Finding something fun for tweens and teens can be challenging at times. They’ve graduated from our usual splash pad and storytime lists, so it’s time to get a little creative. Kidlist has ideas for the best activities to entertain our oldest target audience. Try a new outdoor activity, pose for the perfect selfie, and soak up quality time with your tweens and teens.
Things to Do with Tweens and Teens in the Chicagoland Suburbs
Strolling through an immersive exhibit can be a lovely change of scenery for this age, and even better, for those instagram-worthy pictures. Our list of New Exhibits and Immersive Experiences, is a great way to stay up on all the newest spots in our area. Museum of Ice Cream, Color Factory, and Immersive Monet are just a few that have opened this summer.
Artsy tweens/teens will love a good workshop or class, too. Check out your neighborhood pottery studio or art studio for some great offerings. Along those same lines, local craft stores are the best when it comes to learning new skills like sewing, knitting, or crocheting.
Help your tween/teen to explore their creativity and build confidence through a drama, music, vocal or dance class!
How about a live show? Blue Man Group is back in Chicago — truly an awesome, playful experience that is entertaining at any age!
Cooking classes are also perfect for your teen/tween foodie. Then put those new culinary skills to good use – take your tween/teen to a nearby farmer’s market where you can shop together for all the freshest ingredients!
Speaking of food, there are loads of destination Chicagoland restaurant choices for hungry tweens/teens, and bring the 12 and under siblings to the spots where kids eat free. Oh, and don’t miss our over-the-top milkshakes list . . . undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser!
Active Fun for Teens and Tweens
Those thrill-seeking tweens/teens will most definitely enjoy indoor skydiving at iFly, a Go Ape’s ziplining adventure or a giant outdoor adventure park at The Forge: Lemont Quarries!
Check out the Best Forest Preserve Trails, or go mini golfing, biking or fishing. While the warm days are still around, pack up a picnic and head to an area beach/outdoor water park or give kayaking a try! And once the weather turns, there’s always indoor water parks.
Roller skating, ice skating and bowling never disappoint. These ideas are extra fun when they can do it with a friend or two!
There are always soccer, volleyball, basketball, gymnastics and tennis lessons for the active kids in this age group. You’re never too old to learn a new skill!
Strength, discipline and self-defense methods sound more enticing? Then, martial arts and ninja classes are your best bet! And if your tween/teen is in need of finding his/her inner peace? Well, yoga is perfect for that!
Other things to check out in addition to all of those mentioned in the categories above: Top Golf, Puttshack, Electric Gamebox, WhirlyBall, escape rooms, axe throwing, go-karting, rock climbing, paintball, Mish Mash Adventures, Medieval Times, bocce ball, archery, WNDR Museum, and Museum of Illusions.
Other Ideas for Teens and Tweens
Older kids can easily get lost in a good book! Peruse your local bookstore or look for some new reads at a nearby library. Or for indoor nature with its own peaceful ambiance, venture through a nearby conservatory together.
And, last but not least, how about setting aside some crucial bonding time for the two of you? Look to the kid and parent dates list for fantastic ideas to cherish the moments you have together while you can.
Reference our Unique Experiences for Teens list for for more inspiration. And once your child is of driving age, check out our helpful Guide to Driving Schools!