times square

We were excited to take our mermaid-obsessed, 4-year old to National Geographic’s Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square because it was the first of its kind to immerse you in an under-the-sea experience without requiring you to know how to swim!  (I’m the only one in our family who can so that was a relief!)  This cool new National Geographic Encounter allows you to virtually swim under and across the Pacific Ocean overnight, from Asia to California and explore the magical underworld that is their 60,000 square foot entertainment experience all without getting wet.  By harnessing ground-breaking technology (think video mapping, 3D effects, 8K photo real animation, enveloping sound system, mega projection screens, and“real-time” audience tracking),  you’re transported and traveling underwater.

national geographic ocean odyssey, national geographic encounter, things to do times squareThis first room really took my breath away.  With the floor to ceiling screen and the touch-sensitive projections on the floor, you really feel immersed in this underwater scene. ocean odyssey, national geographic encounter, national geographic ny, national geographic times squareYou can expect to encounter dolphins, sharks, stingrays and whales and may find your kids either mesmerized in one spot or chasing after them as they swim by.  It’s a sight to see and so fun for the kids to watch!

 

After the timed portion ends, you and the group follow the hosts who act as your tour guides and direct you into the reef room where you’ll find that coral glows beneath you and smaller creatures can be found if you look closely.  The production quality is truly remarkable.  I loved taking in every detail from the kelp forest to the underwater sounds of the most mysterious and mighty sea creatures.

 

And the interactive elements like the kelp mirror maze which we let Juliet lead us into and out of were truly engaging!Playing with sea lions and having them mirror our every move was so much fun!  Juliet tried to teach them ballet and some of her signature twirls lol 

 

Overall, the blockbuster digital technology wowed us all – even my geeky husband who thought he was up on the latest and greatest in technology was seriously impressed with the 40 foot 3-D dome room.  new york acquarium, nyc acquarium We just wish that part of the experience had lasted longer!

new york things to do, times square things to do ,digital acquarium, nyc fish, national geographic odyssey, national geographic encounterOverall, the visuals are truly stunning. The creators and producers of National Geographic Encounter, have engaged a world-class global team of Academy, GRAMMY®, and Emmy® Award-winning artists, including the design firm Falcon’s Creative Group and the visual effects team behind “Game of Thrones,” to produce this never-before-seen experience.  Everything from the majestic ocean soundscape across the 230 loudspeakers and 180 independent sound channels to the creative set design and cinematic quality forge to create an incredible state-of-the-art immersion.

 

You totally forget you’re in the bustling center of Times Square.  I love experiences that make me feel ‘present’ and in the moment.  Too often we are rushing and racing around whether physically or in our minds.  This experience had a calming, meditative effect on me that reminded me to enjoy the ‘now.’ Plus I’m happy to report that my little one learned a thing or two and piqued her interest in the underwater world.  Instead of talking just about mermaids, she now chats about squids, how large whales are and coral too!    People varied in their reviews of whether they liked that the bulk of the education and information was found at the end of the experience.  I preferred it that way.  I liked that nothing interrupted the sensory experience I was having in each room.  And this way I could explore whatever topics most piqued my interest at the end by finding the sound dome to stand under that matched the visual I loved.  Here, kids of all ages could learn through touch screens, audio-visuals, and taped interviews with marine biologists.

And in the end, Juliet had so much fun browsing the gift shop where she got to take home a fun souvenir to remind her of her newfound interests.  

 

 

DISCLAIMER:  Our tickets were complimentary in exchange for a review but all opinions expressed are my own.

ADDRESS:  226 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

Wednesday 10AM–10:30PM
Thursday 10AM–10:30PM
Friday 10AM–12AM
Saturday 10AM–12AM
Sunday 10AM–10:30PM
Monday 10AM–10:30PM
Tuesday 10AM–10:30PM

READ ON about another Times Square, family-friendly experience, Gulliver’s Gate!

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times square, nyc kid, nyc art, nyc, broadway plaza

I purposely opted not to enroll Juliet in school on Fridays so we would have the freedom to take long weekend getaways or get to sleep in and enjoy mommy and me city adventures.  This is the last year we will have after all, before she has to attend school regularly M-Fri.  While the weather is still nice here in New York, we like to go out and explore all of New York’s offerings.  There’s so much to see and do and Times Square is one of the many locales that offers so much in terms of attractions, shopping and now art!  I’m excited to share with you, “The Beginning of the End,” an interactive and reflective monument in the heart of Times Square’s Broadway Plaza (between 46th and 47th streets).  It asks visitors to “reassess their perspective on an entirely different visual reality, how they see themselves in the environment that surrounds them, and how that relationship changes as the reflections create new visual possibilities.”

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Seeing Times Squares skyscrapers and flashing lights multiplied through all the mirrors was pretty spectacular!  If you’re in the area, you have to see this while you can.  It’s only around for another week (website says it closes down Nov 21st).  Who knows, it might just inspire a little dancing in the streets!

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It encourages even the most jaded New York-ers to look up, and really look around to appreciate the magnificent skyline and energy of the city.  We are so lucky to live in this vibrant place.

the beginning of the end, times square, broadway plaza, nyc art, mirrors

matching outfits, nyc mom, nyc kid

                                                                                                                                                                  Juliet’s dress is care of Sprouting Threads

I just wish Cuban artist Rachel Valdés Camejo could see all the joy she brought to the heart of this city through her art.  It brought smiles and such joy to tourists and NY-ers alike!

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Tips for parents:

  1. Nearby restrooms can be found at McDonald’s across the street
  2. The Disney store (which also has a restroom on the 2nd floor),  and the Hello Kitty TS store are great stops before/after
  3. There are tons of family-friendly restaurants nearby, (Carmine’s for Italian and Ellen’s Stardust Diner for dinner with a show are my top picks)
  4. Dave and Buster’s is at 234 W 42nd St, 3rd Floor
  5. Hershey’s Times Square is at 1593 Broadway
  6. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! is at 234 W 42nd Street
  7. Midtown Comics is at 200 West 40th Street
  8. You’ll see lots of opportunities to snap photos of your child with costumed characters found along the streets of Times Square (think Mickey, Minnie, Elmo, Hello Kitty and superheroes) but beware, you will be expected to tip!

Where else would you recommend hitting in the heart of Times Square?

For more of our artsy adventures, click here!

 

 

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As a continuation to my last post on my love for NY, I thought it would be great to include today’s outfit shots from the heart of NYC, Times Square.

It had been a while since I had been in the middle of Times Square so it was thrilling to be back. Here, I’m wearing a suit from Calvin Klein, which I’ve taken apart and worn the skirt here.

The purse is Cynthia Steffe and the shoes are Miss Sixty.

I wore this outfit today to the Pan – Asian Chamber of Commerce’s awards ceremony.  What is dubbed as the Asian Business Oscars, has become a special event to me given I was awarded the corporate leadership, “Trailblazer” award last year.  This year, I was asked to present the award to the 2012 recipient.  I felt like I was giving up my pageant crown and in a weird way was a little sad to have finished up my term.  Here I am looking very corporate while I contemplate my last few minutes of fame 🙂

Pictured above is the President of the organization, Savio who has no idea that he is now in a fashion blog, so let’s not tell him 🙂  The purse was on sale from $400 to $150 at Marshalls, the suit was on sale at Macy’s for about $70 and the shoes were on sale for about $70 at a NY boutique. What can I say, I’m a discount diva!

 

 

 

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