Monday, August 26, 2013

From the Inbox: Visiting NYC with a 13 year old girl.

WGINY responds to a reader who asked for activities to do in NYC with his teenage daughter, having already seen the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building on a previous Big Apple trip. Here is the full question and WGINY's response, suggesting ideas for tourists with teenagers who have already seen some of NYC's most fabled icons. 

The question:
I will be in New York for 2 days..., I want to do fun things with my 13 year old daughter, what would you suggest? We have seen Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, the last time we were in NYC. I thought we could do Times Square, Central Park this time plus any other recommendations that you might have for me. My daughter loves chinese food so any recommendation on that will be great.

The response:
Times Square is a lot of fun for a 13 year old, you can take her to the big Toys R Us Store, which has a huge indoor ferris wheel, an entire Barbie world, Lego world, and nearby is an M & Ms store, and you can also walk around and meet characters that hang out around the area. If you think she might like a Broadway show, I've heard really good things about Matilda and Annie as kid-friendly shows. You can get great discounts by waiting on line at the Theater Development Fund's ticket booth at Broadway and 47th Street in Times Square. Check here to see what discounts have been offered lately, as they change daily: . Essentially you purchase tickets that afternoon starting at 2 or 3pm for an evening show. Many theaters are dark on Mondays, so Tuesday may be the better day, but check individual show websites to be sure. 

A fun, interactive dining experience in Times Square is Jekyll & Hyde Restaurant. This was one of my favorite restaurants to go to with my parents growing up. It's standard (and a bit overpriced) pub food, but you go for the eerie entertainment.  

For Chinese food, you might enjoy spending part of the day walking around Chinatown. If your daughter likes purses and perfumes, there is no shortage of items on Canal Street. One really fun experience is to go out for "dim sum" in Chinatown, where you are whisked to a group table and servers just bring over random plates of food and you point to items that look good and that's what you get served. You can ask some questions, but it all happens really fast and is a nice food adventure as long as you/your daughter like meat and pork, which feature prominently in dim sum. Some restaurants only do dim sum on weekends but Jing Fong serves dim sum daily and it's one of my favorite. After your dim sum, walk a few blocks over to Little Italy and get some famous cannolis at Ferrara Bakery

If you liked the views from the Empire State Building, try Top of the Rock for another perspective. Your daughter might like this as it at the top of NBC towers and many famous shows are associated with this building. 

If you are thinking of Central Park, consider stopping first at FAO Schwarz at 5th ave and 58th Street, then either renting bikes through the park or taking a carriage ride. Inside the park is a very nice zoo. It's a surreal experience as you stand at the monkey exhibit, for example, you look behind and see the backdrop of NYC skyscrapers. 

For more ideas, you can check out some free museums or see a free movie at a NYC park, which is a very NY experience. For something a little different and educational, try a "rooftop" film (often not actually on rooftops, but in various outdoor venues).

Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions!

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