10+ Fun things to do in NYC with Teens

New York City, also known as the “Big Apple,” is a bustling and exciting destination for people of all ages, especially teenagers. With its iconic landmarks, world-famous attractions, and endless entertainment options, NYC offers a unique and unforgettable experience for teenagers. From touring famous landmarks to trying new activities, here are some best things to do in New York City with teens.

Most of the teens who have visited United States, prefer New York thanks to endless itineraries. Lets your teen see his favorite city. Find things to do in NYC with Teens today. 

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Top Attractions in New York City for Teens:

  1. Times Square: Visit this iconic attraction with its bright lights, bustling crowds, and countless shops and restaurants.
  2. Central Park: Take a break from the city and enjoy a picnic, bike ride, or boat ride in this famous park.
  3. Empire State Building: Take in the breathtaking views of the city from the top of this iconic building.
  4. Statue of Liberty: Take a ferry ride to this famous monument and explore the history and symbolism behind it.
  5. Broadway Shows: From popular musicals to thought-provoking plays, there is something for everyone on Broadway.
  6. High Line: Walk along this elevated park for unique views of the city and street performers.
  7. Brooklyn Bridge: Take a stroll across this famous bridge and enjoy the views of the city skyline.
  8. 9/11 Memorial and Museum: Learn about the tragic events of 9/11 and pay your respects at this memorial site.
  9. Top of the Rock Observation Deck: Get a panoramic view of the city from the top of this famous building.
  10. Coney Island: Visit this famous amusement park for thrilling rides, delicious food, and beautiful beaches.

Fun Activities for Teens in New York City:

  1. Visit a Museum: NYC has a variety of museums, from art to history, that will capture the interest of any teen.
  2. Take a Food Tour: Sample a variety of cuisines on a guided food tour through different neighborhoods.
  3. Go Shopping: From designer stores to unique boutiques, there is no shortage of shopping options in NYC.
  4. Attend a Sporting Event: Cheer on a favorite team at a baseball, basketball, or hockey game.
  5. Explore Chinatown and Little Italy: These neighborhoods offer a taste of different cultures and delicious food.
  6. Try Virtual Reality Experiences: Experience new worlds and adventures through virtual reality games and attractions.
  7. Take a Graffiti and Street Art Tour: Explore the colorful and vibrant street art scene in NYC.
  8. Go to a Comedy Show: Laugh the night away at a stand-up comedy show or improvisation performance.
  9. Visit a Rooftop Bar or Restaurant: Enjoy a drink or meal with a view at one of the many rooftop establishments.
  10. Participate in a Scavenger Hunt: Explore the city while solving clues and completing challenges on a scavenger hunt.

Tips for Visiting New York City with Teens:

  1. Plan Ahead: With so much to see and do in NYC, it’s important to plan and prioritize activities.
  2. Use Public Transportation: The subway and buses are the most efficient and cost-effective way to get around the city.
  3. Budget for Expenses: NYC can be expensive, so it’s important to budget for food, transportation, and activities.
  4. Stay Safe: Be aware of your surroundings and stick together as a group while exploring the city.
  5. Be Flexible and Have Fun!: Despite planning, unexpected things can happen, so be flexible and enjoy the adventure of exploring NYC with teens.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore iconic landmarks like Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty to immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of NYC.
  • Expand your horizons with unique activities such as food tours, virtual reality experiences, and graffiti tours.
  • Shopping, attending a Broadway show, and trying new foods are just a few of the many fun options for teens in the city that never sleeps.

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Top Attractions in New York City for Teens

New York City is a bustling metropolis that offers endless opportunities for adventure and entertainment. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to plan a trip, especially when traveling with teens. Fear not, as we have narrowed down the top attractions in the city that are sure to impress even the most skeptical of teenagers. From the iconic Times Square to the exhilarating thrill rides at Coney Island, this guide will highlight the must-see places that will make any trip to the Big Apple unforgettable for teens.

1. Times Square

When visiting Times Square:

  1. Take in the bright lights and bustling atmosphere of this iconic location.
  2. Explore retail stores and iconic Broadway theaters that are synonymous with Times Square.
  3. Enjoy diverse dining options from casual to fine dining, all within walking distance.
  4. Interact with street performers and experience the high energy of this popular tourist spot.

A true story – During my visit to Times Square, I was captivated by the vibrant billboards and had the opportunity to see a fantastic Broadway show, creating unforgettable memories.

2. Central Park

Central Park, the iconic green space of New York City, offers a variety of attractions for teenagers. They can visit the Central Park Zoo, rent a rowboat at the Loeb Boathouse, explore the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, or have a picnic at the Great Lawn. In addition, teens can partake in activities such as biking, horse carriage rides, or attending concerts and theatrical performances at the park’s outdoor venues.

3. Empire State Building

The Empire State Building, which stands at 1,454 feet, offers stunning views of New York City. It is a must-see to visit the observation deck on the 86th floor, which provides a panoramic view of the city. With its rich history and impressive architecture, the Empire State Building is an iconic attraction for both tourists and locals. Its striking presence and historical significance make it a necessary stop for anyone exploring the city of New York.

4. Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty, also known as Liberty Enlightening the World, is a symbol of freedom standing at a height of 305 feet and 1 inch and weighing 225 tons. This iconic statue, gifted to the United States by France, represents the values of liberty and democracy. Fun fact: The Statue of Liberty has a full name, Liberty Enlightening the World.

5. Broadway Shows

  • Check the show schedule for age-appropriate and teen-friendly options for Broadway shows.
  • Book tickets in advance to secure good seats and avoid disappointment.
  • Consider opting for matinee shows to save on ticket costs.
  • Research the storyline and reviews to ensure it aligns with the teen’s interests.

Pro-tip: Encourage teens to research the show’s background and watch trailers to build anticipation.

6. High Line

  1. Explore the High Line, a linear park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.
  2. Take in the beautiful gardens, art installations, and scenic views of the city skyline as you walk along the elevated pathway.
  3. Partake in various events and programs organized on the High Line, such as stargazing, art performances, and educational activities.
  4. Admire the architecture and design of the surrounding buildings while strolling through this unique urban park.

The High Line attracts millions of visitors annually and has transformed an old railway into a modern green space, contributing to the revitalization of the surrounding neighborhoods.

7. Brooklyn Bridge

To fully enjoy the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, follow these steps:

  1. Start from the Manhattan side for stunning skyline views.
  2. Walk or bike across the Brooklyn Bridge, witnessing its remarkable architecture.
  3. Take in the breathtaking views of the East River and Brooklyn Heights.
  4. Explore Dumbo after crossing to experience its trendy vibe and scenic waterfront.

Consider visiting during sunset for a magical experience.

8. 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a profound and somber experience, offering a poignant tribute to the lives lost during the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The museum’s exhibitions provide a comprehensive and emotional insight into the events, impact, and aftermath of 9/11, ensuring a meaningful and educational visit for teens and adults alike.

Fact: The 9/11 Memorial and Museum receives over 4.5 million visitors annually, making it one of the most visited memorial museums in the United States.

9. Top of the Rock Observation Deck

The Top of the Rock Observation Deck, situated at the peak of the iconic Rockefeller Center, provides stunning panoramic views of New York City, including Central Park and the Empire State Building. It is a must-see for teenagers visiting the city, offering a breathtaking vantage point to admire the city’s skyline and notable landmarks.

After taking in the views, teens can also explore the various attractions at the Rockefeller Center, dine at renowned restaurants, or indulge in some shopping in the surrounding area.

10. Coney Island

Coney Island is a lively amusement area in New York, offering a variety of exciting rides, such as the iconic Cyclone roller coaster and the Wonder Wheel. Visitors can also bask in the sun at the beach, stroll along the boardwalk, and attend annual events like the Mermaid Parade.

To fully enjoy your trip, be sure to try the famous Nathan’s hot dogs and visit the Coney Island Museum. Don’t forget to catch a minor league baseball game at the nearby MCU Park.

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Fun Activities for Teens in New York City

New York City is a bustling metropolis with endless opportunities for fun and excitement, especially for teenagers! In this section, we’ll explore the top ten activities for teens to enjoy in the Big Apple. From cultural experiences like visiting museums and exploring Chinatown, to more modern activities like virtual reality experiences and comedy shows, there’s something for every type of teen to enjoy in the city that never sleeps. So let’s dive into the exciting world of fun activities for teens in New York City!

1. Visit a Museum

  1. Research: Look into the various museums in NYC, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Modern Art to find one that interests you.
  2. Plan your visit: Check the museum’s hours of operation, ticket prices, and any special exhibitions or events that may be happening during your visit.
  3. Explore the exhibits: Take your time to wander through the museum, read the informational plaques, and immerse yourself in the artwork, artifacts, or interactive displays.
  4. Engage with activities: Some museums offer hands-on activities or workshops. Participate in these to enhance your learning experience.
  5. Reflect: After your visit, take some time to reflect on your favorite pieces or exhibits and what you’ve learned during your museum visit.

2. Take a Food Tour

  1. Research: Look for food tours that cater to the interests of teenagers, such as trendy food spots, diverse cuisines, or interactive cooking classes.
  2. Book in Advance: Secure spots on the food tour in advance to avoid disappointment due to limited availability.
  3. Engage with the Guide: Encourage teens to ask questions, interact with the guide, and learn about the history and culture behind the foods.
  4. Try New Flavors: Encourage teens to step out of their comfort zone and try new dishes or local specialties.
  5. Document the Experience: Capture memories through photos or a food journal to relive the tour later.

Pro-tip: Prioritize food tours that include off-the-beaten-path eateries for a more authentic experience.

3. Go Shopping

  • Research trendy stores in SoHo, such as Supreme and Glossier.
  • Explore iconic flagship stores on Fifth Avenue, including Apple and Tiffany & Co.
  • Visit unique vintage shops in Williamsburg for one-of-a-kind finds.
  • Check out the diverse range of boutiques in the West Village for eclectic shopping experiences.

New York City offers a plethora of shopping opportunities, catering to every style and preference.

