Life for a teen in New York City is tough; while they might have reached that age when it’s unacceptable for moms or dads to take them everywhere, there are destinations that do not allow unsupervised teens. If traveling to NYC has transformed your teen’s idea of a night-out to a Netflix marathon in the hotel room, you can help them by engaging them with some of these sweet four drop-in activities below. In fact, some are created specifically with teens in mind.
If you’re worried that your high schooler isn’t listening to you, simply print out this list and wait for them to find it. Maybe, they’ll like some of these ideas better than they would if you had told them to go and try them out. Added bonus; most of the options below are inexpensive or free, so you will not have to worry about having to raise your teen’s allowance!
A Cheap Live Culture Experience
ArtsConnection runs a program called High 5 Tickets to the Arts designed for middle and high school teens, and allows them to purchase two tickets per show at an affordable price. Ok, there are no Broadway shows on here, but your teen will manage to get seats to excellent venues like BAM, New York Philharmonic, museum passes and the 92nd Street Y. ArtsConnection also hosts teen-geared events like the free monthly Pizza and a Movie Night bonanza.
All shows at the famous Nuyorican Poets’ Café (Nuyo) in East Village are open to participants of all ages; while you’ll expect some adult language, it is not something that will not scare a teen away. The venue is best known for its spoken-word presentations as well as theater, concerts, live experiences and exhibits that are beyond description. Teens are most welcome, but they cannot drink at the bar.
Does it sound intimidating? Check Nuyo’s calendar for teens-only open mic events that are organized by Writopia Lab, an educational nonprofit organization. Such shows occur occasionally at Nuyo and are an excellent way of inspiring your slammer teenager to start showing off his or her skills.
A Teen Circus Class
New York City is home to several ongoing and exciting trapeze and circus classes, but most require commitment and a wad of cash. This is why Streb’s drop-in Teen Action Club is so attractive – kids aged 13 to 17 can hit the studio and try the tightrope, flying trapeze and other aerial arts. Each session takes about two and a half hours, occurs once a month on a Sunday night and all skill levels are welcome.
Serious Skate parks
Teens have the option of hanging out in one of NYC’s many parks and playgrounds – even though most are designed for kids age 12 and below. Nevertheless, for the skateboard and rollerblade fan teens, NYC has several outdoor skateparks on offer. All the parks are free and are frequently filled with teens and young adults – it is rare to find anyone under 10 years or over 30 at the parks.
However, public skateparks require signed parental waivers and protective gear like helmets, elbow and kneepads, and wrist guards for skaters under 18 years. That notwithstanding, many teens go without any of that, so ensure you go over your own rules with your children before they hit the parks. If your teen is into BMX biking, Williamsburg Velosolutions Pumptrack in Brooklyn should be in his or her itinerary for some extreme cycling action, but there’s an admission fee to consider.
If you and your teen are not familiar with New York City, consider services like sightseeing with a hop-on, hop-off tour. Once you are familiar with the city, finding the adventure spots above will become much easier.