Enter the vibrant center of the city that never sleeps, where the most iconic billboards in the world light up the nighttime sky and the vibrant energy of New York City permeates every nook and cranny. Times Square, sometimes known as the “Crossroads of the World,” is more than simply a busy junction; it is also a thriving hub of excitement, fun, and culture. Whether you’ve visited New York City before or this is your first time, you can be drawn in by Times Square’s alluring energy.
This guide offers you a look into the diverse world of this famous location by compiling a variety of events that go beyond the Broadway stage. We invite you to explore the many facets of Times Square and learn why it continues to capture the hearts of tourists from all over the world. Let’s drop into the fun and discover the top things to do in Times Square to ensure that your trip to this famous location is unforgettable.
Times Square Overview-About The History And More
If you’re dreaming of an iconic New York City experience, Times Square is where the magic begins. This bustling hub is smack in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. It’s not just a place; it’s a pulsating symbol of the city’s vitality and diversity. It stretches from West 42nd Street to West 47th Street, lit up by the dazzling glow of massive billboards.
But it’s more than just bright lights. Times Square is where the worlds of entertainment, shopping, dining, and art come together in a grand symphony of life. Those historic theaters you’ve heard of? They’re here, hosting some of Broadway’s biggest hits. Street performers add a touch of whimsy to the bustling streets, while people from every corner of the globe gather here, sharing in the wonder of New York City. You can stroll beneath the neon lights, catch a world-class show, or simply sit on those famous red steps, taking in the vibrant tapestry of humanity passing by.
Fun Facts About Times Square
Times Square is a place where tradition, innovation, and spectacle converge, creating an experience like no other. These fun facts showcase the vibrant history and unique character that make Times Square an enduring symbol of New York City.
- It Was Once Named Longacre Square: Before becoming Times Square in 1904, this iconic hub was known as Longacre Square. The name change happened when The New York Times moved its headquarters here, and it has been Times Square ever since.
- The Ball Drop Tradition: Times Square is famous for its New Year’s Eve ball drop. The tradition began in 1907 and has been wowing revelers ever since. The current ball is a dazzling masterpiece, adorned with thousands of LED lights.
- The Neon Lights Bill More Than Broadway: Times Square is often referred to as “The Crossroads of the World” and “The Center of the Universe.” It boasts more neon signs than any other place globally, even outshining the bright lights of Broadway.
- Electric Bill High: The cost of all those neon lights isn’t cheap. In fact, the annual electricity bill for Times Square’s lights is mind-boggling, running into the millions of dollars. But it’s all worth it for that iconic glow.
- Where the New Year’s Confetti Comes From: Ever wonder where all that confetti that rains down on New Year’s Eve comes from? It’s made from people’s wishes! Each piece of confetti contains a wish submitted by visitors throughout the year.
- A Place for Protest: Times Square has long been a gathering place for protests and celebrations. It’s witnessed historic events, including the first-ever LGBTQ+ Pride Parade in 1970 and numerous victory parades for sports teams.
- Movie Magic: Times Square often serves as a backdrop for movies and TV shows. Its iconic atmosphere has graced films like “Spider-Man,” “Vanilla Sky,” and “The Great Gatsby,” to name just a few.
- The Pedestrian Paradise: In 2009, Times Square transformed, closing parts of it to vehicular traffic and turning them into pedestrian plazas. It’s now a more walkable and enjoyable space for both locals and tourists.
- Times Square Is Always Lit: Unlike most areas in NYC, Times Square never truly goes dark. It’s alive with energy 24/7, thanks to the dazzling lights and the constant hustle and bustle of visitors from all around the globe.
- Home to World Records: Times Square has been the stage for numerous record-breaking events. From the largest Zumba dance party to the most simultaneous kisses, you can expect the unexpected in this lively square.
Things To Do In Times Square-Timeless Excitement
Times Square is a whirlwind of activity, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are a few of the top things to explore in this iconic neighborhood:
Times Square is synonymous with Broadway and catching a show here is among the top things to do in New York. Whether you’re into dazzling musicals like “The Phantom of the Opera” or gripping dramas like “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the theaters in and around Times Square have a diverse lineup of productions. Be sure to book your tickets in advance for a memorable night of theater. Immerse yourself in the world of theater by catching a Broadway show in the heart of Times Square.
