Things to do with your teen in New York: visits, shopping, walks and more

One evening, around the family table, your teen has something to tell you: “Mom, Dad, you know, Emma and Jordan are going to New York this summer with their parents. So why can’t we do the same?”
Or, it may simply mean that you are super sweet parents, and you thought ahead and planned your trip to New York with your teenager without them asking you.
Anyway, whatever happens, you’re going to have an exciting experience in New York City…

Departure Report:

I Love New York

Your teen is going to New York mainly for these 3 things:
1) Discover the city of their dream
2) Bring back as much souvenirs as possible and especially clothing including the famous t-shirt “I Love NY” and “Abercrombie & Fitch” clothing.
3) To do things like everyone else and have things to say to their friends at school back home, showing off a little, when saying:” you know what? We even did this and I bought $100 worth of clothes at Century 21!!!!” Anyway, this is a logical behavior for any teenager!!!

  I know what I am talking about since I have a 13 years old teenager at home and lived in New York for a number of years (post written by our previous collaborator).
I have come to get to know them very well, and I also know what they want and don’t like !!!! 🙂
I will try to categorize some good tips you won’t forget. Also, you must know that each teen is different, but here are some tips for the “average” teen.

Good cultural tips and walks in New York for teens:

I’m sure your teen is very familiar with the city after seeing all the TV shows and movies. Therefore, their main goal is to see all these things in real life”.

Some things you don’t want to miss during your trip:
The Statue of Liberty: You can see it up close from a ferry ride, or you can go to Ellis Island and visit the statue. I recommend you to get the audio guide in order for him or her to understand the history of the statue. It’s worth every penny and its very interesting.

– A stroll in the business district with notably the notorious Wall Street then the famous Ground Zero.

Brooklyn Bridge

– Cross the Brooklyn Bridge and head to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a magnificent view of the bridge and the city of Manhattan as a background. Perfect spot for a framed photo souvenir in their room!!! At night, with a good camera and a tripod, it’s even better 🙂  (as shown in pic)

– A stroll in Greenwich Village to see the building from the show “Friends” and the brownstone of Carrie Bradshaw (recommended more for the girls).

 – Any or all NYC Observatories: The Empire State Building the Top of the Rock, the One World Observatory, or the Edge.

 – Times Square: one of the famous neighborhoods of NYC where all the lights and giant screens will blow the mind of your dear teen!!! The highlight of the show might be his or her appearance on one these giant screens.

Central Park: It’s a great place to visit especially on a Sunday where they can witness all the activities happening in the park and see how NY teenagers occupy their time: baseball games, picnics and more.

– The Apple Store: not necessarily to buy, but mostly to say: “I was there!!!”

FAO Schwarz

– Another store where he or she can say, “ I was there!!!” is the toy store FAO Schwarz. I can hear you saying: “Hey Memo, we told you, we want good tip for our teen not for our 6 years old!!!”.  But please try, it’s really worth it.” I can bet you anything that she or he will love walking in the middle of giraffes, giant lions… You can make your own stuffed animal.
There are a lot of stores dedicated to kids and teens around the 5th Avenue. By the 5th Ave, I know of other stores to make your children/teen happy here.

 – A Gospel Mass in Harlem can interest them and make them happy.

 – The Bronx Zoo is also an option if they’re an animal lover but I’m not 100% sure that they’ll like it.

 – During the summertime, take a short trip to NY beaches; it might please them especially if they think that there are no beaches in New York (as shown on article).

 – If you get tired of walking every where why not take the bus tours you can visit nearby cities including Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston.

Museum tips for teens:

Museum of Natural History

– The MET: If your teenager is a fan and really appreciates art then I recommend this museum.

– The MOMA: The Museum of Modern Arts can be interesting especially with some of their interactive work, again, this is not 100% guaranteed.

 – The Museum of Natural History: I think this might be a good idea. The museum is a classic with its African mammal and Dinosaur Halls and small exhibits where you find some animals in their environment. A must!!

 – Madame Tussaud’s: Wax Museum brings together some of the greatest personalities of United States. It could be fun to take a picture with P. Diddy, Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Barack Obama, J-Lo and more.

 – The Guggenheim: just like the MET, your teen has to be interested in modern arts in order to enjoy it!!!

