Let’s face it: New York City is the ideal place for teenage girls. The upscale, luxurious lifestyles led by the Manhattan elite are everything a girl could ask for. So how can you give your not-so-little girl the trip of a lifetime? Why not start with delightful outdoor adventures, just a taste of celebrities and plenty of shopping on the Upper West Side.
Central Park is an amazing place to stay active during the day. Enjoy the sunshine while refreshing your bodies with fast-paced Vinyasa yoga. With a mix of meditation and movement, it will get you alert and ready for the day ahead. Reservations are required, but first-time students can get a discounted rate. Be sure to bring your own mats as well!
After working up a sweat, cool off with a breezy rowboat ride on The Lake. You can rent one at the Loeb Boathouse between April and October, and you will have a blast with your teen whether you are steadily rowing or just cruising over the calm water. Once you’ve returned to dry land, take a stroll to the middle of the park and lay a soft blanket out for a picnic lunch on Cherry Hill. Here, you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and you will have a gorgeous view overlooking Bow Bridge. In the springtime, the blossoming cherry trees that give the hill its name are joined by the sweet scent of azaleas and forsythia. Savor a tasty salad or sandwich as you enjoy nature’s beauty in one of the biggest cities in the world.
Before you leave the park, surprise your teen with another fun adventure. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park to finish off your Central Park trip with a little bit of magic. Your teen will feel like a modern New York City princess and you will get major brownie points for planning such a thrilling Central Park experience.
On the set
New York City serves as one giant set for the film industry. With prominent picturesque places like Washington Square Park, the Plaza Hotel and a pretty impressive courthouse, the city is always home to camera crews and celebrities shooting episodes and films of popular TV shows and blockbuster films. It’s easy to catch a glimpse of these sets; take a look at the flyers lining the streets detailing when and where they will be shooting.
On Location Tours offers an exciting TV and Movie Sites tour that will allow you and your teen to zip around town on a charter bus to see these famous spots. The plush, roomy seats will make the three and a half hours fly by. The tour guides do a fantastic job of filling the time between sites with trivia questions and clips from movies, past and present, depicting the locations you will see during the tour.
Although some places are pointed out before the bus flies past, there are four major stops along the way to point out some of the more popular TV and movie settings. The first is Washington Square Park, home to a massive arch that has been featured in movies like When Harry Met Sally and Barefoot in the Park as well as the television series Glee. The second stop features a chance for shopping near Heath Ledger’s apartment and the workplace of the main character of the Felicity series. The next stop is a firehouse in Chelsea that was featured in Ghostbusters as well as Will Smith’s Hitch. Look inside the firehouse windows to catch a glimpse of the Ghostbusters symbol on the wall. The last stop—and my personal favorite—is the outside of the Friends apartment building. You will both delight in the short building and learn how camera tricks make it appear bigger.
The tour ends with some complimentary black and white cookies, made famous in an episode of Seinfeld.
Shop ’til you drop
By now your teen will be loving her day out in uptown. But don’t let the fun stop here! Walk along Madison and Broadway Avenues for some stellar shopping as the glowing sun sinks behind the buildings of the Upper West Side. Teens will want to visit their favorites so stop by Forever 21 and H&M, but if you’re in the mood to splurge a little, head to Olive and Bette’s on the Upper East Side for adorable, unique clothing that teens will love.
If you want to avoid the expensive purchases but still want to explore the world of shopping in Upper Manhattan, spend the remainder of your day window-shopping on Fifth Avenue. Visit esteemed retailers like Tiffany’s & Co., Bergdorf Goodman, Chanel, Versace, Dior, Saks Fifth Avenue and Louis Vuitton to drool over upscale goodies together. End up at the Two Little Red Hens Bakery on Second Avenue as your adventure draws to a close and savor their deliciously creamy cheesecake.