Things to Do in NYC with Teens: 14 Exciting Activities to Try

Unlock the ultimate NYC adventure for your teens! Dive into our curated guide, tailor-made for families heading to the Big Apple.

New York City, the city that never sleeps, is the ideal playground for teens brimming with a zest for life and endless energy! From the quirky shops and hidden gems of the Upper West Side to the vibrant, bustling neighborhoods downtown, there’s no shortage of excitement for those adventurous souls.

So if you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple with those not-quite adults yet in tow, we’ve got you covered with our thrilling guide to things to do located in New York City with teens.

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14 Things to Do with Teens in NYC

1. American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History is an ideal museum for teens. The younger crowd will enjoy the museum’s fascinating exhibits ranging from towering dinosaur skeletons to cosmic explorations.

In addition, there are interactive displays and hands-on activities that offer an engaging and dynamic experience, both sparking the imagination and satisfying the curiosity. Everyone can spend the entire day exploring thousands of artifacts!

2. The Museum of Modern Art – MoMA

Looking for things for teens to do in NYC? One of the best NYC museums for teens is undoubtedly The Museum of Modern Art, popularly known as MoMA. It’s not just an art haven but a treasure trove of inspiration, especially for young minds.

This art house is home to iconic modern art pieces that are so beautifully fascinating, that every corner presents an opportunity for an Instagram-worthy snapshot. Plus, art-loving teens can find endless inspiration, perhaps even igniting the spark for their next masterpiece!

external view of moma museum of modern art in nyc new york city
photo credit: MoMA The Museum of Modern Art via Facebook

3. New York Yankees Baseball Tickets

One of the quintessential things to do in NYC with teens, especially those with a passion for sports, is to catch a New York Yankees game live! Aside from it being a New York tradition, experiencing the electric atmosphere of the stadium and cheering alongside ardent fans is a memory you won’t soon forget.

Luckily, scoring those coveted Yankees tickets has never been easier. With Tripster, a few clicks are all it takes, and voilà! Tickets are conveniently sent straight to your email, ready for game day.

4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Broadway

For fans who waved wands and dreamt of receiving their Hogwarts letters, the magic continues in the heart of Times Square with “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

The intricate sets, captivating storytelling, and brilliant performances create a portal to the wizarding world, all of which teens will love if they grew up watching the films and reading the books. Plus, this is not just a show; it’s a heartwarming trip down memory lane.

Two wizards leaning back from a suitcase billowing green smoke
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy


Budding secret agents and curious minds will enjoy SPYSCAPE, the ultimate destination for adrenaline-packed adventures. Teens yearning for a mix of fun and intrigue will have a blast diving deep into immersive spy challenges crafted by a former British Intelligence maestro.

The goal is to discover your hidden superpowers–be it strategy, agility, or even empathy. As you unveil your strengths, you’ll receive an authentic profile, sparking your journey to harness your inner superhero. And for Bond aficionados? Revel in the James Bond exhibition, getting intimate with iconic 007 artifacts like the legendary Aston Martin DB5.

6. Blue Man Group NYC

Blue Man Group NYC is a sensory explosion of music, comedy, and theatrics, making it one of the hottest things to do in New York for 18 year olds. Imagine a world where color and rhythm unite to deliver a mesmerizing performance unlike any other.

That’s the essence of the Blue Man Group. The pulsating beats, ingenious visuals, and interactive elements make it a favorite among teens–truly a memorable New York experience filled with laughter and sheer wonder!

three performers with colorful drums at Blue Man Group in Chicago, Illinois, USA7. Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Teens who take their Instagram gaming seriously will love this golden ticket to jaw-dropping vistas! The Top of the Rock, near the iconic Rockefeller Center, is the pinnacle of New York City experiences.

Positioned a staggering 850 feet in the air and spread over 9,500 square feet, the observation decks boast unparalleled, panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.

Related Post: Top of the Rock NYC – Reviews and Discount Tickets

Teens can capture mesmerizing shots of Central Park, the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty, painting the perfect Instagram canvas.

8. 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum, located at the former World Trade Center site, is a poignant reminder of a pivotal moment in global history. As one of the best museums for teens NYC, this immersive experience provides an invaluable opportunity to connect with history, fostering empathy and understanding.

Visitors will learn more about the events surrounding September 11 through personal narratives, artifacts, and multimedia displays. Introducing teens to this significant chapter of history ensures the memories and lessons of that day continue to resonate and educate future generations.

Close up of the reflecting pools at National September 11 Memorial & Museum with the city reflection showing in NYC, New York, USA
photo credit: National September 11 Memorial & Museum via Facebook

9. The Empire State Building Experience

It’s not hard to see why teens, with their budding aspirations, would be drawn to the Empire State Building, a beacon of possibility. Every angle in this iconic structure promises an Instagram-worthy snapshot, including the New York City skyline. Of course, you won’t just go there for the views.

