The previous reviews have some great tips for visiting Times Square with kids! Make sure to check them out before visiting.
My daughter loved shopping at the giant Toys R Us and Disney Store so much that we actually made three shopping trips to Times Square on our weekend trip to New York City.
On our final trip to Times Square, it began snowing heavily. The snow does not stop anyone in NYC. The sidewalks were shoveled off at an amazing rate - the business certainly don't want the tourists turning and going back to their hotels.
As the snow began, we had to find somewhere to stop for lunch. We ended up at the Olive Garden with big glass windows looking out over Times Square. While I hated the idea of wasting a meal in NYC dining at an overpriced Olive Garden, it was one of the best decisions that I made while we were in the city. The food was familiar to my picky daughter - so she actually ate something. And, the view of the snow falling on Times Square from the well-placed Olive Garden was memorable. It was like we were watching a life-size snow globe of Times Square for our entire meal.
While my daughter thought that the characters walking around were so much fun, at the first sight of one of them I told her that she could wave but no hugs or pictures. It worked for us.
It's been a good 6 years since I last visited Times Square and has it changed. Well, not the neon signs that cost over $4 million per year to rent, those are still brightly shining. It's the other stuff.
They closed off a portion of the roads now and you can walk around without worrying that you'll be run over by the crazy cabbies. There is a great bleacher area that you can climb on top and see Times Square like you can only see from expensive hotel rooms.
But what really amazed me most were the tons of costumed characters that parade up and down the street taking pictures with kids and then expecting you to pay tons for it.
I mean, $1 per character per photo I understand. Considering that every second your kid is stopped by one of their favorite superheroes or Sesame street friends. And this in itself can cost over $20 within 5 minutes. But when they are assaulting you and following you down streets demanding money is when you gotta wonder what's the difference between an assault of beggars, muggers or one of them dressed up in a spiderman outfit.
I would keep your ground strong and either don't walk on that one street which is on the Western part of Times Square, or stick to giving what you think is reasonable.
Either way, the kids will absolutely love it.
Times Square is a fun area that the whole family can enjoy, as long as parents prepare children beforehand. First, be sure that your children are ready for a high-intensity experience. Times Square can get very crowded, so hold little ones tightly and be sure you're addressed safety issues with them (help them identify police officers who are always present in TS).
There is so much to see and do--fun shows that are very kid-friendly, such as the Disney Store (recently remodeled!) and Toys 'R Us (with a full-size ferris wheel!). But there are also still a few seedy elements, although far less than in years gone by.
The giant LCD screens are pretty amazing, and adults and children alike will enjoy seeing the beautiful lights. You might even catch a glimpse of yourself on one of the screens if you're willing to wait in the lines at the stands by the TKTS booth. (Side note: the TKTS booth is THE place to get last-minute Broadway show tickets at greatly-reduced prices. Highly recommended!)
A word about characters: On any given night, there might be a dozen or more familiar characters in TS. Kids will recognize Elmo, Mickey Mouse, Spider Man or even Hello Kitty--but there's always something a bit "off" about them. These unofficial, unlicensed characters are NOT the real deal--they are street performers who expect tips when you take your little one's picture with them. Little ones might be disturbed to see Mickey without his head on...and it happens, as these characters don't adhere to the strict standards of theme park characters (in dress or behavior). Personally, I avoid them altogether, but if your kiddo is begging to meet Elmo, just know that a cash tip will be expected.
With a little Parental Guidance, Times Square is an area that the entire family can enjoy!
I'm rating Times Square five stars because of the sheer "amazing" factor. As far as an experience with kids, especially babies & toddlers, be ready to see it & leave in a reasonably quick amount of time. There are so many sights and sounds and smells and things to take in that it can quickly overwhelm a kid. Plus, if they're walking or in a stroller, they're lower down so it's easier to feel smushed and crowded. As an adult I find the place fascinating (in both good and bad ways), but I always cringe a bit when I take my kids here. You just never know. I have always had good experiences and there are always wacky people to talk about afterwards!
I would advise going with kids where you have a good ratio of adults to keep really close tabs on them. (i.e. don't go with a gang load of scouts or something where it's harder to keep everyone together. You don't want to have too look for someone in Times Square.) I find it more fun to go when I can actually talk to my kids about some of the sights and point out things as we go by them. You can see where the ball drops on New Years Eve, check out the giant Toys R Us, visit the M&Ms store, and take in all the lights and signs and restaurants and stores and people. There are Elmos and Cookie Monsters and other costumed characters walking around too. I think it's a must-see for out-of-towners, but only you know how long before your child and your family has had enough. I would advise dining anywhere else for better food and faster service. This is the perfect place to pick up any souvenir of New York you can want. Take some pictures with the lights and TV screens in their full glory. You'll be glad you went to Times Square and also kind of glad you left.
The lights and glamour of Times Square always make me feel like a tourist even though I've been here my whole life. There are lots to do for people of all ages. My kids favorites are the Spiderman Broadway show, Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum (thanks to their recent Superhero exhibit) and of course Dave and Buster's arcade. Parking is quite easy and reasonable at the Port Authority and you're only a step's away from lots of fast food and a dessert stop at Cold Stone Creamery.
