24 Fun & Unique Things to Do in Times Square | 2024 (with Photos)

Marvellous Oyebanjo

Marvellous Oyebanjo - Travel Writer

Last Updated: January 4, 2024

Hey there! I’m Marvellous, an avid traveler and adventure-seeker. With my love for exploring new places and seeking out unique experiences, I bring you a compilation of 24 fun and exciting things to do in Times Square, complete with captivating photos to inspire your next adventure!

Times Square

Times Square in New York City is one of the world's most iconic destinations, renowned for its dazzling lights, vibrant energy, and an endless array of attractions. From world-class theater productions to immersive museums, Times Square has something for everyone.

In this article, we'll explore 24 fun and unique things to do in Times Square NYC, highlighting the best attractions and hidden gems that this bustling neighborhood has to offer. So grab a cup of coffee and let's dive into the ultimate guide to Times Square!

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Statue of Liberty

Top Choice Hotel

The St. Regis New York

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Eleven Madison Park

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife


Best Time to Visit

Spring and fall offer ideal weather for exploring.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in New York City.

Transportation Options

Subway, bus, taxi, bike, walking, ferry, ride-sharing, car

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

New York City, also known as the Big Apple, is a vibrant and diverse destination that offers an unparalleled urban experience. Explore Central Park, an oasis in the heart of the city, with its sprawling green lawns, enchanting lakes, and iconic landmarks like the Bethesda Terrace - perfect for a leisurely stroll or a refreshing picnic.

Don't miss the chance to visit the famous Times Square, a bustling hub of entertainment, bright lights, and larger-than-life billboards that truly captures the essence of New York City - be prepared to be awestruck by the lively atmosphere and electrifying energy that permeates every corner of this iconic location.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Valid identification (passport or ID card)
  2. Comfortable walking shoes
  3. Weather-appropriate clothing
  4. Map or navigation device
  5. Travel adapter for electronic devices
  6. Camera or smartphone for capturing memories
  7. Guidebook or travel app for information on attractions
  8. Money or credit cards for expenses
  9. Transportation pass or fare cards
  10. Personal toiletries and medications

What Not to Miss

Central Park, High Line Park, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway shows, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Greenwich Village.

Explore the diverse neighborhoods, visit the Chelsea Market, enjoy the view from Top of the Rock, take a ferry to Staten Island, try food trucks and street food, walk along the famous Fifth Avenue for shopping, visit the Guggenheim Museum, enjoy live music in Harlem, take a bike ride along the Hudson River, visit the New York Public Library.

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded tourist traps
  2. Rush hour traffic
  3. Overpriced restaurants and stores
  4. Unsafe neighborhoods
  5. Unreliable public transportation
  6. Ignoring local customs and etiquette
  7. Unlicensed street vendors
  8. Overpacking and carrying heavy bags
  9. Falling for scams or tourist traps
  10. Missing out on hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions.

1. Go to the Top of the Empire State Building

Skyline view from the top of the Empire State Building

Going to the top of the Empire State Building is an unforgettable experience that visitors to the Big Apple should not miss. At 1,454 feet tall, the building in Midtown Manhattan offers stunning views of the city's skyline from its observation deck on the 86th floor.

Visitors can also choose to go up to the 102nd floor, which provides an even more breathtaking panoramic view of the city. The building's Art Deco architecture and design also make it a must-see attraction for architecture enthusiasts.

Going to the top of the iconic building is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave visitors with memories that will last a lifetime.

2. Visit the Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

Five minutes from Times Square, Rockefeller Center is a must-visit destination near Times Square. This iconic landmark boasts several attractions, including the Top of the Rock Observation Deck and the Rockefeller Plaza Ice Skating Rink.

The Rock Observation Deck offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the city. Visitors to Rockefeller Center can also skate on the ice rink or take a behind-the-scenes tour of NBC Studios.

Additionally, Rockefeller Center is home to several shops, restaurants, and seasonal events, making it a great place to visit any time of year.

3. Head to Central Park

Central Park

Central Park is one of the most iconic parks in the world and a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to New York City. Located just a few blocks away from Times Square, this 843-acre park offers a peaceful oasis in the heart of the bustling city.

Visitors can take a stroll through the beautiful gardens, go for a run or bike ride along the trails, have a picnic on the expansive lawns, or simply relax and people-watch. The park also boasts several famous landmarks, such as the Bethesda Fountain and the Central Park Zoo.

