With summer upon us and family vacation plans underway, parents of teens might be dreading the hard-to-please attitude and the inevitable roll of the eyes for ‘family’ oriented destinations. However, if you’re headed to NYC, rest assured there are several unique attractions perfectly suited to young adults with interests that include the arts, fashion, and sports. Heaven forbid, they might even be forced to admit they’re having a good time.
Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure
With the new Bronx Zoo zip line, visiting the zoo is much more than a walk in the park. Kids over 7 years old (who meet height and weight requirements) can enjoy 7 ropes courses, varying in levels of difficulty, that guide visitors through the Bronx Zoo’s forest treetops with a variety of physical challenges along the way. The Zip Line offers an exhilarating, 400-foot-long ride through the trees and over the Bronx River as you soar 50 feet above.
The Treetop Adventure* is a Wildlife Conservation Society property, which means the purchase of tickets will help protect and save animals around the world. Online tickets are $24.95 US for the Zip Line experience only and $49.95 for the Treetop Trek PLUS Zip Line. For more information, click HERE.
This hip bowling alley in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, also includes a Blue Ribbon outpost for dining. It doubles as a 21+ concert venue most evenings, but reserves Saturday and Sunday afternoons for all-ages frames.
Housed in an 1880’s ironworks foundry, the 20,000-square-foot space has the capacity to hold 600 of the neighborhood’s ironic-T-shirt-wearing finest.
Brooklyn Bowl is the world’s first LEED-Certified bowling alley and is owned by Peter Shapiro (the former owner of Wetlands). The facility opens at 11:00 a.m. on weekends and houses 16 bowling lanes priced at $25 US per half hour. For more information, click HERE.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park (as seen in the lead photo by Julienne Schaer) is stationed under the Brooklyn Bridge as the name would imply. It draws thousands of visitors each week who come for awe-inspiring views of Manhattan and idyllic picnic spots along the waterfront. The park is also the site of special events, including the free Movies With a View, kayaking, rowing and fitness classes. This park is an appealing coastal attraction for young adults, complete with multipurpose fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, and an in-line skating rink. Additionally, it features a dog run and a safe harbor for nonmotorized boating.
The area includes Pier 1 (featuring large lawns, a waterfront promenade, playground and concessions, and pedestrian paths), Pier 6 (which includes a playground, bikeway/walkway, dog run and seasonal water taxi service to Governors Island and other points) and the uplands of Pier 3, including a spiral pool and a boat ramp. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a favorite for photo ops thanks to its captivating views of the Manhattan Bridge and Lower Manhattan skyline. For more information, click HERE.
Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Budding fashionistas can delve into the history of clothing designers, textiles and trends throughout the exhibits at FIT’s galleries.
As a bonus, admission to the exhibits is FREE, as it (almost always) is for the museum’s Fashion Culture special programs that run year-round and include exhibition talk and tours, fashion conversations with leading designers, lectures and book signings, film screenings, and other fashion-focused events.
The Museum at FIT is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion and features innovative and award-winning exhibitions. For more information, click HERE.
Museum of Food and Drink
For those who consider a visit to a New York restaurant a major cultural experience, this 5,000-square-foot experimental space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a must-see.
Rotating seasonal exhibits focus on one subject only. Full of discovery and wonder, this is America’s first-ever museum dedicated to eating, dining, cooking and food culture, plus there are special talks and tastings that take place at MoFAD after hours.
The goal of this facility is to be the world’s premier food museum and a global educational resource that inspires generations of curious eaters of all ages and backgrounds. For more information, click HERE.
Nitehawk Cinema, Williamsburg
Relax in a spacious seat while waiters take your food and drink orders, delivering selections directly to you during a screening. Does the crunch of popcorn or the least interruption to a movie make you seethe? Nitehawk is not for you. This combination cinema–supper club–bar is quite fun, though, so you might consider loosening up for a night. First, have a cocktail or craft beer in the bar. When the house opens up, waiters will come through the aisles and take food and additional drink orders. There are both quiet items (hummus, fish tacos, smoked-salmon deviled eggs) and some that are noisier (caramel popcorn, raw kale salad with toasted sesame seeds, tater tots). But chairs and aisles are well spaced, so you shouldn’t be too bothered. What also makes Nitehawk unique are the previews—vintage cartoons, witty montages of the actors in the coming attraction, risqué commercials—and a drink discount in the bar after the show to facilitate discussion. For more information, click HERE.
Nuyorican Poets Café
This storied East Village café is a landmark for self-expression that welcomes artists and audience members of all ages. Teens can pop into shows (with affordably priced tickets) throughout the week to watch locals do their thing—or, if they’re bold enough, take to the stage themselves and perform poetry, jazz, rap or hip-hop during open mic nights.
Nuyorican Poets Café began as a poetry salon in the living room of writer Miguel Algarin in 1973, and by 1981 had expanded so exponentially that it necessitated purchase a former tenement building at 236 East 3rd Street. In the decades since, its stage has become home to artists working in multiple disciplines. Open mic nights are worth a visit for a chance to catch an early glimpse of rising talent. For more information, click HERE.
One World Observatory
Photo opportunities abound from the top floors of the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Besides OWO’s 360-degree, photogenic appeal, there’s also the draw of the thrilling 47-second elevator ride, and virtual tours of NYC landmarks, from unsettled lands to today’s remarkable forest of skyscrapers.
Guided tours are available for those interested. You can also find a delightful restaurant with stunning views from 1,250 feet up in the air.
Explore three levels filled with innovation and inspiration at One World Observatory, located in the top three floors of One World Trade Center, also known as Freedom Tower. For more information and tickets, click HERE.
TV Show Tapings
Though some made-in-NYC shows require audience members to be over 18, many allow those 16 and up to get in on the action. These include The Rachael Ray Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Saturday Night Live. The early morning audience of Today includes all ages.
It’s fun—and free—to attend the tapings of popular television shows shot in New York City. You get to see huge stars up close, and if you’re lucky, your friends at home might even see you on TV. The wait for advance tickets is often long, so it’s best to write in for them or reserve online far before your desired date. Still, many shows have standby options if you’re willing to wait in line. For more information, including a complete list of shows and tickets, click HERE.
Take your teens out to the ball game, where they can cheer for New York City’s own 27-time World Series champions (as their fans will surely remind you, that’s more than any other team has won).
During soccer season, the stadium changes things up with the Bronx’s Major League Soccer team, NYCFC. Even the sports-averse will find something to cheer about with the stadium’s hard-hitting food vendors.
On days when there are no games, stadium tours usually take place. For more information, click HERE.
Via NYC Go