July 18, 2015 / 3:58 AM / 2 years ago

'Dad-in-chief' Obama takes daughters for night out in the Big Apple

U.S. President Barack Obama walks out with his daughter Sasha from the White House in Washington before departure to New York July 17, 2015.Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama carved out some time this weekend for two people he has described as "magnificent" but who, he says, find him boring: his teenage daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Upping his game as dad-in-chief, Obama hung out with his daughters in New York City on Friday night and had more plans for Saturday, a rare diversion from his weekend schedules, which usually involve work and golf.

Obama has often spoken about how sad he will be when his daughters leaves the nest. Malia, 17, has been spotted touring colleges.

"I’m already dreading that empty seat at the table when Malia goes off to school next fall," Obama wrote in an essay last month in More magazine.

On Friday, Sasha, 14, boarded Air Force One with Obama for the weekend getaway, along with two of her friends. Malia is rumored to have a summer job in New York City working on the set of the HBO television series "Girls."

First, Obama did a little bit of business, attending a small fundraiser on Friday evening hosted by shipping magnates George and Nitzia Logothetis for the Democratic National Committee, where 30 supporters paid up to $33,400 a ticket.

U.S. President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha (R), along with two of Sasha's friends, board Air Force One as they depart Joint Base Andrews in Washington July 17, 2015.Kevin Lamarque

Then Obama took the girls out to dinner at Carbone, a high-end retro Italian-American restaurant in Greenwich Village.

Next, the motorcade swept off to the Whitney Museum of American Art for an after-hours private tour.

Slideshow (4 Images)

The White House was mum on the itinerary for the rest of the trip. The New York Post reported the Obamas would hit Broadway for a performance of hip-hop musical "Hamilton" on Saturday.

Obama has said he was worried about how growing up in the White House "bubble" would affect his daughters - fears he said turned out to be misplaced.

"They’re kind, they’re thoughtful, they treat everybody with respect, they don’t have any kind of airs. They’re confident, but without being cocky," he told Marc Maron on his podcast "WTF" last month.

"Now, unfortunately, they’re hitting the age where they still love me, but they think I’m completely boring. And so they’ll come in, pat me on the head, talk to me for 10 minutes, and then they’re gone all weekend," Obama said.

"They break my heart!" he said.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Tom Brown

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