Times Square: 8 Riveting Activities to Enjoy While at the Big Apple

Times Square

Updated On: April 17, 2024 by   Miranne KhaledMiranne Khaled

Every time someone mentions New York City, there is a high chance that the name Times Square will spring to mind. We barely exaggerate when we call this ultimate destination the heart of New York. No wonder it stands tall among the plentiful tourist attractions in the city. This renowned location has significantly transformed throughout the years, turning into the bustling hub we know today. 

You cannot deny the vibrant ambience of Times Square that effortlessly exudes lively energy. It’s literally the City that Never Sleeps, ceaselessly offering opportunities for everyone to have a great time. This must-see destination holds cultural and historical significance. No wonder it has become a staple in the entertainment industry, being featured in numerous movies and TV shows.

Times Square

From the vibrant Broadway theatres to the plethora of enticing dining and shopping choices, Times Square offers an endless array of experiences for all sorts of travellers. Whether you’re looking for an unforgettable vacation with your family or an exhilarating escapade with your friends, Times Square will measure up to your goals.

This breathtaking destination discriminates against no one, providing the utmost satisfaction and unparalleled travel experiences to each and every visitor. So, join us as we embark on a captivating journey through our meticulously curated itinerary, revealing the very essence of what makes Times Square an iconic destination.

1. Marvel At the Lively Ambience of Times Square

Times Square

Times Square’s iconic neon signs and endless billboards possess a certain allure that captures the imagination. They illuminate the bustling city with their glitz and glamour, infusing the destination with an undeniable energy. In case you never heard, Douglas Leigh was the brilliant mind behind the advertising signs idea.

Leigh bluntly professed that nothing uplifts one’s spirit like the flickering lights, believing the darkness can induce feelings of fear. So, he thought that those advertising signs would be perfect for abolishing all emotions of fear and inviting happiness. Consequently, he embarked on his mission in 1937, transforming Times Square into the lively hub exuding energy that we know today.

People are naturally drawn to the captivating effect of neon lights, finding solace in their pleasant glow. However, the appeal of this urban gem extends beyond its visual magnificence. Times Square serves as a symbol of New York City itself, embodying its fast-paced and bustling essence while remaining undeniably vibrant and full of life.

2. Purchase Broadway Tickets at the TKTS Booth

Times Square

TKTS is a popular destination at Times Square that caters to theatre enthusiasts who purchase tickets for both Broadway and off-Broadway shows at affordable prices. Although Broadway is more often associated with musicals, there are still plenty of non-musical plays that take place on the grand stage. 

This activity is mainly meant for art enthusiasts who find solace in theatrical performances and appreciate the finesse. For over 50 years, TKTS stood firm, offering a wide array of discounted tickets for dazzling musicals, gripping drama, and tear-jerking tragic stories. There’s nothing Broadway won’t contribute to keep you entertained.

On a side note, we believe it’s important to point out that the name “Broadway”, in fact, refers to a buzzing boulevard located in Manhattan. This has, more often than not, created confusion among theatregoers. All in all, the magic of Broadway will surely capture your attention and offer you a mesmerising experience that you will cherish for years to come.

3. Enjoy Street Performances

One of the most exciting features of Times Square that you won’t easily find elsewhere is the presence of intriguing street performances. Here, you can enjoy magnificent displays of talent from musicians and buskers without having to break your bank account. These performers don’t belong to any employer or union. They bring an unpredictable element to the lively atmosphere of the area. 

It’s hard to know when or where you might stumble upon them, so you may just wish to get lucky. These performers are all about promoting cross-cultural exchange, encouraging social tolerance, and calling for the freedom of expression. Many of them do inject life into the heart of Times Square and the nearby landmarks.

Most of f these buskers and street musicians take to the streets to either earn some extra money or to gain practice performing in front of an audience. They even go the extra mile by investing in their character costumes, using their own money. For that very reason, make sure you have a few coins handy to support these talents and express your appreciation for their efforts.

4. Take Pictures with Famous Characters

When strolling through the bustling streets of Times Square, it’s impossible to overlook the vibrant presence of famous icons like Superman, Hulk, Elmo, Spider-Man, SpongeBob, Darth Vader, and Captain America. These beloved characters eagerly await the opportunity to capture memorable moments with passersby. 

However, before joyfully snapping selfies or taking photographs of your little ones with these delightful characters, it’s crucial to be aware of a few important guidelines. Although the costumed individuals may initially exude friendliness, it’s essential to understand that they operate with the intention of seeking compensation. 

While many people might innocently assume that posing for a picture with them is free, families, particularly those accompanied by children, are often barraged with requests for tips. Stay informed and navigate your visit to Times Square with confidence by familiarising yourself with these practices.

5. Diverse Shopping Options to Keep Your Inner Fashionista Happy

Times Square

Being in New York City tempts you into purchasing all the goods you see in sight. The shopping experience in NYC is like no other, especially Times Square, which offers all sorts of shopping options to keep you entertained. It doesn’t matter what budget you’re setting in mind, for here is everything you could ever ask for. 

You may at first get the wrong impression that everything is lavish and expensive, and while that can be true, there are still other budget-friendly options. Surprisingly, Times Square has undergone more than a few transformations; it now features a mid-price shopping paradise to cater to everyone’s financial status. 

We promise you’ll find it here no matter what you’re looking for. If you’re chasing after high-end designer brands and luxurious fashion, look no further than the iconic nearby 5th Avenue. However, Times Square is the ultimate destination for those who crave budget-friendly stores and a vast selection of popular retailers in fashion and beauty.

6. Take A Bite or Two At the Popular Dining Spots

Travel is never complete without letting your taste buds embark on a delectable culinary journey and explore the country’s cuisine. Times Square is one of the top destinations in New York that offers a wide array of dining options. Whether you’re looking for a grab-to-go meal or a dine-in to have a hearty meal, you’ll find lots of options.

One of the popular restaurants around is Carmine’s, offering the best Italian meals that will leave your taste buds screaming in joy. Although there are a lot of choices on their menu, Meatballs is their most famous dish. So, we recommend you give it a shot if you’re in the mood to indulge in traditional dishes from Italian cuisine.

Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery is another option with a myriad of palatable items to choose from. It’s one of the significant landmarks of New York, dating back to 1950 when New Yorkers enjoyed the best cheesecake in town. Needless to say, they still offer savoury meals to curb your hunger. Shake Shack is another perfect option for some juicy cheeseburger sandwiches and crunchy fries.

7. Don’t Forget to Explore the Nearby Landmarks

Times Square

Times Square is a place that embodies excitement and entertainment at every turn. But the wonders don’t stop there. Surrounding this iconic hub are some of the city’s most renowned landmarks, each deserving of your attention. Among them are some of the iconic landmarks of New York City that we believe you ought to give a try.

First and foremost, the majestic Empire State Building dominates the skyline, proudly standing tall in the bustling streets of Midtown Manhattan. This architectural masterpiece mesmerises its visitors. You can take a quick Instagram-worthy snapshot to commemorate this memory of your visit to this storied historical site.

A stone’s throw away from the Empire State Building lies the distinguished Rockefeller Centre – an expansive complex that serves as a haven for art enthusiasts and seekers of fun alike. As you step inside, you’ll be captivated by a world of awe-inspiring art pieces that adorn the walls. And if that’s not enough, indulge in the pure joy of gliding gracefully across the ice at their famous ice-skating rink. 

8. Engage in Some Fun Family-Friendly Activities

Times Square

If you are going on a trip to New York with your family, then there are a lot of beckoning adventures awaiting you at the extraordinary destination that is Times Square. The lively area offers interactive exhibits, promising an unforgettable experience for you and your family members. So embark on this adventurous journey to the best family-friendly destinations in Times Square.

Allow us to introduce the renowned wax museum, Madame Tussauds, which goes back to 1835 with its first premise located in London. It attracted a huge population of tourists from all corners of the globe, so a new branch in NYC opened to welcome its guests. This enchanting destination is brimming with an abundance of attractions and opportunities to immerse oneself in a fascinating world of artistry and history.

Meanwhile, the New York Aquarium stands as an undeniable gem, offering an unforgettable experience for all who enter. As you step foot inside, the refreshing ocean breeze envelops you, transporting you to a realm inhabited by hundreds of extraordinary aquatic creatures. Let’s not forget about the magnificent Hershey’s Chocolate World that has been relocated to Times Square, allowing visitors to mix and match delectable products of Hershey’s.

Travel Safety Tips to Bear In Mind While Exploring Times Square

Times Square literally never sleeps. This iconic New York City location brims with life day and night, enticing both locals and tourists alike. However, it’s essential to know that such liveliest areas can come with a price, literally becoming a hotspot for pickpockets and cunning thieves. Fret not! We’re not here to suck the fun out of your trip but to ensure you can explore the area without worry. 

  • Keep Track of Belongings and Valuable Items: Instead of letting a stolen wallet ruin your trip, make sure you tuck it away from the sneaky fingers of cunning thieves. An excellent way to do so is by keeping your personal items close at all times and remaining alert to your surroundings. As for the ladies, consider opting for crossbody purses that allow you to secure your essentials stylishly.
  • Avoid Engaging in Suspicious Activities: It’s important to know that many criminals operate slyly in teams. For example, don’t fall for the trap where one member causes chaos only to create an opportunity for their partner to seize and snatch valuables during the distraction. Stay with eyes like a hawk, for their schemes can catch even the most experienced travellers off guard.
  • Beware the Tricks of Street Vendors: Street performances are a charming and vibrant display of local talent that can truly captivate our senses. In the middle of the bustling atmosphere, it is crucial to remain cautious of your surroundings to avert the efforts of opportunistic pickpockets. 

By keeping potential mishaps at bay, you can fully immerse yourself in the blissful experience that awaits you. Undoubtedly, Times Square ranks high on top of the must-see destinations in New York City. And honestly, it lives up to its reputation as a delightful tourist hotspot with an alluring ambience. It’s imperative to make it a stop on your itinerary the moment you set foot in the United States, for it truly offers a little something for everyone.

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