Whenever I head to NYC, I usually have grandiose plans to do a bunch of things all over the city. Museums! Local eateries! Central Park! Horse and carriage ride! Guess what happens when I get there?
I do two or three things out of a list a mile long.
It’s not that I’m not ambitious, it’s just that sometimes I have a hard time grasping just how far one part of Manhattan is from another. It looks so tiny on the map, you know? And I somehow also forget I’ll be walking everywhere.
So if you’re making a trip to see a Broadway show, you’ll probably want to make sure your other adventures are in the general vicinity of the theater district, unless you’re like The Flash and you can get from point A to point B in milliseconds. (We already created a food, theater, and accommodations guide to keep you from planning lunch all the way across the city!)
Here are a few fun, interesting attractions nearby.
Discovery Times Square: Located on 44th Street (right across from the Shubert Theatre, where Matilda is currently playing), Discovery Times Square is an exhibit-based museum. Right now, they offer a spy exhibit, which features "the secret world of espionage," and a Harry Potter exhibit, which pays homage to the eight films from the series. Fun!
Toys ‘R’ Us: It’s not just any Toys ‘R’ Us, guys. There’s a ferris wheel inside! Plus a bunch of life-sized toys (like Barbie’s Dream House that you can walk through and huge Lego characters), a video game section, costumed characters, a candy shop, and so many toys. Like, mountains and mountains of them. The best part is you can go in and have fun, but not buy anything.
Rockefeller Center: There are actually a bunch of things to do here. In the winter, ice skating in the infamous rink is always an option. Then there’s the Top of the Rock Observation Deck (which gives you a gorgeous look at the city from above), a tour of the actual Rockefeller Center (guided by a historian, and it’s not as boring as it sounds, I swear), and NBC Studio Tours (see the set of SNL!).
Spot the Naked Cowboy: Okay, so, he isn’t always out, but the Naked Cowboy has become a staple in NYC. He’s a street performer who wears a cowboy hat and boots, and his guitar. It makes him look like he’s nude, but I assure you, he is not. He’ll stop and pose for photos, if that’s what you’re into. Kind of weird strange, but you know, it’s New York.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum: When you really think about it, going to a museum full of wax figures is sort of odd. Factor in that the figures are made to look like real people and it feels even creepier. But whatever, it’s also fun! If you like celebrities, this is a great place to stop; some of the figures are impeccable (like the newly-installed Whitney Houston tribute). You can take your pictures with them, too, so your Facebook friends think you were eating lunch with George Clooney.
Other contenders: M&M store (shopping); Dave and Buster’s (arcade/food); Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (museum); City Sightseeing (bus tour); Times Square History Tour (walking tour); Regal Lowes Cinemas (movie theater).
What are your favorite attractions near the theater district?