Times Square is always bustling with tourists as they check out the bright lights, Broadway musicals, and endless shopping. If you’re traveling to the city with kids, here are a few things they’ll enjoy.
Here you’ll find three levels of color and candy. There’s a ton of merchandise featuring your favorite M&M mascots. You will also find a massive collection of the candy itself in all its many varieties and colors, and then some. Just make sure not to use the bathroom here. The women’s bathroom only had two stalls and we spent longer in line for the toilet than browsing the store itself. Prices are reasonable and some items are discounted. We even got a water bottle holder for 75% off!
Toys ‘R’ Us
This store is massive! As you walk in, you immediately come face-to-face with a 3-4 story ferris wheel with well-known characters from all your family’s favorite movies and series. Too bad it was broken when we dropped by. We were fine as there was no shortage of things to look at. The giant animatronic dinosaur seemed to be a popular photo op but my daughter was more interested in the two-level Barbie house. We ended up making a special trip back to Manhattan on our last day to get my daughter a ‘Big Apple’ plush as a souvenir. Oh, and the bathrooms here are big and clean.
The Disney Store
As Genie from Aladdin would say, “You ain’t never seen a store like this.” If you have any Disney love in you at all, prepared to leave with many a shopping bag. Not only are there unique items lining every section on the ground and upper levels, but the areas are set up in such a fun way. In the gazebo, kids can watch their favorite movie clips as the employee on duty makes them feel like part of the action. An entire area is designated to princesses, surrounded by towering castle walls. The New York based skyline near the ceiling changes colors as iconic characters make appearances on the walls every so often. I wish the flying swing ride in the middle of the room was more than just a moving decoration though.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
They had me at the free sample of mini Rolos that were being given out. Kids will love the DIY candy machine that puts all the yummies they like in one container. We found some great souvenir and gift items that were affordable and MUCH nicer than the ‘I love New York’ shot glasses to bring home for friends/family.
In between all of that, just stroll along the streets. There are things to see everywhere and yummy food vendors can be found on most corners. With people coming from across the globe, this is the BEST place for people watching. Costumed characters are plentiful but be prepared to pay $1 or so if you want to take a picture with them.
Though not in Times Square, there are a couple of other places you might want to make your way over to.
Your child can make a new friend or pick out an outfit for a existing one. This particular store carries a whole section of international outfits and other items not found at other retail locations. Make sure to visit the lower level so you don’t miss anything. My daughter almost got an Iron Man outfit but, according to her, the mask looked funny with the nose poking out.
It’s difficult to describe just what make this well-known hotspot special. When asking my husband what he thought of FAO Schwarz he said, “It was nice walking around the store.” Okay, when was the last time you, as a parent, ENJOYED walking around a toy store with children in tow? Instead of just carrying a lot of merchandise, this store offers a family experience like an old-fashioned toy store from the past, one where people of all ages can feel like a kid again. You also get the feeling that this place stocks every imaginable toy or gift. The candy area has a huge selection of sweets but it runs on the expensive side. Yes, it really was that pink. The keyboard featured in ‘Big’ is still there but someone else usually hogging it.
There’s so much more for kids to enjoy around town than what I highlighted here. They may also like visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), Empire State Building, National September 11 Memorial and Freedom Tower (this is very busy and tourist-y though), Central Park, or taking a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Either way, you’re family will have a great visit to the Big Apple!