People may not think of Times Square as a kid-friendly place to visit when in New York City. But despite the large crowds that gather in the Crossroads of the World, as Times Square is often called, there are many family activities to be found.
Home to Broadway, you can catch a fantastic show such as The Lion King, Aladdin, or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Visit Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and get your picture taken with superheroes, historical figures, and movie stars. There are even plenty of kid-friendly restaurants where you can kick back and relax while the children have fun.
Traveler tip: When the family gets tired of carrying backpacks and shopping bags, leave everything in a luggage storage locker for safekeeping. Explore this exciting area of NYC hands-free!
Probably the absolute best thing to do when you visit Times Square with your kids is to go to a Broadway show. Kids will be awed by the grandeur of the theaters and the vibrant shows that have been made with families in mind.
Nab tickets to Aladdin, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Lion King, Frozen, and Wicked. You can stop by the TKTS booth in Times Square and ask about discounted tickets for kid-friendly Broadway shows. Sometimes they have great deals.
National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey
Take a dive under the sea right there in Times Square! Your kids will love spending an afternoon exploring National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. The photorealistic animations are so amazing you will feel as if you are under water.
See a humpback whale up-close-and-personal, watch goofy sea lions play along the rocks, and even have sharks swim right past you. Get turned around in a mirrored kelp maze and try to find your way back out.
If you are a fan of Animal Planet you will most likely have seen The Zoo a show that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Bronx Zoo. This massive zoo is only about 10 miles from Times Square and should not be missed when visiting New York.
This is one of the biggest zoos in the United States and is the biggest in a metropolitan area with 265 acres of amazing park-like lands and natural-looking habitats. The Bronx River flows through the zoo’s acreage.
Spend an afternoon checking out animals from all over the globe, sit and watch a few entertaining and educational animal shows and enjoy an animal encounter or two while you and the kids enjoy the day. There are over 17,000 animals at the Bronx Zoo.
If you are a fan of the docuseries, The Zoo, you may even spot a few familiar faces as the keepers and veterinarians of the Bronx Zoo move throughout the zoo performing their regular duties
Madame Tussauds New York
Your kids will think this wax museum is so cool as they get an up-close experience with some of their favorite movie characters. Well, an up-close experience with a wax counterpart of those characters!
Madame Tussauds is filled with magnificent wax creations including A-list celebrities, athletes, historical figures, political figures, movie characters, and more. The Marvel 4-D experience is truly something you must check out if you have kids in tow.
The best part about Madame Tussauds is that the exhibits change every six to eight months so you have a new experience if you visit more than once. Take some selfies with your favorite celebs and visit the gift shop for some amazing souvenirs.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square
Your kids will find the world of Ripley’s Believe It or Not simply fascinating. Filled with interesting curiosities and 20 different interactive exhibits, you and your kids will have a great time as you explore this fun world.
Kids age 5 years and older can take part in Ripley’s Relic and work together to solve one of the escape adventures featured. Adults can also join in the fun and help solve the clues.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not has one of the biggest collections of shrunken heads in the world. Check out the Black Hole interactive exhibit and try not to get lost. With over 500 artifacts on display, your family will want to spend the entire day here.
Dave and Busters
While geared more toward older kids, teens, and adults, Dave and Busters is a great place to grab lunch and hang out playing games on a rainy afternoon in Times Square. Kids under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The menu is filled with American classics that your children will love. While waiting for your food head to the video arcade and unwind a bit. The games are geared more toward the 13+ age group, but you can certainly help the younger kids play a few games.
When you are tired of the big crowds on the streets in Times Square, head indoors to Bowlmor Lanes and spend a few hours bowling or playing in the arcade. With 48 lanes, this is one of the biggest bowling alleys near Times Square.
Kids will love throwing a bowling ball down the lane and knocking a few pins down. Gutter guards can even be used for younger kids as well as ball slides for tots that cannot toss a bowling ball yet.
Bowlmor Lanes is closed to bowlers under 21 years old on Fridays and Saturdays in the evening, so be sure to get there early and enjoy a few games. Grab a snack at the concession stand and strike up a friendly competition with the kids.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
Kids will go bananas when you step inside Hershey’s Chocolate World. Let’s face it; you will also have a blast exploring this chocolate heaven. Kids will love the Candy Machine filled with Hershey treats and the Hershey’s Kitchen Bakery samples are delicious.
Check out the Hershey’s Largest S’mores Experience and get s’mores served right from the Hershey’s camper. Sit down and enjoy a milkshake with your cookie or cupcake from the bakery or sample the cookie dough cups, they are really yummy!
Shop for great gifts, sweet treats, and fantastic snacks all featuring Hershey’s legendary chocolate. Pick up a few of the gigantic chocolate bars to give as gifts or just enjoy the mouth-watering chocolate displays throughout the plaza.
Next time you are in Times Square with the kids in tow, be sure to check out some of these kid-friendly activities that are sure to be a hit and make you the coolest parent around. Kids will have a blast exploring these different places.