There’s been a lot of posts about what to do with teenagers – I know because I think I’ve read them all!!
My son asked me to take him and his girlfriend to the city for his 17th birthday. It was just a day trip, not a whole weekend. He asked me to take them around the east and west village and hit some special places that he had never been before. I thought I would share our experiences because they both seemed to really enjoy themselves. Before we came I tried to put a general itinerary together so we could cover as much ground as possible in the little time we had.
We arrived in the city around 11am and took the subway directly to the Upper West Side and went to the Urban Outfitters store at 72nd and Broadway. They love this store and they spent a long time looking through the funny books and t-shirts. We then ran across the street to Grays Papaya and ate hot dogs. Getting the papaya drink really does make the meal complete! We then took the subway back down to Columbus Circle and walked across the park to the East Side. We were making our way over to Dylan’s Candy Bar. We walked along Central Park South over to 3rd Ave – boy was it windy and cold. Dylan’s was a mob scene! There were so many little kids and kids in strollers – I just kind of stayed out of their way. 2 pounds of candy later they were done and ready to leave. After Dylan’s, we walked down Lexington to 57th Street and then headed back towards 5th Avenue. We made stops in Daffy’s and Niketown (two favorites!) along the way. They loved seeing all the expensive shops along 5th Avenue and Trump Tower which they recognized from TV. From there, we walked down 5th Avenue to 51st Street where we stopped in H&M. We walked through Rockefeller Center and surprisingly neither of them wanted to go in to any the stores or go skating or do any tours. So we just did a “fly-by”. They commented on how funny it was that only in New York can you get the headline news by standing on the street and reading it on the side of a building.
We then caught the subway downtown to 34th Street where we made quick stops in Forever 21 & Sephora. Neither were interested in Macy’s so we were really only in this area for a little while. We then took the subway down to Prince Street and at the last minute decided against going to So Good Jewelry and instead went to the Adidas Store. My son loved this store and spent a long time wandering around. My son joked that I had planned too many stops at stores for his girlfriend than for him! We then walked up Broadway to 8th Street and headed East. Thanks so much to everyone for all the recommendations and past reviews of St. Marks. This is definitely a very young trendy part of town and I think they had as much fun walking around here as they did shopping and checking everything out. We walked over to 1st Avenue and then turned around and walked back all the way over to 6th Avenue. We then headed south on 6th Ave until we ran into Bleecker Street and walked up and down Bleecker. We ate at Johns Pizza and waited in a long line at Magnolia Bakery for some birthday cupcakes!
It doesn’t seem like we did all that much but walking around the village areas really took a long time because they seemed to window shop almost every store. Also, the village is one area that I always get confused in – probably because the streets don’t run in a nice neat pattern like the midtown area does. I have to say that after walking around all afternoon yesterday I have a much better understanding! Every place I took them I had been to before but walking it with them really seemed to put it all together for me. There were so many times that we would get to an intersection and I would think to myself “Oh, I’ve been here before!” Of course, I didn’t tell them that – they think I’m an expert!
What would I do differently? I should have taken them to Economy Candy instead of Dylan’s but they both had read about Dylan’s and wanted to see it for themselves. I also would have liked to do a Tenement Museum tour with them but we didn’t have enough time. I was also hoping to be able to walk them over the Brooklyn Bridge but thinking about it now I don’t know that they would have appreciated it as much as I do! I also would have warned my son’s girlfriend to wear a winter coat that actually covered her butt. She had a winter coat but it was a short one that ended at the waist (very fashionable, but not practical when it’s freezing outside!) I’ve never written a trip report before and only did so hoping that it would help to hear about how I kept two 17 year olds happy without really having to spend a lot of money or go to a Broadway show, the Statue of Liberty or Times Square! Thanks again to everyone for all their help.
I have to start planning a spring trip for my mom to the cloisters now!