If you’re a fan of Jonathan Swift’s classic book Gulliver’s Travels or even up for a fun experience while in NYC, you absolutely must check out Gulliver’s Gate. The Hester platoon was recently invited to a special preview of the miniature-themed venue and to say it was breath taking would be a disservice to the work of the wildly talented team that put the spot together.
What is it?
Gulliver’s Gate is an interactive space where visitors can check out miniaturized models of cities around the world. Each exhibit is a detailed replica of buildings, vehicles, mountainsides and a slew of lights, people and animals. With a provided key, you can animate parts of the exhibit like helicopters, volcanoes and trains. There’s even a small scale Macy’s Parade with character balloons gliding down the streets. If that wasn’t cool enough, there are a number of surprises to be discovered if you pay attention. Spiderman can be found hanging out on the Brooklyn Bridge and there’s a woman at the Grand Central subway station who dropped her bag on the tracks. If you have trouble locating anything, there’s tons of staff there willing to give clues or point them out.
What’s cool about it?
By far, the detail that went into building the immense world is bananas. Everything from the lighting to the textures used in bringing the nature is so realistic, you can almost feel the vibe of the given city. Gulliver’s Gate feels like a living world.
Visitors can also become a “model citizen” by getting a 3D scan of themselves and (for a fee) have a custom figurine put into the GG universe. You can also have one mailed as a souvenir in a variety of sizes. The Niagra Falls exhibit gives the opportunity to take a digital photo and be displayed as water droplets in the cascade.
How much does it cost?
Compared to other experiences in Times Square, Gulliver’s Gate isn’t too bad. Not cheap, but it won’t hurt. Adults pay $36, kids under 12 are $27 and seniors get a discount of $27. These are standard prices so expect a bump upwards during the holiday season when tourism picks up. There’s no need to worry about being beat in the head with a bunch of add-ons that you don’t really want. You can also stay as long you like (which is encouraged) and the gift shop is pretty cool for kids. There’s a small play area where children can chill and play with some of the mini-themed toys available. One of the items is a small nautical telescope for $40 and an even smaller one for around $10.
Anything else should I know?
Gulliver’s Gate is targeted to families so they made sure to have the back of folks with kids. There’s a nice roomy elevator for disabled visitors and people with strollers. The bathrooms are clean and for moms with hungry infants, there’s a feeding room to breastfeed or pump milk. I found the management to be super nice and helpful so don’t be afraid to approach anyone in a navy blue lab coat for help.
Although there are enough exhibits to occupy a good amount of time, Gulliver’s Gate plans add more. You will come across a few unfinished areas which I think is pretty cool. It gives visitors the chance to see how everything comes together. I’m sure from GG’s perspective, it also makes you want to return to see all of the new additions. Smart thinking guys!
Gulliver’s Gate is open Sunday-Thursday from 10am to 7pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 10pm. If you’re going to do an evening visit, be sure to get there by 8:30pm for last entry. You can find Gulliver’s Gate at:
216 West 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue in Times Square. Check out the official website here for more details. I hope you have as much fun as we did.