Visiting the Empire State Building Today: A Unique “New York for New Yorkers” Experience

empire state building
Courtesy of Empire State Building

Visiting the Empire State Building Today: A Unique “New York for New Yorkers” Experience

According to a 2011 Cornell study, the Empire State Building is the most photographed building in the world. A poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects named it “America’s Favorite Building.” Built in the year 1930 and towering at an incredible 1,454 feet, the Empire State Building is a beloved staple of the New York City skyline. As the city moves forward with its Phase 4 reopening plans, now might be a better time than ever to safely visit one of the Big Apple’s most iconic landmarks with your family.

On a clear day, visitors can see six states from the Empire State Building’s observatories. From the 86th Floor Observatory, enjoy 360-degree views and have fun spotting Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and many more of New York City’s distinctive landmarks. On the building’s brand-new 102nd Floor Observatory, gaze through floor-to-ceiling windows for breathtaking vistas. 

Not only does a trip to the Empire State Building offer a once-in-a-lifetime view of the city, it also provides your family the chance to learn something new! The Empire State Building is home to a number of brand-new exhibits located on its 2nd and 80th floors. You and your kids will be swept up in history while learning about the building’s original site in the 1920s and its remarkable 13-month construction from 1930-31. The Modern Marvel exhibit showcases the steps taken by the Empire State Building that have led it to become a world leader in sustainability and efficient energy. With exhibits about celebrities and King Kong to exhibits about the Empire State Building’s light shows and its original elevators, there’s an experience to interest everyone! 

Through its international #HeroesShineBright campaign and music-to-light shows, the Empire State Building has honored first responders and shone as a beacon of hope during the Covid-19 crisis. Now, they’re doing everything they can to ensure their exhibits and observatories are safe for you and your family. New protocols have been put in place for employees and visitors so that the Empire State Building can adhere to all official city and state guidelines. 

Anthony E. Malkin, the Chairman, President, and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, is confident “that New York is resilient and that our future holds promise.” As New York City begins to reopen, Malkin remains positive. If you and your family haven’t visited the Empire State Building, there’s no time better than now: “The reduced capacity and lack of tourists from out of town will create a unique ‘New York for New Yorkers’ experience.”

Here’s what they’re doing:

  • Crowds are being prevented as ticket purchases shift to online, timed reservations. 
  • The Empire State Building Observatory is currently open from 11 am to 11 pm.
  • Capacity will initially be reduced by more than 80%, allowing groups to distance by more than 18 feet.
  • Guests are required to wear facial coverings for the entirety of their visit.
  • Mask-wearing and distancing will be monitored by CCTV and staff. 
  • The guest protocol includes a contactless temperature check, and visitors’ temperatures must be under 100.4 degrees.
  • Signage, distance markings and hand sanitizers have been implemented throughout Empire State Building spaces.
  • Observatories and exhibits are suited to a one-way flow of traffic. 
  • Interactive exhibits, like those with touch screens, have been transformed into touch-free experiences.
  • Enhanced cleaning methods have been put into effect, including Overnight Electrostatic Disinfectant spray of the entire observatory space and frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
  • A recent $165 million renovation included the implementation of MERV 13 air filters, state-of-the-art air purification that reduces the risk of virus transmission. 
  • New employee protocol includes training, masks, gloves and contact tracing.

 

Visitor tickets can be reserved online at esbnyc.com. Child tickets start at $36. Adult tickets start at $42.

Relevant Directory Listings

See More

Atlantic Acting School

<p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{" data-sheets-userformat="{">Looking for a fun and exciting theater program for kids and teens? Join us at the Atlantic. Our programs are intense, exciting and fun!</span></p>

Speakitaly NYC

<p>SPEAKITALY NYC offers stimulating and entertaining lessons for children 0 to 16 years through a wide combination of activities based on the communicative approach anchored in the Common European Framework of Reference: active learning (group work, role plays, etc.) and practice exercises aimed to improve listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Kids will start speaking and using Italian in a very natural way.  Small classes capped at 6 students to make sure each one gets the needed attention and facilitate learners' progress. </p> <p>Our method is driven by a didactic method that is the result of constant updates, professional certifications and more than 10 years of experience in working with non-native speakers from different native languages and levels of knowledge.</p> <p>Our aim is to develop a range of Italian language skills while improving accuracy that will enable the students and participants to interact without stress or feeling rushed. We want to help those in the community really embrace not only the true culture in Italy but the Italian culture within New York City… Who doesn’t love what Italy represents in the kitchen, in history & in the arts?</p> <p>Speakitaly wants to support multilingual families who want to learn a new language or pass along their ancestor’s heritage and culture. Raffaella, the founder said: "We see language awareness and intercultural sensitivity as the milestones for an inclusive society. Italian, like all other languages, is an enrichment and a growth in every way. Vi aspettiamo!"</p>

Chickenshed NYC

<p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1.3em; margin-top: 0px; caret-color: #515151; color: #515151; font-family: nimbus-sans, sans-serif;">Chickenshed is an inclusive theatre company that began in the UK in 1974. Chickenshed NYC is a young organization bringing that same ethos and unique methodology to the USA. Chickenshed’s mission is to create entertaining and outstanding theatre that celebrates diversity and inspires positive change.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1.3em; margin-top: 0px; caret-color: #515151; color: #515151; font-family: nimbus-sans, sans-serif;">Chickenshed's model of Inclusive Theatre is based in the belief that everyone can flourish when everyone is included. At Chickenshed everyone is welcome, everyone is valued, and together we produce remarkable theatre. We want to break down barriers between people to create a world without labels and where differences no longer divide. At Chickenshed, support is given to those who need it, and given by those who can . We believe that creative activities, self-expression and performance should be available to anyone who has the desire, no matter their background or circumstances. We know that when everyone has the opportunity to shine, amazing things happen.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1.3em; margin-top: 0px; caret-color: #515151; color: #515151; font-family: nimbus-sans, sans-serif;">Chickenshed NYC provides programming for little ones, children and youth through semester-long activities and performances.</p>