How to Entertain Your Parents on a Weekend Visit to NYC

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’ve just gotten off the phone with your parents and they’ve confirmed the dates for their visit. Aww, you can’t wait to see them. 

But then the panic sets in– how are you going to entertain them for an entire weekend? 

Because let’s face it, they’re not going to want to hang out at your regular haunts. And the feeling is probably mutual, tbh.

Fear not, because we put together a guide to surviving thoroughly enjoying your parents’ visit. 

Here is your guide to the city, without traumatizing dear ole’ Mom and Dad– 7 different ways for any type of parents.


If your parents want the traditional city itinerary – tourist traps and all.

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As stereotypical as it might be for us as residents, the classic NYC experience might be exactly what your parents want when visiting. Start out in FiDi and check out the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues on Broadway. 

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Then go to the One World Trade Center to check out the view from the Observatory Deck. Have lunch at One Dine before catching the Staten Island Ferry to view the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.


If your parents want to ball out.

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Make a day of it at Chelsea Market – between the range of shopping and food halls with cuisines from all over the world you’ll stay busy for the better part of a day. 

Stroll up to stroll down to 5th Avenue for some of the finest shopping in the city (and the world, tbh) before sitting down to dinner at Polo Bar, Ralph Lauren’s steakhouse. 


If your parents don’t really like NYC (but they love you enough to come visit anyway)

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Get out of Manhattan and away from the skyscrapers to explore the more spacious and less pedestrian-heavy Brooklyn and Queens. Head to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens which were founded in 1910 and are home to more than 95,000 different types of specimens. Bronx Zoo. 

Visit The Met Cloisters and you’ll feel like you’re not even in New York. Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in Fort Tyron Park.


If your parents are retired and want to stay on a budget.


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Start your day at The Met, which has suggested pricing, which means what you pay what you feel is appropriate. After taking your time exploring the exhibits, go up to the rooftop for a beautiful view and some light refreshments. 

When you finish up at the museum, you’re mere steps away from the park. Wander the trails and be sure not to miss Belvedere Castle. Walk through the park to the Upper West Side to visit the Museum of Natural History, which also has suggested pricing. 

At night, attend a play – check out TKTS for discounted tickets.


If your parents are into the ~arts.~

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Catch an independent or classic film at the old-school Film Forum which screens flicks like Funny Face and others from around the world. 

Take the train to Astoria to check out the Museum of the Moving Image which hosts screenings and has unique exhibits about Mad Men, Martin Scorsese and not to mention a permanent collection of movie memorabilia. 


If your parents are active

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Start anywhere you want in the city and grab a Citi Bike to explore as much or as little as you’re up for. Head to the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Center for some indoor rock climbing, which has some of the most challenging walls in the country. 

Continue on to the High Line to walk down the 1.45 miles of elevated park for gardens, sculptures and views of the Hudson River.


If your parents are foodies

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Then it’s important to try to get the eat your way through the city in a culinary highlight reel. Grab a slice (or whole pie, we’re not judging) from Prince Street Pizza. 

Take a cupcake decorating class at the iconic Magnolia Bakery where you get to take home your creations (either a cake or six cupcakes, depending on the class). Not to mention, NY’s other landmark dining institutions, like Katz’s Delicatessen and P.J. Clarke’s.

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[Feature Image Courtesy MetMuseum] 

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