About Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square
From the odd to the outlandish, the “ewww!” to the extreme, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square is a celebration of all things weird and wonderful – and a museum like no other. Home to Robert Ripley’s bizarre and unique finds – everything from the world’s largest collection of shrunken heads, a lock of Elvis’ hair, a section of the Berlin Wall and a two-headed calf – as well as interactive exhibits, fun video and a Mission Impossible-style laser maze, there’s something for everyone at this ode to the odd.
A New Yorker and real-life Indiana Jones, Robert Ripley first started his iconic Believe It or Not! newspaper series in 1918 and went on to build an empire – syndicated cartoon, radio show, film shorts and museums – fueled by his fascination with the obscure and strange in everyday life. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square is a maze of 20 dim-lit rooms bursting with the bizarre, including a room housing an authentic 16th-century iron maiden and cage torture devices, a barnyard of two-headed taxidermy, the wooze-inducing Black Hole (every kid’s favorite) and the challenging LaserRace – a maze of lasers you need to navigate without breaking a beam.
Ripley's Odditorium houses the newest editions to the museum, including a Recollections room where you can see how badly (or how well) you dance by watching your moves projected on an over-sized screen in florescent colors. There is also an Amazonian Makeover exhibit where you can have your face shrunk down to the size of a fist and add bones and war paint (the image is sent to you digitally, making it easy to share). There are also two ambitious installations. One is billed as the "Fastest Tour of New York," which immerses you in the sights and sounds of New York from the Bronx to Wall Street, all on a graffiti backdrop (it was created by art collective Tats Cru). The other is a 17-foot-tall scale model of the World Trade Center, created out of more than 470,000 matchsticks.
A zany museum filled with oddities that delight and disturb, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square has a little something for everyone, especially fans of the bizarre. Kids will love the laser maze while pre-teens and teens will be fascinated by the torture devices and animals with extra limbs and heads. Adults will love the odd as well as the historical – the Berlin Wall, vintage baseball uniforms and the locks of icons like Elvis and John F. Kennedy.
Good for kids?
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square is appropriate for children of all ages, and will elicit an hour’s worth of gasps and giggles. However, sensitive or younger kids may find the iron-spiked torture devices or the Black Hole a little scary. That said, it’s easy to avoid anything potentially unsettling.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum Location Information:
234 West 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R to Times Sq./42nd St.; A, C, E to 42nd St./Port Authority; 7, B, D, F, M to 42nd St./Bryant Park
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