101 Fun Things for Teens To Do From a Mom of 9

101+ Fun Things For Teens To Do From a Mom of 9

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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Sarah McCubbin

If you are looking for fun things for teens to do, you have come to the right place. At the time I am writing this, I’ve had 7 teenagers and quite a bit of experience navigating boredom!

Create a Bucket List of Teen Adventures to Have

Oftentimes the biggest challenge for things for teens to do is actually having a list of family fun activities that are great for day trips or learning trips. I’m not great at last minute research so making a list ahead of time that you are excited to do is an excellent way to visit fun places with the whole family! Some of the things on the list below might not be available in your local area, but if you have a list handy, you can do some extra cool things on your next family vacation! 

Below is a comprehensive list of ideas for you to suggest to your teens. Be sure to grab my free printable checklist so you can check off each activity as you go…or edit the checklist to make it perfect for your teen!

Be Sure to Research Fun Things for Teens to Do Near Me

When you add the “near me” search Google will often populate with some great options. But you can also find the best things to do with teens in your area by asking for suggestions in a local Facebook group.

Most of the towns near me have Facebook groups that are happy to offer suggestions for anything from birthday party locations to where to get your dog groomed. They are a great resource for finding things for teens to do as well.

fun things for teens to do

Outdoor Activities for Teens To Do

Outdoor activities are perfect for high energy teens or group activities. The good news is there are many cheap things to do on this list that won’t break the bank. Doing things outdoors provides a great opportunity to connect as a family and try new things. In the United States, we have a lot of state and national parks as well as local parks that are the perfect place to get outside for some fresh air. 

Go hiking

Hiking is the perfect way to connect with nature. You can do a Fall Hiking Spree if that is available in your area or create your own bucket list of hikes you want to take. 

Go biking

Bike trails are the perfect way to go off road and explore the surrounding areas. In many places, tow paths or old train tracks have been converted to bike paths. These flat trails are great for beginners and are usually scenic. If you don’t own a bike, be sure to check out places where you can rent a bike near the path. 

Swimming at a local lake or pool

In the summer, nothing beats going swimming on a hot day. This activity is more fun with friends so be sure to invite others to go along. 

Water park

Slip and slide the day away at a local water park. Even better is when you can get a season pass to go over and over again all season long. My kids enjoy Cedar Point Shores in Sandusky Ohio. 

Amusement Parks 

If you or your kids love rollercoasters then you NEED to visit an amusement park. There is always so much to do. From the rollercoasters to smaller rides, yummy food and shows, these provide a place with the whole family can find something they enjoy. 

Our favorite park is Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

Visit a cave

Whether you  have local caves or are planning a family trip, visiting caves is something that appeals to teens of all temperaments. I highly recommend going to a cave with a good cave tour because the history of each cave is what makes the visit the most meaningful. 

Golf

If your family enjoys golf, take your teen to the golf range or the driving range. The driving range can be a great low key non-competitive way to try out golf!

Organize a scavenger hunt

Everyone loves scavenger hunts. From children to adults, scavenger hunts are the perfect outdoor (or sometimes indoor) activity. Teens can help create a scavenger hunt that is both creative and safe. It can take place all at one place or you can create a scavenger hunt that requires you visit multiple stops to find all the things on the list!

Mini golf

Mini golf is the perfect activity for socializing with friends while getting out and enjoying life. Many mini golf businesses also have other activities on site so you can do more than one together.

Geocaching

Geocaching is the world’s largest treasure hunt! Use a geocaching app to find things hidden near you and enjoy getting out in nature at the same time!

Canoeing or Kayaking

Both of these are surprisingly fun activities to do in a group. Our family did a canoe trip with a variety of ages and in the 2 hours of canoeing found ourselves laughing, yelling, frustrated (with a canoe taking on water) and problem solving. It made for some great memories. And after everyone had some food and recovered from rowing, they all agreed we must do this again soon!

Camp in the Back Yard

If you have a tent, then you have most of what you need for a great camping adventure. Camping in the backyard lets you do something adventurous without traveling and without making sure you have ALL the right camping gear that you need for a regular camping trip. Kids and teens both love this! And the best part…if it rains, you are only a few steps away from your house! 

Build a Bonfire

Sometimes everyone needs to get away from the screens and get outside. In the cooler months, a bonfire is a great way to hang out with friends. Be sure to make smores! 

Go to a local park

Check out the parks in your area to see what they offer. In my area, we have parks with hiking, biking, archery ranges, sled riding hills, picnic shelters, photography options and more! 

Visit Outdoor Historical locations

I love visiting living history places. There is something about seeing people do all the tasks that were part of everyday life that helps you understand how the world worked in that time. I always feel a sense of appreciation for running water, indoor bathrooms, insulated houses, off the rack clothes and more after I visit a living history place!