We had a lovely time at Time Square. It's is great for people watching. They have steps to sit on and take pictures. Be sure to go here once during the day and once at night for the lights. Kids will love visiting the Toys R Us and M and M stores close by. My daughter loved the sugar coated peanuts sold by the street vendors in this area. We also ended up having a falafel sandwich for dinner at another vendor and that was really yummy.
We didn't think this was as great as everyone makes it out to be. I guess if you like the big city and lots of crowds it's the place to be. We are country people and prefer the outdoors and nature, so it just seemed like a lot of people trying to get from one place to another. Yes, there were lots of lights and activity, but the crowds were so big, it almost seemed claustrophobic. If you have young children it would be wise to hold on to them at all times.
I grew up in NY. I have seen Times Square undergo major changesvover the years. Today it's a very safe, visually stimulating couple od city streets. It's right next to broadway theater district. Home of NYPD. The billboards are huge usually spanning 20 or 30 feet high each with light galore. There is always someone performing on the streets. It's a fun experience not to be missed if you visit NY.
Times Square is a really beautiful part of New York City, it's where the ball drops every New Year's Eve & you can't resist stopping everywhere and taking pictures! The restaurants & shopping areas are great...however it does get very crowded very quickly since we like to visit the city around the holidays so i would hold on tight to your kids & try & avoid the crowds!
Everybody who goes to new york should go see times square. There are lots of shopping places, really neat lights especially at night, and it can be really busy. They also have the wax museum down that way. Great place to be on New Years Eve. I highly recommend Times Square.
Who could go to New York and not visit Times Square? I did it once. When I go back to New York I don't feel the need to visit it again. Times Square is LOUD, visually, audibly and mentally. Now that being said, I am glad we experienced it. Okay for tweens and teens with supervision. They will probably handle it better than the adults.
When people think of New York City, Times Square is one of the classic places that come to mind. There is just so much to see here that it really is a great stop (well, figuratively) on a tour of the city. You really don't realize just how BIG everything really is in comparison to yourself. There are tons of HUGE stores (like a multi-level Toys R Us) and there is a store for everyone! It's great to just window shop and take in the sights (as well as lots of pictures) even if you don't take some sort of souvenir away with you. The downside is all of the people. It is just so busy! But that's to be expected.
The key here is window shopping. The Hello Kitty Store is a little girls dream store. I don't even like hello kitty but I had a blast in there. The Toys'R'Us is there too and candy stores. I would not bring my kids here unless they were on leashes...there is just too much going on all at once so everyone is in a state of shock and awe so one may be appreciating the amazement and lose track of the little ones. Restaurants are also abundant here so don't forget to make arrangements for your lunch/dinner plans.
Unless you know NY like the back of your hand, you may want to reconsider taking your child to Times Square. For adults it is fine, but young children can easily get lost or hurt in the big bustling NY crowd.
If you're itching to go to Times Square, go in the morning. It's also helpful to know what is around. There are plenty of stores to go to though without research you wont know where you want to go.
NY Times Square is simply too busy and too fast-paced for a young child to deal with. I'd stick to the outskirts of the city.
Maybe I was in denial or my kids are more experienced with city travel than I think but our trip to NYC when the kids were 12, 10, and 7 was actually very drama free and the trip to Times Square at night was a highlight. Seeing the police station in the center of the street, Toys R Us, and the jumbotron at night were too cool. We spent Thanksgiving weekend in the city, did Macy's Parade, saw 42nd Street (the musical) on 42nd Street (the street) and on and on. I have to say I planned the heck out of that trip ahead of time right down to researching subway routes, so that probably helped, too.
i love going to new york!! i wish i could go back and this time do things right.there's a lot of things to do i wish i knew about .do you research before you go .its very packed.if you bring kids be very careful they have a sephora in there that not supposed to close or they close at 12 am .went to famous dave wich i didn't like the food nothing great if you want my opinon
Wow. This place is crazy. Please don't take your kids there unless you know exactly where you are going. If you go just too look around, they will get lost or trampled!!! It really is an amazing place to see, but there are so many people it is not very kid friendly. However, there are so many neat places for families to see. Toys R Us is incredible. Times Square is fun to see, but let the kids go to Toys R Us and then get out of there.
A trip to New York City - especially if it's your kid's first in a long time - is not complete without a trip to Times Square. The brightly lit billboards make quite a spectacular and there truly isn't any place quite like it with maybe the exception of Toyko and Las Vegas. However, I would limit time in Times Square with little ones. It's is unbelievably crowded. Think the crowds of Disneyland on a holiday. You have to keep you kids very close or else they will get swept along in whatever direction the foot traffic is flowing. We snapped a few photos, visited Toys R Us, then walked to Rockerfeller Center. Toys R Us was quite an experience for the kids and our 7 year old said it was the best part of his day. However, it was very crowded in there as well.
Times Square is crazy, there are people there all day long. It is very crowded, you can hardly walk or drive by. There are so many shops and restaurants there. It's nice to go both in the day time and at night time. They have a Toys R Us store with a Ferris Wheel. It's a big Ferris wheel inside the store with different cartoon characters for the ride. We took my daughter on it, she had a good time. They take your picture before the ride starts and you can decide if you want to purchase it after the ride is over.
If you have never been to New York then you will want to experience Times Square. It is like no other place, full of lights, people, shops, restaurants, and theaters. However, be prepared for the crowds of people and the noise.
The kids will think the Jumbotron is neat and if you go at night they will love all of the lights.
Once you have experienced it you won't feel the need to go back.