NYC with a 15-year-old (THIS Saturday)

Mar 28th, 2013, 09:19 AM
  #1  
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NYC with a 15-year-old (THIS Saturday)

Ok friends, due to a last-minute cancellation, I have the chance to take my little brother to NYC for a day-trip this Saturday. Unfortunately, the three main places I wanted to tour (Federal Hall, City Hall, Tweed Courthouse) are all closed Saturdays, and the place I was most excited to take him to (Sony Wonder Technology Lab) doesn't give reserve tickets less than a week in advance and only has a limited number of walk-in tickets. So, two questions:

Does anyone know how likely it is that we'll be able to get walk-in tickets to the Sony Lab?

Can anyone recommend free/cheap (I'm a recent college grad ) things for me to do that a 15-year-old would enjoy? He loves all things video-game (thus the Sony Lab) and is interested in Japanese culture, though he's willing to broaden his horizons if anyone has any really good suggestions. I love history, and he doesn't mind historical sites. So far, I'm hoping to get him to the Brooklyn Bridge (and have him read a bit of The Great Bridge before we go ), High Line Park, and the top of the ESB (not cheap, I know, but worth it). We've seen the NYPL and Grand Central before. So... Any ideas?
BookButler is offline  
Mar 28th, 2013, 10:30 AM
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USS Intrepid Air Museum, Natural History Museum, Central Park and Zoo are some of my thoughts.

Rather than ESB, go to Top of the Rockefeller Center (Cheaper and you get a view of the ESB).
tchoiniere is offline  
Mar 28th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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I would add the Museum of the Moving Image.
SueNYC is offline  
Mar 28th, 2013, 11:37 AM
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Is he interested in. Harry Potter?

We just did High Line on Sundat. It was pleasant, but not sure it is something. That I'd do with. Minimal time or with a young person.
traveler2005 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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If he's interested in Japanese art and culture, perhaps a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The admission is "pay what you can", so it can be very cheap. And the Asian arts section is very interesting.

Okay...maybe that's a long shot for a teenage boy, but you did say he was interested in Japanese culture.
china_cat is offline  
Mar 28th, 2013, 01:00 PM
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This Saturday there is also a few-days-only Game of Thrones exhibit sponsored by Time-Warner at 3 West 57th Street before the big premier on Sunday. Do you think that would interest him?
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 28th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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FYI: The Game of Thrones exhibit is free.

I have a few other thoughts. I hope these help.

There's also a Japanese bookstore, Kinokuniya, near Bryant Park, and it sells manga I believe, perhaps a larger selection of Japanese-language stuff than you'd be likely to find elsewhere.

The East Village is actually a treasure trove of all things Japan. The biggest concentration is fairly close to Astor Place subway station. The following link is really aimed at parents of smaller kids, but if your brother likes all things Japan, some of these toy stores are really cool, and you might happen across a few more interesting things if you just wander: http://tinyurl.com/d8h5tmp. Of course, there's a Hello Kitty store in Times Square on 42nd street, but that seems a little girly for a 15-year-old.

The Japan Society's gallery charges $12 for adults, but kids under 16 are free. Maybe that's a possibility? But I think china_cat's recommendation of the Metropolitcan Museum is actually a better one since it has a wider-ranging collection.

If you go to the Intrepid, which is actually quite interesting, be sure to buy tickets in advance or face horrible lines.

Finally, I disagree that the ESB is worth anything. You can go to Top of the Rock for about the same price and see the ESB and not have to stand in a major line. I'd do that if you want to blow that much on a single thing. Afterward, he might enjoy the Nintendo World store, which is nearby.
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 28th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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There are two stores which he find fsacinating:

Forbidden Planet
http://www.fpnyc.com/

Evolution
http://theevolutionstore.com/

They play basketball at The Cages on Sixth Avenue and 4th Street. It is a small court where they play a tough brand of b-ball and is known throughout the city. Stick your fingers in the fence and watch with everyone else.
paradeofminkees is offline  
Mar 28th, 2013, 01:55 PM
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I was told that the SONY Lab was too young for teens so skipped it.
My fifteen year old grandson's favorite thing in all of New York was the Museum of the Moving Image, a short subway ride to Queens.
Can you get timed entry tickets to the 9/11 Memorial for your dates?
Lunch at Katz' Deli.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Mar 28th, 2013, 05:01 PM
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Suggest you and he have a look at the web sites of the places listed - since there is no way you can get to all.

I would always do TOTR vs ESB - much better views and no waiting on interminable lines (this is EASTER weekends - with hordes of tourists
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 29th, 2013, 05:02 PM
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There was an enormous line on Thursday morning at 10:30 for the Game of Thrones exhibit. I don't watch the show so I don't know if it's worth it to stand in a big line for some time.
Skiergirl is offline  
Apr 10th, 2013, 07:01 AM
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Thank you all SO MUCH for your input! The trip went over very well, though it ended up being post-poned to Wednesday due to my waking up with a splitting headache on Saturday. As ever with NYC, we didn't get to see as much as we wanted, but I'm definitely adding some of these recommendations to the list for the next time we get into the city!
BookButler is offline  
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