Go to a Corn Maze

If you live in the midwest of the United States, corn mazes are plentiful in the late summer and early fall. Grab a group of friends and head to a local farm to get lost in the corn. These farms often have other activities as well which make for a fun day!

Watch a Movie at the Drive In

Most of us have a big screen on the living room wall but even that can feel boring. Why not pile your family into a car and head to the drive in to watch it outside. Be sure to pack the bug spray and lots of blankets and snacks. Throw a few pillows in there too for the member of your family that will fall asleep before the movie is over! 

Try Paddleboarding

Do you prefer water adventures. Try paddleboarding. It requires more coordination than kayaking but can be a great form of exercise and the perfect way to explore!

Go surfing

At the ocean? Try surfing. You don’t need to own a surf board. You can rent one to try it out first! 

Do a 5K Event

If you aren’t a runner. training for a 5K event can be the perfect motivation to get in shape. Running pushes you to develop endurance. Many 5K events have registration 6 months in advance so you can sign yourself up and use it as motivation to get moving!

Organize a Flash Mob

Flash mobs are a fun way to create a group memory. Of course these require a bit of preparation and coordination. Choose simple choreography for your first flash mob and be sure to have several people in a good position to record it! 

Plant Flowers in the Spring

For this you can start some plants from seeds or head to a local plant nursery to buy flowers that are already growing. Either way, its loads of fun and so enjoyable to see them grow!

Plant Bulbs in the Fall

There are some stunning flowers like lilies, tulips and daffodils that require being planted in the fall. Be sure to plant each bulb at the right depth. And you will have an amazing show of beautiful flowers to reward to for being forward thinking!

Volunteer

A great activity for teens to do regularly. Volunteers are often needed for outdoor cleanup and camps. In the winter, volunteering to shovel driveways for neighbors can build so much goodwill!

25 Surprising Benefits of Volunteering Service

fun things for teens to do

Indoor Activities for Teens To Do

Indoor activities are often the best way to hang out with others especially in the cold winter months. When everyone starts to feel a little stir crazy, this is the perfect time to pull out a list of favorite things you like to do inside. 

Make a list and keep it handy for a rainy day! Giving tickets to these entertainment venues can make great gifts! 

  • Go to escape rooms
  • Laser tag 
  • Play video games – 
  • Indoor Ice skating
  • Arcade Games
  • Indoor Rock Climbing
  • Rollerskating
  • Virtual reality
  • Board games
  • Make ice cream
  • Trampoline Park
  • Adventure Park
  • Roller skating
  • Indoor Skydiving
  • Bake Your Favorite Dessert
  • Create a Fun Playlist
  • Attend a Comic-con
  • Attend a Concert
  • Visit the Art Museum
  • Visit the History Museum
  • Visit a Science Museum
  • Put together a Jigsaw puzzle
  • Visit a restaurant
  • Go to a coffee shop
  • Visit a County Fair
  • Go to a Local Festival
  • Go to a parade
  • Make cookies
  • Start seeds indoors
  • Read a book
  • Go to a bookstore
  • Decorate Your Room
fun things for teens to do

Free Things to Do for Teenager Near Me

Lets face it, most of us don’t want to spend money every time our teens want to do something. It can feel like your wallet is on fire if you  need to pay an entrance fee every time your child wants to have a great time! The good news is that most communities have options for spending quality time that don’t cost a dime. 

  • Library groups for teens
  • Youth Group
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Make a Meal At Home
  • Watch a Movie
  • Play Video Games
  • Have a Board Game Night
  • Start a Hobby
  • Attend a city sponsored concert
  • Cook Dinner for Your Family
  • Bounce on a Trampoline (if you have one)
  • Make a Vision Board of your goals
  • Play card games
  • Visit a national park (if you have one locally). 

School Activities for Teens To Do

A great way to fight boredom is for teens to participate in school athletic or club activities! Teens love to connect with people of similar interests and school is often a convenient place to start.

When my homeschooled kids went to school for the first time, we knew they needed to participate in a fall activity if they were going to make friends. I have had kids do football, cross country and join the robotics team as their fall activity. The options are endless but finding a way to plug in is a great way to stay busy. 

School Sports Include

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Cross Country
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Swimming
  • Labrosse
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field

School Clubs May Include

  • Robotics Club
  • Yearbook Club
  • Business Club
  • Language Club
  • Service Club

Other School Activities to Do

  • Go to a football (or other sport) game
  • Go to homecoming
  • Go to prom
  • Go to a dance
  • Go on a school trip
  • Donate to a school project
  • Do community service
checklist of indoor and outdoor activities for teens

Weekend Activities for High School Student

In our family, we do or have done all of these activities. I like this list because it represents a lot of life skills that we want our teens to have as adults. Sometimes we think that fun activities have to look like entertainment. But the reality is, many adult activities look a lot like responsibility and work.

