Whether you’re a New York City native or a first-time visitor, navigating the city with kids can be an overwhelming task. But once you look past the hustle and bustle of the streets, you’ll find that there’s a kid-friendly city waiting to be discovered right here in the concrete jungle! Even something as simple as walking down Times Square invokes a sense of discovery that makes NYC an exciting place for all.

The first place that comes to mind for kids is Central Park – packed with playgrounds, open fields and lakes, and it even has a zoo. But there’s more to discover with your kids than just Central Park. The city is brimming with plenty of activities for children including museums, theater performances for kids, unique parks, and as well as recreational facilities.

We’ve put together a list of the best things to do in times square with kids, including some free attractions, that will help you and your kids instantly fall in love with New York City!

Attractions

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Times Square is a fun family-friendly attraction you can enjoy with every member of your family. Spend hours discovering fascinating and incredible oddities from all around the world. Explore two full floors dedicated to new and strange artifacts and mind-boggling exhibits. Interactive experiences like Ripley’s Relic (an escape adventure) and Draw Live are a huge hit with the younger kids. Whereas, thrilling action-packed exhibits like SMASH DASH and Black Hole will challenge the agility and dexterity of everyone in your group. In addition to all this, Ripley’s offers scavenger hunts available in 3 different tiers. The different tiers correspond to the level of difficulty of the hunt. Whether you’re gazing up at the face of a 12 foot, 500 pound gorilla made of tires, or into the shriveled face of South American shrunken heads, there’s plenty to discover at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Regular admission is $32.00 (Adult), $24.00 (Child 3-12). Save 20% when you buy online!

Location | 234 West 42nd Street, New York
Hours | Daily from 12PM to 8PM
Website | www.ripleysnewyork.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by NYCgo (@nycgo) on

 

Broadway Shows

Broadway shows are one of the most well-known activities in Times Square. With a wide variety of shows, they have something for everyone. For children of all ages, you can’t go wrong with shows like The Lion King, Frozen, or Aladdin. Other shows perfect for kids 8+ include Wicked, Beetlejuice, To Kill a Mockingbird and Hamilton. Ticket prices vary by day and show, but prices typically range from $25-$175. 

Location | 1681 Broadway, New York
Hours | Hours vary by show

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Lion King – Musical (@thelionking) on

 

The New Victory Theater

The new victory theater is a nonprofit performing arts theater that offers shows for all ages to kids and their families. Shows are offered for a variety of age ranges with the youngest starting at only 1 year old. 

Location | Vary by show
Hours | Vary by show
Main Theater | 229 W 42nd Street, New York
Website | www.newvictory.org

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by W42st (@w42st) on

 

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey 

Experience the ocean like never before using immersive technology at National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. Cutting edge technology allows you and your family to go on an interactive journey through the ocean without ever getting wet! Hear real stories from photographers and explorers. 

Regular admission is $39.50 (Adult), $32.50 (Child 3-12), $36.50 (Senior & U.S. Veteran) 

Location | 226 W 44th Street between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue, Times Square New York
Hours | Open Daily 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Website | www.natgeoencounter.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lydia Li-Te Lin (@lydialav) on

 

Madame Tussauds New York 

With over 5 floors and 150 lifelike wax figures, your family is sure to enjoy this iconic NYC location. From catwalks with Alessandra Ambrosio, Avicii in the music zone, to a 4D Marvel Experience, Madame Tussauds has something everyone will love. 

Location | 234 W. 42nd Street New York, NY 10036
Hours | Daily from 9:30AM to 8PM
Website | www.madametussauds.com/new-york/en/ 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Anastasia (@ananovolodsky) on

 

Bowlmor Times Square

Bowlmor is more than your average bowling alley – with 48 bowling lanes, an arcade, billiards/pool, a sports bar, and more – Bowlmor has something for everyone. Bowlmor has great specials throughout the week, so be sure to check their website for their latest deals!

*Note Fridays and Saturdays are 21+ after 9pm unless accompanied by a legal parent or guardian 

Location | 222 W. 44th St, New York
Hours | Monday through Thursday 2PM to 12 AM, Friday 2PM to 2 AM, Saturday 11 AM to 2AM, Sunday 11 AM to 12 AM
Website | www.bowlmor.com/location/bowlmor-times-square

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bowlmor Lanes (@bowlmorlanes) on

 

No Cost Attractions 

The following few attractions are not only free but guarantee that you and your family will have tons of fun participating and exploring.

