If you are not staying at a hotel in NYC but you have an entire day to spend there, you might consider visiting the Discovery Times Square Exposition museum. By it's own account, it is considered a large-scale exhibition center "presenting visitors with limited-run, educational and immersive exhibit experiences while exploring the world's defining cultures, art, history and events" as defined by the exhibition center's own website. In my opinion, the size and types of exhibitions are very comparable to that of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
My daughter and I visited the Discovery Times Exposition Center when it was featuring the King Tut exhibit. It was very well presented and the special lighting enhanced it even more. But I have to admit I was a little disappointed in the choice of objects shown. The admission fee for this exhibit was approximately $21 ea. with a discount offered by AA Advantage (frequent flyer miles club). Photography was not allowed.
Some of the rather famous exhibitions that have been presented at the Discovery Times Square Exposition Center in recent years are: Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition; Leonardo Da Vinci's Workshop; King Tut; Pompeii: The Exhibit; Harry Potter: The Exhibition; Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition, and most recently Terracotta Warriors: Defenders of China’s First Emperor. Currently being shown are: 1) Body Worlds: Pulse; 2) Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasures; and 3) The Art of the Brick.
Adult tickets currently will cost from $27 to $19.50. Coupons and promotional discounts can often be found online or sometimes in city visitor magazines.
Since our visit, DC Cupcakes Cafe offering "Georgetown" cupcakes has been added to the Center. This is a nice option for a cup of something hot and something sweet for visitors. No prices are listed on the website however, but I would expect this to be expensive.
General hours of operation are:
Sunday - Tuesday: 10 AM - 7 PM
Wednesday and Thursday: 10 AM - 8 PM
Friday and Saturday: 10 AM - 9 PM
The last admission is 45 minutes prior to closing.
Special 2013 Holiday hours are as follows:
Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 28th: 11 AM - 5 PM
Christmas Eve: Tuesday December 24th: 9 AM - 4 PM
Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25th: 11 AM - 6 PM
New Year's Eve: Tuesday, December 31st: 9 AM - 3 PM
New Year's Day: Wednesday, January 1st: 10 AM - 8 PM
Times Square was "born" in 1906 with the construction of the New York Times building. As theatres and restaurants opened up along Broadway, Times Square enjoyed quite a few years of popularity until the economic crisis that hit the country in the 1930s changed the picture and the vocation of the neighborhood. Seedy clubs and peepshows took over the area, turning it into a place most people avoided except maybe on New Year's, for the giant ball drop. In the 1990s, plans were made to "clean up" Times Square, and have proven to be surprinsingly successful. Today, Times Square is a safe area, its theatres are popular again, and many companies such as Toys R' Us, Disney, Hershey's and M&M's have opened up larger-than-life stores, turning the place into a paradise for the young at heart! On top of all the shopping, there's always some kind of entertainment going on at Times Squares: chances are you'll run into the famous naked cowboy, some Disney characters, and hilarious street performers. If you're not afraid of crowds, don't miss the experience of walking around Times Square at night. If that doesn't make you feel like you've made it to NYC, then nothing will!
It's a magical place. There's an ocean of lights and animated billboards; colours and images flow vertically up the side of the great buildings that surround the square. It's enough to grab the attention of any passerby, and the square gets plenty of those: the population of a small European capital city walks through every day. It's a magical place by day, and even more magical at night when the lights consume the sky and engulf you in a wave of imagery.
If there's one thing Times Square is famous for it's celebrations. People come here to await and celebrate the great events every year. The end of World War 2, the election of President Obama, the turn of the century - and of course the annual New Year's Eve celebrations happen here with the dropping of the Times Square Ball at midnight. It's been likened by some to the agora of ancient Athens where the population gathered for pronouncements.
Despite the magic and celebrations, the square has had a chequered history. Once called "the Tenderloin" for being the most sought after real estate in the city, it became, after the Great Depression, a sordid and dangerous place of strip shows, pornographers and sex shops. Only after the 1980s was the square cleaned up and returned to its former glory. Today it is a place of movie theaters, shops, and exclusive hotels.
As for the name: It has nothing to do with time or New Year. It was named after the New York Times which once occupied an office at One Times Square. The square was originally named Longacre after a similar square in London, but was changed in 1904 after the newspaper moved its offices.
I LOVE this place! I have seen three exhibits here (Terracotta Warriors, Pompeii, & Harry Potter) and enjoyed them all. As different as the first two were from Harry Potter, they were all so well done, educational, and incredibly interesting. I saw Harry Potter with a huge HP fan so that made it more fun. Pompeii - especially the body casts - was just so moving, and seeing the Terracotta Warriors will at Discovery will hold me over until I get to see them in China.
All exhibits are limited-run and at any time there are at least two exhibits on. You can easily spend a couple of hours at any exhibit. Each exhibit has an interactive/immersive aspect - Pompeii, for example, had a time lapsed movie representation of Vesuvius' explosion (you could feel the rumble) and the sad aftermath.
I wouldn't hesitate to see any exhibit here. To save some money buy a combo ticket. Another option is to sign up for NYC Groupon (www.groupon.com). The Groupon can save you quite a bit of money.
No strollers, backpacks, etc. allowed but there is a complimentary coat check.
No photos allowed inside the exhibits.
On the lower level is a gift shop and a cafe/bakery.
Audio guides are available for an extra charge.
I am a great fan of musicals and of course New York is where you find the world's best (or is it London?). While major productions are fantastic and are great entertainment, other less known musicals produced by smaller outfits and staged at smaller venues (technically, 100-499 seats) - "Off-Broadway" as they're called - sometimes offer more than just entertainment. Some have embedded commentaries on social issues, while others could be quite philosophical in their approach.
