Visiting New York City with a high school aged daughter means that Instagram will be your tour guide and Hamilton will be on the agenda. Bagels will be rainbow colored, desserts will be tiny and bright, dinners will be off limits (insert sound of a screeching vinyl record here) because I’m just not willing to leave that sort of decision to Instagrammers and all the wisdom they possess.
Everything is a rainbow and it’s not universally awful but let’s not call it delicious just yet. We ate rainbow bagels (well, I ate regular bagels but watched as the kids ate something vanilla flavored and rainbow colored), ice cream with sprinkles and a shockingly delicious sandwich that contained both beets and goat cheese.
Traveling with teens isn’t like traveling with little kids. Give up some control, let them explore the web and the city and follow them to things they might find interesting. That’s how we ended up in Brooklyn eating rainbow colored bagels and then ubering over to NYU to poke our heads into the Engineering school.
We stayed at a suite hotel. My experience is that everyone needs a few quiet moments and by staying at The London the small amount of time we spent in the room was rejuvenating. A full review to come next week.
New York City has an abundance of cultural attractions. If your teens don’t find themselves mesmerized by museums bring them anyhow just knowing that you’ll stay until they’re done. One of the toughest parts of traveling with teens is that the parents and kids have different agendas and interests. As the adult it’s up to you to walk into every museum knowing that you might only be there for 30 minutes. I know that sounds awful and it sounds like a waste of money but my experience has been that if allow the kids to leave when they’re finished they end up with a really nice memory of the museum and some level of interest in returning. Research Groupon and Living Social for up to a month before your trip for the best discounts.
MoMa is weird
Some of it makes me wonder, “Is that art?” If the only thing you see is The Starry Night it will have been worth it. Matisse is part of the permanent collection and if you have your kids give a scan to his Wikipedia page before you go it’s interesting to watch his work evolve and the paper cutouts during his end of life take on new meaning. There’s also a Jackson Pollack room that my kids weren’t interested in but it was teeming with teens and young adults.
The Frick Collection is my absolute favorite.
It’s small, the size of a large home, and in addition to an app they have an audio tour that gives the collection meaning. Because it’s right next to Central Park and housed in a mansion it’s missing some of the gravitas of a larger, more formal museum which though appealing for some is intimidating for others. The Frick is manageable and will transport you to another time.
Even if you hate musical theater as much as I do you should still see Hamilton.
That’s right, I said it. I don’t like musical theater. You know those utterly adorable videos of the cast of [insert popular musical here] singing on a subway train? My worst nightmare is to be hurdling through the tunnels underneath New York City while a bunch of adorable actors steal my private moments and sing songs. With that being said, Hamilton really was wonderful.
We spent a small fortune taking four of us to the show. Our seats were miserable but it was still lovely. The theater is small, tiny even and if you need a lot of leg room or if you’re wide you stand no chance whatsoever of being comfortable. It’s okay, they story more than makes up for it. Hamilton is fascinating.
My family is a family of planners but if yours is adventurous I would do things very differently. It is possible to see Hamilton without mortgaging your home. I love StubHub more than any woman ought to. If you’re willing to take a little risk, leave a few things to chance and you’re in New York City for more than one day I would recommend taking your smart phone to Broadway and hitting refresh on StubHub until the prices become tenable.
This is how much a ticket to Hamilton will cost you for tomorrow night’s performance. It is in 24.5 hours.
Center seats in the Orchestra section begin at $943. Ever since we had to scale back and fire the butler I’ve become too frugal for this.
Here are the same seats 35 minutes before a performance.
$275 for a seat? Still expensive but yes please! Now, you do need to be willing to split a family up. Maybe you’ll get two at $500 each and two at $275 each, maybe you have 17 children and you’ll be all over the theater. It won’t be cheap but you won’t be paying extortion fees either.
Do you gamble? I’m not asking you if you roll dice, I’m asking you do you gamble? Do you bluff, play chicken, draw second? If you’re a gambler look at what happens 30 minutes before a show.
You can have three tickets at $242.19 each and two more at $393. Now, the Richard Rodgers Theatre does not accept tickets via smartphone so you can do one of two things. You can limit yourself to pickup tickets or you can pull $10-$20 out of your pocket, download the tickets as a pdf on your smartphone and waltz yourself into one of the many hotels near the theater and ask the concierge to print the tickets for you. You are likely not a guest at that hotel so do tip accordingly.
If you’re willing to take a chance with StubHub you might see your ticket price drop as much as $700 per ticket.