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“Sad, but free” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sony Wonder Technology Lab

Sony Wonder Technology Lab
56th Street & Madison Avenue, New York City, NY 10022 (Manhattan)
212 833 8100
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Ranked #257 of 633 Attractions in New York City
Type: Science Museums, Movie Theaters, Game/ Entertainment Centers, Museums
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Owner description: Visitors to this technology center learn about audio, imaging, robotics, design and network through interactive exhibits, and are directed through the experience by "b.b. wonderbot," a telepresence robot.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Sad, but free”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Considering all the great products Sony had in the past it is unfortunate they choose to let the Technology lab deteriorate.
First it is not for older children who have much computer experience. I took a 6 year old and he was not bored. But most of what was there is available elsewhere. What was sad is that a good portion of the exhibits didn't work. On top of that the staff was exceptionally useless. They just stood there and did nothing. They could have helped explain some or take you through the exhibits. They could have told you what exhibits werent working so you didnt waste time trying to get something to work. They could have also made it a little more orderly. When we there visiting there were several school tours and sometime small school children would just come up and start spinning dials on the exhibit you were working on.
They had a movie which we waited 20 minutes to see and it was nothing remarkable.
If you are visiting NYC this is not where I would spend time. But if you live in the city and are looking for a free place to take a grade school child it would be great if the exhibits all work.
Despite the emphasis about making reservations in advance people showed up and got tickets at the door when we visited

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

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Hawthorne, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great place for FREE family fun! Glad we didn't pay for it...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

This place COULD BE awesome! Kudos to Sony for offering this FREE attraction in the heart of NYC where I'm sure the rent is astronomical. I read the reviews before we went and consistently the downfall was that many of the machines were not working properly. Which we immediately found out. Considering that there were not many stations to begin with in a particular area you would think that they would keep up with the maintenance. Bummer. So if we were lucky the station we got stuck with worked. And when they worked it was cool stuff.

Unfortunately for us we were there (8/16/13) when there were three NYC Summer Camp visits. So many screaming 5-8 year olds with no manners and teen counselors. Bad timing I suppose. Maybe SONY should schedule these type of groups ALONE and not with the public. Especially for security reasons. Anyone could EASILY snatch a child in here!

The place is clean, modern and nice! So glad our visit was free! We only stayed for about 40 minutes before we had to leave out of frustration.

BTW, we didn't have advanced tickets. We walked it at 1:30pm in the afternoon on a Friday and got right in. The staff that we did see were very nice and polite.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wigan, UK
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Even though it is free it is Not worth your time.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Tour guide mentioned that this was a great attraction.

So we walked across town to find it, and booked on a tour.

Yes they do have an interactive attraction, you log in and create a profile and can play games etc.

Unfortunately it is aimed at pre teens and our son is 15 so it was no good for us.

It is very busy, a lot of the experiment stations were out of action so people were getting rather annoyed whch wasn't pleasant, some people simply wouldn't share the stations that were working which was really disappointing.

Cannot recommend this attraction at all.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Cool place and it's free!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

I couldn't believe this place was free! It was so great and had lots of different things to do. it shows the birth of technology and how it all works. It has lots of interactive things to do and my kids (ages 9 and 13) loved it! They even got to do a news program and report on the weather and then saw themselves on a television set. A great place to take the kids in NYC without spending any money!!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottish Highlands
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
71 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
“Want to know why there is no admission charge.....?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

I swithered between 'poor' and 'average' when rating this, yet decided on 'average' simply because admission was free! On the other hand, if I had been charged to enter, I would have been seeking a refund as many of the exhibits were out of order.

If you are reading this with a view to visiting for yourself, then please be aware that you must book a day and time at least a week before your intended visit. Also be aware that the time you reserve is the time you start to queue for entry, not before. Also, arrive late and you will be refused entry. There are a very limited number of tickets available each day for visitors 'off the street' if you care to chance it, but these are simply to fill any gaps in the bookings diary.

So, first impressions.......
On entering the concourse for the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, I was quite impressed. It was large, airy, bright, clean and spacious. There were vendors selling drinks and snacks from kiosks and plenty of seating and tables to eat at and rest.

Then........ we queued for entry.
I have seldom seen such poor customer service from staff. Smiles were not existant and conversation was abrupt. We were hearded into the lift like cattle, and transported to the top floor to begin our 'interactive journey', where we were greeted by another staff member who had attended the same charm school as her colleagues at ground level. However, we were issued with our electronic passes and instructed in monotone as to how to activate them. Hmmm........ that was it.....end of conversation for the remainder of our visit. Yes, there were staff members at each level of the Lab, but all appeared thoroughly bored and made no attempt to interact with visitors, or assist in any way when it was clear there was a problem. And there WERE problems, believe me! Many of the exhibits didn't work at all! Even at that, the ones which WERE working were not exciting and certainly nothing beyond the capabilities of an established games console.

Now, having read up on the Sony Wonder Technology Lab prior to our visit, I had anticipated that we would spend at least an afternoon in there. I had not appreciated that the lift transports visitors to the top level (4th floor) from where they descend through the other levels to the exit - no opportunity to back-track and revisit areas which had perhaps been difficult to view earlier due to overcrowding. (Beware - large groups of children visit Sony Wonder Technology Lab as part of their Summer Camp experience....perhaps because it's free of charge). We were in and out again within an hour.

So, all in all it was poor, yet free - therefore 'average'.

It might be helpful for you to know that Sony Wonder Technology Lab is open Tues-Sat 9:30-5:30, closed Sunday and Monday.

By bus it can be reached on the M1-5 and the M57. The appropriate subways are E, M, N, R to 5th Ave, F to 57th St, or 4, 5, 6 to 59th Street.
No public parking available.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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