Things To Do in New York City for Teens

A Guide of Fun “things to do” for Teens 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. In New York City finding things to do for teenagers is a skill you can easily master with our Thing To Do Guide For Teenagers.

In New York City finding things to do for teenagers is a skill you can easily master with our Thing To Do Guide For Teenagers.

Our advice is that Its best to mix it up a bit as teens get bored very quickly – it is 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.

It is 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.

DINING FOR TEENAGERS

Dylans Candy Bar in NYC
Dylans Candy Bar in NYC

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.


Dave & Buster’s

234 W. 42nd Street, 646-495-2015

When you’re too old for Chuck E. Cheese, but still love to play Skee ball 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).


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 Frozen 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).

ENTERTAINMENT FOR TEENAGERS

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.


Broadway Show

Times Square, New York City

Broadway Street Sign
Broadway Has Entertainment For Teenagers

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.

SHOPPING AREAS FOR TEENAGERS

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.

SPORTS FOR TEENAGERS

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.


Nike Flagship Store

650 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

If sportswear – or sports – is your thing, this is the place. It is the flagship store for Nike and its beautiful

OTHER ATTRACTIONS

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

767 5th Ave, New York, NY 10153

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

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.


Washington Square Park

Park entrance is at Washington Square North and Fifth Avenue

Washington Square Park NYC
Washington Square Park NYC

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 bobble heads 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!


Download and Recharge at the Charmin Bathrooms

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.


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.