Times Square is one of New York City's most popular tourist attractions, but, once you get there, what is there to do? Just walking through the area is pretty impressive, and, fortunately, in the past several years New York City has reduced the amount of vehicle traffic through Times Square, making it a much more pleasant area in which to linger and people watch.
Times Square is home (or very close) to many of New York City's Broadway theaters, so, if you want to see a real Broadway production, this is your spot. You can buy tickets in advance, at showtime in the individual box offices, or for budget-minded folks, in the heart of Times Square at the original TKTS booth. At the TKTS Booth, you can buy same-day tickets to see a variety of musicals and plays, dance performances, and off-Broadway shows at a substantial discount, sometimes even at half price.
This isn't about the various folks dressed up as Dora and Elmo milling around Times Square for a photo op; this is about visiting Madame Tussauds New York. Madame Tussauds has been impressing audiences for more than 200 years with its life-like wax figures, and the New York City location in Times Square has been entertaining visitors since 2000. If you and your traveling companions are bored with typical museums, Madame Tussauds might surprise you. There are lots of interactive exhibits, and it is always introducing new celebrity figures to the lineup. It's also open until 10 p.m. nightly, so this is a great choice for a family-friendly after-dinner activity.
Although the energy of this area can be frenetic, visitors should definitely take some time to soak in the vibe and bask in the lights of the glowing billboards and Broadway marquees. There are lots of pedestrian plazas, many with (free) seating, and the TKTS booth was designed with a huge cascade of steps that are the perfect place to take a load off and watch the world whiz by.
AddressOne Times Square, New York, NY 10036, USA
If you're tired of watching the countdown to the new year on TV, maybe it's time you watch the New Year's Eve Ball Drop live in Times Square. The first New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square was held in 1904, and, three years later, the tradition of the NYE Ball Drop began. It's continued annually ever since (except in 1942 and 1943 because of wartime restrictions). Attending is an American bucket list item that more than a million people check off every year.
With more than 500 exhibits and experiences, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square is an entertaining stop for visitors to the area. It's the largest Ripley's attraction in the U.S. and even has a NYC-related exhibit you won't want to miss.
AddressNew York Times Building, New York, NY 10038, USA
The two most famous buildings in the area are One Times Square (1475 Broadway at Seventh Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd streets) and the former New York Times Building (229 West 43rd Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues), which is now an office building. Check out the statue of George M. Cohan, which honors this important early 20th-century figure from the New York theater scene who was a song-and-dance man, songwriter, director, producer, and comedian in the vaudeville tradition. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942), in which James Cagney played Cohan in a tour-de-force performance, brought his legend to later generations.