Top Things To Do In New York City With Teens And Older Kids

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brooklyn bridge for things to do in New York City with teens

New York is an amazing place to visit with plenty of famous attractions, but if you’re travelling with teens or older kids you might want to have some more funky places on your itinerary to keep them entertained. Here are top things to do in New York City with teens And older kids:

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Museums, galleries and world-famous attractions like the Empire State Building and the September 11 Memorial are most likely already on your list of must-sees, but you won’t want to miss our round-up of cool, quirky and Insta-worthy things to do in New York City with teens.

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What about a tour of street art, tasting pickle ice cream, a ride on world-famous carousels, ziplining, seeing real gold or visiting some recognisable movie locations? The whole family will have a ball exploring these unique NYC gems!

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Things To Do In New York City With Teens

CityPASS

If you’re planning to visit some of New York City’s top attractions, consider buying a CityPASS as you will save 44% on individual entries. The pass includes

  • Empire State Building
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum
  • Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum or Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

You can buy them online or at the Top of the Rock Box Office. Cost: Adults $132 and Youth (6-17) $108.

Rockefeller Plaza and Rockefeller Center ‘Top of the Rock’

rockefeller center and plaza

Head to Rockefeller Plaza, take a picture in front of the statue of Atlas then check out some of the activities that take place there. In summertime, there are free movie nights and theatre performances. In winter, Bryant Park has the only free admission skating rink in New York City, as well as Bryant Park Winter Village. It’s a great spot to sit outside and eat. Then head up to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck.

For anyone familiar with the comedy series 30 Rock, you’ll be familiar with the outside of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Did you know there’s an Observation Deck at the top of the famous building? It’s open daily from 8am to midnight, with the last elevator heading up at 11pm. With sweeping, unobstructed views of both Central Park and Manhattan’s midtown and downtown skyscrapers, the view from Top of the Rock is amazing.

Adult tickets cost $38 while child tickets (ages 6-12) cost $32 (Under 6s are free), so it does offer an alternative cheaper viewing experience than the Empire State Building – a standard pass for that costs $72 per adult and $66 per child.

Sunset is the most popular time to visit Top of the Rock, note that entry during designated sunset times are an additional $10 per ticket.

Times Square

times square new york

Everyone should experience the excitement of Times Square once in their life, and it’s one of our favourite things to do in New York City with teens. With the traffic, the people, the signs, the noise, it’s all honestly a bit overwhelming but there are also a number of fun shops and attractions around Times Square that will appeal to teens.

Be sure to stop by M&M’s World New York for three stories full of colourful chocolate fun. We loved taking our picture with the giant M&M character! There’s a world famous wall filled with thousands of milk, peanut and specialty M&M’s. You can also print your personal message (or even your face!) on M&M’s at the Personalized Printer in just a few minutes. M&M’s World New York is open daily from 9am to midnight.

Other fun places on Times Square include

  • Times Square Disney
  • Madame Tussaud’s
  • Hershey’s Chocolate World Times Square and
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Central Park

central park new york

One of the iconic places in New York City, Central Park is also a cool place to take older kids and teens, with plenty to do and see there. You can do park tours or splash out on a carriage ride.

In winter you can enjoy ice skating and sledding, while in summer time you might like to rent a rowboat to enjoy the Lake, go rollerblading or enjoy a Shakespeare in the Park performance.

There are so many things to do and see in Central Park, but here are a few highlights not to miss:

  • The Mall and the Literary Walk: The Mall is the only deliberate straight line in Central Park’s design, and among its most photographed spots. The southern end features statues of famous writers, playwrights and poets like Shakespeare, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Fitz-Greene Halleck. Hence the nickname “Literary Walk”.
  • Belvedere Castle: A mini castle that sits on top of Vista Rock and looks out over the Great Lawn to the north and the Ramble to the south. You get great views of the Park and its surrounding cityscape.
  • Carousel: The Carousel is a Central Park tradition with 57 hand-carved and painted horses, as well as two chariots going round to Calliope music played by a mechanical organ. It’s one of the largest carousels in the country, and with nearly 250,000 riders a year, also among the most popular.
  • Bethesda Fountain: A very Instagrammable spot! Rising from Bethesda Terrace is Bethesda Fountain, with the famous Angel of the Waters statue. The angel carries a lily in her left hand — a symbol of water’s purity, very important to a city that had previously suffered from a devastating cholera epidemic before the fresh water system was established.

