From the Ball Drop at New Year to M&M World and Madame Tussauds, it’s impossible to get bored in Times Square at the heart of New York
Times Square in New York can claim to be the most famous location in the world. This brightly-lit district is home to a lot of the city’s theaters, entertainment and is full of costumed characters from your favourite movies. As well as the famous neon signs, including the Coca-Cola ad, you’ll also find M&M World, Madame Tussauds and be able to see Good Morning America live.
The square is also the site for many of New York’s celebrations, particularly New Year. There’s no party like the Times Square Ball Drop. More than a million people join the revelries every year to sing Auld Lang Syne and New York, New York by Frank Sinatra. 3,000 pounds of confetti is dropped on the festival. The ball is now a permanent installation and is also used for Halloween and Valentine’s Day.
While the famous Coca-Cola sign has hung in the square since 1920, the neon lights and attractions we think of only began to fill the square in the late 80s. New buildings in the area had to provide entertainment and include the large, bright signs. The area had suffered since the Great Depression and had long been considered dangerous and seedy until redevelopment started. Disney moved in during the 90s, and was soon joined by Madame Tussauds, Planet Hollywood, and the huge Hershey’s and M&M’s stores.
Catch a Show on Broadway
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Broadway runs directly through the square. This is full of theaters showing some of the longest-running shows and musicals. The Lion King, Wicked and Hamilton are all barely a minute’s walk. Broadway is thought to be the best theater district in the world. The area began to fill with theaters in the late 19th century and was hit by the same seediness as the square. However, the Theater District began to recover first after a concerted campaign. Off-Broadway shows used to be located near to the district, but are now spread through New York.
Currently, the longest-running show is Chicago, which has been on stage since it was revived in 1996. Tickets for shows are relatively easy to get your hands on online and once you are in New York. Same- and next-day tickets can often be bought at a discount. However, you will have to queue at one of the TKTS booths, one of which can be found in Times Square.
While you’re in Times Square, you can beam your pictures to one of the giant billboards using an app called TSX to make your visit even more memorable. You can also see the filming of Good Morning America, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Daily Show, and explore the Upside-Down at the Stranger Things store. The area is also full of comedy clubs and some of the best food in town. And you have to make sure you get a photo with your favourite superhero or cartoon character as they wander through the square — or the human Statue of Liberty.