Times Square is the center of Midtown Manhattan and it’s one of the most popular parts of NYC where you’d find thousands of tourists on a daily basis sightseeing and having the time of their lives.
Although most locals often try to avoid this part of the city because of it’s bustles but it’s also one of the most fun part of the city and there are tons of activities at Times Square you could engage in that would give your day a lift.
In this part of the city, you’d often find costumed characters entertaining crowd, everywhere you turn, there is one activity or another. There are also some places in Times Square you can’t afford to miss such as enjoying the view from One Time Square skyscrapers, visiting the Madame Tussauds museum, going to the Broadway show, visiting the Guilliver’s Gate, getting lunch or dinner at any of the fancy Times Square rooftop dining, go shopping, visit parks and several iconic landmarks in the city. The list is endless but in this article, we would highlights the most fun activities in Times Square so if you are visiting die the first time, you would know exactly what to do and here they are;
Things To Do in Times Square
- See a Broadway Show
- Go on Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour
- Check out the Escape Game
- Visit the Madame Tussauds Museum
- Sit in the audience for the Daily Show with Trevor Noah
- Enjoy Yourself At The LoL Times Square Comedy Club
- Go on a walking tour
- Join the audience at the Late Show with Stephen Colbert
- Enjoy a meal at the famous City Kitchen
- Visit The Times Square Church
- And more…
1. See a Broadway Show
This is one of the most fun things to do in Times Square, There’s Broadway and Off-Broadway, here you’d get magic shows, loud musicals, etc. One of the favorite is The Lion King, it’s an amazing show that will blow your mind and you’d understand the reason it’s been on Broadway mainstay for years.
There are other shows like Phantom of the Opera, this is the longest running show in Broadway and it’s thrilling. Others include The Wizard of Oz’s, Wicked, etc.
There are lots of shows you can enjoy, if you are on a budget and you want to really enjoy most of the shows you can either visit the TKTS booth for last-minute tickets or enter the lottery.
2. Go on Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour
This is another sure way to enjoy yourself in Times Square, you can join the Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour to explore the city.
While on this ride, you’d be listening to informative narration and learning about the attractions and sites of the city. You can hop off at any of the attraction you want to see.
This Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour will take you through major attractions and neighborhoods such as Madison Square Garden, the Broadway Theater District, Chinatown, Little Italy, the Empire State Building, etc.
3. Check out the Escape Game
The Escape Game is an adventurous game that will test your mind giving you different levels of themed experiences that will require out-of-the-box thinking, problem-solving and teamwork. It’s like Money Heist, Prison Break, etc. It’s designed for family or a small group of friends or colleagues.
This is super fun and if you are looking for memorable time in Times Square you should try. If you are alone you can join a group of people to play but if you are with family or friends it’s also cool.
4. Visit the Madame Tussauds Museum
Established in 2000, this is the place to meet your favorite celebrities, it’s located at the center of Times Square, at the Madame Tussauds museum you can snap pictures with the world’s most prominent movie stars, musician, athletes, world leaders, etc. This is large museum occupying five stories, inside, there are exhibits such. As Ghostbusters; the Marvel Super Hero 4D Experience.
Madame Tussauds museum are in over 20 countries, the original one was established in London in 1884. This one located in Times Square at 234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036, is a fun place to be.
5. Sit in the audience for the Daily Show with Trevor Noah
This is one of the top activities in Times Square, every moment with Trevor Noah at the Daily Show is educative and fun and being amongst the audience should be top on your to do list in New York City. On the show, you might to get see some America’s most talented movie stars, musicians and comedians as guests. If you are in Times Square and you are looking for fun things to do, this should rank top of your list.
Tickets to the Daily Show is free but they highly contested so to get in you would have to be there early and join the queue at the theater. To get more information, visitthe Daily Show website to see how you can be part of the audience.
6. Enjoy Yourself At The LoL Times Square Comedy Club
Located at the 7th Ave and 47th Street, the LoL Times Square Comedy Club is one of the best things to do in Times Square at night, it’s indeed a place for laughter and fun. LoL Times Square Comedy Club hosts top stand-up comedians not only from the city but from the entire country.
Every night of the week from 7pm, 8:15pm and 9:30pm, there are new performing arts at the comedy clubs there to entertain and thrill the audience. You should add this place to your list of things to do in Times Square.
7. Go on a walking tour
You can choose to explore Times Square on your own, the most important thing is not to miss the attractions and fun spots. One if the ways you can do that is to download the Free Tour By Foot app on your smartphone and follow the instructions.
Although the app doesn’t have an audio commentary but it has a detailed description of the important places in Times Square you can not afford to miss. Places like Ed Sullivan Theater, One Times, Square and several other fun spots.
There is a suggested order on the app which you can follow but if you do not want to you can create your own. The main focus is to have a swell time while you are in Times Square and a walking tour around the fascinating part of Times Square will do just that.
8. Join the audience at the Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is open to the public and it’s free, this CBS talk show is aired every weekend in Times Square, it’s entertaining and enlightening so if you are looking for fun and free activities in Times Square you should not miss the Late Show.
Although entrance to the show is free but it’s not easy.
Tickets for the show are released two months in advance so it’s better you plan for the show ahead of time because the chances of getting a ticket for next weekend show is slim to none. Stephen Colbert is an American comedian, he’s been the host of the Late Show since 2015 and has succeeded in making the show one of the most watched weekend shows in the country.
