If you’ve never been it’s just got to be on your itinerary! Now, I know some might disagree with me, but according to Travel and Leisure, Times Square is the #3 tourist destination in the WORLD with annual visitors of 50,000,000! There’s a reason for that!
Yes, It’s crowded and yes, it’s loud and chaotic, but it’s also fantastic, exciting, and a true spectacle worth witnessing! With the flashing lights and neon on all sides, Broadway shows, the neon, the many costumed characters and I mean “characters”, the neon, and did I mention the NEON, it’s no wonder that it’s such a popular destination! Even the subway stations are lit up! It’s so bright you can see the glow well before you actually arrive!
A lot of the area is pedestrian friendly and there is an outdoor seating area where you can sit and take in the scene or eat a slice from one of the many pizza spots. Over on the 47th Street side is where you’ll find the famous ticket booth, TKTS, where you can purchase same day discounted tickets for Broadway and Off Broadway shows. You’ll find it under a giant red staircase, bleachers if you will, where people can congregate and enjoy the view. If you climb to the top step it’s a great photo opportunity! Keep in mind tickets for matinees are sold in the morning and evening performances are sold in the afternoon. Check the board for available shows.
Times Square is a great place for kids! When asked which sites they were most interested in seeing while in New York, both boys mentioned Times Square. M&Ms World, The Hershey’s Chocolate World Store, Toys R Us and The Disney Store are just some of the big name stores you’ll find! The Toys R Us has its own Ferris wheel, inside!
Elliot was especially interested in visiting M&Ms World which is an experience all in itself! Open from 9 am to Midnight every day of the week its jam packed with people! You’ll also find every color and type of M&M you’ve ever heard of, and many you haven’t. Want to make your own mix of colors and flavors? You can! Want to personalize your M&Ms, you can do that too! Maybe you need an M&M lunch box, backpack, or beach towel? They have them! Also, pjs, toys, t-shirts and pretty much everything else you can think up! After buying about 27 pounds of M&Ms we escaped… to Hershey’s Chocolate World! Can anyone say stomach ache?
Times Square has no shortage of hotels in all price ranges and most of the larger chains are represented. While it’s not my personal favorite part of town to stay, its pretty loud all night long, I recently stayed at the Westin Times Square and you can read my thoughts in my New York! An Overview…post.
If you’re planning a trip to the theater while in New York you’ll end up in Times Square, but I highly recommend a night time visit!
Speaking of the theater… I’ve seen Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway twice and it was well worth it! The first time when visiting last October and again this past visit with my folks and the boys! While tickets are on the expensive side, I would recommend sitting on the main floor and trying to sit in the aisle. The show features some neat surprises and they are best seen from the aisle seats.
This was Elliot’s first musical and I’m glad I waited until he was just about 7. When entering the theater he said, “No need to go, I already know what happens in this story, let’s go do something else.” Uh Oh! He was skeptical, but ended up loving it, both boys did! There are booster seats available and snacks and beverages are allowed in the theater. Adult beverages too! I will say there really aren’t enough bathrooms for the volume of people attending, but if you get there a little early there should be enough time!
There are other kid friendly shows currently playing on Broadway, Aladdin and Mathilda being two of them. We saw Aladdin a few years ago in Seattle and really liked it, but we liked Lion King more. Mathilda is coming to our area soon and we plan on seeing it here, so decided to skip it in New York.