Things To Do In NYC With Teenagers On Vacation

By Go City Expert

Top 10 Things to Do in NYC With Teenagers on Vacation

When you are traveling with teenagers on a vacation to NYC, you'll probably have to make some concessions to a typical itinerary; teens are natural thrill seekers with age-related interests that are beyond understanding to most adults. That being said, there are plenty of things to do with teens in New York City without hearing, “I’m bored” a thousand times a day. To help you out, we have created a top 10 list of the most amazing, teen-friendly things to do when vacationing in the Big Red Apple (that you'll enjoy doing, too).

Free Entry with The New York Pass®

Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions.

On Location Tours

If your teen goes crazy for celebrities the On Location Tour should be at the top of your list. New York City is the filming location for hundreds of movies and television shows. As a result, there are ample opportunities to run into celebs for photo ops. Better yet, take the On Location Tour to hit up the most sought-after filming sites. There is a stop for Gossip Girls, Amazing Spider-Man, Glee, and Friends, plus dozens more. Admission: On Location Tours: Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Madame Tussauds

Wax museums have this way of bringing out the inner child in everyone. Give your teen a ticket to Madame Tussauds New York and watch them go gaga after the faux celebs. The museum is constantly updating exhibits, so there will certainly be recognizable and relevant figures. Plus, Madame Tussauds is keeping things lively. For example, at the Project Runway Fashion Experience teens can create their own fashion line and walk the runway. Admission: Madame Tussauds tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Luna Park in Coney Island

Coney Island is one of the coolest places to hang out in New York City. Teens will love the endless thrills and things to do at Coney Island. Tack on the thrills of Luna Park for an all-around great way to entertain even the moodiest teen for a day. Located in the Brooklyn borough, Luna Park is home to rides like the Sling Shot and Steeplechase. The park also plays host to live entertainment throughout the year, so check it out before you visit to see what’s happening when you are in town. Admission: Luna Park at Coney Island tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Times Square

Any teen who travels to NYC will want to say they’ve been to Times Square. This is, after all, the most iconic spot on the NYC map. Bring your teen to the crossroads of the bright lights of this big city before you end your trip. While in Times Square, take a ride on the subway, catch a hip Broadway show, or shop until your teen is ready to drop. Times Square is also one of the best places to grab a bite to eat, whether your teen is a McDonald’s fanatic or into something more sophisticated like sushi.

One World Observatory

Take your teenager to the top of the world at the One World Observatory. This is one place where most teens haven’t been, giving your teen some serious travel cred. There’s a glass elevator that takes you to the top of the 1,776-foot tall skyscraper. From there you can see every bit of New York City for some sweet selfie moments. While the Foundations room is neat, the real treat for teenagers is the Skyportal that dangles you over the ground on a disc made of glass. Admission: One World Observatory tickets are not included with the New York Pass.

Pump Track

Teens who are into rollerblading, skateboarding, or trick bike riding are in luck. At the Velosolutions Asphalt Pump Track, teens can test their skills on this blacktop playground. If your teen is interested in actually getting out there make sure they pack their wheels. While you sit and gawk awestruck at the serious tricks taking place, you can also enjoy the scenic Manhattan views.

Empire State Building

As one of the most well-known landmarks of New York City teenagers on vacation needs to pencil the Empire State Building into their schedule. However, you want to make it exciting so they are interested in seeing this historic building. Consider going at midnight, as the building is open until 2 am so that you can see NYC in all of its illuminated glory. You can also get the teen to download the trendy, and free, Empire State Building Experience app on their smartphone for a more relevant encounter with this wondrous site. Admission: Empire State Building tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Museum of Modern Art

Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso...if your teen is into art, then, by all means, make a beeline to the Museum of Modern Art. At MoMA, the most famous and highly prized modern sculpture, photography, and paintings are on display. If you need a break from all the activity, rest your laurels in the luxurious Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden in the museum. Before you leave the museum, treat your teenager to a fine dining experience in the mod landscape. The Modern is a two Michelin star restaurant that offers a modern take on some of the best food in the city. Admission: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Bronx Zoo Zip Line

