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Top 10 To-Do's
A Visitors Guide to Times Square NYC
by Staff Writer
Times Square Sights, Attractions, Family
Entertainment, Tours & Map
Times Square surrounds the most famous intersection in New York, 42nd Street and
Broadway. The area is shaped like a bowtie, extending from that
intersection and continuing generally between 42nd and 47th Streets and between
6th and 9th Avenues. Times Square got its name back in 1906 when the New
York Times Tower was built, which was the original home of the New York Times
newspaper. By 1914, the area was bustling with performance theaters, but
throughout the Great Depression and beyond, the area became less
desirable. Criminal elements flourished and not until the 1990's was this
area really cleaned up. It has been transformed from "seedy" to "glitzy".
Great strides have been made to make Times Square a tourist-friendly, even
family-friendly, neighborhood. And while Times Square is certainly not
upscale, it's an area every visitor will want to see, it is home
to some of the most popular Broadway shows running in New York, and it's the
location of the annual New Year's Eve ball drop that we all see on TV.
At Times Square, amidst all the bright neon signs,
you'll see modern buildings mixed with classic structures, renovated theaters
and swarms of people. The hustle and bustle of pedestrians will overwhelm
you. In fact, the area is no longer open to car traffic. Instead of
honking horns and exhaust fumes, you'll see a lot of seating for having a coffee
and people-watching. Take note that in February, 2011, a new ordinance was
enacted to prohibit smoking within Times Square. The Times Square Alliance now
provides free Wi-Fi service in the area.
Perhaps your first stop should be the
Times Square Visitor's Center & Museum. Here you can get a Times
Square map, free brochures and answers to all your questions. You can buy
Broadway tickets, as well as Gray Line New York bus and boat tour tickets.
There is a gift shop onsite, as well as an exhibit area featuring the Centennial
Ball Light Show, the New Year's Eve Wishing Wall and other Times Square and
Broadway exhibits. Just steps away from the Visitor's Center, atop the
you'll see the wide red glass staircase which offers you a bleacher seat for a
great view of Times Square.
Well-known buildings you'll want to check out are:
- One Times Square (1904)
- The Brill Building (1931)
- Palace Theater (1913)
In the morning you can head to the ABC Studios at 44th
and Broadway to see a broadcast of Good Morning America (7:00-9:00am). In
the summer months, they feature outdoor concerts. If you order
Good Morning America advance tickets online,
you'll also get a tour of the studio. MTV Studios are located at 1515
Music buffs will want to take a walk down 48th Street,
known as Music Row, to peruse shops selling new and vintage instruments, sheet
music, karoake gear and more.
Times Square offers plenty of opportunities for
families visiting New York. The flagship store for
Toys R Us features an indoor ferris wheel, a 4,000
square-foot Barbie dollhouse, interaction with costumed characters, special
events and more toys and games that one can imagine. At
Discovery Times Square you'll find unique exhibits, a retail store and the Cake Boss cafe.
Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum features life-like wax figures of celebrities,
fictional characters, historical figures, politicians, sports stars and more.
They are open every day of the year. Just next door, Ripley's Believe It Or Not
showcases the oddest assortment of exhibits you'll ever see. Your
self-guided tour will take you through this "museum" of weird, funny and
uncanny. You can satisfy your chocolate cravings at
M&M World and
Hershey's Time Square which are across the street from each other. Both offer the
widest assortment of their signature chocolates.
Shopping / Dining / Entertainment
Shopping in Times Square isn't at all unique; you'll
see many of the national chain retailers and lots of souvenir shops. Some
of the larger stores include Disney, Levis, Sephora, Virgin Megastore and Toys R
Dining is a mixed bag. You'll encounter several
chain restaurants and fast food outlets, but also many unique
establishments at all price levels. There are far too many to list here,
but we'll mention a few. One of the most famous is
Sardi's Restaurant & Grill, a
hot spot for pre- and post-theater goers.
is known for its cheesecake, but also offers a wide variety of breakfast, lunch
and dinner menu items. For
brick-oven New York style pizza,
John's Pizzeria will satisfy your cravings. They also offer a number
of pasta dishes and sandwiches. On Restaurant Row, located on 46th Street
between Broadway and 9th Avenue, you'll find about 30 restaurants.
For entertainment, of course number one is the Broadway shows.
There are also a number of clubs featuring live entertainment. One hot-spot is
Blues Club, with live music, lunch, dinner and drinks. They also offer
Saturday Beatles Brunch (entertainment by Strawberry Fields Beatles tribute
band) and Sunday Gospel Brunch (with the Harlem Gospel Choir) each weekend.
The area has several comedy clubs, such as
Caroline's on Broadway with acts every day of the year. How about a
Bowlmor Lanes is a 90,000 square-foot facility with 50 lanes, a
restaurant/sports bar and nightclub.
Times Square Alliance, located at the Times Square Visitor's Center, offers free walking tours each Friday at noon.
To add a lot of Broadway Theater content, you may enjoy the
NYC Walking Tour: Broadway History & Culture; this tour is currently offered
on Tuesdays and Thursdays and costs about $35.
See For Yourself
You've seen the New Year's Eve Ball Drop on TV. You've seen the
illuminated Coca Cola and Budweiser signs in countless movies. You've seen
the crowds gathered outside the ABC Studios when watching Good Morning America.
It's time you saw these things and more for yourself! When you visit New
York, be sure to set aside some time to experience Times Square.
Check out our selection of
Hotels near Times Square.
Official Web Site
of Times Square