Fun Places for Teenagers to Hang Out

By Judy Antell
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Parents' ideas of fun teenage activities and teenagers' ideas don't always mesh, but there are plenty of safe, fun activities that both groups will endorse. As your kids age, "family friendly" takes on a new meaning. Just because your teens can drive themselves to go out with friends doesn't mean they don't need suggestions on what to do, so offer help if they are amenable.

Night at the Museum

Many museums around the country have special programming for teens. For example, the Museum of Modern Art, in midtown Manhattan, has a free Friday night program that includes pizza, movies and talks with artists. All you need to get in is a valid high school ID. Museums are common around many cities, so one near you may have activities for teens throughout the month or year. Check your local art museums to see if they have activities for teens. Even children's museums may host special teen nights.

Musical Fun

Kids who like to dance can find some clubs that allow entry to teens who are 18 and older. Many night clubs have activities available to teens on certain nights of the week or month. Other venues host different bands or musical artists that teens are welcome to attend. So, your local pizza restaurant could be your next hang out when it hosts a music night.

Themed Fun

Many theme parks actually have affordable activities for teens. For instance, Universal City Walk is a free area outside Universal's theme parks in Orlando, Florida. The City Walk has music, restaurants and shopping. There is also a 20-screen movie theater and a comedy club. The basketball-themed restaurant NBA City has a regulation half-court and video games. Other theme parks may host discount days, sometime for students, that teens can attend with their friends for a small price. From roller-coaster rides to water parks, many theme parks have a lot of options for teens.

Arcade Gaming

Believe it or not, there are still arcades in operation throughout America. One in particular, Dave & Buster's, is an upscale video arcade with a restaurant and bar where teens can spend their quarters, and dollars, on classic and action games. Each of the 55 Dave & Buster's in the United States has hundreds of games, plus a Winner’s Circle where you can cash in tickets for prizes. In bigger cities you may also find local arcades with a host of video games for teens to enjoy, from the classics to newer releases.

About the Author

Judy Antell was the editor of Big Apple Parent for 13 years and continues to write for the monthly publication. Antell has been published in "The New York Times," "Parents" magazine and on numerous websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and a Master of Arts degree in literature and drama from Washington University.