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The Empire State Building Has Debuted 9 Second-Floor Exhibits for Families

The Empire State Building Has Debuted 9 Second-Floor Exhibits for Families

You can travel through nine galleries that immerse you in the history of the ESB beginning in the 1920s.

On July 29, nine exhibit rooms opened to the public in the Empire State Building so families can experience the miraculous views of the city without having to wait on line to go up to the 86th floor. The exhibits are part of the $165 million Observatory Experience that aims to create authentic, immersive experiences for New York City visitors. You can take the kids through nine rooms that immerse you in the ESB’s history from the 1920s to today while enjoying the views without the hassle.

The first exhibit room is called “The Site in the 1920s.” Guests can look in and see what the city surrounding the ESB looked like in the 20s–coming to life in color, unlike photographs of the time. Next, families will be transported back in time as construction for the ESB whirls around them in the second room. Then, the excitement and energy of ESB opening day will be palpable in the third room, and in the fourth room, kids will love learning about the architectural and construction achievements that went into making the ESB a leader in sustainability and energy efficiency.

The fifth room takes visitors into the modern ESB. You can explore the Otis elevators that now make sure the building can send 10 million people up to the observatory each year. In the sixth room, “Urban Campus”, you can catch a glimpse of what goes on the 100-plus ESB floors you don’t see–including tenant spaces, amenities, and more as viewed by the people that work in the building. The seventh exhibit features an original score composed just for this experience. Guests can see every way the ESB has been iconized in pop culture, from TV shows to comic books.

The eighth room, “King Kong”, takes visitors into an office from the 1930s. King Kong’s giant fingers pierce the walls as he climbs the building. Kids can even step into the ape’s hands! Finally, the ninth room remembers many celebrities who have made the Empire State Building feel like home, even for a few hours.

“While the views from the 86th Floor Observatory are world-famous, the Empire State Building has a rich history filled with exciting events and innovative projects that we are now able to share via our new second-floor exhibits,” said Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, in a press release. Head to the Empire State Building for a new experience seven days a week from 8am-2am.

Main Image: Kids in King Kong's hands. Courtesy Alex Chernin, Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.

RELATED: Check out many more fun family activities in NYC!


Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is an assistant editor and a graduate of The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. When she's not focused on writing special needs and education features, you can find her petting someone else's dog. See More

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