Every day, a new social media platform comes to light and dazzles teenagers into spending hours hunched over their phones, making them forget all about physical activities. And here comes the importance of your role as a parent: pull the youths away from their phones and encourage them to participate in fun, onsite activities.
As challenging as that might be, it’s essential for your teens’ physical and mental health to spend less time in the virtual world and more time in the real one. And if you’re too busy to brainstorm new ideas, we’ve got your back!
We’ve listed 19 fun things to do near the Twin Cities for teens. So get ready for a dose of family fun, and jump in!
1. Water Parks
When winter packs its bags and leaves us to the mercy of rising temperatures, the right thing to do is to head to the nearest water park and enjoy a few hours of splashing and playing.
Not only will your teens have a blast away from their glowing screens, but you’ll also have leisure time by the pool where you can watch them. As a bonus point, water parks are suitable for all ages. So if you have younger kids, you can make it a fun day for the whole family.
Luckily, the Twin Cities doesn’t lack waterparks. From Bunker Beach and Cascade Ray to Battle Creek and Jim Lupient, you have quite a few parks to visit.
2. National Parks
Believe it or not, Minnesota has some of the most attractive national parks in the US. Whether your teenagers want to camp, have a picnic, or spend a day geocaching, the right place to go to is the nearest national park to your home.
You can take a boat and explore Voyageurs National Park, camp in St. Croix State Park, or introduce your teens to American Indian culture in Pipestone National Monument.
If you’re stuck on ideas of what to do when you arrive at a park, here’s a guide on experiencing national parks around the Twin Cities as a family.
Whether your teenagers grew up watching The Hunger Games or idolized Merida from Brave when they were children, taking them to an archery range will be an unforgettable experience.
In addition to archery being a fun sport, it improves hand-eye coordination and improves focus. Also, it’ll be a nice distraction from the endless pit that is the internet. So, in short, it’s a win-win situation.
The best part is that finding a good archery range in the Twin Cities isn’t at all challenging. You can go to Columbia Park, Edward Solomon Park, Marsden Archery Range, or Marsh Lake Archery Range. If you want more options to look at, here’s a list of the best archery ranges in Minneapolis.
No fun activities list is ever complete without bowling. Whether it’s because of the healthy competition, friendly company, or cool vibes, it’s undeniably a teen favorite. So a visit to your local bowling alley might be what your teenagers need for this weekend.
You can make it a family activity and go with them or let them go with their friends. Either way, they’ll have so much fun trying to get all the pins down.
Luckily, both Minneapolis and Saint Paul have a plethora of bowling alleys, one of which is bound to be near your house. So ask around, and arrange a fun day for your teenagers.
5. Mini Golf
Mini golf provides just the right amount of challenge to teenagers without boring them or overwhelming their abilities. It’s an ideal activity for all seasons because there are both outdoor and indoor mini golf courses in Twin Cities. So whether it’s raining, blazing hot, or breezy, you’ll find a suitable course to visit on your teen’s day off.
Some of the best indoor mini golf courses in the Twin Cities are Can Can Wonderland, Moose Mountain Adventure Golf, and Grand Slam Mini Golf. As a bonus point, some of these places have an arcade where your kids can play a video game or two.
As for outdoor golf courses, you can check Big Stone Mini Golf, Betty Danger’s Country Club, and Eagle Lake Youth Golf Center.
6. Rock Climbing
Teenagers love challenges that they can brag about after they overcome them, and rock climbing provides that with a side of endless entertainment. It’s a perfect activity for the colder months when the weather is too rainy for outdoor activities.
But it’s fair to warn you that rock climbing is only suitable for older kids. So if you have little ones who need entertaining, you might want to take them to another nearby fun place while their siblings climb.
There are many locations suitable for rock climbing in the Twin Cities, like Midwest Mountaineering, Vertical Endeavors, and Minneapolis Bouldering Project. Some places also have a ropes course for added joy and more unique experiences.
7. Movie Theatres
Not all teens love physical activities. If your teenagers aren’t thrilled about going rock climbing or trying out archery, you can encourage them to take a trip to the local movie theatre.
While it isn’t the most creative idea out there, watching a good movie while eating popcorn is a classic fun activity that never gets old. Also, it’ll give your teenagers a much-needed break from social media.
8. Amusement Parks
Teenagers crave thrill, and a visit to any nearby amusement park will give them the dose of adrenaline they so much want. Between carousels, bumper cars, haunted mansions, and roller coasters, your teens won’t have a dull moment. And for an additional shot of happiness, you can treat them to ice cream after they finish their rides.
Generally, amusement parks are suitable for all ages. So you can make it a family day and take their younger siblings along.
Two of the best parks in the Twin Cities area are Valleyfair and Como Town.
Waterparks are fun, but they can be expensive if you want to take the whole family. On the other hand, taking a trip to any local free beach will cost you nearly nothing, and all of your children will get to dip their toes in the sand and splash around for hours.