4. Attend a Sporting Event

  • Choose a sport: Pick a game that catches your teen’s interest, such as basketball at Madison Square Garden or baseball at the Yankee Stadium.
  • Research the schedule: Check the event dates and purchase tickets in advance to ensure availability and avoid last-minute hassles.
  • Plan transportation: Consider public transit options or book a convenient ride to the venue to make the trip hassle-free.

Pro-tip: Arrive early to experience the pre-game atmosphere and possibly meet some players for autographs and photos.

5. Explore Chinatown and Little Italy

  • Begin your exploration at Columbus Park in Chinatown to fully immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere and witness locals playing traditional Chinese games.
  • Stroll along Mulberry Street in Little Italy to indulge in authentic Italian cuisine and take in the neighborhood’s charming ambiance.
  • Uncover historical landmarks like the Church of the Transfiguration in Chinatown and the Italian American Museum in Little Italy.
  • Indulge in a food tour to sample delectable dumplings, noodles, cannoli, and gelato, and experience the rich culinary heritage of these two communities.
  • Browse local markets and shops for unique souvenirs and cultural experiences, including traditional Chinese herbal medicine stores and Italian bakeries.

6. Try Virtual Reality Experiences

  1. Search for a reputable virtual reality arcade or center in NYC.
  2. Check for any age and height restrictions for participants.
  3. Reserve a session or game that aligns with your interests, whether it’s an adventure, sports simulation, or artistic experience.
  4. Follow all safety guidelines and instructions provided by the staff.
  5. Immerse yourself in the virtual world and experience the cutting-edge technology!

Did you know that virtual reality experiences can also have educational purposes, offering immersive learning environments for students?

7. Take a Graffiti and Street Art Tour

Spend an enriching day exploring the vibrant street art scene in New York City with a Graffiti and Street Art Tour. It’s an excellent way for teens to discover the city’s urban culture and creative expression.

To make the most of your experience, follow these steps:

  1. Research: Look for reputable graffiti and street art tour companies in NYC.
  2. Booking: Reserve a tour with knowledgeable guides and small group sizes for a personalized experience.
  3. Preparation: Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing as tours often involve walking outdoors.
  4. Participation: Engage with the tour guide, ask questions, and take photos to capture memorable artworks.

8. Go to a Comedy Show

Attending a comedy show with teens can be a great way to experience New York City’s vibrant entertainment scene while creating lasting memories.

  1. Research comedy venues suitable for teens, such as Gotham Comedy Club or The Comedy Cellar.
  2. Check the show schedule and book tickets in advance.
  3. Arrive early to secure good seats and enjoy pre-show activities or snacks nearby.
  4. During the show, relax, laugh, and avoid heckling or disrupting the performers.
  5. Afterward, share favorite moments and discuss the experience with friends.

9. Visit a Rooftop Bar or Restaurant

  • Research: Look for rooftop bars or restaurants with panoramic views and a vibrant atmosphere.
  • Reservations: Book a table in advance, especially if it’s a popular spot.
  • Dress code: Check the establishment’s dress requirements to ensure compliance.
  • Menu and prices: Review the menu and prices to gauge if it aligns with your preferences and budget.
  • Transportation: Plan how to get to the rooftop bar or restaurant and back, considering factors like distance and transportation availability.

10. Participate in a

  1. Participate in a food tasting tour to explore diverse cuisines.
  2. Engage in a street art workshop to unleash creativity.
  3. Join a photography scavenger hunt for an exciting urban adventure.
  4. Take part in a Broadway workshop for a taste of the performing arts.

Exploring New York City with teenagers opens up a world of exciting experiences and memorable moments. From food tours to street art workshops, the city offers a vibrant tapestry of activities to enjoy with your teens.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some unique things to do in New York City with teens?

The city offers a variety of activities for families with teens, including Broadway shows, outdoor adventures, and museum visits. One unique option is The Ride, an interactive bus tour that takes you through the heart of the action with stage actors and neon signs.

Where are the best places to stay in New York City for families with teens?

There are many options for accommodations in NYC, from luxurious properties to budget-friendly options. Some popular areas to stay include Lower Broadway, Greenwich Village, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

What is the best way to get around in New York City with teens?

The city has a comprehensive public transportation system, including subways, buses, and taxis. You can also use ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft. Walking and biking are also great options for exploring the city.

Are there any popular attractions in New York City that have teen appeal?

Absolutely! Some top attractions for teens include the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Broadway show, a walking tour of Greenwich Village, and Luna Park on Coney Island. The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and the Bronx Zoo’s Treetop Adventure are also popular options.

Is it worth visiting the Ellis Island Immigration Museum during a trip to New York City?

Definitely! The museum offers a fascinating look into the history of immigration in the United States and can be a great learning experience for teens. Plus, admission is included in the New York CityPASS, which can save you money on multiple attractions.

Are there any no-cost or low-cost activities to do in New York City with teens?

Yes! There are plenty of free or inexpensive things to do in NYC. Some options include walking the High Line, visiting the Tenement Museum, and soaking up the Times Square vibes. You can also plan a self-guided tour of the city using Instagram as a guide, or book a photo shoot with a local photographer for a unique experience.

Toursdude.com recently published an interesting piece about best things to do in New York at night. Check it out.