Visiting NYC with your teenage kids? Trust me, you’re going to need this 4 day NYC itinerary for teens!

Planning a trip to NYC with teenagers can feel like navigating a subway rush hour – exciting, but potentially overwhelming. But don’t worry, my 4 day NYC itinerary for teens will give you so many ideas for keeping your teens happy!

Trust me, they’re going to love the stuff I have planned in this itinerary! It’s the perfect schedule to keep your teens engaged and entertained all trip long.

My 4 day NYC itinerary for teens is packed full of amazing activities and hidden gems, I know they’re going to love. This itinerary is your secret weapon, packed with activities that’ll keep everyone from grumpy teens to culture-hungry parents happy.

Family sightseeing in NYC

Day 1: Broadway Bites & Big Apple Bliss

Morning: Fuel up for your first day of my NYC itinerary for teens at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, and start your day with a bang! This isn’t just breakfast; it’s a show.

The servers at Ellen’s Stardust Diner are aspiring Broadway actors, so you’ll enjoy live performances of Broadway hits along with your meal. It’s a popular spot, so expect a wait—but it’s worth it for the unique experience. Expect renditions of classic Broadway tunes alongside your pancakes – a guaranteed mood booster!

Here’s a Google Maps link for Ellen’s Stardust Diner!

Midday: It’s time for a Central Park adventure! No NYC itinerary for teens would be complete without exploring the green oasis of Central Park, and teens will love exploring it.

You could rent bikes for a scenic ride, or simply wander around and soak up the atmosphere. Whatever route you go down, your teens will love it. There are so many photo opportunities, movie-locations and scenic lookouts to enjoy.

Afternoon: Next up on my NYC itinerary for teens, it’s a flexible afternoon! Choose your teen’s poison – the interactive exhibits of the Museum of Broadway, showcasing the magic behind the curtain, or the chance to rub shoulders (well, wax figures) with their favorite celebs at Madame Tussauds.

Personally, I LOVE The Museum of Broadway, it’s my favorite museum in the whole city. It’s so immersive and wonderful. But, even with this in mind, younger teens might enjoy the novelty of Tussauds more. You make the call!

Evening: Immerse yourselves in the electrifying energy of Times Square, you can’t do a vacation to NYC without it! It’s likely your teens will be super excited to see Times Square, which is why I’ve put it in day 1. It’s good to put the big stuff at front for this NYC itinerary for teens!

It’s chaotic and busy and crowded – but it’s a must-see. Snap photos with costumed characters, marvel at the dazzling lights, and soak up the city’s vibrant atmosphere. To make younger teens feel super ‘grown-up’, I recommend grabbing a Starbucks in Times Square and sitting on the red steps to drink it!

Dinnertime Delights: Refuel after a busy day with a delicious and affordable meal near Times Square. There are so many great options around the area.

From classic American fare to international cuisine, there’s something for everyone, and every teenager. No matter what they love to eat!

Day 2: Bagels, Broadway & Beyond

Morning: Start day 2 of this NYC itinerary for teens with a true New York classic – a fresh bagel with cream cheese! This is a super easy breakfast, and it’s something your teens should love. You’ll find bagels scattered all around the city, so just pick a place close to your hotel.

After your bagel, ascend to the top of Summit One Vanderbilt and experience breathtaking panoramic views of the city from its glass observation deck. This is one of the newest observation decks in the city, and it’s somewhere your teenager will LOVE.

There are so many fun TikTok video opportunities, and instagram photo spots. Don’t forget to walk through the amazing mirrored-balloon room too!

Midday: After Summit One Vanderbilt, explore the architectural marvel of Grand Central Station. It’s right next door – so an easy walk for your teenagers! This is an amazingly fun addition to my NYC itinerary for teens.

From its iconic clock to the hidden constellations on the ceiling, there’s so much to discover. It’s also home to a few famous movies filming locations – so make sure to point those out to your teen too.

Lunch: Los Tacos No.1 is right near Grand Central Station (a short 5 minute walk) and it’s a fantastic lunch options for families with teenagers. Who doesn’t LOVE tacos?

Afternoon: In the afternoon, catch a matinee performance on Broadway! From timeless classics to the latest hits, there’s a show for everyone, although it’s probably best to just ask your teenager which show they’re most interested in watching. This is a truly unforgettable experience for any theater lover, and even non-theater lovers! Broadway is magic.

Evening: After watching your Broadway show, step into the whimsical world of the Harry Potter Store and unleash your inner witch or wizard. This store is HUGE, and it’ll take about an hour to explore it all. If your teenagers love the books or movies, this is a winning activity.