4. See a Broadway show

Broadway and the Theater District

Seeing a Broadway show at Times Square is a must-do for anyone visiting New York City. Known as the "Great White Way," Broadway is home to some of the world's most iconic productions. From classic musicals to contemporary plays, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Broadway shows feature world-class actors, singers, dancers, and musicians, providing visitors with a truly immersive and captivating experience. You can also check out some of the places on Restaurant Row that offer pre-theater menus at reasonable prices and are timed to get you to your show on time.

5. Visit the Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

The Museum of Modern Art, commonly known as MoMA, is one of the world's largest and most influential museums. It features an extensive collection of art and multimedia installations by artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, and Andy Warhol.

Visitors can explore the museum's many galleries to gain insight into the evolution of modern art and its impact on society. Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply interested in exploring the cultural offerings of New York City, MoMA in Midtown Manhattan is a must-visit destination.

6. Experience the Midnight Moment

Midnight Moment

The Midnight Moment is a digital art installation that transforms the billboards of Times Square into a mesmerizing spectacle. Every night at midnight, the screens light up with a different artist's work, creating a dynamic display of contemporary art.

This unique cultural experience is a must-see for art lovers and anyone looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant energy of Times Square. Don't miss the opportunity to witness this event and be a part of the creative spirit of New York City.

7. Visit Madame Tussauds New York

Madame Tussauds New York

Madame Tussauds New York is an attraction in Times Square that should not be missed. Visitors can get up close and personal with lifelike wax figures of their favorite celebrities and historical figures.

From musicians and movie stars to world leaders and sports heroes, there is a figure for everyone to take pictures with.

Madame Tussauds NY also offers interactive experiences, such as a Marvel Superheroes 4D film experience and a Ghostbusters Experience. Visitors can learn about the art of wax figure making and enjoy a fun and educational experience for all ages.

8. Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Tonight Show

Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Tonight Show

A behind-the-scenes look at The Tonight Show in NBC Studios is an exciting experience for fans of the late-night talk show. Visitors get to see where the show is produced and witness the magic of television come to life.

The tour includes a visit to the studio and sets, as well as a chance to see some of the show's props and memorabilia. Guests can even sit in Jimmy Fallon's chair and take photos on the iconic set.

This is a must-visit for any fan of The Tonight Show or anyone interested in the world of television production. When in NYC, this is one of the best things to do in Times Square (or super nearby).

9. Have Dinner at Olive Garden

Dinner at Olive Garden

Olive Garden New York is a great option if you are looking for a delicious and affordable dining experience. This Italian-American chain restaurant is conveniently located in the heart of Times Square and offers a welcoming atmosphere.

The restaurant's menu features classic Italian pasta, pizza, and salads, as well as a variety of entrees and desserts. Guests can also enjoy a selection of wines and cocktails.

With its warm ambiance and delicious food, Olive Garden New York is an ideal spot for a casual dinner after a day of sightseeing.

10. Dave and Buster's Times Square

Dave and Buster's Times Square

Dave and Buster's in Times Square is a popular destination for those looking for a fun and interactive experience. With a wide variety of arcade games, virtual reality experiences, and other interactive games, this place offers something for everyone.

Visitors can enjoy happy hour specials, stadium quality surround sound for sporting events, and other events throughout the week. With its convenient location in the heart of Times Square, Dave and Buster's is a must-visit spot for those looking for fun things to do in New York City.

11. Enjoy a Live Performance at Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall is one of the legendary entertainment venues in New York City, known for its glamorous décor and for having been the home of the Rockettes since 1932. It has also hosted some of the biggest names in show business.

Visitors to the city should try to catch a live concert or a comedy show at the venue. The state-of-the-art sound system and stadium-quality surround sound provide an unforgettable experience.

A visit to Radio City Music Hall is among the fun things to do for anyone looking to experience the glitz and glamour of New York's entertainment scene. This venue is minutes from Times Square by foot.

12. Enjoy a Cocktail at the Rooftop Bar of the Westin New York

Rooftop Bar of the Westin New York

New York is home to countless rooftop bars, but the Westin at Times Square is home to one of the city's best rooftop bars. Here, visitors can enjoy the views of the city skyline with a cocktail.

Located on the 43rd floor, the bar offers panoramic views of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Hudson River. With its prime Times Square location, this is the perfect spot to take in the views.

