Things To Do In New York City For Teens
Our Collection of fun "things to do" for teenagers in New York City
Teenagers need their own list of activities in New York City because they don't enjoy doing the same things as adults or younger children.
Our New York City "Things to Do For Teenagers" guide has some great ideas that can keep even the most delinquent of juveniles out of trouble for at least a day, anything beyond that is purely your responsibility.
Our advice is that Its best to mix it up a bit as teens get bored very quickly - its amazing how fast they start switching off to reality and onto their Video iPod - We suggest taking at least one activity from each section below, so one dining, one shopping and two other attractions should be enough to make the day a complete success for both you and your teenager.
Its also a good idea to bring along mixed sexes that don't already know each other, because a teenager likes nothing more than meeting a member of the opposite sex at the same time that they discover the sights and sounds of New York City.
Depending on the age of your teen, you need to decide if its supervised or if you are ready to let then run amok by themselves.
Dave & Buster's 234 W. 42nd Street, 646-495-2015
When you're too old for Chuck E. Cheese, but still love to play skeeball and win lame prizes, there's Dave & Buster's - a great place to grab first-rate bar food and then play some games (pool, trivia, air hockey, interactive video games, you-name-it). Teens need to be sure to bring their guardian along, and he or she must be 25 or over (maximum of four minors per adult).
Dylan's Candy Bar 1011 Third Avenue, 866-939-5267
You'll get a massive sugar rush just walking into the Willy Wonka-ish Dylan's, which sells about every kind of candy imaginable, including childhood favorites like giant pixie sticks, international treats that are usually hard to find in the States, and cool candy-themed gifts.
Ellen's Stardust Diner 1650 Broadway, 212-956-5151
This lively retro '50s diner in the heart of Times Square features a staff of singing waiters that provide entertainment with your food service.
Planet Hollywood New York 1540 Broadway (at 45th St.), 212-333-STAR
Dine among an impressive collection of movie memorabilia and collectible merchandise.
Serendipity 3 225 East 60th Street, 212-838-3531
Long before it gained national attention via the John Cusack movie, the delightfully kitschy Serendipity had locals lining up at the door to partake of delicious desserts like their signature Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, Cheese Cake Vesuvius, and the $1,000 Guinness World Record-holding Golden Opulence Sundae (48-hour advance reservation required if you want to try out that baby).
Cafe Wha ? 115 Macdougal (between Bleecker and W. 3rd Street), 212-254-3706
Since the '50s, Cafe Wha? has been a favored spot for ground breakers from singer/songwriter Bob Dylan to comedian Richard Pryor, and it is still the cool place to go to grab a bite and hear a range of great live music every night of the week. Older teens lap it up
AMC Empire 25 234 West 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), 212-398-2597
There are 25 screens (including a brand new IMAX) with nearly 5,000 seats, concessions galore, and great restaurants. In other words, you might never leave.
Go See A Broadway Show Times Square, New York City
Shows ranging from the classic love story The Phantom of the Opera to the edgy rock musical Rent have turned on generations of teens to the wonders of live theater - Broadway always has something great for teenage audiences. Off-Broadway shows are often cheaper and somewhat edgier.
Click here for Discount Tickets to Broadway Shows
Chinatown Worth-Hester Streets and E. Broadway-W. Broadway J, M, N, R, Z, 6 to Canal Street; B,D,Q to Grand Street; F to East Broadway.
Walk down Canal Street to find handbags, T-shirts, porcelain figurines and silk slippers, not to mention monkey glands. Detours onto the narrow side streets will reward you with sights, tastes, and smells you probably won’t find back home.
Manhattan Mall 33rd Street and Avenue of the Americas, 212-465-0500
The perfect spot if the mall rat in you is feeling a little homesick and in need of some hang out time.
