New York City Archives - 2 Dads with Baggage
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Things to do With Your Teen in NYC

Things to do With Your Teen in NYC

The plan was to pick my son up from college in Connecticut, take the train to NYC and enjoy a day and a half in the city before flying home. But mild panic ensued…what to do with your teen in NYC? You know how it is. You’ve gotta keep the interest going or you’ll lose them to their phone in a New York minute!

NYC Doesn’t Have to be Expensive.

Fortunately, there’s so much to do in NYC (that’s cheap or free) that you should never have a dull moment. We covered a lot of territory, eight miles on Saturday alone ensured my teen was cooked by the end of the day (so bring your walking shoes). Good news is all of the recommendations below have my 18-year old’s thumbs-up approval.

Eat at neighborhood restaurants.

Tourist attractions tend to be loud, expensive, and rarely good. We found a local Japanese restaurant our first night that was filled with folks winding down from the work week. Sushi Tsushima served up fresh fish, quick service and reasonable prices. We could even hear each other without yelling which is always a bonus in my book.

Use the Subway.

Next morning we loaded up our MTA cards and jumped on the number 7 subway to check out Hudson Yards. The Hudson Yards subway station itself is a marvel of clean, spacious modernity. Walk past the ubiquitous stalls selling buttons and felafel and you are greeted with a few architectural stunners, like this one. Vessel in the Public Square is super cool looking, but if you want to walk around on it get your tickets online in advance.

Vessel at Hudson Yards NYC

Vessel at Hudson Yards is Instagram-worthy

Hudson Yards is full of the usual suspects – fast fashion, some high end retailers, but there was one shop that captured my teen’s attention – b8ta. The shop exists to showcase the products of innovators who only have one item in production and need a place to connect with shoppers IRL. Each invention was accompanied by an iPad that explained the product and allowed you to buy it with a click. There were quite a few cool items at b8ta and my teen enjoyed browsing the shop.

b8ta is an interesting shop at Hudson Yards NYC

A shop a teen can love

Public art is free.

NYC is full of public art. So is Hudson Yards.This one invited the public to leave a message or draw a picture.  It’s worth walking through the building to check it all out. We also walked over to The Shed (part of the Hudson Yards complex) and saw a free exhibit there.

Interactive public art at Hudson Yards NYC

All ages get in on the action at this interactive wall

Next we tried Snark Park, which is billed as “a multi-faceted exhibition space that will house a series of immersive art installations”. At $17 a person I was expecting a pretty cool experience. It wasn’t nearly as large as we had expected and after about 15 minutes we were done. I think the current exhibit might be better suited to little kids who can get lost in the layers of fabric. We didn’t think it was worth the price but future exhibits might be.

Snark Park at Hudson Yards NYC

Now you see him, now you don’t

Eventually we got hungry. We wanted to try the Jose Andres’ Spanish Market but it didn’t open until 3 pm. So we went upstairs to Belcampo for the most expensive burgers and fries I have ever bought. But oh, those fries! We ordered the duck fat fries and the beef tallow fries. Fortunately for me, he liked the beef tallow best, because I loved those duck fat fries. Super crispy, full of flavor and salted just right. And if you feel the need to eat something healthy, the bone broth on tap is just the ticket.

Bone Broth on tap at Belcampo in Hudson Yards NYC

Never seen this before!

NYC is made for walking.

We took the subway uptown to 56th St. and headed to Central Park. It was one of those glorious spring days where everything is green, the tulips are in full bloom and everyone in NYC is outside walking around. We definitely worked off our high-calorie lunch as we headed for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students attending college in NY, NJ and CT can pay what they want at the Met (and he let me as the parent do the same!).

My son and husband had recently visited the Met and participated in a Museum Hack tour called Un-Highlights @ the Met. He remembered it so well that he took me all over the museum and told me fascinating trivia about works of art. This “renegade tour” gave my son a very different experience of what a museum has to offer and he dug it.

We highly recommend SPYSCAPE.

Sunday morning was grey and wet and I needed to find something to do indoors pronto. I stumbled upon SPYSCAPE and it was a winner. We got the extra tickets for the current James Bond exhibition and, as big fans, it was a blast.

James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 at SPYSCAPE museum

Yes, this is the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger and Spectre!

From the moment you step onto the elevator, which is as big as a room, you know you’re going to have fun. When you first check in they place an RFID wristband on your arm. As you go through the museum, you stop at electronic kiosks and answer questions about yourself, solve puzzles, work through encryption challenges and more. The displays cover spy craft from WWII through the present. When you finish the tour you enter a room that analyzes all the data it has collected on you and tells you what kind of spy you should be. The museum is completely immersive so it never gets boring. Perfect for teens.

There’s never a reason for a teen to be bored in NYC. We weren’t in the city very long, but we had a great time.

