Are you looking for ways to have fun together and bond with your teenagers? Try some of these fun family activities to do with teens that even the teens will enjoy!
Growing up can be hard – for both kids and parents! You can go from being the center of their world to being an embarrassment.
Your teens may start lagging behind you while out around town. They want to spread their wings and be more independent in what they do and where they go.
But that doesn’t mean you have to stop spending time together! Even teens need their parents- and by spending time together doing fun, family activities you can stay bonded, build a stronger relationship, and keep the lines of communication open.
Not sure what kinds of activities to do with your teens? Try one of these 17 activities!
17 Family Activities to Do With Teens That Everyone Will Enjoy
At the time of writing this article I have 4 teenage boys in my home, ranging from 13 to almost 19. And while sometimes it can be a struggle to find something that EVERYONE wants to do together, you will likely find a few favorites among these activities for each teen.
These don’t necessarily have to be done as a whole family- but as a special activity between just you and your teen as well.
The key is to find something that speaks to both your teen and you that you guys can do together. It creates memories- things they will remember forever and maybe even turn into a tradition that gets passed down to the next generation.
Have a Family Game Night
Our family loves board games and we have a whole cabinet full of games we can pull out whenever we want.
If you are busy, I recommend setting a day aside each week for a family game night. Let your teen choose the game and just have fun!
Some family favorites are:
- Settlers of Catan
- Ticket to Ride
- Clue (and Clue Master Detective)
In my house, many of these games are games I played as a kid with my parents and we’ve played together since my kids were young. It was their goal growing up to get as good at Rummy-O and Clue as I am. (And yes, now as teenagers they can now rearrange the Rummy board and take Clue notes as good as me!)
Check out 11 of the Best Family Board Games for other ideas.
Have a Cookout or Bonfire
If you need a family activity for the summer- having a bonfire or a cookout is a great activity to do with teens!
I know lots of teens spend their weekends away from home, but try to work a few of these in over summer vacation- and let them invite their friends if they want!
Get some wood, charcoal, or fire up the grill and cook dinner over the fire. And don’t forget the s’mores!
If it’s just family, sitting by the fire in the dark can be a great time to just sit and talk (and listen) with your teens.
Fishing is a great family activity to do with teens! And a great life skill to have as well.
Our family has been fishing together since my kids were all very young. And it’s a activity that families can do together no matter the age range of the kids.
It can be a great time to bond and talk to your teens without a lot of pressure. Lots of quiet conversations can happen while waiting for the fish to bite- plus learning how to wild catch your own food is a skill that could come in handy later in life!
Related Reading: 25 Life Skills Teens Should Learn Before Leaving Home
Whether you choose to swim at the local pool, the lake or a mountain river, swimming is a fun family activity for the whole family.
Pack a lunch or some snacks, a water bottle- and a friend if your teen wants- and make a day of it!
Take a Hike
Hiking is another family activity that is great for talking with your teen without a lot of pressure. Do it with the whole family or just you and your teen- let them set the pace of both the hike and the conversation.
Choose a hike with an interesting end such as a waterfall, fire tower, or just a great view.
Plus it’s great exercise- without the distractions of electronics or phones.
Plant a Garden
Planting a garden is one of my family’s main summer activities. We all work together to plant, weed, water, pick bugs, and harvest.
My 2 oldest teens tilled and planted their own garden in a different part of the yard to grow tons of pumpkins, squash, and melons. Including giant 200+ lb pumpkins.
Gardening is not only a great family activity, but also a life skill and life long passion you can pass down to your teens.
Have a Weekly Family Movie Night
For as long as I can remember we have had pizza movie night on Sunday nights. Since we have a good age spread in our kids we often have 2. Sunday night is reserved for family friendly movies that work for all ages and we reserve a different night for watching movies that are more for teens (after the younger siblings are in bed).
This is a great time to watch movies you loved when you were a teenager and just enjoy spending time together and laughing together.
