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What should parents consider before allowing teens to go to NYC on their own?

A teen boards an LIRR train at the

A teen boards an LIRR train at the Huntington Station LIRR station, venturing into New York City unchaperoned. Credit: Heather Walsh

From taking the Long Island Rail Road alone to exploring unfamiliar neighborhoods, the city poses plenty of new experiences that can be exciting for teens but concerning for parents. What should parents consider when deciding whether to green-light a kids-only adventure in the Big Apple with friends?


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It’s not that I don’t and won’t trust my own children. It’s the million and one sociopaths walking around NY that I worry about.

Kristen Leigh,

They had a great time and felt independent, and they knew I was close by if they needed anything.

Jean Spurvey, Sayville

Around 16. If they can be trusted to learn to drive a car at this age, they can be trusted to venture into the city.

John Sandrowicz,

I was amazed at the amount of people who have never traveled or rarely traveled into the city. The amount of culture and...

Brooke Carlton, New York

If they are shown how to navigate the city correctly, it can be an enriching experience. Go to the city with them first ...

Leigh Ann , Northport

The fear that Long Island parents have of the city was surprising to me. That was one of the main reasons I got my daughter...

Cheryl Regan Lutz, Queens

We had so much more freedom than kids do now. I don’t believe it was safer then for 14-year-old girls to be wandering about...

JoAnn Scanlon, Huntington Station

They should consider the maturity and intelligence of their kids!


My girls were only allowed to go when they were 16 with a group and go in the a.m. and be home by 4.

Deborah Santaiti Lovaglio ,

I went in when I was about 16 to see shows with friends, and that was before I had a cell phone.

Jessica Zandy, Islip

Age and maturity. Is someone meeting them at Penn? What's the plan?

Claudia Negron, Brentwood


Steve, Mastic