Ultimate Times Square Guide
by nycgo.com staff, 02/03/2015 [Updated 05/22/2015]
Photo: Richard Cadan. Courtesy, Toys "R" Us
- top attractions/
Back in the day, no responsible parent would let their child within 100 feet of Times Square—but those times are long gone. Now, kid-friendly offerings are in no short supply.
Families can play around inside Toys "R" Us, home to a 60-foot-high Ferris wheel with toy-themed cars, a life-size Barbie dollhouse and an animatronic T-Rex measuring in at a towering 20 feet. Over on 45th Street, little fans of Mickey, Frozen's Elsa and other Disney characters can peruse toys, apparel, housewares, DVDs and other goodies at the Times Square Disney Store.
Visitors with a sweet tooth should find suitable snacks at Hershey's Chocolate World Times Square, where Hershey's-brand treats, souvenirs and clothing await behind a 16-story facade. There's even a machine that lets you customize wrappers on Hershey's bars. Once they've filled their baskets with sugar, kids can submit a message and then head outside to see it on the store's scrolling marquee.
Over at M&M's World New York, families can pose for photos with a towering, candy-coated Statue of Liberty; discover their "M&M's personality" by stepping into the Color Mood Analyzer (scientific validity questionable); and print images onto their confections.
Budding culture vultures and pop-culture aficionados will love Discovery Times Square Exposition, which tells the stories and secrets behind engaging topics past and present. Previous interactive exhibitions have focused on King Tut, Legos and Harry Potter. Pop culture fans will be likewise thrilled inside the Madame Tussauds New York wax museum, which recently debuted a lifelike replica of everyone's favorite dystopian heroine, Katniss Everdeen. She joins likenesses of over 200 celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Robert Pattinson, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Go ahead and pretend you met them; your Instagram followers may not know the difference (well, maybe they'd know with Marilyn). And just because Times Square is now family friendly doesn't mean it lacks oddities. Exhibit A is Ripley's Believe it or Not!, where shrunken heads, a giant hairball and a cow with six legs are the norm. If none of that seems high minded enough, consider taking in a show at the family-friendly New Victory Theater, whose productions cater to kids. —Alyssa Grossman and nycgo.com staff