Hudson Yards and Vessel

Hudson Yards and Vessel new york

Head to Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side to enjoy lots of shopping and culture. Those with a head for heights will want to climb Vessel, an unusual structure consisting of 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs — almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings. At the top you get great views of the city, the river and beyond, perfect for those Insta photos.

Tickets for the Vessel are free. You can either get them on the day from 9:30am at Hudson Yards in any of the interactive kiosks in the shops and restaurants at 20 Hudson Yards or the interactive kiosks on the Public Square and Gardens. Free tickets are issued on a first come, first served basis, for the next available time slot. Limited quantities of tickets are also available for future reservations in a 14-day window, only available to reserve online.

Take a Street Art Tour in NYC

street art new york city for Things To Do In New York City With Teens

There’s lots of cool graffiti and street art around New York so a good way of seeing this is to take a street art tour e.g. a tour of Brooklyn or Manhattan street art.

Free Tours by Foot offer daily tours in Brooklyn where you can discover some of the best New York graffiti and street art. Tours are free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. You do need to reserve in advance. The Tour takes approximately 2 hours covering 1.5mi/2km.

They also run a Manhattan Street Art Tour covering the Lower East Side (LES) – SoHo, NoHo, Nolita, and Little Italy. These take place on Sundays.

Teen Events at New York Museums

No list of things to do in New York City with teens would be complete without including some of NYC’s world-famous museums.

Many museums, including The Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Arts and Design, The Frick, The New Museum, The Brooklyn Museum and the Whitney hold regular teen events. Check the museum websites to see what’s on during your visit. Many of the events are free or included with admission.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

the met new york

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the world, with over 2 million pieces in its collection. From Egyptian mummies to high fashion to decorative objects to some of the finest art in the museum, you’ll have to plan your visit carefully.

Once you have seen a selection of the collection, head to the roof where you’ll find not only an art installation but a bit of a respite from the culture overload and refreshments. The rooftop also has one of the best vantage points to take in the New York’s skyline.

Tickets include exhibitions and are valid for three consecutive days at all three locations – The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer (closed Mondays) and The Met Cloisters.

For visitors from outside New York State, adult tickets cost $25, students $12 and children under 12 go free. You can buy tickets in advance online.

Tip: When visiting, avoid the main front steps and head instead to the 81st Street entrance. There are never any queues and you’ll find restrooms on this level that aren’t as busy as in other places in the Museum.

MoMA

picasso at moma new york

We loved visiting the Museum of Modern Art in New York. You’ll find amazing art such as Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Andy Warhol’s Campbells Soup Cans, as well as works by Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Dali and Cezanne.

Tickets for adults cost $25, students (full-time with ID) cost $14, while under 16s go free. You can buy tickets online in advance or on the day. Or if you are there on a Friday, then admission to MoMA is free for all visitors every Friday evening from 5:30–9pm during UNIQLO Free Friday Nights.

Tip: There are some great tips for planning your visit on the MoMA website and be sure to download the free MoMA app before you go. It’s got lots of information about the museum and its art works.

The Tenement Museum

Tenement Museum New York

Step back in time with a visit to The Tenement Museum at 103 Orchard Street where you’ll find out about life as an immigrant to New York City.

The Tenement Museum can only be visited by guided tour, and there are two historic tenement buildings — 97 and 103 Orchard Street. All tours begin and end at the Museum Visitor Center and Museum Shop located at 103 Orchard Street.

There are 3 types of tours:

  • Apartment tours: explore historically restored tenement buildings and discover how immigrants lived here in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Costumed interpreter tour experiences inside 97 Orchard Street: visit the recreated homes of former residents, and enjoy an interaction with someone portraying those residents. These experiences are recommended for families.
  • Neighbourhood Walking Tours: these provide visitors with a curated exploration of the often-forgotten places, unexplored spaces, and untold stories that have shaped one of America’s iconic immigrant neighbourhood.

It’s recommended to buy tickets in advance online as tours regularly sell out, and you can buy them online. Tickets are $27 for adults, while tickets for ages 6-17 cost $22.

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Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty

statue of liberty

One of the most iconic New York landmarks, The Statue of Liberty is another must-see for your list. A gift from the people of France to the United States, it was the landmark many immigrants saw as they sailed into the harbour at the end of a long ocean journey.