Grab the opportunity to enjoy its 10,000-square-foot digital museum, which transports visitors through its legendary journey from blueprint to pop-culture stardom. For teens, visiting the Empire State Building Observatory is more than sightseeing—it’s a taste of ambition, history, and the magic of the Big Apple!

10. Flatiron Food, History & Architecture Tour

For teens with a penchant for history, architecture, and grabbing a bite to eat, the Flatiron Food, History & Architecture Tour is the ultimate NYC adventure! Embark on a flavorful journey with Like A Local Tours, where you’ll savor the delights of the iconic Flatiron and Union Square neighborhoods.

With a knowledgeable local guide leading the way, everyone will enjoy feasting on mouth-watering dishes (that equate to a hearty lunch) from the city’s finest eateries as well as indulging in a side of ice cream and rich history.

Along the way, delve deep into the Flatiron District’s storied past, where over a century ago, it buzzed as a pivotal commercial and residential hub. Walk with a happy tummy while wandering some of the most picturesque streets of New York City!

overhead shot of food and drinks on white marble table at La Barca Cantina at NYC Harbor Lights Night Cruise Circle Line in New York City, New York, USA
photo credit: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises via Facebook

11. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

For teens with a passion for history, adventure, and groundbreaking technology, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a must-visit among the museums in NYC for teens. Here, the past meets the present on the decks of the monumental aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark with tales of valor from World War II to the Vietnam War.

Teens can venture into the captivating world of aviation, exploring over two dozen meticulously restored aircraft, all while soaking in the breathtaking NYC skyline views.

Related Post: Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum Discount Tickets – Ultimate Savings Guide

Space lovers will also enjoy the Space Shuttle Pavilion, which promises an immersive experience with genuine artifacts, films, and even real-time mission control conversations. And of course, take time to explore the Growler submarine. After all, it’s not often that you get an opportunity to step into a submarine!

12. Secrets of the Statue of Liberty Tour and Ellis Island

Families with teens traveling to NYC for the first time can check a thing or two off their bucket list with Secrets of the Statue of Liberty Tour and Ellis Island. Perfect for teens with a zest for history and adventure, this tour unveils the mysteries behind Lady Liberty’s creation and the compelling tales of immigrants searching for a brighter future.

Aside from basking in the panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, your knowledgeable guide will also share more about the countless souls who passed through Ellis Island, hopeful and seeking opportunity. And of course, you will learn more about the intricate design and construction stories that transformed a dream into the iconic symbol of freedom.

daytime view of the statue of liberty with the nyc skyline in the background13. Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tours

Why walk across the Brooklyn Bridge when you can elevate the experience on two wheels? For adventurous teens with a penchant for biking, the Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tours are a thrilling way to explore the iconic landmarks and unique neighborhoods of lower Manhattan.

Over a span of 2 hours, not only will you weave through the historic streets of Manhattan’s southern tip and the City Hall area, but you’ll also embark on an unforgettable 15-minute uphill climb onto the Brooklyn Bridge. And the reward? Standing about 160 feet (roughly 50 meters) high, you get unparalleled views and priceless photo opportunities.

14. Little Italy, Greenwich Village, Soho & Chinatown: Private Tour

Itching to explore more of New York City’s neighborhoods? This Private Tour covers Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy, and Chinatown. Among other experiences at the Village, you will stroll past the iconic ‘Friends’ apartment, explore the lively Washington Square Park, and admire the timeless charm of 19th-century brownstone carriage houses.

Then, transition to the chic lanes of Soho, rich in architectural marvels, and then to the tantalizing streets of Little Italy, tasting history at the oldest cheese shop and Lombardi’s pizzeria.

Related Post: Free Things to Do in New York City – 20 Amazing Activities

Last but not least is Chinatown, where an expert guide will share tales of hopeful immigrants and fierce gang rivalries. This doesn’t include Chelsea Market, but there’s a separate Meatpacking District food tour for that that your hungry teens will love just as much!

people and cars under the sign of Little Italy in Little Italy, Manhattan, New York City, USA
photo credit: Alex Haney via Unsplash

NYC Vacation Packages

Ready to plan a memorable trip to the Big Apple? If you’re heading to stay in New York City with teens, look no further than NYC Vacation Packages on Tripster. These customizable packages allow you to bundle attraction tickets with your choice of lodging, tailoring the experience to fit your family’s interests and budget.

With everything conveniently arranged, you and your teens can focus on enjoying all the excitement and energy that NYC has to offer. Enjoy a worry-free adventure in the city that never sleeps!

What Did We Miss?

Do you have anything to add to our guide? Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Nicole King

There are only two things that make Nicole really happy–books and travel! When her head’s not buried in a book, she’s most likely...

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