One of New York's most photographed attractions is the neon extravaganza on show on Times Square. These vestiges of capitalism - mainly to lure consumers into consuming more - have become attractions themselves. Of course, the best time to see them would be night time when they're all lit up in there fantastic glory.
One thing that confused me in
America (and caused a sort of discomfort), was the absence of a urban center, as all European cities do have.
New York is no exception, but if I had to define a central point it would be Times Square.
Why? Because it is the strongest gathering point, centrally located, and in motion at all time of the day.
This is one experience I absolutely loved! Despite the massive amount of people crowed in one street, all of the tall buildings and lights where a magnificent view and the best picture taking place. If you go to NYC you need to visit Time square at lease one of the nights.
At least once in your life, you have to see Times Square. The cacophany of lights and sounds and constant movement can be overwhelming to the senses. There is definitely an energy here - and a sense of familliarity. You've seen it in movies, on tv, in books and magazines, and yes - every New Years Eve you've ever spent with Dick Clark. :-)
There are restaurants and stores and theatres here, and also the TKTS booth for getting half-price same-day tickets to Broadway shows. It is truly an amazing place to see.
With our hotel being a 5 minute walk from Times Square, this is where I came every morning to read the news with a Starbucks in hand!
There is so much to see in Times Square! There are souvnir shops, resturants such as Bubba Gump Shrimp and TGI Fridays, the Hershey's shop, Toys 'R' Us, Sephora and much more!
Of course, there is also the 'naked cowboy'! He is a man wearing a cowboy hat, stood in the middle of Times Square, playing a guitar and singing! There is always a crowd around him and he hasn't got a bad voice either!!
The building where the 'ball drops' on New Years Eve is situated here and also MTV headquarters where it's not unusual to see crowds stood outside waiting for their idols to enter the building! The New York Police Department is also in Times Square which is lit up so there is no chance of missing it!
Go at night and see the neon lights of Times Square - brilliant.
Times Square is also a pick-up/drop-off point for all bus tours of the city.
Late on evening, I wanted to stretch my legs, so I wandered around the city for a little bit, and landed in Times Square. The area is certainly an assault on the senses - the bright lights and city sounds hit you from the moment you walk into it. There are tons of shopping options (many large stores of places you know - M&M Store, Hershey, etc.) and also places to eat. Perhaps most fun is to just stand to the side and watch the world go by. While I was also there in the morning, it doesn't feel nearly as alive as it does at night.
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan,at the junction of Broadway and 7th Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th streets.The extended Square also called the 'Theartre District',consists of the blocks between Sixth and Eighth Avenues from east to west,making up the western part of the commercial area of Midtown.
Formerley named 'Longacre Square'it was renamed in April1904 when the New York Times Newspaper moved it Headquarters to the newly erected Times Building,which is now called one Times Square and is the site of the annual Ball Drop on New Years Eve.The square is famous for its 24 hr neon light advertising and constant news bulletins from around the world including the national deficit clock.Its a popular meeting point for locals and you will find it busy almost all day every day,a real New York City expierience.
If you really have to walk around Times Square, just be aware that this is a haven for street hustlers. Stay around 42nd and 7th thru 52nd and 7th. 8th Ave is sleazy with gangs, peep shows, topless bars, and people trying to get money from you. Port Authority (42nd and 8th Ave) is the worst to walk by. Always some piece of garbage guy standing around observing targets to molest or rub or hustle. My best advice for anyone not from New York City who wants to walk around Times Square is to be aware, don't stare, don't act afraid, be cool and try to act like you've been there and done that. Ignore everyone who approaches you in the street for something. I mean that. Sometimes it's just a trap. Ignore them. You don't have to be nice and smile and say no or yes to whatever it is that they are asking you. Just keep walking and wipe the dirt off your shoulders. Move on. You didn't come here for some lame unfunny comedy club tickets, to donate something for some irresistable cause, to give some bum a dollar or nickel, discuss for an hour of your time about becoming a Jehovah's Witness, buy fake gold, help some bum pretending he needs $3.50 to get home, or fall prey to some BS scheme . Only take a yellow cab. Don't get ripped off (overcharged) by the crooks who drive the town cars. The moment they tell you how incredible and difficult it is to get anywhere without them, give them the ol'Bronx cheer (figuratively speaking). Walk away from them. say "that's okay. no thanks. " They don't need to know your business. Many of these cabbies (even the ones in yellow cabs) ask you questions because they want to feel you out. "Oh so you here on vacation?"- this means if you are, I will take you an extra 12 blocks the wrong way to jack up the price on the meter. "I know a good place, you can go" means -I will drive you all over and around New York not 'cause I'm nice but because I think you are a sucker and I can make a fortune off of you. "oh is this all I get as a tip?" means can I suck up more money out of you even though you've tipped me generously already.
Times Square just screams New York! Having been a temporary resident of Manhattan, I didn't really trek out there much, but when my out-of-state friends came for a visit, Times Square was just one of those touristy sites I had to take them to. It’s so alive and so full of energy and the epitome of the NYC nightlife, but oh man, the foot traffic is simply awful and irritating. Consequently, the only time I ventured out there, aside from showing my friends around was to catch the musicals on Broadway, which you definitely must do if in the city. If you're interested in attending one yourself, find a TKTS booth to purchase discounted tickets for same-day performances.
Standing on Times Square for the first time (during the day) I wasn't too impressed. But this place really comes to live at night. I don't know how to describe it. There's this special atmosphere in the evening / night. Is it the bright neon lights?. Whenever I'm in NY my evening walk always includes a visit to Times Square :)