Back in February, I had the opportunity to attend the Family Travel Conference in New York City with my daughter Amy, who recently graduated from college and is embarking on her own journalism career. After attending workshops on topics like “Monetizing Your Content” and “Creating Web Videos,” we were each given The New York Pass (a sponsor of the conference) and sent out to sample a city attraction of our choice.
We picked Madame Tussauds New York wax museum because, believe it or not, I’d never been. With Spring Break coming up, you may find yourself touring Madame Tussauds with your own kids–especially if you have tweens or teens. So I thought I’d let Amy “wax” on as guest blogger about ways she made Madame Tussauds more fun than I ever imagined it could be.
PLAYING GAMES IN MADAME TUSSAUDS
By Amy Parlapiano
We don’t need to tell you much about Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York’s Times Square. Everyone knows the drill: There are tons of amazing, real-life celebrity wax figures, and crowds of people walking through and taking pictures with them and poking them to make sure that’s not ACTUALLY Justin Timberlake gazing lovingly back. But to mix up your Madame Tussauds experience, I’ve invented some games to play as you walk through the gilded halls of waxed celebs.
Game 1: I’M TOO SEXY FOR MY BODY!
It’s one of my favorite things to go into Madame Tussauds and pick out the wax figures that are slightly hotter than their real life counterparts. The ones where you’re like, “Oh hey there, Joey Fatone from *Nsync, how’d you get so good-looking? For some very strange reason you’re placed right in the middle of your boy band, while JT is shoved off to the side (and right out of my picture). What’s up with that?”
Joining Joey in the HOTTER THAN LIFE category is Bono. Bono’s wax figure is gifted with a glowing face, a perfectly chiseled chin, some very impressive bone structure, and shiny hair that makes him look a bit too European—one might liken his wax figure to a young Antonio Banderas wearing Bono-inspired sunglasses. Which, in my book, with all due respect to him, classifies as TOO HOT FOR BONO. Apparently, my mom (a big U2 fan) didn’t agree.
Game 2: MISTAKEN IDENTITY.
This one doesn’t really start out as a game. But it can definitely turn into one if you keep track of funny things the person you’re in the museum with (like, maybe, my mom, for example) says as you walk by each wax figure. My personal favorite was my mom’s reaction to this lovely, accomplished woman:
My mom: “Who’s this now? Oh, Madeleine Albright, right?”
Me: “…..Um. Not quite.”
My mom: “Hey there Madeleine! That’s a good Madeleine Albright!”
Me: “…..Dude. It’s Helen Keller.”
So next time you’re at the wax museum, keep track of all your mistaken identities on a list called MADELEINE ALBRIGHT OR HELEN KELLER? It’s great material you can use to mock your family member for years to come.
Game 3: ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER
As you’re walking through Madame Tussauds, some of the placement of wax figures is a bit random. To show you what I mean, let’s take a stroll through my mind as I walk through what appears to be the Presidential/Political Figures of Importance Room.
Me: “Oh, cool, the Presidential/Political Figures of Importance Room! LOOK, there’s Ben Franklin, my very favorite inventor of libraries, bifocals and odometers…. Lookin’ quite good, Benny F, have you been doing Weight Watchers? And, oh, there’s Abe… and…. I think George Washington, even though his hair is different than he wears it on the dollar bill! Ah, there’s Bill and Hill! And the Obamas…. and Helen Keller (or is it Madeleine Albright?!), and Ronald Reagan, and….. hmm, JFK’s lookin’ a little rough around the edges, but Jackie looks perfectly composed, as usual. And, wow….so many Presidential peeps in here. But wait….. why is Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong in here? Did I miss something in social studies??? Was this famous trumpet player once President?!”
These moments will happen often. Keep track.
And here’s a bonus question for you: Who is the only figure in Madame Tussauds not actually made of wax?
Hello I love you,
Won’t you tell me why I am merely a dismembered head of stone instead of a full-bodied wax re-enactment?
Game 4: FIND YOUR FAVORITE CELEBRITY. Of course, there are so many awesomely perfect figures in Madame Tussauds.
Like: Harrison Ford
And : Leonardo DiCaprio
You’ll just have to go there yourself to spot your own celebrity crush.