Fun Places for Teenagers to Hang Out
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.
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 whole new meaning. Just because your teens can drive themselves to their own hangouts with friends doesn't mean they don't need suggestions on what to do, so offer help if they are amenable.
If your teen has run out of fun things to do with friends and has grown bored of the typical coffee shop visits or trips to the mall food court, come to their rescue with a few other solid recommendations. Here are a few ideas for fun places your teenagers can go for specific occasions like birthday parties, or just in their free time with friends!
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.
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.
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, sometimes for students, that teens can attend with their friends for a small price. From roller-coaster rides to water parks, many different amusement parks have a lot of options for teens.
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.
Escape rooms can be a fun idea for small and large groups of friends, or even the whole family! Young adults can test their teamwork and problem-solving in an hour-long challenge where they are locked in a themed room with one goal: escape before the time runs out. Escape rooms vary by difficulty level and theme, so your teen and their friends can choose which room they think will be best suited for their group.
Bowling has been around for what seems like forever, but it is truly a timeless source of fun. Many 16 to 18 year olds might enjoy gathering at their local bowling alley and challenging one another to a couple rounds of bowling. You could suggest that the group splits themselves up into a couple teams to see which team earns the highest total score; the losing team has to buy ice cream (or some other type of reward) for the winners!
Adventurous Activity Places
If your teen is someone that craves a little more adventure in their free time with friends (and doesn’t mind more physically demanding activities), you might suggest rock climbing, a ropes course, a skating/roller rink, a trampoline park, kayaking, or ziplining. While some of these activities might offer indoor AND outdoor options, others may require nice weather to work. For example, kayak rentals may not be up and running in the winter months, depending on where you live. Ensure that, whichever adventure activity your teen decides to engage in, they are aware of any safety regulations and requirements before they go.
NOTE: Beyond the recommendations provided above, be sure that your teen explores activities in your local area that they may not already know about. They might find a place that offers an activity that peaks their interest, such as mini golf, go-karting, or laser tag!
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