Browse magical merchandise, pose for photos with iconic props, and relive the magic of the books and movies. I can’t overstate how wonderful this shop is. They even have a Butterbeer bar too! It’s such a cute option for my NYC itinerary for teens.

Here’s a Google Maps link to the Harry Potter Store in NYC.

Dinnertime Delights: End your day with a delicious and authentic Italian meal at Eataly, a foodie paradise offering everything from fresh pasta to gourmet gelato. Your teens will love it because it’s casual, and there is plenty of choice.

Here’s a Google Maps link to Eataly in NYC.

Day 3: Greenwich Village & Beyond Breakfast Bliss

Morning: Starting day 3 of my NYC itinerary for teens, it’s a mouthwatering breakfast at Jack’s Wife Frieda in the West Village, known for its amazing breakfast dishes (my favorite is the waffles!). After breakfast, explore the charming streets of Greenwich Village.

Here’s a Google Maps Link for Jack’s Wife Freda.

There are a few things to get your teen excited with here…. For example, see the iconic “Friends” apartment building, snap a pic on Cornelia Street (made famous by Taylor Swift), and indulge in sweet treats at Molly’s Cupcakes. They will all go down a treat!

Midday/lunch: Immerse yourselves in the culinary delights of Chelsea Market, it’s a short stroll from Greenwich Village (takes about 15 minutes) and it’s packed with so many wonderful food choices. It’s great for teens because they can pick exactly what they want to eat.

Afternoon: Next up, take a leisurely stroll along the High Line, a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets. Your teens will love it because it oozes cool, it’s a real ‘New York’ activity, and there are so many opportunities for photos and TikTok videos.

Evening: In the evening, take a ride on “The Ride” – it’s a unique sightseeing experience that combines a narrated bus tour with live performances and special effects.

Words can’t really do this activity justice, so you’ll have to trust me! It’s really unique and wonderful – and your teens will love it. It’s a super fun and informative way to see the city at night – but it books up well in advanced, so make sure you book ahead.

Dinnertime Delights: Tonight it’s time for NYC pizza! You can’t visit NYC without sampling the amazing pizza… and I know your teenagers will agree. Here’s a list of the best pizza places in NYC, so make sure you pick somewhere on this list! This is a perfect way to end day 3 of my NYC itinerary for teens.

Day 4: Lower East Side & Little Italy Delights

Morning: For breakfast on the last day of my NYC itinerary for teens, it’s time to head to the Lower East Side, and quirky and fun part of the city. Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Remedy Diner, known for its fresh juices and creative brunch options.

After breakfast, visit Meow Parlour, a cat cafe where you can cuddle with adorable adoptable cats while enjoying coffee and treats. It’s the purrfect way to relax and unwind on your last morning. I don’t need to explain why your teens will love this, it’s cake and cats!

Midday: Take a few hours to explore the trendy and historic Lower East Side. Check out street art, browse vintage shops, and soak up the unique atmosphere of this vibrant neighborhood. On the weekends there are often vintage markets and art markets scattered around too.

Late lunch: Next up, take your teens to grab a legendary pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Deli, a New York institution since 1888. Be prepared for a wait, but I promise the experience is worth it!

This place is ICONIC, and it has been a celebrity hotspot for decades (just check out the photos on the walls!). Your kids will love it, it’s one of those classic NYC experiences.

Afternoon: Choose your afternoon adventure depending on what your teens would prefer – Either explore the wacky and colorful world of the Sloomoo Institute, or indulge your sweet tooth at the Museum of Ice Cream. Both are incredibly fun, and worth a visit.

Evening: When evening rolls around, take a walk down to Little Italy and China Town. Both of these neighborhoods are close to each other, and they’re also within walking distance of the Lower East Side. You could probably explore both within a few hours, and whilst you’re there, look for a restaurant to eat at!

Dinner: As the last option for this NYC itinerary for teens, it’s dinnertime! Have dinner in Little Italy or China Town (whichever you’d prefer).

There are plenty of affordable options in these neighborhoods, and plenty of delicious food too! So whether your teens would prefer pizza or pork dumplings, you’ll be sorted!

Hopefully this NYC itinerary for teens has given you plenty of ideas and inspiration!

Don’t forget – I also create custom NYC itineraries too!

If you’re looking for an itinerary that’s a little more bespoke or tailored to your family’s needs and interests, that’s something I can offer!

I design custom itineraries for people visiting NYC, and it guarantees you an amazing vacation. You’ll tell me all the things you love doing, the kind of food you love, and I’ll create a tailor-made NYC itinerary design specially for you!

You can learn more about it by clicking here!

Elle posing for a photo in front of the NYC skyline, as seen from DUMBO.
Me, posing for a photo in front of the NYC skyline, as seen from DUMBO.