Skip to Content

35 Things to do in New York City with Teens that You’ll Both Love

Planning a trip and finding 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 fantastic options? I’ve been right where you are but now that I’ve made the trek to NYC with my kids, it’s one place that I am repeatedly drawn to- and so are my teens!

35 Things to do in New York City with Teens

This post contains affiliate links.

I’d always dreamed of visiting New York City but didn’t set foot in Manhattan until my oldest son wanted to see the Big Apple nearly nine years ago.

I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to explore such a great city and now I’m making up for lost time, having visited many times since.

To help you plan a trip you and your teens will both love, it’s important to select your attractions carefully. I’ve put together some ideas of what to do in NYC to get you started.

If you’d rather visit NYC with your significant other rather than your teen you may be interested in this article ——-> Best Hotels in New York City for Romantic Weekends

If you’re visiting NYC on a budget, you’ll want to learn how to save 40% off the top attractions with CityPASS. I’ve bought and used a New York City CityPASS on several trips to the city. Not only does it save you money, it can also save you some time waiting in lines which is a big deal when you’re trying to pack a lot in to a short period of time.

Things to do in New York City with teens

35 Things to do in New York City with Teens   

  1.  Visit your teen’s favorite store.
  2.  Grab a slice of pizza.
  3.  Have your picture taken in Times Square.
  4.  Ride the free Staten Island Ferry.
  5.  Hail a taxi.
  6. Pose with Dum Dum at the Museum of Natural History. Tip: Plan to watch A Night at the Museum BEFORE you visit.
  7. Take a stroll through Central Park. Or, if you prefer a bit of direction you can also book a guided walking tour to explore all the highlights of the 800 acres area.
  8.  Wash your hands at Sabon in Soho.
  9.  Ride the subway.
  10. Walk the Highline. Book a tour if you wish to discover all the secrets of the skyscraper-filled Manhattan complex.
  11. Ride the Ferris wheel inside Toys R Us.  Sadly, this iconic NYC store has closed. Instead, stroll along the boardwalk on Coney Island or rest your feet on a NYC TV & Movie Tour.
  12. Watch a Broadway Show.
  13. Ride the carousel in Central Park.
  14. Walk or bike across the Brooklyn Bridge. Rent your bike here.
  15. Visit the galleries at the MoMA or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  16. Slurp down a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3.
  17. Get your candy fix at Dylan’s Candy Bar.
  18. Head to the top of the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center.
  19. Watch a taping of Good Morning America or the Today Show.
  20. Visit one of the many cathedrals.
  21. Pay your respects at the National 9/11 Memorial.
  22. Watch a parade.
  23. Skate in Rockefeller Center.
  24. Experience something new and eat at one of the ethnic eateries.
  25. Visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
  26. Take your picture with the bull in the Financial District.
  27. Eat your way through the Chelsea Market.
  28. Purchase a souvenir from a street vendor.
  29. Learn about NYC at the Tenement Museum or the Museum of New York City.
  30. Visit the free Fashion Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
  31. Take the audio tour at Grand Central Station.
  32. Grab a Cannoli in Brooklyn.
  33. Sample chocolates at Max Brenner’s Chocolate by the Bald Guy.
  34. Check out the latest technology with a visit to The Apple Store.
  35. And finally, take a tour of Manhattan or one of the other boroughs. You can book a cruise around Manhattan island here.

So put on your most comfortable walking shoes, grab your camera or cell phone and hit the streets of New York City with teens, and make some memories that will last a lifetime.

THE Resource you shouldn’t Leave Home Without

If you’re going to be traveling in New York City with teens, you’ll need a great map. Frommer’s New York City Day by Day is the best resource I’ve found and it’s been updated to include post-pandemic reopening information. 

This guidebook can provide dining, lodging, and attraction information but THE reason I suggest it is because of the pull-out map that is included in the book.

I’ve used the map on each of my visits to NYC and have lent my book and map out more times than I can count. This book will be the best $ you’ll spend when planning your trip. Trust me on this.

Save Time and Money on your Trip to New York City with Teens:

things to do with teens in new york city

Use our 3 Day NYC itinerary to save you time and money when traveling with teens.

You may enjoy reading these posts as well:

The Super Tour of NYC is a great way to see a lot of NYC while resting your feet.

And if you want to combine sightseeing and resting, check out the Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour. Read my review here.

Where to Stay in New York City with Teens:

If you’re spending a few nights in the city, you may want to Compare New York City Hotel Reviews & Ratings to find the Best Hotel Deal!

My daughter and I stayed at The Yotel which was really fun and trendy, but not for everyone. Make sure you read my post to find out if it’s for you. ——> The Yotel: Hip and Trendy Lodging in New York City 

Explore New York! Save up to 15% at select hotels OR check the dates you’ll be in the city to see current availability and rates.

The New Yorker Hotel: New York City

The Library Hotel: a Must Stay for Book Lovers

Pin for later:

Planning a trip to NYC but don't know where to start? Check out our list of 35 Things to do in New York City with teens to help you get started.

Bistra | The Magic of Traveling

Friday 23rd of June 2017

Great! SO New York will offer plenty of opportunities to entertain parents with teens, too!

Tonya Prater

Saturday 24th of June 2017

Yes! There is so much in NYC to entertain people of all ages.

michele h peterson

Thursday 22nd of June 2017

Thanks for the great list! It sounds as though there are lots of tasty things to do ( and plenty of chocolate sweets) in New York City!

Tonya Prater

Saturday 24th of June 2017

Sweet treats are a must when traveling with my teen but the pizza was a huge hit as well.


Thursday 22nd of June 2017

My best friend heads to NY in January! I'll definitely be showing her this! x

Tonya Prater

Saturday 24th of June 2017

I hope she gets some ideas! Thanks for stopping by.

Carrick - Along for the Trip

Sunday 1st of January 2017

Hi Tanya!

Thanks for the great to-do list! I'm the only one who's visited NYC out of the family, so this is a great reference to work from when we finally get there. There are so many musts on the list!

We love the idea of a CityPASS. We used one in Chicago earlier this year and loved it. Have a great 2017 you guys!

Safe travels,



Monday 3rd of October 2016

Forget Dylan's. Overpriced and really not so "New York-y." Go to Economy Candy on the border between Chinatown and the Lower East Side. A true NYC institution. You've never seen so much candy in such a small space. Protection Status
This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.