Every day, Times Square Safety Officers assist visitors with a variety of issues. Below please find a listing of the questions we're most frequently asked, along with the answers.

For those inquiring about COVID-19, see the question at the bottom of the FAQs and check out NYC Health's recommendations and current information.

Visitor FAQ

Do I have to tip the costume characters in Times Square?

You are not required to tip costume characters, but if you take a photo with one of them please note that a tip is expected.  

The characters are not officially licensed, but there are regulations in place about what sort of behavior is allowed on the pedestrian plazas. If you see or experience any aggressive or inappropriate behavior please contact NYPD or a Times Square Safety Officer, or call 212.452.5218.

What festivals or events are taking place in and around New York City?

Anything and everything is happening in the Big Apple, every night and every day. For a look at what's going on in Times Square, check out our homepage, our upcoming public art projects, and our Events page. For events throughout New York City, websites like www.nycgo.com are a great place to start.

NYC & Company also has Official NYC Information Centers throughout the city, including one located on the Broadway Plaza between 43rd St and 44th St, which is open from 9am-6pm every day but Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

How do I get a message (marriage proposals, birthday wishes, etc.) put up on a giant billboard in Times Square?

Around these parts, we like to call those giant electronic signs or billboards "spectaculars."  These billboards are independently owned by various outdoor media and digital sign companies, so you will need to contact them individually for their policies and rates.

Please check out our Advertising in Times Square for detailed information on renting space on the neighborhood's big screens.

Where and when can I see the ball lowered on New Year's Eve?

Visit the New Year's Eve section of this website for the answers to all your New Year-related questions.

What kind of family-friendly activities are available in Times Square?

For starters, check out Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Dave and Buster’s, Hershey’s Times Square, M&M’s World, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium, National Geographic, Bowlmor, Hard Rock Cafe, and Broadway shows like The Lion King.

And why not see what actual kids have said? Second Grader Sydney Malawer from PS 59 The Beekman Hill International School, New York wrote this review of Times Square:

Times Square - Go There Now!
Do you want to go somewhere were you can find almost everything you need?  Well Times Square is right for you!  I go there a lot! You should go there too!

First, they have M&M World where they have every kind, AND color of M&M you want. You can also go on a scale where a machine can tell you what M&M you are!  When I went on the scale, my color was hot pink, and the screen that tells you what color you are, also said I was friendly.

Outside … is the Hershey's store. There, they have every kind of Hershey's chocolate! Reeses, Hershey's bars, Mild Duds, Hershey's Kisses, and so much more!  They have every flavor you want!  Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and so much more!

They have restaurants with almost every food you can imagine.

And best of all, the Broadway shows. There will be a show for everyone!

I've been to Times Square, and I loved it. I would say it's much better than Dylan's Candy Bar. I would say it's 5 out of 5 shining stars!

What are some good places to dine in Times Square?

There are a multitude of restaurants in Times Square, catering to all tastes and all budgets. Restaurant Row, on West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, contains some of the City's most famous eateries. For a comprehensive listing of Times Square restaurants, check out our Dining Guide.

I am coming to Times Square. How do I plan my trip?

First, check out our Dine, Play, Stay section and take a look at all the different restaurants, hotels, stores, Broadway shows, and other types of entertainment in the neighborhood.

Then, check out our Times Square Arts page for more information on can’t-miss public art projects. 

You can also look at the Visitor Tips page for more helpful links, and sign up for the official Times Square e-Newsletter to get the latest information on deals and events. Plus, find us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute neighborhood updates!

Where can I purchase Broadway show tickets?

The How to Buy Broadway Tickets page will help you choose from a variety of options, whether it’s more convenient for you to buy online, over the phone, or in person.

Where is the Times Square TKTS booth? How can I buy theater tickets there? What are its hours?

The TImes Square TKTS booth is located on Duffy Square, at 47th St. and Broadway, and offers same-day discounted tickets to dozens of Broadway and Off Broadway shows. TKTS Times Square accepts credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover), cash, travelers checks, or TKTS Gift Certificates.

TKTS sells tickets at 50%, 40%, 30%, and 20% off full-price, plus a small per ticket service charge which helps support other TDF services and programs. (Additional non-TDF charges may apply). Availability and ticket inventory change throughout the day and at the discretion of individual productions.

For evening performances:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday*, Friday*,  Saturday: 3pm - 8pm
  • Tuesday: 2pm - 8pm*
  • Sunday: 3pm - 7pm

For matinee performances:

  • Wednesday and Saturday: 10am - 2pm (Please note: no evening tickets are sold from 10am to 2pm at Times Square)
  • Sunday: 11am - 3pm

* If there is a matinee performance for sale on these days, the booth will open at 10am. Check the electronic boards for show schedules.

Visit www.tdf.org for more information.

Where can I shop in Times Square?

Visit our Shopping section for a complete list of Times Square retailers. 

What's the best way to see New York City?

Why not take a City Sights NY Tour, or travel like a true New Yorker via mass transit? Visit our Getting Around and Parking page for more information.

Where can I take out cash/exchange my money?

Banks, ATMs, and currency exchanges in the Times Square area can all be found in our Retail section under “Personal Services.”

How do I find parking?

We know what they say about parking in Times Square. Not to worry! We have all the information you need for short-term or long-term parking on our Getting Around & Parking page.

Is the Times Square Museum & Visitor Center open?

The Times Square Museum & Visitor Center is now permanently closed.

Looking for the New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall? Submit your wish digitally, or visit the mobile Wishing Wall in the Broadway Plazas in December.

What should I do about COVID-19?

NYC Health has information and recommendations for residents and visitors concerned about preventing the new coronavirus known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV. Their top precautions as of March 2020 are:

  • Stay home if you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  • If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
  • Consider telecommuting, biking or walking to work if possible.
  • Consider staggering working hours. For example, instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., change some work hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.
  • Get your flu shot. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.

Learn more from NYC Health

See the Center for Disease Control's situation summary, including risk assessment and recommendations