Kids eventually hit a stage where they are “too old” for many of the places that you have frequented regularly to keep them entertained. Luckily, we have a whole bunch of fabulously fun ideas all geared specifically for the tween years! Check out our list for every type of tween out there, from the adventurous to the artsy. There are all kinds of fun things to do locally indoors or outdoors with your tween.
Things to Do with Tweens in the Chicagoland Suburbs
For your creative tween:
- Take a workshop, sign up for a class or drop in for open hours at your neighborhood pottery studio or art studio.
- Your local craft store is often another good spot for crafty tweens to learn new skills like sewing, knitting or crocheting.
- Just wandering through an art museum can also be lots of fun! Many offer free admission with a student ID.
For your adventurous tween:
- The more thrill-seeking type might enjoy indoor skydiving.
- Let them test their mettle at an indoor rock climbing facility.
- Funtopia in Glenview has climbing walls, indoor ropes courses, a replica caving system, and other obstacles for tweens to challenge; the Naperville location has fun walls, a rope course, and a ninja course.
- Main Event in Warrenville offer challenging ropes courses, climbing walls and more.
- Or, try a ziplining adventure at Go Ape!
For your theatrical, musical, dancing tween:
- Spend some quality time together at a live theater performance.
- Local drama, music, vocal or dance classes are a great way for tweens to gain confidence and explore their creativity.
- Tweens are also reaching the age of attending their first “real” music concert… There’s a great article here about just that!
For your active tween:
- An indoor water park is a great adventure for this age, especially if they can bring a friend or two along!
- Head to an ice skating rink and let them show off their spins (or practice wobbling around the rink).
- Many trampoline parks cater to tweens with larger spaces to bounce and challenging obstacles to try.
- Martial arts and ninja classes help develop kids’ strength and discipline, as well as teaching self-defense skills.
- Soccer, volleyball, basketball, gymnastics and tennis lessons are all still great options, even if your child hasn’t tried that specific sport before.
- Yoga is becoming increasingly popular with the younger crowd. Many studios offer lessons specifically taught for this age group!
- Sign up for a 5k race or fun run together! Making you sweat, too, will be half the fun — and it’s a wonderful way to bond.
- Outdoor pools with day passes let you hit the pool even if you don’t belong to one.
For your tween reader:
- Tweens love to get lost in a good book, too! Check out some new reads at your local library.
- f you have a tween who loves to read, just perusing your local bookstore can be lots of fun.
For your tween gamer:
- Check out one of the great arcades and laser tag options around town.
- Whirlyball is another cool spot for a unique game experience that combines lacrosse, hockey, basketball, and bumper cars.
- Amusement parks are about as cool as it gets for the tween crowd! Six Flags Great America is definitely the holy grail for thrill-seeking tweens and teens.
- Bowling alleys are great for outings with friends and family alike. At this age, you can try bringing those bumpers down!
- Mini golf is always a favorite, too!
For your nature-loving tween:
- Any age is a good age to enjoy the great outdoors! Check out the Best Forest Preserve Trails and go hiking or biking together.
- Try your luck at fishing together
- Head to the beach! This is an inexpensive outing for a group of friends, too.
- Spend some time with nature indoors at a nearby conservatory. Nature-loving tweens can spend more time learning about the plant life.
- There are all kinds of neat cactus, succulent and terrarium projects that are perfect for tweens, too!
For your foodie tween:
- Plenty of nice restaurant choices can be found right in your neighborhood where kids to eat free. Typically for 12 and under, take advantage before you have a teenager!
- Check out a local farmer’s market with your tween and cook a farm-fresh meal together.
- Cooking classes are great fun, too! Many spots have special classes for tweens and teens
And, last but not least, how about setting aside special time for you and your tween? We have tons of fantastic ideas for kid and parent dates. They’re growing up fast; enjoy these moments!
Looking for ideas for younger kids too?
Head over to the main Activities by Age page where you can find local places to go for every age range.