The term 'after hours' doesn't exist in New York City.

Top Things to Do in New York at Night With Teenagers

by Flora Richards-Gustafson

When the sun sets in New York City, teens aren't doomed to hang out at the mall or stay at home or in a hotel with movie rentals. The Big Apple offers a slew of activities for the 21-and-under crowds that aren’t cordoned off by velvet ropes. Remember that some places only allow teens who are younger than 18 years of age to participate in nighttime activities.


The City that Never Sleeps loves sports. New York is home to the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Liberty and Rangers. Catch an evening baseball game at Yankee Stadium to watch the Yankees play. The next night, go to Citi Field to watch the Mets. During basketball season, you can head to Madison Square Garden to see the Knicks play or see the women of the New York Liberty basketball team play. If winter games interest the teens more, watch the Rangers play at Madison Square Garden.

Live Entertainment

If this is a teen’s first visit to New York, head to Broadway in Manhattan, dress up and catch one of the classic shows. Off-Broadway shows such as the Blue Man Group, “Stomp” and “Fuerza Bruta” are young-crowd pleasers. For something more unexpected, buy tickets for an improv show at the National Comedy Theater. On the first Saturday of the month, the Brooklyn Museum stays open late with special exhibits, films and music from around the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art also stays open late Saturdays. Shea Stadium -- not the sports venue -- is a site where young people can catch live performances by musicians seeking a spot on the Billboard charts.

Show Tapings

Dozens of shows are taped in New York City. As of the date of publication, if a teen is 16 years of age or older, he can attend show tapings for BET’s “106 & Park” and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” A teen who is 17 or older can attend NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Youths 18 and older can attend a taping of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Bravo’s “Inside the Actors Studio” and CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Visit Observatories

While a nighttime cruise or a roundtrip ride on the Staten Island ferry can give a teen a glittering view of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, seeing the city from an observatory gives her a bird’s-eye view. The 67th, 69th and 70th floors at 30 Rockefeller Plaza have the Top of the Rock observation decks with 360-degree views. The displays within Rockefeller Center offer a collection of photos and artifacts to heighten the anticipation as you and your teen make your way to the indoor and outdoor viewing areas. The Empire State Building Observatory takes you and the young person to the highest viewing point in the city until 2 a.m. The crowds are gone at night, so getting to the 102nd-floor outdoor observation deck and the 86th-floor indoor viewing terrace is a breeze.

About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

Photo Credits

  • NA/ Images