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New York at Christmas with teens

(17 Posts)
Curlybrunette Mon 10-Feb-20 09:18:22


I'm thinking of going to NY at Christmas and wanted your advice if you've been with teens.
I've got 2 sons who will be 13 & 14. They are:
Not massively into museums, they like ones which are interactive but wouldn't want to walk around an art gallery for instance
Not into shopping
Are sporty
Ds2 loves animals so would probably do a zoo
At Christmas we'd do ice skating at Central Park, see the tree etc

Have any of you been with teens at that time of year (or any time I suppose)? Could you tell me what you did and saw please.

Are things open on Christmas Day?


OP’s posts: |
reluctantbrit Mon 10-Feb-20 12:36:43

Have a good look at temperatures, NY can be absolutely freezing in winter.

Curlybrunette Mon 10-Feb-20 14:28:11

I did think that, though from looking on line people seem to say it snows more at the end of Jan in to Feb then at Christmas?


OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 10-Feb-20 14:56:14

Christmas is peak season for visiting NYC so prices will be higher around that time too. Attractions get crowded as do the pavements to walk along (particularly along fifth avenue) and having been there both summer and winter I would prefer heading there in summertime. Some restaurants are open on Christmas Day.

The daytime temperature in NYC between Christmas and the New Year a couple of years ago were very low and with windchill it was akin to being in a freezer. It was horrible to walk around in frankly.

abitunhinged Mon 10-Feb-20 15:37:58

Went to the museum of moving images in Astoria with teens interactive exhibits including video games with the Jim Henson/muppets exhibition (think it’s free entry on Friday afternoon) killed a day when weather was bad and kids enjoyed it and completely different to the other museums

reluctantbrit Mon 10-Feb-20 16:12:20

@Curlybrunette - snow is not so much a problem, it is the cold.

DH flies to NY on a regular basis and all visits in December means he takes a lot of warmer layers than he would wear in London even if he only moves between hotel and customer's office.

Also, the hotel prices skyrock

Ricekrispie22 Mon 10-Feb-20 19:39:52

Christmas in New York is magical. Lots of restaurants open and Radio City Christmas spectacular normally has a few shows on Christmas Day itself. The Empire State Building is open until early afternoon and Top of the Rock is open all day. Also at Rockefeller Center, the ice skating rink is open all day, straight through to midnight on Christmas Day. We did our after-dinner walk in Central Park.
Try and fit in a trip to the New York Botanical Garden to see the excellent holiday train show You’ll have to use public transport to get there (from Grand Central, which is an experience itself) but it’s worth it.
With teen boys, I’d also recommend:
Gulliver’s Gate
MoMaths (cooler than it sounds, especially if they still have the life sized robots)
Yankee Stadium tour

BritWifeinUSA Mon 10-Feb-20 21:36:12

Are you going to be here over Christmas itself or just in the run-up to Christmas? I absolutely hate Christmas here and try to get away every year if possible. I’d avoid being in the US over Christmas itself if you can. Unless you want to do something very un-christmassy.

CoolShoeshine Wed 12-Feb-20 17:45:35

You could perhaps see a game like ice hockey or basketball depending what’s on during your visit.
Theatre show like Come from Away.
Cycling round Central Park
Walking over Brooklyn bridge
Visiting the One World Trade centre - tallest building in the west and a great experience.
Various themed tours such as Marvel film locations, also food tours.
Even if they don’t like shopping they might like to visit the shops in Times Square M&S, Hershey’s, Midtown Comics
Hard rock cafe

CoolShoeshine Wed 12-Feb-20 18:03:12

Sorry I’ve thought of some more things my teens liked - massive Nike store, going in trump tower, visiting the friends apartment block

TheBigRoundSquare Wed 12-Feb-20 18:06:42

We went for Christmas this year with DC’s 12 and 14 and had a fabulous time. We surprised them with the trip on Christmas morning and flew out late afternoon for 4 nights.

We got city passes which you can get for different number of attraction. We got 3 attractions and did Empire State, Top of the Rock and 911 Memorial museum which DS12 was fascinated by.

We got tickets for the Rockettes show which was amazing and tickets for the Harlem Globetrotters at Madison Square Gardens. Wanted Nicks tickets but they were playing away and ice hockey tickets were extortionate!

We got the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. The queue to get over to Ellis Island was huge. Over 2 hours wait apparently.

We got the subway over to Brooklyn, had pizza at Juilianas and walked back over the bridge in the dark which was ace.

Ice skating in Central Park was about $100 for 4 of us and DC’s both loved it.

We didn’t do any museums other than 911 because it’s not really their thing, and we didn’t really shop other than a wander around Macy’s which is near Madison Square Gardens. Stuff wasn’t any cheaper although they did get a few things they’d not seen over here.

We booked as a package because we found it cheaper that way. Food was expensive but everything was open, even on Christmas Day.

Rockefeller Tree was lovely but area around it was very busy. Wouldn’t have wanted to stay for New Year because I think our DC’s would have been overwhelmed by how busy it was in Times Sqaure.

Temperatures were fine when we were there. About 8-10 probably. Much warmer than I was expecting.

Feel free to ask me anything else you’d like to know. Would definitely recommend it though.

DJ1701 Wed 12-Feb-20 18:12:13

Visit all the Xmas windows Macy’s, Saks etc. Rockefeller Tree. Are there any films they like that were filmed in NYC, it’s fun to visit some of the places. Brooklyn, Greenwich Village. Bryant park is a must.

Please don’t under estimate how ridiculously busy it is around the must see Xmas attractions. We have been a few times at Xmas and this Xmas just gone. Some times you physically can’t move on the pavements as there are that many people around and you have to wait to move. At times it can be overwhelming and a bit scary if you are not happy with big crowds.

Howdidweenduphere Sat 15-Feb-20 22:28:27

Following with interest..always fancied new york in December but kids are 8 and 6 so not sure if it'll be too full on...

Tatapie Sat 15-Feb-20 22:48:25

Interesting, sorry I haven't been but would like to with my teens so following

tentative3 Sat 22-Feb-20 16:11:45

Actually, prices around a week or so before Christmas aren't insane at all. We went from 15th December to I think 22nd a couple of years ago and hotels were reasonable (I mean, it's all relative). I priced up September and December and they came out the same - cheaper flights in Sept and cheaper hotels in Dec. I've read on the tripadvisor forum that the first two weeks of Dec are expensive though.

When we went we landed in snow and it was very cold the first couple of days but it was magical and perfectly fine, even with a real feel of -11 at the coldest.

We liked the Columbus Circle Christmas market best, found the others a bit too crowded. Check out the vintage subway train, which runs on Saturdays only in December, from memory. It's fab and can take as much or as little time as you want. We had breakfast at Clinton St Baking Co first, which fitted well with the route of the subway train.

I spend a lot of time on the NYC trip advisor forum and the advice is almost always not to get the passes.

Dozer Sat 22-Feb-20 16:15:19

V cold.

Sightseeing different areas on foot, eating, going up a tall building or three.

If you have a big budget you could do a sporting event.

Museums and galleries are varied but expensive. Zoos unethical and don’t think the NYC ones are large anyway.

lalafafa Sat 22-Feb-20 16:57:46

its freezing and packed, plus the dollar is really strong so it's really expensive.

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