If you want to visit both the Statue and Ellis Island then go early in the day. We made the mistake of waiting until afternoon when there was only time to visit one location or the other (we chose Ellis Island as we could still sail by the Statue and get great photos).

Ferry service to Liberty & Ellis Islands is provided only by Statue Cruises. You can either buy tickets on arrival at ferry departure points in Battery Park in NYC or Liberty State Park in NJ, or you can buy them in advance online.

One ticket takes you to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and includes an audio tour, which can be picked up at the Acoustiguide booth on both islands. They also have a Family Friendly Tour available.

Liberty Island

If visiting the Statue on Liberty Island you may want to visit the Pedestal and Crown. The Pedestal offers panoramic views of Ellis Island, New York, New Jersey and the New York Harbor. Since Pedestal access is limited, advanced reservations are highly recommended. There is no additional fee for Pedestal access, but tickets must be obtained before boarding the ferry for Liberty Island.

Crown access is limited. Advanced reservations are required and there is an additional fee, but Crown access includes the Pedestal observation level. Anyone visiting the Crown must be able to walk up at least 146 stairs on a confined spiral staircase. In total, there are 377 stairs from the lobby up to the Crown.

The Statue of Liberty Museum celebrates the Statue of Liberty’s history, influence, and legacy in the world. The museum experience culminates with an up-close view of Liberty’s most iconic symbol – her original torch. Access to the museum is free, which is open the same hours as Liberty Island.

Ellis Island

At Ellis Island you can visit the Immigration Museum which has interactive exhibits including many recordings of memories of immigrants. You’ll see what it was like to arrive as an immigrant. Then you can visit the Honor wall outside to find your family name.

There are different tickets available for Ellis Island and Liberty Island:

  • Crown Ticket: includes access to the Crown and Pedestal of the Statue of Liberty National Monument; $22.25 for adults and $12 for children aged 4-12.
  • Pedestal Ticket: includes access to the Fort Wood section of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty National Monument; $19.25 for adults and $9 for children aged 4-12.
  • Grounds only ticket: $19.25 for adults and $9 for children aged 4-12.
  • Ellis Island access included with all tickets.

Tip: If you are on a budget and you just want to get a good view of the Statue, take the free Staten Island Ferry which offers great views of not only the Statue but the Manhattan skyline as you sail over and back.

Brooklyn Bridge

brooklyn bridge

Be sure to plan a walk of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge during your visit. The Bridge spans the East River and connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Often featured in movies, it takes 30-60 minutes to cross the bridge depending on how crowded it is and how often you stop for photos.

When you get over to Brooklyn, visit Brooklyn Bridge Park, a favourite for photo ops thanks to its captivating views of the Manhattan Bridge and Lower Manhattan skyline. You can also enjoy a roller-skating rink, as well as public art installations in the park.

Then head to Grimaldi’s for some pizza, followed by some scoops at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory while taking in one of the most spectacular views of Manhattan. If the walk back feels too much then take the ferry back to Manhattan. It docks at the same landing where Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is located.

Crazyshake at Black Tap NYC

Cotton-Candy-Crazyshake

Definitely one for your list of things to do in New York City with teens is to head to Black Tap for an over-the-top CrazyShake® milkshake. Have you ever seen a milkshake topped with a big slice of birthday cake? Or a whimsical cloud of cotton candy? Cookies “glued” to the side of the glass?

Black Tap, creating milkshakes since 2015, start with a delicious milkshake then load on the crazy stuff and turn it into a work of art. Imagine the Snapchat and Instagram pics of those!

You’ll also find award-winning food, including mouth-watering burgers, Korean BBQ wings, vegan dishes and more. They have three locations at 45 W 35TH Street, 136 W 55th Street Midtown or 529 Broome Street, Soho.

Zip-Line in the City

zipline

Yes zip lining! There are three seasonal zip lines in New York:

#1. Alley Pond Park Adventure Course in Queens

Alley Pond Park Adventure Course includes a “zip-line”, a climbing and bouldering wall, a trust fall station, swings, nets, leaps and balance platforms. The Adventure Course program is free for everyone age 8 and older, and lasts about two hours.

Entry is available on a first–come, first-served basis on Sundays at 9.30am and 1pm from May to October. Morning program registration takes place from 9.30-10am and afternoon program registration takes place from 1-1.30pm.

For the months of July and August, pre-registration is required online for the free Sunday programs and there’s a lottery system which you can find out more about here.

