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New York City has more residents than any other city in the United States, so you know it must be a great place to live as well as to visit. If the grandkids have not gone to NYC yet or you want to take them again, there are lots of kid-friendly attractions in the city, many of them around Times Square.

No matter how old the kids are, there is something for everyone there from playing games while you get some food at Dave & Buster’s to seeing some exciting sea creatures at National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey.  But before you go, be sure to drop off your backpacks and bags at a luggage storage site in Times Square first. Let the kids see the sights hands-free.

  • National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

You wouldn’t expect to see a bunch of sharks in Times Square but that is exactly what you will find at National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. They may not be real, but with today’s technology, they sure look real. What is really cool is that with this virtual tech, kids can interact with them.

Walk across the floor of the ocean to see and hear the sounds of humpback whales, dolphins, and squids to name a few. They use 8K photographic technology to give the kids a real interactive experience in 60,000 square feet of space. And with mega screens and photo animation, you will feel like you are really in the ocean. 

  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not

Robert Ripley was a traveler who was really into bizarre things, so he went around the world and collected strange items. Once he had enough (more than enough), he decided to share them with the public. Today, there are more than 30 Ripley’s “Odditorium” locations around the world showcasing his weird stuff. 

His collection was estimated to be over 30,000 artifacts and 20,000 photos and most of them are on display at his museums. The one in Times Square boasts shrunken heads, Babe Ruth’s uniform, and two-headed sheep. You can also walk through the Black Hole and get a selfie with the world’s tallest man. 

  • M & M’s World

Where can you put your face on an M & M and analyze your color and mood with the InnerM analyzer? Only at M & M’s World in Times Square, New York! This place boasts 25 thousand square feet and three floors of colorful candy items including household products, jewelry, and clothing featuring these icons. 

The two-story color wall has thousands of these delicious candies in all flavors and types for you to choose from to make your own personalized bag of M & M’s to take home with you. If you can stop yourself from eating them it will be a really unique souvenir. Buy some extras to eat so you won’t be tempted. 

  • Madame Tussauds

Even if you have been to Madame Tussauds in another city, don’t think they are all the same because they are not! In fact, this one is the best in the world according to its visitors. With 220 wax figures that look absolutely real, you can get a plethora of selfies to adorn your Instagram or Facebook page. 

Some of the famous figures you can expect to see that the grandkids will love include Captain Marvel, King Kong, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, E.T., and Iron Man. The older kids may enjoy getting shots with Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Leo DiCaprio, and Eli Manning. But don’t miss Jimmy Fallon, Barack Obama, and Abraham Lincoln. 

  • Empire State Building

You cannot go to New York City without seeing the Empire State Building. Literally. Because you can see the iconic 1,454-foot building from anywhere in the city. But don’t miss your chance to take the kids for a closer look at this historic building. It is the most well-known building in the world. 

Take the grandkids up to one of the observatories to see NYC from a view you cannot get anywhere else. Whether you go to the one on the 86th floor or the 102nd floor, they are both incredible views. But don’t forget to go visit King Kong. The kids can climb into his giant paw on the second floor for some great photos. 

  • Statue of Liberty

Another famous landmark with an awesome view is the Statue of Liberty. Chances are you have probably already seen it in movies, television, or even flying over it to the airport. However, you cannot fully appreciate the amazing work of art until you get up close and personal with it on Liberty Island.

Take a ferry to the island and visit the 305-foot sculpture to see the museum and learn all about how Lady Liberty came to be standing where she is as a gift from France to America in 1886. Although you cannot visit the torch anymore, you can take the kids to the crown if you don’t mind walking up 354 stairs. 

  • Central Park

No matter how long you spend in Central Park, you will never have time to see and do it all. There is just way too much to do there. Not only does it have a variety of sports areas and 21 playgrounds, but it also has eight lakes, bike rentals, horse & carriage rides, a carousel, and even a castle. 

You and the grandkids can go fishing, rent a boat and row out on the lake, or rent a model boat to drive on the Conservatory Water. But the most popular with the young ones is probably the zoo. It has a variety of animals from aardvarks to zebras and everything in between. It even has a children’s zoo and 4-D theater.  

Since you are in New York, you should try some of the famous NYC cuisines. For example, they are known for their New York-style pizza, hot dogs, and cheesecake. Whatever you are looking for, try these family-friendly places like Shake Shack, Ellen’s Stardust Diner, and S’Mac, which serves over 15 types of mac & cheese