Inside: Fun Things To Do with Teens in NYC.
Planning a trip and finding fun things to do in New York City with teens can be intimidating and overwhelming.
How do you know what to see and what to do with so many fun and exciting options?
To help you plan a trip you and your teens will both love, it’s important to select fun attractions and interesting places that everyone will love. We’ve put together some of the best ideas of what to do in NYC to get you started.
Check out our favorite fun things to do with teens in NYC and plan the perfect family trip!
Best Things for Teen To Do in NYC
Empire State Building
Guests of all ages love visiting the Empire State Building, one of the nation’s most famous landmarks. As long as your teen doesn’t have a fear of heights, you can travel right up towards the top of the building. It’s the perfect spot to see New York City like never before. The building is open to visitors from 8:00 am to 2:00 am daily, so you should plan to go around when it opens or when it closes to avoid crowds and lines.
If the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock didn’t totally satisfy your needs for terrifying heights, then Edge certainly will.
Soaring into the heavens at 1,100 feet, you can step out on this open-air viewing deck and look down 100 stories through the glass floor to the city below! You can even lean out over the skyline on angled glass, or drink in the views with champagne in hand for that truly out-of-this-world experience.
This is not one for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure.
Learn History of 9/11
While your teens are too young to remember the horrific events of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the cultural legacy of this tragedy will still certainly resonate. A visit to the 9/11 Memorial is an opportunity for them to learn more about this terrible moment in United States history in a way that will surely strike more of a chord than their history textbooks. See relics that remained from the 2001 attacks – including the resilient Survivor Tree — and learn about the lives lost in both the 1993 bombings and the 2001 attacks. It’s sure to both enlighten and move your teens.
Cool Things for Teens in NYC
These cool spots are some of our favorite things to do with teens in NYC.
Madame Tussauds New York
Madame Tussauds New York is a huge hit with teenagers. With over 200 life-like wax figures of their favorite celebrities, movie stars, TV and movie characters, pop-cultural icons, athletes, and more.
You should also plan to spend some time at Madame Tussauds’ immersive exhibits, such as Kong: Skull Island – where you’ll travel deep into the island’s tropical environment and be challenged to find artifacts from Kong: Skull Island the film alongside the 18-foot multi-sensory animatronic Kong and a wax figure of Captain James Conrad. It’s also located right in Times Square, making it an attractive destination for teens altogether.
Favorite Film Location
If you’re looking for some more guaranteed interest from your teens, then something that engages their love of media is a smart bet. Your best option is On Location Tours, which offers exciting tours to thousands of people every week. They’re the city’s only official movie/television location tour and have tons of options to choose from. One of our favorites is the wide-ranging NYC TV and Movie Sites bus tour. Other specialty tours include focuses on “Gossip Girl,” “Seinfeld,” and “The Sopranos.”
Visit Coney Island
An afternoon spent at historic Coney Island is a must for any traveler to NYC, regardless of age. Head to Luna Park on Coney Island for a delightful afternoon of classic rides and thrilling experiences. While younger kids will probably get the most out of the traditional rides like the animal carousel, teens will appreciate the old-school vibe and will certainly love the boardwalk feel. Get an all-day wristband for Luna Park and let them all go wild on the rides, slides, and fun attractions. Don’t forget the cotton candy and boardwalk hot dogs!
Fun Things To Do in NYC as a Teenager
Ripleys Believe It or Not
Ripley’s Times Square is a must-visit destination for teens who love all things weird and wonderful. From quirky exhibits of real-life artifacts and natural wonders to the really cool “Little Apple” exhibit which showcases NYC in miniature, there’s plenty of neat stuff to go around at Ripley’s Believe it or Not! For the really active kids, there’s also the Impossible LaseRace — a great opportunity to challenge siblings and friends to see who can make it through the most successfully!
Explore Fun Museums
For your artsy teens or those who love history, there are plenty of world-class museum options to explore. With everything from one of the world’s foremost art museums to the nation’s favorite natural history museum, there is a museum for every teen in NYC. The Museum of Modern Art, or MoMa, features works by Picasso, Van Gogh, and Warhol. Even the most reluctant teens will be impressed by the works on display there.
The American Museum of Natural History includes a Planetarium, amazing dinosaur skeletons, fascinating exhibits on the human brain, and more. You can catch an IMAX movie, see a space show and shop at the Museum store. On your way out, take a stroll through neighboring Central Park to enjoy the city scenery.
Scientifically-inclined teens will also love a visit to the USS Intrepid, an iconic aircraft carrier that is now a museum. It’s a great place to explore your interest in all things aviation, and military history as well. Be sure to also pay a visit to the Space Shuttle Pavilion for a truly exciting experience.
For more information on popular NYC museums, check out our post that covers a bunch more of the top museums in new york.
Roam Time Square
For teens who love pop culture, make sure you take a trip to the famous Times Square. The area is filled with shops, restaurants, and incredible glowing signs. Your teenager will certainly love seeing MTV Studios. Maybe the location of the New Year’s Eve ball drop, and the New York Hard Rock Café! Check out this post on things to do in Times Square for more fun ideas in the area. Spend a few hours in Times Square! Grab a bite to eat at Planet Hollywood, shop in the massive Forever 21, and (if you’re lucky) snag a photo with the Naked Cowboy.
More Fun Trip Ideas for Your Teens
If you like these fun ideas for things to do with teens in NYC, then check out a few more of our favorite tips for traveling with teenagers.
- Fun Things To Do in Los Angeles – Sticking with our traveling in California with teens theme, check out our favorite things to do in Los Angeles. From fun roller coasters, cool downtown areas, and exciting rides, there is no your teens will be bored of this trip.
- Fun Things To Do in Las Vegas – There are a ton of cool things to do in Las Vegas with teens. Exciting tour options include everything a teenager wants to see and conquer including zip lines, roller coasters, navigating an ATV or dune buggy, and there are even options to take them to a shooting range.
- Fun Things To Do in San Diego for Teens – There are tons of great activities for families visiting San Diego, CA with teenagers to enjoy. From fun outdoor adventures, educational (but still fun) museums, and so much more, your teens will have no problem unplugging for a bit to enjoy all the activities you have planned. We’ve listed the best beaches, tours, museums, and other fun things to do in San Diego with teens. We recently took a trip ourselves with our teens and they have a blast!