New York Public Library

For a fun and educational activity, head over to one of the New York Public Library’s 92 locations. The New York Public Library has been providing books and information to the people of New York for over 100 years and is the nation’s largest public library. Whether you enjoy reading, movies, or music – there are live events and exhibits for all interests offered all year around.  

Location – Main Branch | 476 Fifth Avenue (42nd St and Fifth Ave), New York
Hours | Sunday 1 PM to 4:45 PM, Monday 10 Am to 5:45 PM, Tuesday – Wednesday 10 AM to 7:45 PM, Thursday – Saturday 10 Am to 5:45 PM
Website | www. https://www.nypl.org

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Giovanni Genovese 🦈 (@giogenovese) on

 

Hershey’s Chocolate World

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Hershey’s Chocolate World with their Amazing Candy Machine. Mix and match or customize your favorite products. Stop by the HERSHEY’S Kitchens Bakery for additional in-store treats!

Location | 20 Times Square Building at 701 Seventh Ave, New York
Hours | 9AM to Midnight
Website | www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld/en_us/other-locations/times-square.html

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Shyroo Quintero (@shyrooquintero_nutriologa) on

 

M&M’s World

For more chocolate fun, visit M&M’s three-story store with their world famous candy wall. Kids will love the huge selection of color and flavor combinations that will allow them to create their own bag of M&M’s specific to them! They can even personalize their M&M’s with a unique message or their own face at M&M’s Personalized Printer!

Location | 1600 Broadway, New York
Hours | 9AM to Midnight
Website | www.mms.com/en-us/mms-store-new-york

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MIREILY✈️✨ (@travelingwithpixiedust) on

 

Disney Store

Visit the Times Square Disney Store for the largest selection of the official Disney merchandise. Explore all the latest toys, clothes, and collectibles from all your favorite Disney characters.  

Location | 1540 Broadway, New York
Hours | 9AM to 1AM
Website | www.stores.shopdisney.com/ny/new-york/777/

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ㅤ (@miromiroooooo) on

 

Midtown Comics

Stop by midtown comics for a wide variety of all things comics! Check out their selection of comics, collectibles, apparel and more!  

Location | 200 W. 40th Street (corner of 7th Ave), New York
Hours | Monday – Saturday 8 AM to 9 PM
Website | www.midtowncomics.com 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Zombie Leader 💀 (@thezombieleader) on

 

Lego Store

Let your kids’ imagination run wild in the Lego Store where they value learning, creativity, imagination and fun. Lego’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. 

Location | 620 Fifth Avenue 50th Street, New York
Hours | 10AM to 8PM
Website | www.lego.com/en-us/stores/store?store=rockefeller-center

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Wonderful Walls Collective (@wonderfulwalls_collective) on

 

Outdoor Activities

Broadway Up Close Walking Tours

Take a Broadway Up Close Walking Tour to see a whole new side of Broadway. Tickets usually vary around $37 for adults and $32 for children.  

Location | Vary depending on the tour
Hours | Vary depending on the tour
Website | www.broadwayupclose.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kate Reinders (@katereinders) on

 

Bryant Park Carousel 

Make sure to stop by the famous traditional styled Bryant Park Carousel. The carousel features 14 different traditional carousel animals your kids are sure to love.  

3 dollars per ride, $20 discount for 10 rides.

Location | 35 W 40th St, New York
Hours | 11AM to 7PM
Website | www.bryantpark.org/amenities/le-carrousel

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 𝐋𝐨𝐥𝐚 𝐑𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐢 (@lola_rossi_) on

 

Free Outdoor Activities

Reading Room – Bryant park

Bryant Park offers many fun activities right around the corner from times square. The Reading Room is an “open air library” based off of the original free library which was a public response to the Depression Era. The Reading Room was opened and modeled after the original with the addition of free programs, areas for children, and more. 

