The Best Family Trip to Times Square and Beyond 

by Staff

Times Square is not your typical intersection. It has been the site of the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop celebration since 1907 and has also been the scene of many movies and TV shows. From Spiderman to Godzilla as well as TV shows like Blindspot and The Amazing Race, Times Square has been popular in pop culture.

No matter how old your kids are, there is something fun for everyone in Times Square. You can find several cinemas, Madame Tussauds, and the Empire State Building to name a few. Be sure to drop off your suitcases at a suitcase storage facility in or around Times Square first so you can enjoy your visit hands-free.

Major Attractions

  • Statue of Liberty

There are certain things you have to do while you are in Times Square and one is to go see the Statue of Liberty. It may not be right in Times Square, but it is a national monument that cannot be missed. Getting there on the ferry is almost as fun as going up to the top where you can see for miles.

  • Brooklyn Bridge

When the bridge was built in 1883 it was the first road to connect Brooklyn and Manhattan until 1898. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world at just under 1,600 feet. On the Brooklyn side, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is also fun with lots of activities like fishing, kayaking, hiking, and even bouldering.

  • Empire State Building

Another attraction you cannot miss, the Empire State Building is the most famous building in the world for many reasons, but the kids will really love the Modern Marvel exhibit and King Kong peeking through the window on the second floor. The observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors are pretty impressive too.

  • Nickelodeon Universe

For some real fun, get over to Nickelodeon Universe just 10 miles from Times Square. There are over 20 rides to enjoy including eight that are just for the little ones. And you won’t go hungry with 40 eateries. Don’t forget to get some souvenirs from one of the gift shops in the park. You can even play Angry Birds minigolf.

Photo by Avi Werde on Unsplash


  • Madame Tussauds

Old and young, everyone enjoys seeing the lifelike wax sculptures at Madame Tussauds. The little ones will love E.T., the Hulk, and Iron Man and the teens can get selfies with Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Rihanna. See Barack Obama and other presidents as well as Jimmy Fallon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Aniston.

  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not

See the world’s tallest man, the man with the longest fingernails, and 500 more oddities. The Smash Dash, Torture Chamber, and the Black Hole are also amazing experiences not to miss. The two-headed cow is a popular stop for selfies. They also have dozens of interactive exhibits to play with and a gift shop.

  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan

The kids will be having so much fun at the Children’s Museum that they won’t even know how much they’re learning. Adventures with Dora and Diego on the second floor and PlayWorks on the third floor are perfect for preschoolers. And they also feature five floors of new exhibits every month to explore.

  • Natural History Museum

Founded in 1869, this museum has T-Rex and other predators as well as other exhibits. See more than 750 marine creatures in the Hall of Ocean Life and visit the Hall of Biodiversity to walk through a huge diorama of the rainforest. They have 1,500 specimens in 160 species like the Siberian tiger and dodo bird.

Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

Kid-Friendly Food

  • Dave & Busters

The famous restaurant with food and games is even better at Times Square. Play some of the best games like Walking Dead, Halo, Jurassic Park, and Rampage. Take a seat in the Typhoon attraction, which is a virtual roller coaster. And the kid’s menu is great, with burgers, dogs, and chicken fingers.

  • Dylan’s Candy Bar

What kid doesn’t like candy? While you are in Times Square, stop at Dylan’s Candy Bar and let the gang choose from over 7,000 candies from all over the world. The flagship store in NY is the largest unique candy store in the world but they have branches all over. Stock up on those you can’t get anywhere else.

  • Hershey’s Chocolate World

If you have not had enough candy yet, stop at Hershey’s Chocolate World where the kids and you can visit the Hershey’s kitchen and bakery, see the largest s’mores, take a chocolate tour, create your own candy bar, and make a personalized candy wrapper. But don’t miss the candy machine to get your own candy.

  • M&M’s World

Speaking of candy, the world’s favorite colorful candy, M&M’s World has two floors of chocolatey fun. Choose your favorite colors and get a bunch to take home. The kids can also meet their favorite M&M character. Get a personal message or your face printed on some M&Ms as a gift for someone you love.

Outdoor Fun

  • Central Park

The most well-known park in the world, Central Park is also one of the largest. Covering nearly 850 acres, the park features some of the best attractions in New York. Some of these include the Central Park Zoo, the carousel, Belvedere Castle, and the lake where you can rent a boat for a boat ride.

  • Coney Island

With a motto of, “Where the Fun Never Ends,” Coney Island is also a well-known hot spot. Enjoy arcade games, live entertainers, go-karts, and amusement rides such as roller coasters and the parachute jump. They also have an aquarium, wonder wheel, mini-golf, a carousel, and a large sandy beach.

  • Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo is the largest city zoo in the United States with 265 acres to explore. Featuring 4,000 animals of 650 different species, the zoo has been open since 1899. Some of the main attractions include the World of Reptiles, African Plains, Tiger Mountain, Jungle World, and the Congo Gorilla Forest.

  • Bryant Park

Although Bryant Park may seem small compared to the others, the 10 acres are packed with fun and peaceful greenspace. The park is full of awesome sculptures that you and the kids can get selfies with and the 1913 Memorial Fountain is so popular it collects about $3,500 in coins annually. And don’t miss the carousel.

When it’s time to eat, you will need to find some good family-friendly eateries in Times Square. Besides Dave & Busters, you and the kids may enjoy Shake Shack, the Brooklyn Diner, Schnipper’s, and Radio City Pizza. For dessert, try Ben & Jerry’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Junior’s, or Bibble & Sip.

Main Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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