The stylish atmosphere of the rooftop bar makes it a perfect spot for a date or simply a relaxing drink after a day of sightseeing. Travelers can also check out the St. Cloud rooftop at the famed Knickerbocker Hotel or Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge.

13. Attend a Free Event at the Bryant Park

Bryant Park

Bryant Park is a beautiful green space in Midtown Manhattan, near Times Square. Known as Manhattan's Town Square**,** Bryant Park has lush trees, fountains, and lovely outdoor cafes, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

One of the biggest draws of the park is the free events that are held throughout the year, including live music performances, free movies, free dancing lessons, and fitness classes.

They provide a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the park's atmosphere while taking in some of New York City's best entertainment. Escape the bustle of Times Square for a moment in the park.

14. Stroll Through the Neon-Lit Streets of Times Square at Night

Neon-Lit Streets of Times Square at Night

A stroll through the neon-lit streets of Times Square at night is a must for anyone traveling to New York City. The vibrant lights, towering billboards, and bustling crowds create an electric atmosphere that's unlike anywhere else in the world.

As night falls, the energy of Times Square only intensifies, with street performers and vendors adding to the colorful chaos. Walking through Times Square at night is a feast for the senses, and visitors can immerse themselves in the excitement of the city that never sleeps.

If you have only seen Times Square in the daytime, it is time to revisit this iconic spot at night.

15. Grab a Slice of Pizza at Joe's Pizza

Pizza at Joe's Pizza

Joe's Pizza in Times Square is an iconic pizza joint that has been serving up some of the best slices in New York City since 1975. The pizza at Joe's is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and baked to perfection in a coal-fired oven.

It's no wonder that this place has earned a reputation as one of the best pizza spots in the city. So if you're looking for a quick bite, head to Joe's Pizza and indulge in a slice (or two) of their famous pizza.

Head to Joe's Times Square location and prepare to be delighted by this classic taste of New York, NY.

16. Visit the Times Square Church

Times Square Church

The Times Square Church, located in Manhattan's Theater District, is a historic landmark that should not be missed by visitors to NYC. Founded in 1987, the church is a non-denominational Christian church that welcomes visitors of all backgrounds and faiths.

The Times Square Church is known for its powerful worship music, inspiring messages, and diverse group of pastors from around the world. Whether you're looking for spiritual inspiration or simply want to experience New York City's cultural heritage, a visit to Times Square Church is a must.

17. Experience the National Geographic Encounter

National Geographic Encounter

The Times Square National Geographic Encounter is an immersive experience located in the heart of Times Square, New York City. 

It combines the latest technology with National Geographic's rich history of exploration to bring visitors face-to-face with some of the world's most incredible creatures.

The Encounter features a variety of interactive exhibits, including a virtual reality dive to the bottom of the ocean and a 3D experience with giant whales. 

It's an educational attraction that offers visitors of all ages a chance to explore and learn about the wonders of the natural world in an engaging way.

18. Visit the TKTS Discount Ticket Booth

The TKTS discount ticket booth in Times Square offers same-day discounted tickets for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, with prices ranging from 20-50% off the original ticket price.

Visitors can choose from a range of shows, including classic musicals, new productions, and family-friendly shows. The TKTS booth also offers a range of convenient services, such as a mobile app for easy ticket purchasing and a live feed of available shows and discounts.

Off-Broadway theaters have lower overhead costs, so watching an Off-Broadway show is another way to enjoy a night of theater in Times Square without breaking the bank.

19. Take a Tour to Explore the Area

the Ride

A great way to explore Times Square is through a sightseeing tour, such as the Ride. This sightseeing tour is an immersive experience on a bus with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer panoramic views of the city's landmarks.

Professional actors provide commentary and interactive performances, making for an entertaining and informative journey. Some tours might go as far as Grand Central Terminal, the iconic train station in NYC, which is within walking distance of Times Square.

When it comes to free things to do in Times Square, a self-guided walking tour can be an excellent way to experience the city's atmosphere, glittering billboards, and iconic buildings in or near Times Square. The walking tour allows you to move at your pace and focus on the Times Square attractions that interest you the most.

20. Watch the Street Performers

Street Performers

Visiting Times Square would not be complete without seeing the talented street performers who make this neighborhood of the Big Apple come alive. These performers add an element of excitement to the already buzzing atmosphere.

