Read Caption
Heather's tip: Stay in midtown for easy access to fun, family-friendly sites, such as the Rockefeller Center. (Photograph by Patrick Batchelder, Alamy)

Family Holiday Fun in NYC

National Geographic Traveler columnist Heather Greenwood Davis is the magazine’s family travel advocate, guru, and soothsayer.

Here’s her latest advice:

Reader Question: I’d love to treat my teen daughter to a trip to New York City over the winter holiday season. Suggestions?

My Answer: It’s all about location. Stay at a midtown hotel and you’ll be well placed to access the must-sees (Times Square, Empire State Building). Then, explore the city with your daughter’s age in mind. Book a tour that highlights spots from a favorite TV show, foods she loves (a pizza tour in Little Italy, perhaps?), or a seasonal activity (skating the rinks at Rockefeller Center and Central Park).

Skip Fifth Avenue and concentrate your spending money on memory-making experiences like Radio City Music Hall’s holiday show, a Broadway musical (the TKTS booth in Times Square offers same-day discounted theater tickets; the “Play Express” line for non-musicals is shorter), or souvenirs that relate to your adventure together.

Check out the gift shop at the Cooper Hewitt design museum for one-of-a-kind mementos. Don’t leave the city without taking in a great view: The free Staten Island ferry offers a glimpse of Lady Liberty, and a ride up the elevator to the “Top of the Rock” yields a dazzling view of New York City and a chance to snap an iconic holiday photo.

More From Heather Greenwood Davis: