Fun Places for Teens

By Sari Hardyal
Teens need places to go to have fun without parents.

Teenagers want to have fun like kids, but they still want to exercise a grown-up independence. Some places, like the zoo, allow teens to hang out on their own, while other spots, like some malls, require anyone under the age of 16 to be accompanied by an adult. It's important to find places where your teens will be safe, but still be able to have fun.

Recreation Centers

Recreation centers offer activities for people of every age. Some offer summer camps or classes for teens, including drama classes, art classes and physical activities. Recreation centers may also offer climbing, volleyball, swimming and other physical activities throughout the year, and some even hold dances for teens, advertising a safe, fun atmosphere. Other activities found in recreation centers include "Dive-In Movies," where movies are played on a big screen so teens can watch while swimming; babysitting classes, where teens learn how to take care of children and find babysitting jobs; and even Wii bowling leagues.

Bowling Alleys

Bowling is an appropriate activity for anyone, and the bowling alley is a fun place for teens to hang out. Teens can join bowling leagues, or just bowl a few games with their friends. It's inexpensive to rent shoes and pay for bowling, even on a Friday or Saturday night, and this can keep teens occupied for hours. Teens can also join a competitive bowling group that offers annual scholarship prizes, Teen Masters, which gave away more than $160,000 in scholarships in 2009 and continues to grow each year.

Amusement Parks

Amusement parks like Universal Studios and Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure seem to cater to teens, offering rides that suit their tastes. The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit allows teens to choose their own soundtrack for the ride, Dueling Dragons consists of two inverted coasters that come close to running into one another, and the Jurassic Park River Adventure boat ride showcases dinosaurs from the film, "Jurassic Park." Amusement park admission prices can be a bit on the expensive side, but some locations offer family discounts or discounts if you purchase a season pass.

Family-Friendly Spas

"Family-oriented spa" used to mean the spa provided childcare while parents enjoyed some relaxation time. Now, family-friendly spas include a spa menu geared toward teens and kids. Some of these spas focus more on education than treatments, teaching teens and kids the importance of properly treating growing muscles and addressing self-image issues. Family-friendly spas teach teens the proper way to care for their skin and healthy ways to deal with stress. The spas also offer massages, facials, manicures and pedicures for teens.

About the Author

Based in Dayton, Ohio, Sari Hardyal has been writing fitness, sports, entertainment and health-related articles for more than five years. Hardyal holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Miami University and is pursuing her master's degree in occupational therapy and her doctorate in physical therapy. She is a certified personal trainer with the National Federation of Professional Trainers.