5 things you have to see and do in New York’s go-to district

Technically, New York’s Midtown stretches from 14th St, skimming the bottom of Union Square Park, up to 59th St. It’s the central belly of Manhattan Island, bustling with people and stacked high with gleaming skyscrapers – the Empire State, the Chrysler, the Rockefeller Center.

The grassy High Line marks its west flank, while Hell’s Kitchen and Koreatown provide bubbles of relative calm. And then there’s Times Square, pulsing endlessly with Technicolor ads.

In recent years, New York’s other boroughs and districts (think arty Williamsburg and foodie Brooklyn) have upped their visitor-temptation game, but Midtown is getting back on its feet with a whole raft of new and enchanting attractions. Here’s what to do when you get there.

1. See the sun rise at the Empire State Building

(NYCgo/PA)

If you can handle the early start, you can book a new sunrise tour ($100 per person, limited to 100 guests a day) to watch the city winking in the dawn light and see New York’s avenues as quiet as they’ll ever be. Another $25 and they chuck in a grilled breakfast too.

Visit esbnyc.com

2. Feel like a giant at Gulliver’s Gate

 

#company#gulliversgate #museum #nyc#evseevalarisa

A post shared by Larisa Evseeva (@evseeva_39) on

Play at being a giant in a world of miniatures off Times Square, featuring replicas of Europe, Asia, Russia, Latin America, the Middle East and New England, handmade by craftspeople across the globe.

The detail on each model is immense – look out for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the New York subway and Spider-Man suspended from the Brooklyn Bridge.

You can become part of the miniature world too, by having your likeness made into a teensy human model, or using keys to trigger volcanic explosions, kick-start carnivals, and prompt toy vehicles into action.

Visit gulliversgate.com

3. Be at the centre of the action at Moxy Times Square

 

We'll let you fight it out over the top bunk. #atthemoxy

A post shared by Moxy Times Square (@moxytimessquare) on

This boutique hotel on 7th avenue has got the proximity you need to the centre, but enough distance that your eyes can catch a break from the kaleidoscopic billboards.

The rooms are functional but stylish, squishing in a bed and stripped-back amenities – they’re a place to sleep and change before quickly heading out on your next NYC adventure. But aside from the plump and buttery tear and share garlic bread in the in-house hotel restaurant Legasea (mains from $21), it’s the view of the Empire State Building from the rooftop terrace at Moxy’s Magic Bar that wows – if you can drag yourself away from its mini golf course. Rooms from $139 USD.

Visit moxytimessquare.com

4. Enjoy the game at the NFL Experience

If you can’t get out of town to a match at the MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets, get an American Football fix at the new NFL Experience. Stuff your brain with facts about the league’s 32 teams, practise your passing skills as a budding quarterback, and use digital face-tracking tech to see what you’d look like in full pads and jersey. Finally, settle into the 4D cinema, complete with chairs that jolt and screens that throw you right into the Super Bowl.

Visit nflexperience.com

5. Explore under the sea at the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

Moving from room to room at this interactive exhibition, prepare to be bombarded by shoals of digital fish that flutter and dart, activated by your footsteps. Columns of faux-coral turn luminous dayglo at your touch, while digital sea lions will flip and spin in ‘training’ sessions, reflecting back at you the shapes you make with your arms. And a 3D whale may just make you scream…

There are also thoughtful and frank education stations where you can learn the impact – good and bad – that humans are having on the planet’s seas.

Visit natgeoencounter.com

For more information about New York and its attractions, visit NYC Go, The Official Guide To New York City (nycgo.com)

 

Most Read in #Discover