I NYC WITH TEENS Streetwise and ready to roll
How to make the most of a family visit to Manhattan
MAKE that familiar bird’s-eye view of Manhattan your kids have seen in countless movies come to life by going skyward — either to the Empire State or preferably to Top of the Rock on the gorgeous art-deco Rockefeller Building. Wesave the latter for the last night of our stay but our teens wish it had been their first because it gives them such a distinct sense of place. On the journey to the three-level rooftop there’s a pictorial exhibit, photo opportunity and short film to view but the highlight is just watching the world’s coolest city hum below you from the outdoor level at 70 storeys up. Sunset is super busy, naturally, and booking tickets doesn’t help to beat the crowds. More: topoftherock.com.
LET’S SHOP, SISTERS
THE one catch with walking everywhere is that shopping eventually gets in the way, which becomes our son’s philosophy after several days of mooching about Manhattan. When shopping with his sisters and mother becomes too much, we send him off to take photos or to sample food from the nearest street vendor. My daughters love the eclectic shops of Greenwich Village j ust as much as the glitzy stores such as Forever 21, Macy’s and the bargainhunters’ Century 21. In Manhattan, the shopping stops only when you make it stop. One shopping experience not to be missed is B&H ‘‘super store’’, the massive beehive of an electronics, photography and video centre; it’s a technology consumer’s heaven; 420 Ninth Ave (corner of West 34th). More: bhphotovideo.com.
CHANGE your viewpoint of NYC by getting out on the water, especially in summer. The Staten Island Ferry is the only free way to view the Statue of Liberty but be aware you have to disembark at Staten Island — passengers can’t stay on for a round trip. Circle Line Cruises offers a range of guided tours around the island. The Downtown Boathouse has free kayaking on a walk- up basis between May and October. More: circleline42.com; siferry.com; downtownboathouse.org.