#2. Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure

At Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure, you can climb, crawl, and swing through the adventure ropes course or zipline over the Bronx River. There are two side-by-side zip lines, 50 feet in the air, spanning 400 feet across the Bronx River and back.

Tickets can be purchased online:

  • Zipline 2-way river crossing, $24.95
  • 2 hour climbing ticket, $49.95
  • Combo ticket with 2.5 hours climb & zipline, $59.95

NB: One adult must be present on-site at all times to supervise and sign the necessary waivers.

#3. Adventures at Governors Island

At Adventures at Governors Island you can enjoy ziplining, as well as their other attractions such as the Amazen’ maze, Climbing Challenge and Mini golf.

  • Amazen’ Maze is a giant maze nearly 3,600 square feet in size that will challenge your sense of direction and problem-solving skills.
  • The Flywire Zipline allows two people to zip down a 300 foot-long cable side by side and hit up to 21 mph. The aerial attraction has a 35 foot peak at its starting point, high enough to deliver a sensational ride for the experienced thrill seeker but also able to accommodate beginner adventure seekers. Best of all, the ride experience will offer sensational views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, and downtown Manhattan!
  • Climbing Challenge Scale offers your choice of three unique 25 foot walls that fit your ability. With a self-guiding belay system, each climber can choose their line and begin at their own pace.
  • Mini Golf – 18 holes of Mini Golf with views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty

Buy tickets upon arrival, they don’t offer online advanced booking. Tickets cost:

  • Amazen’ Maze: $8 or $15 for 2
  • Climbing Challenge: $7
  • Mini Golf: $8 for 1 golfer and $30 for 4 golfers
  • Combo ticket: $25 weekdays (non holidays) and $30 on weekends

Take a Walk on the VR Side

vr world nyc for Things To Do In New York City With Teens

VR WORLD® NYC is the largest virtual reality experience center in the United States. Located in Midtown East and spread over three floors, it’s a 21st-century arcade with a wide variety of cutting-edge VR experiences, from games to music to film to art.

Whether exploring the Orion’s Nebula, saving the earth from zombies, speeding on a racetrack with your friends or having an inner artist moment, VR WORLD® is a friendly place for to explore the world of VR.

It’s open 7 days a week. A 2-hour pass costs $44, while an all-day pass is $64.

Coney Island

coney island

Coney Island is located in the southernmost part of Brooklyn. It’s a New York City neighborhood featuring an amusement area that includes 50 or more separate rides and attractions, such as:

  • Luna Park, Scream Zone & The Cyclone Roller Coaster
  • The New York Aquarium at Coney Island
  • Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park
  • The Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk
  • Eldorado Bumper Cars and Arcade
  • MCU Park and the Brooklyn Cyclones
  • Beach & Boardwalk
  • Abe Stark Rink
  • Coney Island USA – home of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, the Coney Island Museum, Freak Bar and more.

It’s a seasonal centre operating roughly between Easter and Halloween. Rides and attractions are generally open on weekends from Easter until Memorial Day (May) then all week long from Memorial Day until Labor Day (the first Monday in September), then back to weekends until the end of October.

The beach and boardwalk are open all year round, although lifeguards are only on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Nathan’s Hot Dogs and the New York Aquarium are open almost every day of the year.

If you have time, add Brighton Beach to your itinerary. A residential community often referred to as Little Odessa due to its many residents from Russia and Ukraine, Brighton Beach has an historic boardwalk located one block over from Brighton Beach Avenue. The scenic beach is free to the public and is often much quieter than Coney Island. An added plus is the renovated changing facility and bathroom.

Wandering around the Brighton Beach neighbourhood you’ll also find plenty of authentic Russian and Eastern European food, as well as Russian souvenirs such as matryoshkas, the famous Russian nesting dolls.

Chinatown

chinatown new york for Things To Do In New York City With Teens

It’s definitely worth a visit to Chinatown, another place that has featured in many films and TV shows. Here you’ll find great Chinese food and plenty of memorable photo opportunities.

  • Stop at Doyers Street, otherwise known as “The Bloody Angle”. This street used to be one of America’s deadliest streets because of numerous shootings between organized gang members.
  • Columbus Park is the biggest park in Chinatown and is a cool place to enjoy some people watching. Locals meet here to do everything from playing chess to tai chi in the morning.
  • From noodles to roasted duck and amazing street food at the Canal Street Market, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Chinatown for places to eat. The family-run Chinatown Ice Cream Factory has some of the best ice cream in New York, stop by 6365 Bayard Street for some scoops of flavours like Coconut and Cherry Vanilla, Thai Iced Tea and Zen Butter!

