27 Ways to Entertain Your Family When They Invite Themselves to New York and Won’t Leave
Hint: Not Central Park. Or Times Square.
You love your family…from a nice, comfy distance of approximately 2,000 miles. But they’ve decided to visit you in the city. And they’re staying for an entire week.
You’ve got this. Here are 27 ways to keep them fully entertained (without going crazy).
1. Show your folks how to start off the weekend like real New Yorkers…by sleeping until 2 p.m. and getting brunch. We’re partial to Jacob’s Pickles on the Upper West Side and Russ & Daughters Café on the Lower East Side.
2. Learn how NYC’s subway infrastructure was built at the super-fascinating Transit Museum. See, Aunt Frieda? The N train is nothing to be afraid of.
3. Have a New York slice smackdown. Go to legendary pizza joints Lombardi’s in Little Italy, Patsy’s in Harlem and Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn three days in a row and have your family vote for their favorites.
6. Take a field trip to Riverside Park with your history-buff dad to see Grant’s Tomb, where President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia, are buried.
7. Challenge Uncle Morris to eat at least three of the best damn bagels in NYC (especially the insanely delicious mac-and-cheese monstrosity from Tompkins Square Bagels).
8. Your grandpa from Duluth thinks getting Chinese takeout is adventurous. Treat him to stuffed cabbage and arugula and goat cheese pierogies at Veselka in the East Village. (And if he wants to really walk on the wild side, go at 3 a.m.)
10. Avoid those guys hawking tickets in Times Square and spring for tickets to a show at the Comedy Cellar, where Louis C.K. and Amy Schumer are known to drop in unexpectedly.
11. If your grandma is shocked that you use your oven as storage, take her to Levain Bakery for a hot-out-of-the-oven cookie. She’ll understand.
12. Take your cool-cat cousins to see a jazz band at Smalls in the West Village, daddy-o.
13. Take your shopaholic cousin for a lap around the legendary Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue (the Valentino bags will haunt her dreams).
14. It’s the law: At least one member of every family is gluten-free. Impress the whole gang with a dinner at Senza Gluten--the beef Bolognese is the stuff of dreams, people.
15. Who needs a cruise when you could pile the whole group onto the Staten Island Ferry? You’ll get perfect views of the Statue of Liberty, and best of all, it’s free.
16. Voyage up north to a place your Aunt Millie from Ohio probably hasn’t visited: the Bronx Museum of the Arts. It’s right off the 167th St. D and B trains and also free.
17. It’s inevitable: At some point, Uncle Bob will start arguing with Cousin Judy about politics. Use this opportunity to take everyone to the Shambhala Center (free on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) for a much-needed meditation break.
19. Impress your cooler-than-everyone-on-earth younger brother when you order the secret Koreano sandwich at Fuku, even though it’s not on the menu.
20. After dinner, take your bro to a hidden speakeasy like The Garret, tucked away at Five Guys in the West Village.
21. Take them to a Broadway show. Yes, it’s really worth the money--but if you’re broke, download the TodayTix app, which offers free tickets to the first preview of every off-Broadway show at the Public Theater.
22. Unexpected rain or snow? Spend the day exploring the New York Public Library with the fam and checking out free classes and events.
23. So your cousins from Chicago think deep-dish pizza is decadent? Blow their minds when you order the savoyarde raclette at Raclette, for which they pour a giant scoop of gooey melted cheese on your plate. Mmm, cheese...
25. Take bets about how big the giant blue whale that hangs from the ceiling at the Museum of Natural History is. (The correct answer is 94 feet.)
27. Take a trip to Spa Castle, the Disney World of spas. Actually, never mind. Go alone after your family leaves to reward yourself for being such an amazing host.