St. Marks’ Place Eighth Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues 6 to Astor Place; N, R to 8th Street
A walk down one of the hippest - and cheapest - shopping areas in the East Village will get you anything from T-shirts to jewelry to incense. You will probably want to check with your parents before ducking into one of the tattoo and piercing parlors. The young, eclectic crowd (New York University is nearby) makes for great people watching even if you’re not shopping.
Chelsea Piers Sports Complex 23rd Street & Hudson River, 212-336-6800
This mammoth sports complex on the Hudson River has batting cages, a rock climbing wall, 52-stall driving range, indoor soccer fields, basketball courts, a 150,000-square-foot health club, ice skating rinks, in-line skating rinks, a swimming pool, and more.
Forbidden Planet 840 Broadway (at 13th Street), 212-473-1576
Paradise for comic book geek's and fans of cult movies and TV shows, Forbidden Planet is stocked full of graphic novels, anime, and cool toys for people who love everything from Batman to Star Wars.
Niketown 6 East 57th Street, 212-891-6453
If sportswear - or sports - is your thing, this is the place. Its the flagship store for Nike and its beautiful
Other Music 15 E. 4th Street, 212-477-8150
The internet is eating NYC's brick and mortar music stores alive, but happily for lovers of records, rarities, and tunes outside the mainstream there is Other Music, a small but jam-packed shop in the East Village that boasts an eclectic collection of underground music.
The Apple Store Fifth Avenue at 58th Street, 212-336-1440
Go bother the tech-heads at the official Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, where they have every latest gadget and gizmo for the iPod and the iPhone. Ask them where their produce department is.
Hush Tours 292 Fifth Avenue, 212-714-3527
A one-of-a-kind, hands-on retrospective of the origins of hip-hop. The actual celebrities of this movement present a four-hour cultural sightseeing tour of the historical spots in Harlem, Queens, the Bronx and elsewhere in New York City. Get immersed in the beginnings of hip-hop. Hear and experience the language, locations, art, fashion, and song by the founding fathers.
Madame Tussauds 234 West 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), 866-841-3505
At Madame Tussauds wax museum, you can hang out with Beyonce or Miley Cyrus, talk baseball with Derek Jeter, or even audition for Simon Cowell on an authentic "American Idol" set (and buy a DVD of your performance!). Pose with realistic wax likenesses of many of your favorite celebs, including Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Johnny Depp, Julia Roberts, Morgan Freeman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie.
Washington Square Park Park entrance is at Washington Square North and Fifth Avenue
Street performers, roving guitarists, political activists, and college students populate the coolest park in NYC, which is a great spot for hanging out on a nice day or enjoying the frequent fairs and other events held here.
NBC Experience Store 30 Rockefeller Plaza
In addition to selling lots of cool merchandise for its TV shows (T-shirts featuring your favorite SNL character, Dwight bobbleheads for fans of The Office), the NBC Universal Store has an attraction where you can star in a taping of The Today Show with Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry and Al Roker. This attraction uses green screen technology with pre-taped portions of Today Show stars where your video is inserted into scenes with them. They give you a script which you can use (or just make it up as you go along) and have it all saved onto a DVD - See mom, I AM famous after all!
Send A Video Email of You - Live From Times Square
Visitors Center, 1560 Broadway at 47th Street, 212-768-1560
Inside the Times Square Visitors Center there is a Panasonic stand where you can send a live video of yourself superimposed on the backdrop of Times Square to your friends and family back home.
Download and Recharge at the Charmin Bathrooms in Times Square Times Square, locations vary
Not as bad as it sounds -
Lots of fun taking pictures and hanging out with your favorite cartoon characters at this one-of-a-kind loo located in the heart of Times Square. The Charmin bathrooms appear for a limited time, usually in the winter, somewhere in the Times Square area. This attraction also has a Duracell lounge where you can recharge your Blackberry or cell phone while you play some Nintendo Wii tennis. Not to be missed is the photo-op with the poor schlub who is forced to dress up as a toilet, yes a toilet, outside to entice people in - like you needed any motivation.