 – Tips: If you’re planning to visit some of these museums, I advise you to take the NY City Pass or NY Pass (as shown here), you’ll save money.

Sports tips for teens

Whether your teen is a boy or a girl, a NBA game to see the New York Knicks should please everyone and an opportunity to cheer “DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE”, watch the Cheerleaders perform and enjoy the game with a bucket of pop corn and a gigantic soda drink!!!!

Here you will find all the information you need to know more about the sport teams in New York.

In winter, why not rent ice skates and take your teen to Central Park or Rockefeller Center to ice skate? An unforgettable moment for him/ her (see more here).

Shopping tips for your teen

Given that, your teen would absolutely want to go to one of these stores (as shown in article) to buy one or more “I Love NY” tee shirts, sweaters, mugs or key chains and more!!! 😉

The second stopover is “Abercrombie & Fitch”. Ever heard of it? If you’re not familiar with it, your teen is. It’s a brand made in the USA, and you can bet that your teen would want to buy their “Abercrombie” tee shirts, sweaters, or shirts. I advise you to save money as soon as possible to shop in this store since it tends to be very expensive!!! (as shown on article)

 If your teen is already familiar with Abercrombie, you could take him to other stores and pretend you know New York and its shopping tips well. Precisely, here’s a sample of stores you must visit with your teen:

  – Hollister: a branch of Abercrombie, the brand is the surfer version, and just like the other store, very handsome people work there too. The clothes are more colorful and a little less expensive. Just like Abercrombie, this is a must!!! (as shown on article)

 American Eagle: Not known outside the US, but to give you an example: once, after a trip to New York in December, I brought an American Eagle hoodie back home. I decided to wear it for a stroll in the city, and few people came to me asking where I bought my shirt. They kept saying, “what a cute shirt! Where did you buy it” :). This store has a great clothing selection and not very pricey.

– Stores for girls: FOREVER 21 is the paradise for all girls and ladies alike since all the clothes are in fashion at very low prices!!! I can confirm that since I bought some dresses and skirts there, accessories are also worth taking a look at 🙂

– Stores for teen sports fan: Nike House of Innovation represents the brand Nike in every sport (as shown here). You also have the Puma and Adidas flagship stores.

– And last but not the least, a store where everyone can shop but you have to be ready to dig a little, Century 21 located across Ground Zero (as shown on article).

Good Tips for an evening out with your teen

Thinking of an evening out in bars or clubs, but unfortunately, your teen will have minimal choices!!! You may know that US law prohibits anyone 21 to enter an establishment where they serve alcohol. Americans take this law very seriously since this can be very damaging for their businesses if not respected.

If you really want to please your dear teen and especially if he’s with the company of friends, you might want to go to Fat Cat or any rooftop before 5pm-7pm!!! I think he would be very pleased if you could do that for him!!!

The must of good tips for teens

Why not take on a helicopter tour? I guarantee they’ll love it!!! Back home at school, they’ll brag to his friends about it and that’s what matters to them!! 🙂
If you want to make him happy, take a look here.

NY streets-NYCTT-photo

Great Tips for parents traveling to New York with their teen

– Make sure to pack them a good pair of walking shoes and avoid ballet flats, flip flops, or even worst, consisting of letting your teen wear the latest shoes he bought in New York. He’ll surely have blisters, and this will enable them to walk for the rest of the trip, and you’ll be stuck.

– Always pack a bottle of water, especially during summer.
– Don’t let them go out with just a tiny sweater or a light jacket during the winter. When it’s -10°C or even 0°C, you have to dress very warmly with layers. It would be a shame if they get sick and won’t be able to enjoy this trip to the fullest!!


Here’s a quick summary of good tips in New York for teens. Your teen will enjoy themselves to the fullest, and from your part, you’ll know what to do!!! This trip to New York will be unforgettable for your teen and you as well!!!

Since you’ve planned everything, you should have an unforgettable trip!!!


My fist trip to New York was in 2007 when I was working for an airline company. I was born in the US, I lived in Mexico, in Europe in between Belgium, Spain and France… Well, let’s say I know about travelling! I bring my experience of NYC to the blog, to provide the best travel tips you could imagine!

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Things to do with your teen in New York: visits, shopping, walks and more

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