Renowned for its ambition, creativity and obvious signs of success, New York is a city that inspires visitors to make the most of their abilities and shoot for the stars and could be a great match for the big ideas and energy of teenagers. Personal Travel Manager, Kerry Cleasby, shares her thoughts on why the teen years are the perfect time to introduce your kids to the wonders of “the city that never sleeps”.
With many of the world’s most famous art galleries and museums, iconic architecture, a thriving theatre district and as the setting for many of your favourite movies and TV shows, it would be hard to find a better centre of artistic endeavour. Then there’s Wall Street (arguably the centre of the financial world), the headquarters of the United Nations and many other symbols of liberty, freedom and wealth. New York City is more than a holiday for your teens: it’s also an educational experience that may well shape their future.
New York City is a popular Christmas holiday destination for Australian families wanting to take advantage of the long December/January holidays and soak up the sparkling winter Christmas atmosphere. The Rockefeller Center’s iconic Christmas tree is on display and the skating rink beneath it is packed with rosy-cheeked skaters, as is the rink in Central Park. The stores go to incredible lengths with their Christmas window displays and the buildings are blanketed in fairy lights. As long as they don’t mind the cold, it could be the Christmas of their dreams.
What teenager doesn’t love food? New York is home to some of the most legendary American food experiences: a ShackBurger from the Shake Shack, the Oyster Pan Roast from the iconic Grand Central Oyster Bar, a slice of New York-style pizza from just about anywhere, pastrami on rye from any local deli. Mum and Dad might be able to park the teens for an evening and book into Chelsea Market’s Buddakan restaurant for one of the most memorable Asian restaurant experiences imaginable, or just treat themselves to a cocktail in Salon-de-Ning (the rooftop bar atop Peninsula Hotel) or The Champagne Bar at Fifth Avenue’s Plaza Hotel.
You can also fill your evenings by taking in the many shows playing on and off Broadway. A current favourite that the teens will love too is Hamilton: An American Musical, as it relates to American history. If you are visiting at Christmas time, you should also see the dance company, the Rockettes, perform at Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas spectacular. Madison Square Gardens is in the centre of New York City and virtually every night presents a sporting match or performing artist.
Given most of today’s teens were not even born when the events of September 11, 2001 unfolded, it’s difficult for them to comprehend the enormity of what took place in downtown Manhattan on that day, but a visit to the World Trade Center Memorial is a good place to start and likely to prompt some interesting conversations.
The best way to make the most of your time in NYC is to pre-plan and pre-book as much as possible. Hotel rooms can be small and expensive by international standards, particularly if you want to be centrally located, but your Personal Travel Manager can work with you to choose an option that best fits your needs and budget.
There’s so much to do it would be impossible to fit everything into one visit, so we recommend that you plan a must-see-and-do itinerary that will allow you to cover the sights that are most important to you. Pre-book as many of your tours as possible, and consider ways to see the city from a different angle: from the top of the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center or Statue of Liberty, from a helicopter ride, below the city on a subway tour, or from afar on a Circle Line ferry.
Just don’t forget to include a little down-time to allow for people-watching and generally soaking up the uniquely New York atmosphere.
For more inspiration of family friendly New York you can contact personal travel manager Kerry Cleasby here.