10 Unique Experiences for Teens in the Chicagoland Area

Looking for a unique experiences for teens? Whether your want to join in on the fun as a parent or send your teenager off with friends, there are great options all over the Chicagoland area of experiences that any teen would enjoy. Use these ideas as jumping off points for gifts, bonding time, birthday parties, or social outings for a teenager. We have listed some great places that are sure to provide some of the unplugged fun your teen needs! This article is sponsored by Go Ape.

As things begin to heat up, spend quality family time outdoors under the shade of the forest canopy. Go Ape Treetop Junior is an action packed 1-hour introduction to a high ropes activity. Guest will use creative thinking skills, build confidence, stability, and balance all while having an unparalleled outdoor adventure. Treetop Junior provides a good feel for the various obstacles, climbs and zip lines featured throughout Go Ape adventures, at a lower height. Each Junior course features a secure and easy to use safety system which allows independent exploration of the experience while staying connected at all times. Treetop Junior is all ages and provides the family-friendly introduction of outdoor adventure.

Unique Teen Experiences in Chicagoland

1. Ropes Course and Ziplining

Check out Go Ape in Western Springs. It is a 2–3 hour treetop adventure through the Bemis Woods Forest Preserve in which you traverse suspended obstacles and zip lines. It is a must-do for families with teenagers as it is great for team building, confidence boosting, and bonding. Use our Kidlist review about Go Ape to answer any more questions you may have!

2. Indoor Skydiving

iFLY Indoor Skydiving is the newest and latest trend for those looking for a thrill without all of the danger. It is a 1.5 – 2 hour body flight experience. You can expect to feel like you are floating on air with each flight being equivalent to 1.5 skydives. If you know a thrill-seeking teen, this may be the perfect gift.

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iFLY has locations in Naperville, Rosemont, and Chicago.

3. Go-Karts

Fill your need for speed at a go-kart track. Tracks are located all over the suburbs, with a few places being completely dedicated to go-karting. If you are not interested in being limited to only go-karts, try visiting one of the many arcades in the southwest suburbs or western suburbs that offer one smaller track.

Accelerate Indoor Speedway
8580 Springlake Drive
Mokena, IL 60448
(708) 390-3487
An indoor karting facility that features go-karts that reach up to 50 m.p.h., junior go-karts, and a state-of-the-art arcade.

Chicago Race Factory
6955 South Harlem Avenue
Bedford Park, IL 60639
(708) 594-5278
A 40,00 square foot facility with karts that reach up to 40 m.p.h.

4. Destination Restaurants

Explore your taste buds and different cultures by trying out some of these famous restaurants. Introducing teens to exciting new restaurants is fun for everyone involved. The restaurants listed offer a good variety of both culture and entertaining atmospheres.

Pinstripes
7 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 575-8700
Go bowling or play bocce ball at this big restaurant with Italian-American dishes. On weekday mornings from 10 am to 12 pm, kids bowl for $3/hour (plus $3 shoe rental) and parents bowl free; call ahead to reserve your spot.

Melting Pot
1205 Butterfield Road
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 737-0810
Enjoy fondue cheeses, chocolate and broth.

Italian Village Chicago
71 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Opened in 1927, Italian Village welcomes diners for a moonlit meal—even in the middle of the day. Their walls are adorned to resemble a restaurant in the heart of Italy.

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Hofbrauhaus Chicago
5500 Park Place
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 671-2739
Authentic German fun with singing and ‘proust’-ing everyone will enjoy.

Benihana
747 Butterfield Road
Lombard, IL 60148
(630) 571-4440
Sizzling table-side hibachi, great for a family night out.

Chef Shangri-La
7930 W 26th Street
North Riverside, IL 60546
(708) 442-7080
This festive Asian-fusion restaurant also serves up tropical drinks and live entertainment, including select evenings with hula dancers and a fire show (call for dates).

Hard Rock Cafe
63 W Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 943-2252
Walls adorned with Hollywood memorabilia, great for fun in the city.

Medieval Times
2001 N Roselle Road
Schaumburg, IL 60195
Pull up to this castle in Schaumburg to cheer as knights on horseback joust. Click here to read our review.

SafeHouse Chicago
60 E Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 313-1007
You need a secret password to enter this spy-themed restaurant.

5. Kayaking

Take a kayak tour along the Chicago River. Perfect for beginners and families, there is no shortage of fun while learning to kayak amongst the Chicago skyscrapers. Urban Kayak has two locations in the city for your young adventurer. If getting to the city is a bit too much, most local forest preserves have kayaks available for rent.

6. Laser Tag

A great outing for all ages. Laser tag is such a thrill. Hiding amongst the obstacles to surprise-attack a friend or family member never gets old. This outing is a great idea for a teen birthday party or outing. Most of these locations have more to offer than just laser tag.

To find locations, check out our round-ups of Laser Tag in the Southwest Suburbs and Laser Tag in the Western Suburbs.

7. Escape Rooms

A physical activity using clues, hints, and puzzles to solve a riddle. Escape rooms are excellent for team-building and are also a great idea for teen birthday parties. Escape rooms are a newer trend, and are popping up all over the suburbs. Listed below are a just a few of the many to discover… or escape.

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Psych Escape Room
18058 Wolf Road
Orland Park, IL 60467
(708) 942-4818

Confinement Escape Rooms
5520 West 11th Street
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
(708) 529-6447

Just Escape Room
512 West Burlington Avenue, Suite 204
LaGrange, IL 60525
(708) 304-0007

8. Sporting Events

Chicago is one of the best cities for sporting events. The White Sox, the Cubs, the Bears, the Fire, and the Blackhawks, need I say more? Tickets to any of these events are relatively easy to find but not always affordable. Also consider events like minor league baseball teams: Kane County Cougars, Joliet Jackhammers, or the new Chicago Dogs.

9. Theatre Tickets

Introduce your teen to the theatre. Go big and see a broadway play at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago or see a local play.  Check KidList for seasonal local, live theatre performances. Use our guide for the 2018 summer season. Almost all high schools put on performances as well.

10. Groupon Experiences

Groupon offers tons of different adventures and activities to give your teen at a discount. You can filter by price and location to find the best opportunity for your teen. You may be surprised at the unique adventure you can find while searching the vast offers on Groupon.

Let us know what activities and destinations your teens love in the comments. Then, for more fun things to do with your family, check out our outdoor fun page.

This article contains an affiliate link for Groupon, which means that when you buy a Groupon through our link, you are still paying the low price that Groupon offers and supporting Kidlist at the same time!

About the Author

Jill Kowalski
Jill is the mom of two energetic little girls, ages two and four, who keep her seriously busy. She and her husband grew up in Orland Park and are now raising their family there as well. When Jill and her family have free time, they love to check out local parks or drop-in at fests where their girls can take over a dance floor. She is always looking for cheap, yet entertaining and worthwhile things to do. When she is not wrangling her kids, Jill has a passion for starting, and sometimes finishing, do-it-yourself home improvement projects, trying out random recipes she finds on Pinterest, and organizing every nook and cranny of her life.

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