From acrobats to musicians, dancers, magicians, and comedians, these performers showcase their unique skills and bring joy to both locals and tourists alike.

So, whether you're looking for a laugh or simply want to enjoy some incredible talent, be sure to prepare some spare change and check out the street performers in Times Square.

21. Stop by Hershey's Chocolate World

Hershey's Chocolate World

Hershey's Chocolate World in Times Square is a one-of-a-kind attraction that offers a range of interactive experiences and exhibits, from chocolate-making demonstrations to a 4D chocolate mystery ride.

Visitors can also shop for a wide selection of Hershey's products, including limited-edition items and personalized chocolate bars. The playful atmosphere of the place combined with the aroma of chocolate creates a sensory-filled environment that is sure to delight anyone with a sweet tooth.

22. Catch a Show at the Victory Theater

Victory Theater

The Victory Theater in Times Square New York is a historic venue that has been beautifully restored and transformed into a state-of-the-art entertainment space. 

Originally built in 1900, the theater has a history of hosting some big names in entertainment, including Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers.

Today, the theater offers a diverse lineup of shows, ranging from theater and dance performances to concerts and comedy shows. With its elegant interior, the theater transports audiences to a bygone era of glamour and grandeur.

Hot tip: You can also check out the New Victory Theater, which is in the same neighborhood but is primarily focused on presenting performances for children and families.

23. Grab Lunch at the Hard Rock Café

Hard Rock Café

Located in the heart of Times Square, New York, NY, the Hard Rock Cafe is a legendary destination for music fans and foodies alike. The restaurant is filled with rock and roll memorabilia from iconic musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley.

The Hard Rock Cafe also offers a diverse menu featuring classic American dishes with a modern twist, such as juicy burgers, tangy BBQ ribs, and refreshing cocktails. 

Visitors can also catch live music performances and events throughout the week, adding to the vibrant and exciting atmosphere of this iconic venue.

24. See the Ball Drop on New Year's Eve

Ball Drop on New Year's Eve

The Ball Drop in Times Square is a New Year's Eve tradition that has been celebrated for over a century. It began in 1907 as a way to ring in the new year and boost morale after the end of World War I. This is one of the most iconic things to do in Times Square.

Today, millions of people from around the world gather in Times Square to witness the glittering crystal ball descend from a flagpole atop One Times Square. The Ball Drop is just one of many exciting things to do in Times Square that visitors don't want to miss.

FAQs About Things to Do in Times Square, NYC

Let's also look at some frequently asked questions related to things to do in Times Square, NYC.

How do you spend a day in Times Square?

There are many ways to spend a day in Times Square. One option is to explore the various shops and eateries in the area, such as the City Kitchen food hall, M&M's World Store, the Restaurant Row area, and the Hard Rock Café.

Another option is to catch a show at one of the area's famous theaters, or the various attractions in the area, such as the TKTS discount ticket booth, and the Madame Tussauds wax museum.

What is so cool about Times Square?

Several things make Times Square cool. For one, the area is famous for its bright lights and iconic landmarks, such as the One Times Square building, the Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and Bryant Park.

The area is also known for its many theaters, live music venues, and comedy clubs, making it a great place to catch a show. With its vibrant energy, Times Square offers a unique experience that is not to be missed.

What is good in Times Square?

Times Square is known for its many entertainment options, including theaters, live music venues, and comedy clubs, making it a great place to catch a show. Times Square also boasts numerous eateries, offering a variety of dining experiences.

Additionally, the area is home to iconic landmarks and attractions, such as the Broadway Comedy Club, New York Public Library**,** and Rockefeller Center. Travelers also enjoy the ****Grand Slam New York store, where you can buy NYC souvenirs.

What is the most famous part of Times Square?

The most famous part of Times Square is arguably the "Theater District" section, which is home to many of New York City's most famous theaters, including the Victory theater, the New Victory Theater**,** and the Shubert Theatre.

This area is known for its bright billboards and vibrant energy. Additionally, the famous "ball drop" on New Year's Eve in Times Square draws millions of spectators from around the world.

Summing Up: Things to Do in Times Square

There are many amazing things to do in Times Square and the surrounding areas.

From catching a Broadway show to exploring the Rockefeller Center, indulging in delicious cuisine, or live music at Bryant Park, there is always something for everyone in the Big Apple's famous district.

So, what are you waiting for? Come explore this incredible neighborhood and experience all the world-famous Times Square has to offer.