New York City with Teens

By Ronnie Mae Weiss and Marlene Ellin

The city that never sleeps is a perfect destination for nocturnal teens looking for a taste of big city living. The Big Apple offers an infinite variety of things to do, and is a wonderful place to visit any time of year.


With the hospitality industry going through trying financial times, many hotel rooms can be had at deep discounts. Visit for hotel discounts in and around Boston and across the country.

Basic Information & Tickets

• New York & Company –, 212-484-1200 – This is the city’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

• New York Citysearch – – Offers loads of useful, practical information.

• Citypass –, 888-330-5008 – Offers combination passes to many major attractions.

Activities & Attractions with Teen Appeal

• Times Square – The most exciting, brightly lit intersection in the world is overflowing with people, restaurants, theaters, shops, arcades – and other fun things to do. Still a blitz of glitz and larger-than-life advertising, but much more wholesome today than in years past.

• Bite of the Apple Central Park Bicycle Tours/Rentals –, 212-541-8759 – See the park on wheels. Either take a two-hour tour, or rent bikes and go at your own pace.

• Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise on “The Beast” –, 212-563-3200 – Does your teen think a snail’s pace cruise in the waters around Manhattan sounds boring? Try this high-powered ocean racer that takes you on a 30-minute thrill ride.

• Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum –, 212-245-0072 – Tour a submarine and destroyer, visit the decks of an aircraft carrier, and go on a simulated F-18 mission.

• Manhattan Television Tour –, 212-209-3370 – See real Manhattan sites that were used for location shots for shows such as Friends, Law & Order, Seinfeld and more.

• Total Request Live (TRL) Taping – 212-398-8549 – Throngs of teens gather every day in MTV’s Times Square studio to be on Carson Daly’s hot countdown show.

• NBC Experience – 212-398-8549 – Tour the sets of Saturday Night Live, Dateline and NBC Sports.

• Sony Wonder Technology Lab –, 212-833-8100 – Interactive, hands-on exhibits on imaging, robotics, audio and more. Reservations are required.

• Canal Jean Co. – 212-664-4444 – Shop ’til you drop. Several floors of stylish teen clothes in the heart of SoHo.

• TKTS Booth –, 212-221-0013 – Get half-price tickets for same-day performances of Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Queue up early for the best seats and selection. Cash only.

• Empire State Building – – Choose a clear day to ascend to the top of this famous art-deco building, with its incredible views of the city and beyond.

• Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Immigration Museum – – Check the Web site for information on closures; as of this writing, only the grounds of Liberty Island were open due to security concerns.

• South St. Seaport –, 212-SEAPORT – Eleven square blocks of historic buildings and piers, shops, restaurants and a museum.

• United Nations –, 212-963-8687 – The 18-acre complex on the East River features a beautiful riverside walkway, sculptures from member nations, and a rose garden.

• Metropolitan Museum of Art –, 212-535-7710 – In a museum this size, there’s bound to be something your teen will like. Grab a floor plan and let him choose one of the many exhibits to explore.

• Lower East Side Tenement Museum –, 212-431-0233 – See what life was like for immigrants arriving in America from 1863-1935.

• Museum of Television and Radio –, 212-621-6600 – The ultimate TV break: pick from 100,000 programs to view.

• Whitney Museum of American Art –, 212-570-3676 – Exhibits 20th- and 21st-century American art. Permanent collection includes Hopper, O’Keeffe, Lichtenstein and many others.

Food Options

New York overflows with delis, pizzerias and restaurants of all stripes. Here are a few that teens might want to specifically seek out:

• ESPN Zone –, 212-921-3776 – Who said sports, more sports, video games and food were a bad combination?

• Hard Rock Cafι –, 212-489-6565 – A perennial favorite, serving up American fare alongside a great collection of rock ’n’ roll memorabilia.

• Jekyll & Hyde –, 212-541-9505 – Even teens will get a kick out of this “haunted” restaurant and bar.

• Peanut Butter & Co. –, 212-677-3955 – The main ingredient? You got it – peanut butter. Twenty-five variations on the peanut butter sandwich.

• Chat ’n’ Chew –, 212-243-1616 – Delicious comfort food in a casual atmosphere. Mac ’n’ cheese, BLTs, burgers, and Hεagen Dazs milk shakes to die for.

• Screening Room –, 212-334-2100 – Watch a classic movie while you eat a meal. Great for teen movie buffs.

• H & H Bagels –, 212-595-8003 – Made at 46th St. and 12th Ave., but found throughout the city. The best bagels in town. Period.

• Katz’s Deli –, 212-254-2246 – Best pastrami in town.

• Lombardi’s –, 212-941-7994 – New York’s oldest, and arguably best, brick-oven pizza place.

• Carmine’s –, 212-221-3800 – Noisy, crowded, fun, family-style Italian. A perfect pre-theater stop.

• Holy Basil – 149 2nd Ave., 212-460-5557 – If you’ve got a taste for Thai, this is one of the best spots in the city.

• Kelly & Ping – 127 Green St., between Houston & Prince; 212-228-1212 – Casual, downtown pan-Asian.

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