Teaching our teens and young adults how to have good times while being responsible is a key to productivity. None of these are off the charts exciting but they are great things to do on the weekend! 

  • Get a job
  • Volunteer for a non-profit
  • Help an Elderly Neighbor
  • Go out for coffee
  • Study
  • Help Do Chores Around the House
  • Cook Dinner For the Family
  • Study Hard to Improve Your Grades
  • Do a personal Challenge (24 hours…a week)
  • Sell things on Ebay or Facebook Marketplace
  • Clean Your Room

Crazy Things to Do As A Teenager

One of the highlights of the teen years is being able to do all the fun crazy things. As your teen plans their crazy adventures, be sure to talk to them about the difference between the fun kind of crazy…and the kind that breaks the law!

I remember going out with friends to throw toilet paper in the trees…only to come home and have my dad tell me that was a misdemeanor offense if you were charged. Yikes!

So keep the crazy legal…but have fun!

  • Dye your hair a bright color
  • Have a themed party
  • Have a White Elephant Christmas in July Party
  • Plan a Birthday Party…when its not someone’s birthday! My friends took me to a restaurant and told them it was my birthday just so they would sing the Happy Birthday song to me…when it wasn’t my birthday!! 
  • Order off the menu blindfolded…steer clear of the alcohol!

Things To Do With Friends Teens

When hanging out with friends, sometimes its the simple things that are the best ways to hang out. As long as you have plenty of food on hand, hanging out with friends can look like doing enjoyable activities with things you have in your own house or your own backyard. What do you have where you are right now that would be perfect for hanging out with friends?

  • Binge Watch a TV Show
  • Have a Movie Night
  • Make a You Tube Video
  • Exercise
  • Go running
  • Go on a shopping spree…at the thrift store.
  • Have a food fight
  • Have a spa day
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Do a sleepover
  • Have a pillow fight
  • Use a slip and slide
  • Sleep in a tent in the backyard
  • Start a book club
  • Bake cookies or make food
activities for teens list

Holiday Fun Things to Do For Teens

Having fun things for teens to do during the holidays is something all they want, but sometimes teen aren’t great at planning. The good news is, these are the same activities that everyone else enjoys…but modified for their teen friend group!

If your teen decides to plan a party, it is a good idea to make sure they clearly communicate what others need to bring. It’s a lot of  work to plan a party and being responsible for all the food and activities can feel like a lot. Communication is key to success.

On the flip side, a lot of these are simple ideas that can be done alone. Make a holiday bucket list and see how many things your teen can do this Christmas! 

  • Make and decorate sugar cookies
  • Do someone else’s gift wrapping
  • Go shopping
  • Make a traditional holiday food
  • Have a teen Easter Egg hunt
  • Go trick or treating
  • Have a Pumpkin Carving Party
  • Host a “Friendsgiving.”
  • Gather donations for the foodbank or homeless
  • Rake leaves…and jump in them
  • Decorate gingerbread houses
  • Make Christmas cards
  • Go Caroling
  • Make gift certificates for services as gifts

Adulting Activities for Teens

Sometimes the activities for teens are just simple, practical things that are moving them in the next step toward adulthood. It can feel overwhelming to look at one of these and then see the list of little tasks you need to do in order to accomplish the goal.

Parents can help their teens by guiding them through the steps they need to do each one. Some need official documents, and others need guidance on social skills or legal advice. These are above and beyond entertainment but will build confidence in teens who do them. 

  • Open a savings account
  • Get a job
  • Write a budget
  • Research and Plan for College or Your Career
  • Open an Investment Account
  • Start a Small Business
  • Take Drivers Education Classes
  • Making a meal
  • Shopping for groceries

Fun Activities for Teens Are Everywhere for Every Budget!

I always say that I’m not a “super fun” mom. That isn’t true all the time, but I’m not great at coming up with a list of fun things to do on the fly. One of the best things you can do is have a list handy so you don’t have to think hard about  things your older kids can do.

Every family and budget is different and that is absolutely fine. My family with nine kids is going to choose different activities than someone with a big budget or only two kids. That isn’t a problem. The struggle is in the planning.

I hope you will scan through that list and make note of all the ones that would work for your family or teen. Make a list tailored to your unique situation and then refer to THAT list the next time your teen needs an activity to do. 

In our family, we enjoy activities that a wide age range enjoy. Very often when we are planning activities for teens, there are younger siblings tagging along and its great if they can participate too. But that isn’t the case for everyone, so your choices will be different! 

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