13 Ways to Celebrate Turning 13 in NYC

We were all looking forward to celebrating the triplets 13th birthday in New York City during this trip around the USA. Now, how do we go about doing this without spending a fortune? Five days in NYC can be very costly if you’re not careful!

Here are 13 ways we chose to celebrate becoming a teenager in the Big Apple….

1. Stay in a Times Square Hotel.

This was the first and only time we planned to stay in a hotel and not our RV. Obviously, there is no way to stay in a motorhome in the city, so we decided it was easiest to park at the Newburgh KOA and train in. We chose to stay at the popular Marriott Marquis with our Marriott points for all five nights!

Times Square is a teen’s dream come true. Lights, action, and shopping galore. The Marquis also has large enough rooms for a family of six with two beds plus a pullout couch. Funny how after living in an RV this hotel room seemed spacious to us.


Our view from our room at the Marriott Marquis

2.  Get up early and get yourself on national television on The Today Show.

This means be at Rockefeller Center by 6 am and have a personal handmade sign with you! Our daughter and her cousin made a fun poster in honor of the boys’ birthday. It got them noticed and a segment on the Show! Way to go girls!


3. Shop until you drop!

You cannot come to NYC without shopping, unfortunately. The boys used their birthday money from their grandparents to customize some shoes at the Nike Store. We know you can customize Nike shoes online or at other Nike retail stores, but you need an appointment with a designer at Nike NYC for their special ordering area, making it a bit more special.

The customized shoes cost about $40 extra to design them over buying a rack shoe. You can even put any number or nickname on the back heels. Pretty cool and definitely right up a 13-year-old’s alley.  They’ll be shipped home to the boys mid-October when they are complete. Patience is a virtue.


4. Get sugared up at Dylan’s Candy Bar.

Shop for sweet treats on three levels at Dylan’s candy shop. Shopping along 5th Avenue is lots of fun and Dylan’s is a must for kids. One of our birthday boys surprised his little Sis by buying her this fun doughnut pillow there. Remember it is always better to give than to receive, even on your own birthday I guess!


5. Hang out in Central Park.

Central Park is within walking distance of Dylan’s so it’s a good time to walk off that sugar, or better yet rent bikes to cover even more ground. It is a beautiful, relaxing spot amongst all the hustle and bustle of the city!


6. Get tickets to a show that needs you in the audience.

We had originally planned to go to a Broadway performance but the shows we wanted to see, Rocky and Newsies, just ended. We decided not to spend the money on tickets to a different show when we could go catch the semifinals of America’s Got Talent while we were here for FREE. The kids loved going to Radio City Music Hall to see one of their favorite shows and it was lots of fun to see how it all happens live and in person.


7. Make an appearance at another TV Show spot and sugar up again.

The kids are fans of TLC’s Cake Boss show, so we had to stop at the Cake Boss Cafe in Times Square. They really wanted to go to Hoboken, NJ to see the original Carlo’s Bake Shop but this had to suffice this trip.


8. Take a ride on THE RIDE.

THE RIDE was a highlight of our time in NYC! THE RIDE is a fun, interactive, unique way to enjoy touring a bit of the city. THE RIDE features equal parts theatrical show and immersive tour from the comfort of a moving theatre coach. We had lots of laughs and really enjoyed this.


9. Navigate the Subway system.

We like for our kids to learn the ins and outs of taking public transportation whenever we are traveling in a big city. We didn’t take a single cab and rode New York’s subway system or walked everywhere we went. The kids were reading the maps, buying the tickets, and telling us where to go. Learning how to travel independently is a gift in itself!


 10. Take the ferry from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty.

New York is full of culture and educational opportunities as well. We took a day and went to visit the beautiful Lady Liberty!


11. Pay your respects at the Sept. 11 Museum and Memorial.

It is tough to include this as part of a celebration, but it is a very important part of our time in NYC. You can read more about our visit to this area here.


12. Go to Escape the Room.

My parents bought us tickets for this adventure for the boys’ birthday. We had never heard of Escape the Room, but it seemed perfect for our family. We booked “The Home” at the midtown location and we had a ball looking for clues and trying to solve the puzzles in order to find the key that would get us out of that room.

We were one step away from finding the key, but we ended up not making it out in the allotted hour! We never had so much fun being losers!


13. Meet up with old friends for dinner at a local hotspot.

We met up with the Dazzo family for dinner at Don Antonio Pizzeria at their recommendation. It’s always great to get restaurant advice from the locals!

Where else do you like to celebrate as a family when you visit New York City?



2 replies
  1. Mrs. Bunker and Mrs. Trent
    Mrs. Bunker and Mrs. Trent says:

    Happy – Happy – Happy Birthday to our favorite triplets! It looks as though you are having a wonderful time. We miss you! Science Olympiad started, and it’s not the same without Cole. . . We love reading about your adventures. Have a great time and make LOTS of great memories.

  2. deborah
    deborah says:

    What a wonderful birthday trip. You planned and created a very memorable and meaningful birthday celebration and have inspired me to up the ante on the turning teen celebration . Thanks for sharing.


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