A new interactive experience has come to Ripley's Believe it or Not! Times Square just in time for summer (believe it or not, Times Square isn't just for NYC visitors!). The museum that's widely known for being the home of all that's unusual just launched Ripley's Relic, a high-tech escape game that is designed to bring out your inner explorer.
My kids have never met an adventure they didn't like, so I trekked to Times Square with my 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son in tow for the opening of Ripley's Relic to take a crack at solving the puzzle in person.
The crowd at the entrance to Ripley's Relic on opening day was excited to start their quest.
We were met at the museum by our personal guide who told us the story of a mysterious relic which was recently "discovered" underground. My mini explorers and I donned our hard hats and got ready to check out Ripley's Relic for ourselves. After a rickety elevator ride down below the streets of the city, our guide led us to the newly discovered (read: convincingly staged) cavern. Once inside the dimly lit cave, our group was tasked with decoding a secret puzzle — the only thing that would unlock the cave and lead us back to the outside. It took my little ones a while to get comfortable with being in the small, dark space, but they eventually relaxed and managed to have a good time working with the rest of our group.
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Kids work together to solve the puzzle.
After a few rounds of unsuccessful attempts, the group was eventually able to make sense of the mysterious symbols inside of the cave. We figured out that we would need to crack the code in order to set ourselves free (no spoilers or clues here, though!). The puzzle wasn't too difficult for my older kids to grasp and help solve, although younger kids are likely to be more interested in exploring the space than helping work out the mystery.
The Ripley's Relic experience lasts about fifteen minutes, so you may want to check out the rest of the Ripley's Believe it or Not! Times Square museum or visit some of the other nearby restaurants and attractions in Times Square. Once you've had enough of the crowds and lights, you can head one avenue east for the relative calm of Bryant Park, where there are lots of kid-friendly things to do this summer.
Admission to Ripley's Relic is $15 per person. You can purchase your tickets separately, or along with admission to the Ripley's Believe it or Not Times Square museum. Save by purchasing your tickets online in advance. Children must be at least 5 years old to enter the experience.
Photos by Stuart Ramson/AP Images