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Go Big in the Big Apple: A ‘King Kong’-Sized Itinerary

Category Broadway

|by Matthew Wexler |


See New York City through Kong’s eyes

The biggest musical of the season just arrived on Broadway. King Kong features a 2,000 pound, 20-foot-tall animatronic puppet (along with a multi-talented cast to bring the towering creature to life). Described by critics as “a knockout of a show” (Philadelphia Inquirer), the musical is filled with thrills and chills, along with tender moments thanks to three “Voodoo Operators” controlling Kong’s facial expressions.

Visitors to New York City can create their own Kong-size itinerary by visiting some of the city’s biggest attractions and landmarks:

‘King Kong’ is the biggest beast on Broadway right now (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

‘King Kong’ is the biggest beast on Broadway right now (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Rockefeller Center
This year, one of New York City’s most iconic structures turned 85. By the numbers, it features seven million square feet and an astonishing 15,550 windows. A tour will reveal some of its historical facts, as well as architectural and cultural highlights. The Top of the Rock Observation Deck is the ideal spot to get a photo of the Empire State Building, while the street level offers plenty of options for holiday shopping, including the highly anticipated return of FAO Schwarz toy store, chocolatiers Jacques Torres and Godiva, and pampering favorites The Body Shop and The Art of Shaving.

Rockefeller Center also erects an annual Christmas tree. This year’s tree hails from Wallkill, New York, clocks in at 72 feet tall and is decorated with more than 50,000 lights. The best view? From the world-class ice skating rink, of course!

American Museum of Natural History
Go big or go home! AMNH is packed with attractions that are sure to entertain visitors of all ages, and none is more captivating than the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life. The 29,000-square-foot hall features models of more than 750 sea creatures — including the towering blue whale model. The fiberglass creation weighs in at 21,000 pounds and was inspired by a whale found off the tip of South America in 1925.

While the model represents the museum’s deep historical roots, the “Unseen Oceans” exhibit uses 21-century technology to create life-size animations, interactive microscope stations and floor-to-ceiling biofluorescent sea creature models.

The Brooklyn Bridge
When it opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It’s now a National Historic Landmark, and an ideal spot for those social media selfies. Bundle up and walk the bridge for an authentic New York City experience. German immigrant John Augustus Roebling designed the bridge, which took 14 years to build. Each of its towers weights 90,000 tons, and more than 14,000 miles of wire are used to create the suspension cables. Dozens of film and television shows have used the bridge as a backdrop, including Sex and the City, The French Connection and one of our favorite stage-to-screen musicals, On the Town.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
What was once a functioning aircraft carrier is now a permanent New York City attraction that welcomes upwards of one million guests per year. The vessel was first launched in 1943, and survived five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo strike during World War II. Later, it served in the Cold War and Vietnam War. At its waterline, the aircraft carrier is 872 feet long – nearly as tall as the Chrysler Building.

The Intrepid also features Enterprise, the world’s first space shuttle, as well as 28 aircraft on display, including the Lockheed A-12 (the world’s fastest military jet) and the British Airways Concorde (the fastest commercial aircraft to ever cross the Atlantic).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Boasting a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of art, the Met is the largest museum in the United States and includes some of the world’s most famous works. You could easily spend an entire day wandering among the galleries, but here are three must-sees that you won’t want to miss:

“Self-Portrait with a Hat” – Vincent van Gogh’s famous 1887 work, which verges on pointillism.

“Madonna and Child” – The Met acquired Duccio di Buoninsegna’s late 13th-century tempera and gold painting for more than $45 million, making it the museum’s most expensive purchase.

“Atea: Nature and Divinity in Polynesia” – Be one of the first to experience this newly opened exhibit. This deep dive into Pacific art encompasses sculpture, rare feather work, painting, as well as ritual artifacts.

Matthew Wexler is a lifestyle and culture writer. Read more of his work at wexlerwrites.com and follow him on social media at @wexlerwrites.com.

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