9. Enjoy a meal at the famous City Kitchen
Address: 700 8th Avenue at 44th Street New York, NY 10036
This is an industrial-style marketplace with diverse food vendors serving global dishes in a bustling setup, it is located at the heart of Times Square in Row Hotel. Here you’d get the most desired and hyped food concept of the city. They serve lobster rolls, tacos, doughnuts, Indian street snacks, etc.
This is a nice spot to hangout in Times Square, the atmosphere is ecstatic, you can be enjoying your meal while watching the bustling street.
They are open daily from 6:30am to 9pm. The closet subway is A, C, E to 42nd St. Port Authority Bus Terminal; Q, R, S, 1, 2, 3.
10. Visit The Times Square Church
Located in Theater District on West 51st street, this non-denominational church provides visitors a place of sanctuary and worship. The Times Square Church is an attraction of the city and thousands of tourists visit this church to experience the religious side of the city and also to admire it’s architectural beauty.
It is regarded as one of the most captivating religious building in the country.
The church hosts a number of guest speaker and artists and also offer educational schools and workshop.
Services holds on Sunday at 10am and Tuesdays at 1pm. You can join the several other tourists for a tour at the church, and it’s quiet and nice.
11. Visit The New Victory Theater
This is an Off-Broadway theater located in Times Square and it’s the only full-time performing arts theater for children and families. They offer a full season of theater all years round with dance puppetry, circus, opera, etc.
The New Victory Theater is situated in a historic structure built by Oscar Hammerstein in the 1900s. The building was designed by a famous architect Albert Westover. Before it was renamed as The New Victory Theater in 1995, it was originally Theater Republic.
At The New Victory Theater, you’d find some of its original architectural features like dome with lyre-playing cherubs along the rim.
12. Get Discount Broadway Show tickets at the TKTS Booth
This is the place to get theater tickets at discount price, if you are planning to see musicals, plays, dance production at Broadway, you should first check out TKTS booth for tickets that are 20 to 50 percent off regular prices.
The TKTS Booth in Times Square is the main one amongst the four TKTS booths scattered around the city. It is operated by the Theater Development Fund, TDF, a non-profit organization for the performing arts working towards making theater affordable to everyone.
If you want to see a show at Broadway then you should check TKTS every day because tickets for popular show goes quick, to get the real time listing check their website.
13. Join the audience at Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Tonight Show is a popular late-night NBC talk show hosted by Jimmy Fallon, the show, it is produced by Universal Television and Broadway Video and recorded at Studio 6B in Rockefeller Center in NYC. The show was premiere in 2014, Jimmy Fallon is the sixth host of the show. It’s one of the favorite night shows in the country with audience from different parts of the country.
Entrance to the show is free but tickets go fast. You have to plan ahead to get the tickets before joining the audience at the Tonight Show. This is one of the most fun things to do things to do in Times Square.
14. Get a front row seat at Carolines on Broadway
This is a place of comedy located underground at the center of Times Square. There are number of comedian to thrill guests at the Carolines on Broadway every night. This is one place you can not afford to miss in Times Square.
Shows at the Carolines on Broadway is not just comedy but also informative, comedians dish out current affairs-inspired jokes and political jabs. You can also order different variety of drinks and food.
15. Visit The Town Hall
This is a theater of 1500 capacity, and it’s been around for over a century (completed 100 years in 2021). The Town Hall hosts some of the country’s most prominent artists and performers. At the theater, you’d get live music, comedy nights, Broadway productions and so much more. So much is showcased at this theater and it’s a place where you’d appreciate the diverse culture of the city.
16. Take a helicopter tour around Times Square
One of the best ways to appreciate what the city has to offer is to take a helicopter tour around. The fact remains that New York City has the most fascinating skylines in the country so what better way to envisage and enjoy the views than from above — in a helicopter tour?
From an helicopter tour, you’d get to see all the attractions in the city from Times Square to Top of The Rock in Manhattan, Central Park to the East River, Hudson River, etc. This is an exciting way to your the city without missing any of the icons landmark. All you need to do is choose your duration from 15 minutes to 1 hour.
17. Visit Los Tacos No. 1
If you love tacos you shouldn’t miss Los Tacos No 1, they serve some of the best tacos in the city. Their menu boasts of different variety of tacos and burritos filled with everything from carnitas to chorizo and pollo to asada, etc. This is one of the best spot to be in Times Square if you love tacos. They deliver fast services so instead of waiting in line at some of this carts you can grab a plate of tacos here.
18. Explore Stranger Things Store
Located on the 7th Avenue and 42nd Street, close to subway entry, the Strange Things Store is an interactive store that will fascinate you with it’s show iconic merch to neon-lit arcade games, action figures, etc. Here, you can explore realistic set recreations of iconic locations from the show. You can have access and enjoy shopping experience themed around the Stranger Things universe.
19. Enjoy a show at the Broadway Comedy Club
Catching a show at the Broadway Comedy Club in Times Square is one of the tops things to do. Broadway Comedy Club is a place of fun and entertainment, it hosts award-winning comedians weekly, the shows are scheduled for both day and night time so you can squeeze yourself in any time of the day. Ike most comedy shows, tickets go quickly so to be sure of getting a seat you’d have to book or buy your ticket in advance.