlmor.com
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Shopping And Attraction Hopping
Times Square is also home to some of the quirkiest stores and attractions in the world, geared towards people of all ages.
For anyone with an insatiable sweet tooth, the M& Ms store and Hersheys Chocolate World offer more candy than you could eat in a lifetime. Swing into the M& Ms store to print customized candies with your name on them, available in more than 15 different colors. Pop into Hersheys Chocolate World to customize your own Hershey bar or grab a made-to-order smore. The world-famous Disney Store in Times Square offers the newest official Disney merch from your favorite movies and Broadway shows and entertains kiddos with interactive displays.
There are plenty of attractions, too. Ripleys Believe it or Not collects the worlds weirdest and oddest artifacts under one roof. Wander the halls and be mesmerized by the worlds tallest man, an authentic shrunken head, or other unbelievable relics. And of course, a trip to Times Square isnt complete without a visit to Madame Tussauds wax museum. Explore the museums halls to snap a picture with life-sized wax sculptures of celebrities, sports stars, and some of historys most famous figures.
What To Do In Times Square: Dave And Buster’s Times Square
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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