Travelling as a couple is one thing. Travelling with teens is something else! With kids, you need to tweak the plan accordingly to keep everyone happy. As someone who is used to doing it, I’ve put together some tips to help you prepare your next family getaway.
MEAN GIRLS on BROADWAY
The movie that pleased so many teens in 2004 (with Lindsay Lohan as the lead) is now a Broadway hit. This is thanks to all the moms/devoted fans of the movie who are now bringing their daughters by the hundreds every day to the August Wilson Theatre (and can until December 2019).
The great mind behind this production is comedian and writer Tinay Fey (who wrote the screenplay at the time). She adapted it into a musical comedy and it holds up! We follow young Cady Heron who leaves Africa to settle down in a big American city with her zoologist hippie parents. Up until this time, the teen was homeschooled and more familiar with animals than the zoo that is American high schools! For the first time in her life, she wants to fit in with her new friends, but has to choose between them: the plastics, three beautiful, manipulative and enticing girls or loners like Damian, a flaming gay boy (and frankly, quite amusing) and Janis, a young artist who is rumoured to be a lesbian.
There is something for teens and parents alike, and it will warm the heart too. The talented actors carry it all so well and with so much zeal. A modern Broadway hit that will please even the toughest of critics (teens 12 and over).
You have to choose a Broadway musical wisely. We also went with Stella and Mila to see The Band’s Visit, which won 10 Tony Awards. (The play not only swept the awards show in 2018, but is, historically, the most rewarded musical too.) Iohann and I were watching the most beautiful piece in our lives, while our daughters, who were sitting right next to us, were clearly sitting through the most boring Broadway show. That made for a very expensive sulking session, so my advice? If you’re an adult, make your way towards the performance, but find a babysitter first!
VR WORLD: Virtual Reality at its Best
Do your teens love the digital world? Not a problem! I suggest VR World, the biggest virtual reality space on the planet, right in the heart of Manhattan. I’ll admit that my first minutes were spent in utter disbelief as I watched people wearing giant glasses and reaching for things in front of white walls.
Ever the good sport, I tried it out too. Results? I think I’m the one who had the most fun that night! I played drums in an intergalactic setting, and boxed in the ring with a world champion. It’s incredible to what extent technology will make us believe that it’s all real. The boxer in front of me? I believed it! My girls had fun, especially while filming me in action!
My advice: go when you’re feeling up to it, and don’t try out extreme simulations like Russian mountains or racing cars. Why? Because you can get nauseated (like my husband did) and ruin the rest of the experience. And at $39 (surprise; it’s New York) per person for just two hours, you don’t want to waste a minute of it.
SHOPPING at RILAKKUMA
Everyone needs some kind of souvenir from the Big Apple, and of all the things they couldn’t chosen from, the girls ran for RILAKKUMA (a Japanese character that was declared a phenomenal success by the New York Times. It’s essentially a lazy bear and you can follow it around in books, sticker booklets and videogames).
WE’RE EATING WHAT?
The Italian community is forged into New York identity. It’s totally normal to find the most delicious pizzas on this side of the Atlantic. Trattoria Dell’Arte is one of those Italian restos that can just ignite the taste buds of everyone in the family. A thin pizza crust that pretty much stops times, fresh pasta cooked to perfection, and bolognaise or alfredo sauces that are mouthwatering — you can have it all just metres away from Carnegie Hall.
Easter is April 21 this year, so there is plenty of time to plan your visit!