Cool NYC activites for pre teens

Old Jul 26th, 2013, 07:03 AM
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Cool NYC activites for pre teens

I need to come up with some fun things to do in NYC for 11 and 12 year old girls (they’ll be in NYC next month for 2 days). They’re from Chicago so although this is their first NYC trip they are used to being in a large city. First day will probably be the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Empire State Building is not on the agenda and I don’t think this family would want to take the HOHO bus. I think they’re staying in midtown but if downtown seems more fun they can change hotels. Perhaps something in Central Park. I really don’t know what they like to do but I’m assuming typical pre-teen things.

Also need a really good pizza restaurant. The one I know is Keste on Bleeker. Is there anything similar in midtown? Anyone know of a pizzeria that tops Keste?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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Ellis Island is still closed, though the Statue of Liberty is open. Perhaps rethink this unless you have already secured crown tickets. They may enjoy a harbor cruise or the Staten Island Ferry just as much, and neither has such long lines (a pity for such a short trip). I think a Downtown day with lunch at either Shake Shack or in Chinatown would be great, though there, followed by an afternoon of shopping. Do they like candy? Economy Candy is fun on the Lower East Side, though Dylan's Candy Bar is more dazzling.

Definitely Central Park. That's worth the better part of a day, perhaps including a visit to the Museum of Natural History. If you didn't do lunch at Shake Shack, then this would be the day to do it right before the museum.

I think they should try to see at least one Broadway show. It's probably too late to secure tickets for Matilda, the Lion King, or Wicked, but there are other shows younger girls might like.

The easiest pizza in Midtown is John's on W. 44th (Ben and Jerry's is across the street for dessert). I've recommended burgers or Chinese for the two lunches, but they might enjoy a big Italian dinner as well. Look at Tony's Napolitano, which is family-style but requires a reservation. Or if this is all too much Italian, then perhaps Junior's? They do have great hot dogs and other things. But it's also a really good breakfast spot. Sometimes lines are long in Times Square, so the Grand Central location is an option for lunch but not breakfast.

And I'll throw out some other stray suggestions. Max Brenner by Union Square for chocolate (not my favorite, but kids love it). Or Serendipity.
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 07:37 AM
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John's is great, I think I like the pizza more than at Keste (which I like a lot, too).
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 07:47 AM
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Go to the front car of the subway and they can watch the lights and stations go by

Evolution-store on Spring Street
Forbidden Planet-comics, graphic novels, toys for older kids

Lombardi's pizza, excellent pizza and if they are not busy will show kids the oven

Gray's Papaya or Papaya King-cheap hot dogs, NY Institutions.

Chinatown Big Wong's (yes that is the real name and means a lot of traffic) and the Chiantown Ice Cream factory

Laboratorio de Gelato

Katz's Deli-let the kids "bribe" the meat slicer with a dollar for a taste and bigger sandwich. Expensive but one sandwich for two people

Donut Plant-best donuts in the city

Veniero's-inexpensive but wonderful Italian pastries
Paul's-divey burger joint in the East Village, never see a tourist, clean and the ownwer works the counter

Pommes Frites-Just sell Belgium style French fries-kids love this joint

Washington Square Park, great people watching.

As mentioned above:
Economy Candy
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 07:57 AM
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If you can swing a broadway show...so fun! If you do... Bring the playbill, a sharpie & camera and go to the stage door after the show... My now 16 year old still loves doing this... She was just in NYC with her dad & they saw momma Mia & Cinderella & loved them both!!
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 09:28 AM
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Definitely at least one B'way show - which one depends n their interests. Got o broadwaybox.com to get discounted tickets n advance.

They must see:

Museum Nat'l Hist
The Met

For both of these look at the web sites and pick just 2 or 3 departments

Also try Ellen's Stardust - the food is basic diner fare but the wait staff if B'way chorus boys and girls and the performances are fun

Do the girls have any specific interests - dance? fashion? ???? that we could pick out some specific activities for
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 09:32 AM
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Nytraveler - good call on Ellen stardust - I forgot about that place - it is perfect for tweeners!
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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Great ideas! They are going to see Annie.

Lots of great food ideas (I'm getting hungry) - more than they can eat in 2 days.

Is the gelato laboratory next to the Tenement Museum?

I'm going to find out their interests. I don't know these girls - they're my boss's daughters. I'm trying to make a big impression with cool ideas!!
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 10:15 AM
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There is a huge Laboratorio on Houston and Ludlow a few blocks from the Museum.
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 04:05 PM
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NYC has special activities for every interest - find out more about them and you will be amazed what options there are.
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 05:48 PM
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http://www.ellensstardustdiner.com
such fun!
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 07:55 PM
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Ellen is an egotistical insufferable tiresome sort who won Miss Subways in 1959 who has never gotten over it. Yes Miss Subways 1959. Miss Subway was when they plastered pictures of 5 young women in subway cars and the straphangers picked their favorite.

It was one of the bizarre pre-occupations of riding the subway. Jammed together, men in suits and hats, women in dresses and high heels in unair-conditioned subway cars choosing their favorite model from huge advertising cars.
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Old Jul 27th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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You've gotten many good ideas. Here's one more: It is a bit far afield but if these girls love castles, unicorns or anything similar, you should seriously consider the Met's Cloisters Museum. The unicorn tapestries are world famous, but of course the whole museum itself is a medieval building transported to the US stone by stone.

Here is my trip report. Scroll down to Day 3-Day 8.

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...amily-of-5.cfm
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Old Jul 27th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Museum of Natural History
The Met
The Cloisters

The Bronx Zoo--fantastic place. They run buses from Manhattan straight to the zoo parking lot. Very convenient for a tourist and you can spend an entire day there and still not see everything.
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Old Jul 27th, 2013, 10:57 AM
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If you are going to be in NYC for only two days, I would skip the Clositers and the Bronx Zoo, since you will be eating up time by travel. If they were here 5 days, a week, they would be wonderful destinations.
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Old Jul 28th, 2013, 11:47 AM
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I think you should include people's interests when building a trip itinerary. If these girls love unicorns and castles etc like my daughter does, then the OP should consider the Cloisters. As mentioned before, it is a little farther afield (but still in Manhattan).
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