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NYC's Newest and Best Destinations That Opened Last Year

NYC's Newest and Best Destinations That Opened Last Year

2017 brought fun for the whole family to NYC!

We have closed the book on 2017, but not on the great, family-friendly attractions that opened during the year. Last year brought the opening and reopening of some great venues in New York City. From the Big Apple Circus to amazing fun in Times Square, let’s take a look at the great family destinations that opened in NYC in 2017! 

gullivers gate

Gulliver's Gate 

Time Square got a major upgrade when visitors were invited to travel the world in this amazing exhibit. This interactive exhibit features mini-replicas of the world’s most famous destinations including the Empire State Building, the Taj Mahal in India, the London Bridge in England, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and the Eiffel Tower in France. You can also get a glimpse at some major milestones as well. The Beatles walking across Abbey Road, a Lenape village in New York, and Colossus of Rhodes standing over a harbor in Greece are all part of this amazing experience.

jacques torres

Choco-Story New York: The Chocolate Museum and Experience 

The first chocolate museum in NYC opened its doors last year. The 5,000-square-foot experience offers self-guided tours, a kids corner, chocolate-making lessons, and of course chocolate tastings. Children can also take part in a scavenger hunt of sorts, whereupon completion they will receive a special treat. This museum makes for one delicious outing with the kids!

big apple circus clown

Big Apple Circus 

New Yorkers everywhere let out a collective sigh upon learning that financial struggles would cause our hometown circus to close. Fortunately it was only for one year, and the Big Apple Circus made its return to Lincoln Center in 2017. While it has headed out on tour, be sure to keep it on your radar when it returns later this year. You won’t want to miss performances from Grandma the Clown and the Wallendas Seven Person Pyramid, among others.

national geographic ocean odysessy 

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odysessy

Also new to Times Square is this fabulous “underwater” exhibit. Guests are able to virtually interact with ocean life through the use of groundbreaking technology. Once there you will get an up-close look at creatures such as massive sharks, battling Humboldt squids, playful sea lions, and a 50-foot Humpback whale. There are also fun games and educational events for kids.

american girl store

American Girl Store 

The beloved store moved from its flagship Fifth Avenue location to a 40,000-square-foot, two-level store in Rockefeller Center. As we previously reported, new features include “a salon that, for the first time, services both dolls and kids, new private party rooms, a signature studio, a media studio, and various touchscreen kiosks that will allow customers to navigate the space and book appointments as well as sync up with the American Girl app.”

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bronx zoo zip line 

The Bronx Zoo's Treetop Adventure and Nature Trek 

The Bronx Zoo upped its game this summer when it added an adventure park to its offerings. New to the zoo are a zip line, seven aerial climbing courses, and a kid-friendly adventure course called Nature Trek. The zip line runs 400-feet long across the Bronx River. The Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure is ticketed separately from the Bronx Zoo and includes seven aerial adventure courses of varying skill levels from beginner to expert. Each course features eight or more elements or challenge obstacles such as rope bridges, wobbly bridges, tight rope walks, rolling and swinging elements, and more.

hershey's chocolate world  

Hershey's Chocolate World

The Times Square store shut it doors for awhile as it prepared to move to a larger location. It opened in the fall, and as we previously reported, provides customers with new offerings such as a “new Hershey’s Kitchens Bakery with fresh-baked sweets including brownies and hot cocoa; a candy machine with Hershey’s Kisses, Jolly Rancher Hard Candies, and more; a permanent s’mores station for customers to recreate a campfire tradition via a s'mores-serving RV.” Guests can also personalize their chocolate wrappers and “Say it with a Kiss” on a large screen where their messages appear.

jim henson and muppets

The Jim Henson Exhibit 

Last July the exhibit got a permanent home at Museum of the Moving Image after a Kickstarter campaign helped raised the needed funds in just one month. As we previously reported, the exhibit includes interactive stations such as, “Puppet on the Screen for visitors to watch themselves perform as a puppet on a television monitor, and Design an Anything Muppet Character: a way for visitors to create their very own Muppet characters.” It also features character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, costumes, behind-the-scenes footage, and film and television clips, along with education programs and public events to complement the exhibit. There are 47 puppets on display on display including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, the Swedish Chef, Big Bird, and Elmo.


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