Yankee Stadium

yankee stadium

Yankee Stadium is located in the Bronx at East 161st Street and is home to the 27-time baseball World Series Champions, the New York Yankees. Take a tour of Yankee Stadium and learn the history about the historic baseball team, you’ll get up close to historic baseball memorabilia, visit exclusive locations, and learn about the various events that have taken place at the Stadium throughout history.

Classic tours run most days from 11am-1.40pm, departing every 20 minutes and take approximately one hour. Tickets are cheaper to buy online in advance than in the box office: adults $20/$25, children (14 & under) $20/$23.

Stop by Babe Ruth Plaza, Monument Park, and the New York Yankees Museum to get the full experience of this historic ballpark. If you want to take in a home game, tickets can be bought online.

The Oculus and One World Observatory

The Oculus

oculus new york

The Oculus is the centerpiece of The World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, Oculus is 350 feet long and measures about 75,000 square feet of retail space. It’s really a hybrid between railway station, shopping mall and pedestrian tunnel.

Shops at the Oculus NYC at Westfield World Trade Center mall offer a luxury shopping experience in the most beautiful setting with over 100 stores. Oculus is also connected to Brookfield Place, giving you access to even more shops.

You’ll also find a good selection of cafés and restaurants at Oculus, including a food market called Market Lane. There are regular events and exhibitions inside as well as outside events on Oculus Plaza.

One World Observatory

one world observatory new york city

After Oculus, head to One World Observatory, on top of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere. You’ll start your visit with a super speedy ride in the Sky Pod elevator, with an immersive, floor-to-ceiling time-lapse story of NYC’s 500-year evolution in less than 60 seconds (47 seconds to be precise!).

Then watch the audio visual show before heading to the 360-degree main observation area on the 100th floor where on a clear day you can see for 50 miles beyond NY’s iconic landmarks, bridges and waterways.

Then, if you dare, step on the Sky Portal, a 14ft reinforced glass disk and see what’s happening on the streets literally beneath your feet. Tickets start from $35.

SeaGlass Carousel

seaglass carousel battery park

Take a trip to The SeaGlass Carousel in Battery Park. The Carousel is inside a large glass shell that sits on top of the original New York Aquarium. The ride features 30 fibreglass fish, each with an individual motor that provides riders with unobstructed views.

Different than a traditional carousel, the fish spin and swirl independently of each other. In the meantime, aquatic music plays on the speakers and LED lights display a colourful show. Tickets cost $5, and the Carousel is open seven days a week from 10am to 10pm.

Try Pickle-Flavored Ice Cream

pickle icecream for Things To Do In New York City With Teens

Yes, pickle-flavoured ice cream is a real thing! Head to the Lucky Pickle Dumpling Company on Amsterdam Avenue in the Upper West Side to try this unusual treat. Known for its homemade assortment of tasty noodles and dumplings, they also offer pickle flavoured soft-serve ice cream.

They are open from 11am to 11pm Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, you can grab a late-night snack until 2am.

Find A Tropical Jungle At The Ford Foundation Building

ford foundation atrium garden

You’ll find a hidden tropical jungle in the Ford Foundation Building on East 43rd Street in Murray Hill. The building is the location of the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice.

Head inside to find a 12-storey greenhouse with a 10,000 square foot urban garden complete with giant trees, colourful flowers and plenty of jungle greenery. Rainfall is collected on the roof and adds to the steam condensation inside to fill pools and water plants.

Take a stroll through the atrium garden, where you will find 39 species of plants, a reflecting pool and a sensory garden, featuring a collection of plant life you can touch and smell. Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays 11am to 6pm.

Whispering Mysteries at Grand Central

grand central new york

Grand Central Terminal is another iconic building in New York City. It goes by many names, Grand Central, the Terminal, GCT. But don’t call it Grand Central Station, that’s actually the name of the US Post Office down the street or the subway station underneath.

This world-famous landmark in Midtown Manhattan is not simply a station, it’s also home to 60 shops, 35 places to eat, a market and the mysterious Whispering Gallery! Head to the lower level of Grand Central Terminal, near the Oyster Bar restaurant. There’s an acoustic oddity which let you talk to a friend in the opposite corner in whispers and they’ll be able to hear you. So grab a friend, lean your heads into opposing corners, and test it out!

