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.