Explore One Times Square
This iconic building is not just famous for the New Year’s Eve ball drop. It’s also a great spot to take in the energy of Times Square. You can snap photos, people-watch, and immerse yourself in the bright lights and billboards that make One Times Square so captivating. Stand at the epicenter of Times Square and soak in the electrifying atmosphere beneath the towering billboards.
Visit Madame Tussauds
Get up close and meet with beautiful wax figures of your favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds. From movie stars like Brad Pitt to historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, you can take selfies with the stars and even enjoy interactive exhibits. Rub shoulders with your favorite stars, or at least their incredibly realistic wax counterparts, at Madame Tussauds.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a stone’s throw from Times Square and offers a serene escape from the bustling streets. Explore six floors of contemporary and modern art, including renowned works by artists like Picasso, Warhol, and Van Gogh. Immerse yourself in a world of artistic brilliance at MoMA, where masterpieces from renowned artists await your discovery.
Dine At Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Step back in time to the 1950s at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This retro eatery features a singing waitstaff, serving classic American favorites while belting out Broadway tunes. It’s a dining experience like no other. Enjoy a meal with a side of entertainment as the talented waitstaff serenade you with Broadway hits at Ellen’s Stardust Diner.
Take “The Ride”
For a unique NYC experience, hop on “The Ride.” This immersive bus tour takes you through the streets of the city, complete with surprise entertainment along the way. You’ll see iconic landmarks like the Chrysler Building and, of course, Times Square itself. Buckle up for a one-of-a-kind bus tour that combines sightseeing with unexpected entertainment on the streets of NYC.
Enjoy Restaurant Row
Head to West 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, known as Restaurant Row. It’s a food lover’s paradise with over 30 diverse eateries, offering cuisines ranging from Italian and French to Japanese and Brazilian. Grab a meal before or after your Broadway show for the complete Times Square experience. Embark on a culinary adventure along Restaurant Row, where the diverse flavors of the world await your taste buds.
Staying In Times Square – The Best Hotel Options
Times Square isn’t just about sightseeing and entertainment; it’s also a fantastic place to stay during your visit to the Big Apple. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best hotel options that put you right in the heart of the action.
The Times Square EDITION
For those seeking a touch of luxury during the Times Square frenzy, The Times Square EDITION is an excellent choice. This boutique hotel offers stylish rooms, a sleek lounge, and the elegant 701West restaurant, where you can enjoy modern American cuisine. Plus, you’re just steps away from all the excitement.
Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel
The Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel is all about modern comfort. With spacious rooms, plush bedding, and a rooftop lounge boasting panoramic views of Times Square, it’s an excellent pick for a comfortable and convenient stay.
The Knickerbocker Hotel
If you’re looking for a blend of history and elegance, The Knickerbocker Hotel delivers. This iconic hotel has been a part of Times Square since 1906. With its Beaux-Arts architecture and lavish rooms, it’s a timeless choice for your stay.
The Westin New York At Times Square
For travelers seeking a tranquil retreat amid the bustling streets, The Westin New York at Times Square is an ideal option. Unwind in their signature Heavenly Beds, hit the fitness studio, and savor delicious cuisine at Foundry Kitchen & Bar.
CitizenM New York Times Square Hotel
citizenM is known for its smart and stylish accommodations. Enjoy high-tech amenities, vibrant communal spaces, and a convenient location just minutes away from Broadway theaters.
Hyatt Centric Times Square New York
The Hyatt Centric Times Square New York is the perfect launchpad for exploring Times Square and beyond. Stylish rooms, a rooftop bar, and a central location make it a fantastic base for your NYC adventures.
In the heart of the Big Apple, Times Square awaits with its bright lights and endless excitement. Whether you’re catching a Broadway show, exploring iconic landmarks, or simply people-watching on those famous red steps, Times Square offers something extraordinary for everyone. It’s not just a place; it’s a vibrant celebration of life, art, and the incredible spirit of New York City. So, dive into the magic of Times Square, create unforgettable memories, and know that this crossroads will always be here, ready to welcome you back for more adventures in the city that never sleeps. Enjoy your journey!