Luckily, the Twin Cities have a myriad of public beaches that you can visit. And for more fun, you can tap into your creative side and arrange different beachside activities for your children. For instance, you can arrange a sand castle competition or play a game of water volleyball. All in all, it’s an ideal activity for a hot summer day.
Are your teens fed up with their daily routine and want a nice change? An out-of-the-box idea would be to take them skiing. Although many parents are opposed to the idea because of the risks it holds, it’s an enjoyable activity that your teenagers should experience. So put on a brave face for the day and take them on an unforgettable adventure.
Ski resorts near the Twin Cities have many options, ranging from ice skating and cross-country skiing to sledding. So you don’t need to worry about finding fun places around you where you can practice the sport.
Some of the most famous ski resorts around the Twin Cities that offer different types of skiing are Lutsen Mountain, Spirit Mountain, and Buck Hill. It’s fair to warn you that not all these places are within minutes of the two cities. But a road trip before skiing will make your teens even more excited about the day.
Museum visits are the perfect balance between fun and learning. But since not all kids in their teenage years will be ecstatic about visiting one, you should try and make it more enjoyable. For instance, you can stop by an ice cream parlor or a fast food restaurant along the way. Or you can play games on your way there like I Spy or 21 Questions.
Fortunately, the Twin Cities has their fair share of museums that’ll intrigue your teenagers. A few examples are The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Science Museum of Minnesota, The Minnesota History Center, and Paisley Park.
12. Laser Tag
Instead of playing battle games like PUBG and Fortnite all day long on their phones, your teens can experience a real battle in a laser tag center. Laser tag is an undeniable source of fun for kids and adults, so the chance your teenagers won’t like it is slim to none.
You can arrange an adventurous day for them and their friends. It’ll be an enjoyable and unique experience that’ll successfully pull them away from their phones for a couple of hours.
Some famous laser tag centers in the Twin Cities area are The Fun Lab, Whirlyball, and Grand Slam Family Fun Center.
13. Escape Rooms
Check escape rooms off your teen’s bucket list and take them on a suspenseful adventure for a day. Whether they go with friends or family, they’ll have the time of their lives finding clues and solving puzzles to get out of a room. It’s one of the most fun things to do on our list and is guaranteed to entertain your teenagers for the day.
The best part is that you won’t need to take a road trip or travel to a new location for such an adventure. There are many escape rooms in the Twin Cities, including Escape the Room, Mission Manor, Trapped Puzzle Rooms, and Zero Hour.
14. Trampoline Parks
A trampoline park is a perfect place for your teens to hang out. Jumping around for the whole day is a great experience that they’ll love. Also, it’s a safe enough place to send them with their friends. And the best part? There are many trampoline parks in and near the Twin Cities, so you won’t have to take a long ride.
Some of the most famous parks are Sky Zone, Zero Gravity, and Urban Air.
Do you want to instill the love of books into your teen’s mind? A visit to a nearby bookstore will get the job half done for you. While this activity isn’t as cool as many others on our list, it’s essential if you want to raise a reader.
Luckily, not all bookstores are plain. Some of them organize regular book clubs to discuss specific books, which can be enlightening and help build your kid’s character. So ask about book stores near your place, and plan a visit with your teenager.
Crafting is an enjoyable activity for all ages, and your teens can have a go at it with a group of friends. In the Twin Cities, you’ll find clay centers where kids can make clay sculptures and paint them, like The Northern Clay Center. Alternatively, if your teenagers don’t want to get their hands all dirty, they can try their hands at many other crafts in Heartfelt.
Nothing sounds more exciting than spending a night out in the wild, right? Camping is a cool adventure for all ages and an unforgettable experience if done with a fun group. Fortunately, it’s an easy activity in the Twin Cities because of the many national parks and forests there. And if you don’t want to drive, you can arrange a make-believe camping night in your yard.
To get your teens more excited about the experience, you can let them prepare food with you and choose the outdoor games they want to play while camping.
If your teen loves animals, then it’s a perfect chance to take them to the zoo. It’s an enjoyable activity filled with cute animal encounters. And since it’s suitable for most ages, you can take the entire family and make it a memorable experience.
The last idea before we roll the credits on our article is biking. Biking is a delightful hobby for many. Also, it’s ideal for teens considering the amount of energy they have for physical activities. And the best part? It’s free, unlike many activities that might dent your wallet.
Fortunately, there are many bike trails around the Twin Cities where your teens can go. So look for the nearest one to your place, and send your kids on an enjoyable adventure!
Many people believe that keeping teens entertained is a tall order, but it’s nothing to worry about if you have enough ideas and live in an activity-filled place. Luckily, the Twin Cities has their fair share of fun things to do. Teenagers can go camping, biking, rock climbing, bowling, and more.
So what are you waiting for? Check these activities off your teen’s bucket list this weekend!