Other things to enjoy seeing while you are at the Terminal:

  • The Zodiac Ceiling in the Main Concourse features 12 constellations painted in gold leaf plus 2,500 stars, 59 of them illuminated by LEDs.
  • “Meet me at the clock” – the Information Booth Clock is NYC’s unofficial meeting place with thousands of people choosing to meet friends and loved ones each day at the opal-faced Main Concourse Information Booth Clock.
  • Grand Central Market located between the Graybar Building and the 4/5/6 Subway lines on Lexington Avenue, has 13 local vendors offering ingredients and prepared foods ready for a picnic in the park.
  • Great Northern Food Hall — New York City’s only Danish food hall featuring 5 pavilions, a sit-down restaurant, and a bar in the West Side of Vanderbilt Hall
  • The Lower Level Dining Concourse featuring over 20 fast food options so you can pick up something tasty
  • The New York Transit Museum Gallery and Annex for seasonal exhibits and a gift shop

Visit the Smallest Piece of Private Property in New York City

Hess Estate for Things To Do In New York City With Teens

Hess’ Triangle is NYC’s smallest piece of private property, located on the corner of Christopher and Seventh Avenue. Sized approximately 25 by 27 inches, the triangle sits in front of Village Cigars.

In 1910, a plan to build the new subway lines meant city streets had to be widened. This resulted in hundreds of homes and buildings being condemned to be demolished. One man, David Hess — a Philadelphia entrepreneur and investor — fought the city to keep his five-story apartment house known as the Voorhis.

The Hess family ultimately lost, however, in a twist of fate, the land surveys completing the project made a mistake, leaving behind a tiny triangle that was deemed the private property of the Hess Estate!

See Gold At The Federal Reserve

gold vault federal reserve

Take the Museum & Gold Vault Tour at The Federal Reserve on Liberty Street in the Financial District. At its peak, the Vault contained more than 12,000 tons of gold. Today you can see around 7,000 tons, which is approximately 5% of the gold ever mined.

Tours last one hour. They are free, but as places are limited and they only have two tours a day at 1pm and 2pm, it’s recommended you make reservations in advance, and printed tickets are required for entry.

Visitors age 16 and older must present a valid, government-issued ID with photo, such as a driver’s license or passport. The name on the ID must match the name printed on the ticket.

Tannen’s Magic Shop

In my experience kids of all ages love magic shops, so a visit to Tannen’s Magic Shop, the city’s oldest operating magic store, is bound to go down a treat. Open since 1925, it has supplied many famous and not-so-famous magicians with magical equipment and tricks.

At the shop, located on West 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan, you’ll find fun things like hats that produce rabbits, magic canes, invisible paint and more.

Picnic on the Elevated Acre

Elevated Acre in Financial District, Manhattan

To discover a hidden gem in New York City, grab some picnic staples and head to the Elevated Acre on Water Street near Battery Park. Here you’ll find a one-acre meadow high above the busy streets of the Financial District.

Take the escalator from the entrance, up to an amazing urban green space featuring a wide-open lawn. Watch the helicopters taking off from Pier 6 and walk around the park to get stunning views of the East River, Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Walk The High Line

High Line park NYC - Manhattan - New York City

The High Line is the ultimate upcycling project turning a former freight rail line into a park. Saved from demolition by neighborhood residents and the City of New York, the High Line is a public park that is above street level, as well as being a space where visitors experience nature, art, and design. As you walk through the park you can enjoy gardens and views of the surrounding buildings.

There are lots of events taking place there and fun features to enjoy – you’ll even find a sun deck and water feature between 14th St. and 15th St. perfect for a quick paddle. High Line is open daily, and hours vary by season.

Enjoy a Broadway Show

If you fancy catching a Broadway show, you can get discounted tickets (up to 50% off) at the red TKTS booths located in Times Square, the South Street Seaport or Downtown Brooklyn. There’s also a TKTS app that you can download to browse.

It’s important to note that the discounted tickets from TKTS and Broadway Direct will only get you show access for the day of the performance, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

Alternatively, you can enter into the Broadway Direct lottery for bigger shows that are more difficult to get tickets for.

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What other things to do in New York City with teens would you recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

Top Things To Do In New York City With Teens And Older Kids

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