Children are up for anything, but teens are a little harder to motivate to get out and away from their tech, or friends. Yet, we want to spend time with them and have fun adventures and make memories. So, we had a look at some fun activities you can do around the country with your teens.

In order to make it a successful day, let your teen in on the plan and choose an activity together (unless they love surprises, or you are certain they will love the activity you choose). There is nothing worse than thinking they will love something just to find out it’s already not cool anymore. Think of Geocaching for example – it can be very hit or miss, so double-check first.

Depending on the activity and how close it is to home, consider asking some of their friends along. Each parent covers the cost of their child of course, but some activities are just more fun with friends than with your parents – and the other parents will be grateful for a free day and may return the favour.

Outdoors

When the weather allows it, let’s go outside! And sometimes all it takes is the right clothing.

Some of the activities your teens may want to try can be done outside, so you get to enjoy the summer weather and get away from screens and technology.

Paddleboarding

Almost everywhere where there is water, there is SUP paddle now. Scarborough Surf School for example, lets you try stand up paddleboarding as long as you can show that you can swim 50m, then you can explore Cayton Bay on a paddle board.

Surf lesson

If you live by the sea or are going on a beach holiday, let them try a surf lesson or two. It’s a great way to spend a day by the sea and getting up on the board for the first time will be a thrill. You can either take part yourself or cheer them on from the side lines.

High ropes courses and zip lining

High ropes such as Go Ape and other courses as well as zip-lining are always an adrenaline rush. Should it rain, plan appropriate clothing so they don’t slip, but it’s something you can do as a family, with different levels depending on each of your comfort levels.

There are a total of 34 Go Ape locations all across the country and other local companies as well. For zip lines, take a look what there is around you, but some cool ones are the Pier-Zip at Rock Reef (Bournemouth), Zip World Tower (Aberdare) – where you zip line in former coal mines, or Penrhyn Quarry (Bangor), and Hangloose Adventure in Eden.

Sailing

A sailboat sailing into a sunset seems like a dream, but if you are actually by the sea (on holiday or if you live nearby), your teens may want to give it a try to see how tricky – or easy- it actually is. Sailing on the Solent is quite common and there are a number of clubs for beginners around Southampton and Portsmouth.

London

A visit the capital is on everyone’s bucket list. Give them their first experience or a quintessentially British tour or the city with these top ideas.

Full sight-seeing tour

If you don’t live in the capital – and maybe if you do – a touristy day out may be the way to go. Let them choose the itinerary, or a big activity that usually isn’t in the budget or in the timeframe you have. Maybe activities need to be planned and booked ahead – so do it this time.

You can stroll around Camden, Borough Market and South Bank, but also plan in a visit of the London Eye or Madame Tussauds, the Harry Potter World, let them try the London Bridge Experience, or the Clink Prison Museum.

To finish off a day of sightseeing, take them up the monument of the Great Fire of London for an amazing final panoramic view of the city. Their young legs can take the 300-odd steps up and down.

For a slightly different visit of London, they could go and see one of their favourite sports clubs: For rugby, go to Twickenham, for Wimbledon for tennis, and for football… well, there are many options including West Ham, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Active adventures

Where to start with an active day out? We will start at one end, give you a few examples, and you can check them out or see if there is one closer to you to try.

Climbing

Most cities have bouldering gyms now and indoor climbing walls so you can head to your local one for an easy day out. If your teen loves climbing though, you could pick a new and exciting location such as Sheffield, where you can pick between The Foundry (famous for The Wave which mimics the feel of real rock, but they also have 1-2-1 coaching sessions) and The Climbing Works where even the British Bouldering Team comes to train. Or, you can head to the highest man-made outdoor climbing wall in the UK at ROKT in Huddersfield. For a cool location, head to Bristol’s Undercover Rock: It’s a climbing wall inside an old church with great views and there are beginner tutorials available as well as new routes being made regularly so it doesn’t get boring.

Trampoline park

Just like climbing walls, trampoline parks are almost everywhere now with Flip Out and Red Kangaroo being the most common ones around the country. If you want something extra special, did you know Europe’s second largest trampoline park – Gravit8 – is in Aberdeen? Ascent Trampoline Park in Blackpool for example has great events and special sessions from autism friendly hours to a beat night with music for teens, and Jump Evolution in Romford (Essex) has an impressive obstacle course to tackle.

Laser tag

You can choose between indoor and outdoor laser tag, which can depend on the weather but also, on who you are doing it with. Indoor settings can be a little easier as a family (because they are a little easier in design) but if a group of teens want to have some fun in the woods, let them go wild outdoors.

And if you want to go one step further and create your own laser tag adventure, then Lasertag2u has equipment for hire for different age groups, including children and teens.

Other activities for families

If you want to do something as a family, but make sure that all ages will enjoy it, you can also look into karting or abseiling, which is a thrill for the older kids and surprisingly not usually very scary for the younger ones – the only question is how the adults will cope!

Special events

If you want to surprise them with something really different, you can suggest one of these which may be a nice family day out or a day for them and their friends.

Escape rooms

Almost every big city has at least one escape room now. You can usually choose between a number of challenges depending on the age and experience of your group, or you can look for a theme! There is a Harry Potter theme in London (clueQuest, The Forbidden Forest), a horror theme, a Titanic themed one in Southampton, and even a Sherlock Homes theme.

If you want a variation of a “traditional” escape room, take a look at CluedUpp. They have escape-room like events in different cities around the UK (check for a date and location that suits you) and Disney fans will really want to try the Alice in Wonderland experience.

VR Simulators

For an adrenaline kick without the actual risk, let your teen try out VR Racing. VR seems to have crept up out of nowhere– though racing is still the most common activity (aside from museums and other institutions using it as an attraction). You can find locations all across the South West as well as further north and of course all-around London. If in London, you can even try other VR experiences such as travelling to the moon or into the ocean.

Dungeons

Dungeons are technically history, but taught in a frightening and interesting way. The actors are great and recreate moments in history with an added scare factor. Check out the Dungeons in London, York, Blackpool, Edinburgh as well as Alton Towers and Warwick Castle.

Theme parks and water parks

Parks are always a winner; from Alton Towers to Legoland, Funland Amusement Park, Drayton Manor, Fantasy Land, Waterworld, Wet’nWild, Sandcastle Waterpark…

While we like to be very careful with zoos and animal parks (check websites on how exactly animals are kept and which animals can be seen), Twycross zoo in Leicestershire has a great new feature which is a great family attraction, or may be nice for the younger teens: The Gruffalo Discovery Land is now open and who doesn’t have good memories of the Gruffalo?

Happy planning!

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