Yes, that’s correct, there is a zip line in NYC and it takes you over the top of Bronx Zoo. For teenagers who need an adrenaline rush, this is the perfect place to combine a love for animals with high-line speed. They will be thrilled at the prospect of telling friends they went zip lining over a zoo while traveling to NYC. Fly over the Bronx River for 400 feet at a staggering 50 feet off the ground. If your teen backs out at the last minute, no worries. They can save face by enjoying the aerial adventure course at the zoo. Plus, it’s a zoo, after all, where any teen can visit the World of Reptiles, the Congo Gorilla Forest, and Sea Lion Pool. Tip: The Bronx Zoo is free to the public on Wednesdays.

Remember To Save On Admission Attractions

New York is the perfect city for teenagers to get out and have fun while trying new things. There are tons of activities across the 5 boroughs including museums, guided tours, zoos, and sightseeing. With so much to do during your trip to NYC, you can easily find yourself paying a lot of money on general admission at attractions. However, if you use the New York Pass you'll gain free access to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way, you'll be able to see more attractions and experience more things to do with teens in NYC on vacation--all, while saving more money. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.

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What to do in New York in February

February is my favorite time of year said no one ever. OK, it's got Valentine's Day, but it can be a long, grey slog until spring. We can help you get through the month with panache. Check out our list for events that will warm your spirits (if not your feet). Here's what to do in New York in February. Lunar New Year Festival—Metropolitan Museum of Art First off, celebrate the Year of the Rat with a day of events at the Met on February 1, from 11 AM-5 PM. Start the celebration off with a parade by the Chinese Center in Long Island Lion Troupe in the Museum’s Great Hall. Throughout the day, visitors can choose from such performances as the Sesame Street Puppeteers taking on Lunar New Year; it’s followed by a photo op with them. Participants will also find a calligraphy workshop on zodiac signs, as well as a workshop on making moveable dragon toys. Demonstrations by a tea master, complete with bubble tea tasting, as well as a hand-pulled noodle demonstration, will make sure visitors’ hunger is sated. Black History Month February 13-16 Next, the month of February offers numerous ways to celebrate Black History Month. Check out the Harlem Fine Arts Show at the Riverside Church. Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, it brings together artists and collectors to celebrate the African diaspora. Or try out a Harlem walking tour—Taste Harlem’s Historical Food Tour offers plenty of soul food as well as Caribbean and African cuisines, plus stories about Harlem’s architecture and rich history. These are great options for what to do in New York in February. Winter Jam in Central Park February 1 Snow Day! This free (yes, free!) winter festival in Central Park on includes a mountain of homemade snow, and it’s worth it just to see it. Plus, of course, there's plenty you can do on and in that snow. Presented by NYC Parks, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, I Love NY, and I Ski NY, the festival offers snowshoeing and sledding, dodgeball and flag football (?!), curling and ice bowling. Someone please try ice bowling. Plus, visitors will find photo ops with bobsleds and snowcats (large enclosed vehicles deigned to move on snow). There’s also puppet making (not sure where the snow fits in) as well as a heated New York Public Library Room, for those who like to observe their snow from a distance, from somewhere it’s warm and cozy. Chinese New Year Parade and Festival February 9 This year, the Chinese New Year Parade and Festival will be heading down Mott and Canal Streets at 1 PM, and lasting until 4 PM. It culminates on Grand Street near Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Dragon dancing, martial art performers and of course, gorgeous costumes, are the draw here, along with a festive atmosphere and chance to ring in the Year of the Rat. Bronx Zoo - Name a Roach Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like naming a roach for your beloved. This year, the Bronx Zoo gives you the option of attending “Roach Romance,” an after-hours program for adults on Valentine’s Day that includes wine, chocolate, and the chance to meet some of the animals up close. Bear in mind, part of the program takes place outside, but all paths are wheelchair accessible. If you decide just to go for the name-a-roach-option, you can certainly do that as well, along with purchasing roach-themed goodies like candles and socks. Do think carefully, however, about what this will say about your relationship... [caption id="attachment_3788" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Image courtesy of Bronx Zoo[/caption] Empire State Building Who says visiting the Empire State Building is just for the warmer months? The weather may be slightly nippier during the winter, but you’ll have the same great views, and generally fewer crowds to contend with. Make sure to visit one of the observation decks to get the famed 360 views—you’ll be able to see Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, and more. While you’re there, don’t forget the second-floor exhibits that guide visitors through the building’s construction and its more recent role in pop-culture history. Check out how you can use your New York Pass here. Brooklyn WineFest February 8 After Dry January, it's no wonder that Wine-Fest February is close behind. Brooklyn Wine Fest offers the chance to explore wine samples of hundreds of new wines from around the world, along with food, live music, and interactive games. (Better go easy on the wine, then.) Participants receive a souvenir five-ounce tasting glass, and can sample any wine on offer. You'll need a nibble or two with those drinks. Food offerings from vendors including Chavas Empanadas, Taste of Poland, Bang Cookies, and many more will also be available. Looking for more ways to celebrate February in New York? Why not discover The New York Pass?
Go City Expert
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Best New York City Cruises