Location | W 42nd St, New York
Hours | Varies by event
Website | www.bryantpark.org/amenities/reading-room

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bryant Park (@bryantparknyc) on

 

Art Cart 

Embrace your artistic side at the Bryant Park Art Cart. Utilize the free craft supplies to draw and create a variety of art projects with help from the host of the art cart. With an ever rotating selection including crayons, colored pencils, markers, ribbon, glue, construction paper, stencils, beads, yarn, and coloring sheets, you’re sure to find something for everyone to make. 

Location | W 42nd St, New York
Website | www.bryantpark.org/amenities/art-cart

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bryant Park (@bryantparknyc) on

 

Times Square Red Steps/TKTS Booth

For the perfect picture opportunity, make sure to stop by Times Square’s famous Red Steps. These steps offer a panoramic unobstructed view of Times Square.

Location | Between Broadway and Seventh Ave, New York
Hours | 9AM to 8PM

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sean (@sean.and.the.city) on

 

Silver Tower/Tom Otterness Playground

For a unique playground experience, be sure to visit the Silver Tower Playground where art and fun collide. This one-of-a-kind playground is made out of a sculpture of a person, with arms and legs as giant slides. This playground is best suited for kids ages 5-12, with nearby play equipment for those younger. 

Location | 630 W 42nd St, New York

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by darby foreman (@darbyforeman) on

 

Hell’s Kitchen Park

Hell’s Kitchen Park is the perfect outdoor recreation area where you and your family can spend hours having fun. The park includes playgrounds, basketball courts, handball courts and spray showers. 

Location | 10 Avenue between W. 47th Street and W. 48th Street, New York

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by CarolKlenfner (@carolklenfner) on

 

Restaurants 

Check out our top pick of family-friendly restaurants in Times Square that not only serve delicious and authentic cuisines but also reflect the melting pot of New York City.

Junior’s Restaurant & Cheesecake 

With both a sit-down restaurant and bakery, Junior’s makes it easy to grab a slice of their famous cheesecake no matter what your schedule is. Whether your family wants to sit down or grab something from the bakery next door, your kids are sure to love whatever they choose.

Location | 1515 Broadway 45th St B/W Broadway & 8th Ave, New York
Website | www.juniorscheesecake.com/blog/restaurants/times-square/

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by but_somethingspecial…. (@nothingspecial________________) on

 

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co

Known for their fresh seafood, and family fun, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co is a great place for an exciting family dinner. If your family loves seafood, this location is a must stop for a unique and delicious meal.  

Location | 1501 Broadway, New York
Website | www.bubbagump.com/locations/new-york-city/

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by THE BEST FOOD YOU’LL SEE TODAY (@best_food_evaa) on

 

Buca di Beppo

Stop by Buca di Beppo for a fun Italian family-style dinner. For only $36 you can feed your family of 4 with an exclusive daily family meal deal! Bring your family closer together at Buca di Beppo’s family style restaurant!

Location | 1540 Broadway, New York
Hours | Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday – 11:30AM to 9:30PM; Thursday, Friday, Saturday – 11:30AM to 10:00PM
Website | www.locations.bucadibeppo.com/us/ny/new-york/1540-broadway

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Buca di Beppo (@bucadibeppo) on

 

Ellen’s Stardust Diner 

Looking for a unique dinner experience? Stop by Ellen’s Stardust Diner, the home of the singing waitstaff. The diner has a unique train store front you can’t miss, and its flexible hours allow you to stop by whenever you (or your kids) are hungry. 

Location | 1650 Broadway
Hours | 7 AM – Midnight
Website | www.ellensstardustdiner.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ellens Stardust Diner (@ellensstardust) on

 

Carmines

Carmine’s is another classic family style restaurant, with the goal to make “every day feel like a Sunday at Grandma’s.” The restaurant offers huge portions and a unique atmosphere that makes everyone feel like family. 

Location | 200 West 44th Street, New York
Website | www.carminesnyc.com/locations/times-square

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Carmine’s (@carminesnyc) on

 

Hotels

If you plan on staying in Times Square with your family for more than a day, picking the right hotel can seem difficult. Below is a list of the best family-friendly hotels in Times Square.

  • The Westin New York at Times Square
  • Casablanca Hotel by Library Hotel Collection
  • New York Marriot Marquis
  • InterContinental New York Times Square
  • Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan
  • The Knickerbocker Hotel