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New York Welcomes Families this Summer for WorldPride NYC 2019

New York Welcomes Families this Summer for WorldPride NYC 2019

It’s only fitting that the site of the very first Pride Parade become the host city of WorldPride 2019, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. To celebrate this historic event and many other advancements in the LGBTQ community, the entire State of New York will be getting into the act. Millions of people from around the world are expected to attend WorldPride NYC. In typical Big Apple style, there will be plenty of family activities at WorldPride NYC.

Fifty years ago, a small group of LGBTQ leaders refused to back down in the face of discrimination taking place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. This pivotal moment sparked an uprising that grew into the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. The Stonewall Riots are remembered in NYC each year with an annual New York Pride March. A global symbol of equal rights, New York Pride is now colorfully celebrated with Pride Marches in every major city around the world.

Rainbow balloon arches welcome revelers at the NYC Pride March (Photo by Hunter Abrams)

Family Activities at WorldPride NYC

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I attended the San Francisco Pride Parade many (MANY) times. With feelings of true pride, happiness for all we had gained and sadness for those friends lost. I waved my rainbow flag like the best of them.

Now with kids of our own, we’ve taken our family to San Diego Pride events a number of times. We love the pageantry of it all! I wonder what our kids would think of the fun family activities at WorldPride NYC?

I LOVE NY is organizing Pride Celebrations at destinations throughout the Empire State. I’m sure Sophia and Ava would enjoy participating in all of them.

kids at New York Pride March with rainbow flags

Kids and families get into the action at the NYC Pride March. (Photo by Christopher Gagliardi )

New York City

In New York City, the NYC Pride March takes place in Sunday, June 30 at noon. This is always a festive and celebratory event, drawing a mix of people from all walks of life to the world’s largest LGBTQ pride march. Rainbows and smiles abound, while paying honor and respect to our lives and our community in ways big and small.

rainbow flags parade route NYC Pride March

Rainbow flags line the parade route at the NYC Pride March. (Photo by Hunter Abrams)


“Sing Out, New York!” – May 28 – June 2 and June 6 – 9

The Albany Symphony will present “Sing Out, New York!”; a major national music festival and regional tour of free, outdoor concerts celebrating equal rights.

  • The five-day American Music Festival, scheduled for May 28-June 2 in Troy, will feature performances by David Del Tredici’s Pop-Pourri, as well as John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1, “Of Rage and Remembrance,” a tribute to those lost to AIDS. Both Del Tredici and Corigliano are fierce advocates for gay rights as well as renowned composers.
  • A regional tour of free, outdoor concerts from June 6-9 will highlight events like the Stonewall uprising, World Pride 2019 and the women’s suffrage movement, showcasing New York State’s role in social justice movements. Several works will premiere at “Sing Out, New York!” including a piece by composer Viet Cuong inspired by events between the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the first Gay Pride march in New York City in 1970.
parade float NYC Pride March

Colorful parade floats, dancing boys, drag queens and dykes on bikes mingle at NYC Pride. (Photo by Zach Hilty of BFA)

Long Island

Pride on the Beach – June 21-23

  • Long Island, birthplace of Harvey Milk, will kick off New York’s Pride celebrations with Pride on the Beach. During the three-day destination weekend, more than 30,000 people will flock to Long Beach for 30+ LGBTQ events, including the festival’s 29th annual Pride Parade, the second annual Pet Pride Parade in collaboration with Animal Planet, concerts and parties.
girl with rainbow flag at PrideFest NYC

The celebration at PrideFest in NYC is full of love and rainbows. (Photo by BFA Collins Nai)

Pride on the Vines – June 25

  • Visitors to Long Island can head straight from the beach to the vineyard for Pride on the Vines. This day-long event on theNorth Fork’s picturesque wine country will include tours, tastings, receptions and parties.


Chautauqua Institution’s Conversation with Bishop Gene Robinson – July 2

  • Bishop Gene Robinson will lead a discussion about the building of America’s LGBTQ community through major events including Stonewall, the AIDS crisis and marriage equality. Robinson is the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop and Vice President of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution. The discussion, paired with a reception hosted by Chautauqua’s LGBTQ community organization, will be part of a weeklong program examining “Uncommon Ground: Communities Working Toward Solutions.”
fireworks Niagara Falls New York

The beauty of Niagara Falls is illuminated by colorful lights and the sparkle of fireworks.

Niagara Falls

Pride at the Falls – July 5

  • Celebrate WorldPride and Stonewall 50 at a natural wonder: Niagara Falls, America’s oldest state park. Pride at the Falls features a free concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, along with fireworks and the Falls lit in rainbow colors.
women kissing Niagara Falls

True love in the mist at Niagara Falls.

Many other Pride events and celebrations are currently being planned at numerous LGBTQ-friendly locations across the State of New York. Events are planned in Buffalo, Fire Island, the Adirondacks, the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and more.

And the Bailey-Klugh Family will be celebrating there too! More on that soon….

festive man in NYC Pride Parade

Everything and everyone is just more festive at NYC Pride. (Photo by Hunter Abrams)