A few years ago, I stood in an airport bookstore, perusing the merchandise. With my plane about to board, I picked up a copy of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I finished the book the next day and bought Catching Fire for the trip home. After that, I quickly moved on to the third and final book, Mockingjay. My wife read the books with equal curiosity and was drawn in as quickly as I was. When the first movie came out, we made it a priority to see it on opening day, as we have the other movies since.
We let our almost 11 year old son read the first book, and within a week he was finishing the second book and begging to watch the movies. It seems our Hunger Games fascination has been passed on. We have yet to let our nine year old read the book or watch the movies; she’s a little too young for the themes or violence, but I can’t wait for her to get to know the hero of the story, Catniss Everdeen. She will definitely fall in love with her.
With our love of all things Hunger Games, I was excited to take my 3 kids (11, 9, and 3) to Discovery Times Square for the new Hunger Games exhibit. And for an hour and half, we were completely caught up in the world of Panem, all the districts, and the villainous Capital.
The first person you meet in the exhibit is Effie; she addresses you from a large video screen and shares with you the back story and prepares you for what you are about to see. From there you make your way through District 12 and some of the other districts. All of the exhibits in the museum are related to the films and visitors have the opportunity to dig deeper into the history of the districts. The exhibits are interactive and visitors can learn how to tie knots like Finnick, become part of a propaganda film, decide what type of fighter you would be, and learn more about the stunts from the film. The best part for me was seeing all of the costumes and set pieces. Catniss’s many dresses and fighting gear can be seen, along with costumes and props from other characters. My daughter loved Effie’s wardrobes, even though she has not seen the movies, and she enjoyed the interactive exhibits.
My 11 year old probably had the best time of all of us at the museum. He took his time and listened to the tour headset (available for an extra cost), which provided extra details, showed clips, and came with a camera to take pictures. The headset costs $7, but was worth the price for all the extra information that my son was able to learn. My 3 year old relished every opportunity to push buttons and there were plenty of hands-on things for him to do. If I were to do it again, though, I would have gotten a babysitter for him so I could have spent more time reading the signs and trying out the exhibits.
Anyone who loves the Hunger Games will thoroughly love a trip to the Discovery Center Times Square. And even those that aren’t that into the movies (much like my daughter) will enjoy the many visually exciting pieces from the movies.
Kids: 3-11 $22.50
Seniors: 65 plus $27.50
226 W 44th St
Sunday – Wednesday 9am to 8pm
Thursday – Saturday 9am to 9pm
And for superhero fans, you must check out the Avengers Exhibit.
Disclaimer: My family was given tickets for review, but the words and experience are all my own.