Teens in the City
New York City offers a virtual treasure chest of fun things to do for teens. This age group is generally the hardest to please and appease during the vacations. They are too old for kids' stuff and too young to appreciate more "adult" entertainment and, of course, don't want to look like they are having too much fun. From amusement parks to Internet cafes, from bookstores to malls and arcades to sporting events and sports complexes, New York City is a city that is almost made for teenagers to enjoy.
The trick to enjoying your New York City vacation while making sure your teen enjoys his or her time in the city is compromise. Agree to go skateboarding in the park if he or she will suffer through a museum with you. You may each find something to enjoy in each other's activities. There are so many wonderful things to do and see in New York. You don't have to pay a lot of money to have a good time, as many of these wonderful events are offered free or for very little cost. You can also purchase passes that allow free admission to certain attractions in the city for a reduced rate. You will find that, among the free offerings, there is usually something that will appeal to several members of your family, including teenagers.
Compromise is a good idea on any vacation with friends or family and teaches your teens an important lesson: their opinion is important to you. They also learn to compromise, to share time and experiences and to think critically. They are forced to weigh all the things they would like to do and select the ones that matter most to them. This is a great thing for people to learn as early as possible and will be an invaluable lesson as they get older and eventually begin to make their own decisions in life as well. I even try to offer younger children a voice about what is going on. I offer age-appropriate options and allow them to select the one that matters most to them.
Teens are often very hard to please or predict and their desires can change between the time it takes to open a package of pop tarts and the time it takes to drop them in the toaster. Keep this in mind when making plans with teens and go with the flow. You don't have to let your teen rule your vacation, but by allowing her a voice in the decision-making process, you may all learn some important and interesting things about each other.
Teenage girls are often easily distracted by shopping, while New York City has some of the trendiest boutiques you may want to check out if you can talk her into some of them, any consignment or thrift stores that abound. You can call it 'vintage clothing' if you must to get her in the doors, but you can get some amazing deals on clothes that look barely worn if that and she'll have some nice additions to her closet for a fraction of their price. Costs if new. There are also some wonderful malls in New York. The trick to shopping at any of these stores is to know the prices of things. Some things are excellent bargains, while others are not so much.
Teenagers will have a great time at places like Game Time Nation, where they can play video games for endless hours. They can even try playing together if they are brave enough. Fair warning is offered here, teenagers are brutal in their victories and you will never overcome your failures in the video game arena with them, so study beforehand.
The most important thing to remember about vacationing with your teen is that you would like them to have fond memories of your time together, even during their teenage years. Be careful to include them in your plans rather than making plans for them. It's time to allow them to be involved in the decision-making process to some extent, even if you allow one or the other option or ask them to list a few things they'd like to do and for you to select from among them. If you're having fun, chances are they'll eventually join in.