This summer has brought us some pretty insufferable heat. And while it's supposed to get milder, there's still plenty of time to enjoy a refreshing breeze and a cold cocktail on one of NYC's finest cruises. Circle Line Sightseeing [caption id="attachment_776" align="aligncenter" width="801"] Circle Line Sightseeing under the Brooklyn Bridge[/caption] [spacer height="20px"] New York's quintessential cruise company, Circle Line Sightseeing, operating out of 42nd Street's pier 83 offers a variety of exciting sightseeing cruises. From the thrilling speedy Beast Speedboat ride to the 3-hour Best of NYC cruise that takes you around the entire island, there's plenty to choose from for everybody. Try the popular Harbor Lights Cruise for amazing evening-time views or the new Hello Brooklyn Tour for a closer look at the up-and-coming borough. Clipper City Tall Ship [caption id="attachment_777" align="aligncenter" width="801"] Clipper City Tall Ship[/caption] [spacer height="20px"] This lovely, vintage sail boat takes you on a serene, 90 minute ride around the Statue of Liberty, offering spectacular views of the Downtown Manhattan skyline and up-close views of the statue. The boat is equipped with a bar and the staff recruits some lucky passengers to help pull the ropes and steer the rudder. The tour is not narrated, which gives you opportunity to have a quiet afternoon at sea, contemplating. Clipper City departs at 2:15pm and 4:30pm for daytime sails and at 9:30pm for night time sail. Shearwater Classic Schooner [caption id="attachment_778" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Shearwater Classic Schooner at Sunset[/caption] [spacer height="20px"] A second sail cruise offered by Manhattan by Sail (operator of Clipper City) is a true winner. The Gatsby-era schooner offers a serene, breezy sail will make you feel like a million bucks while you enjoy the waves, the wind and a refreshing beverage on the 82 foot double-masted yacht. The Daytime Statue Sail departs at 12:30pm and 2:45pm Monday-Friday. New York Water Taxi [caption id="attachment_779" align="aligncenter" width="800"] New York Water Taxi[/caption] [spacer height="20px"] New York City taxi cab, in water. Enough said. In case you need more, New York Water Taxi makes three stops along the coast of Manhattan and two in Brooklyn. There's simply no better way to cross the river, or get Downtown from Hell's Kitchen than on a boat. With the New York Pass, you get a free All Day Access Pass to enjoy seamless commuting in style. Spirit Cruises [caption id="attachment_780" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Spirit Dinner Cruise[/caption] [spacer height="20px"] Whether you want to impress your significant other with a romantic dinner, or some clients with a spectacular power lunch, Spirit Cruises has you covered. The luxury yacht departs from Chelsea Piers and will take you around Downtown Manhattan, which will dazzle you with majestic skyscrapers making up the amazing skyline view. The New York Pass offers $10 off dinner cruises and $5 off lunch cruises. [spacer height="20px"] For other cruises, tours and attractions, please visit the New York Pass Website.
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