Watch a Series or Show
In the age of Amazon Prime and Netflix, watching shows as a family just isn’t quite the same. When I was growing up we had to wait a week (or a summer!) to see what happened in your favorite show. But now you can binge watch and entire show in a couple of days.
That said, picking a show to watch as a family is a great family activity.
I have used this to expose my kids to some of my favorite shows from when I was a kid, teen, or young adult.
We have watched everything from The Brady Bunch to Lost to old game shows like Super Market Sweep.
We don’t binge watch, but watch one episode a day. It’s something everyone looks forward to and we have a great time as a whole family.
Bowling is one of those activities that never seems to go out of style. Bowling alleys today look exactly the same on the inside as bowling alleys from when I was a kid. And it’s jut fun!
Grab your teens and have some fun. You can even use bumpers so you don’t have to worry about gutterballs.
Bowling is great for some friendly competition or just to make fools of yourselves!
Part of preparing teens for life on their own is helping them become a fully functioning member of the community. And volunteering helps expose them to those that are less fortunate- whether they are animals or people.
They will learn vital skills and compassion while volunteering.
Here are some places you can look into volunteering for in your area:
- Humane society or animal shelter
- Soup kitchen
- Homeless shelter
- Habitat for Humanity
- American Red Cross
Let your teen choose one that resonates with him the most and do it together.
In today’s world it seems that we sometimes prioritize technology over movement. Far too many kids spend all their free time on their phones or on social media and don’t get enough exercise.
Getting moving together is a great way to bond and stay healthy. And there are lots of ways to workout together- here are just a few ideas:
- Lifting weights
- Swimming laps
- Aerobics class
- Martial Arts
Choose what fits best in your life style and budget and just get moving together. This can be one of the best family activities to do with teens as it keeps you all healthier!
Learn a Skill
Teens can often think that they know it all, and mom and dad know nothing. This can make it hard for you to teach them skills- but what if you both knew nothing?
A great family activity to do to your teen is to learn a new skill together. Choose something neither of you know how to do are passionate about learning. It’s best to let your teen take the lead in choosing the skill so that they are invested in learning.
Some great new skills are:
- auto mechanics
- foreign language
- musical instrument
And so many more!
Play Disc Golf
I think disc golf is the best family sport. You don’t have to have a lot of skill to play, you don’t have to be in perfect shape or have a lot of endurance and it’s just fun!
My teens are even trying to design their own disc golf course in the woods on our property.
Disc golf is a great family activity to do with teens that everyone will enjoy and you can have fun exploring different courses, disc types, and improving your throw!
Attend Festivals, Concerts, or Historical Reenactments
Looking for a fun outing to do with the whole family that teens will enjoy too? Try attending local festivals, concerts, or things like historical reenactments.
If you look in your local paper you will likely find all sorts of local events for the whole family, such as:
- Food festivals (such as Bacon Fest, Strawberry Festival, etc that focus on a certain food or harvest)
- Cultural festivals (such as Greek Fest)
- Other miscellaneous festivals- the Big Foot Festival is quite popular!
- City concert series (usually found downtown or in a park)
- Historical festivals or reenactments from the Civil War, French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, etc.
Festivals offer a lot of fun things to do for the whole family.
Play Active Games
Board games are great- but you can also play more active games together as a family. I have very fond memories of playing badminton with my family when I was a teen. Sometimes it was just me and my brother my with parents. Sometimes it was me and a few friends against the adults- either way it was a ton of fun that made for great memories.
Here are some active games to consider:
- Nerf wars
Geocaching is a recreational activity that uses GPS to find hidden containers.
Basically a high-tech game of hide and seek that spans the globe. It’s a great way to mix technology with getting outside and moving.
Find out more at GeoCaching.com
Spend Quality Time Together
And finally, you don’t have to make fancy plans to spend time with your teenagers. Sometimes the best family activities to do with teens is to just be with them.
Spend the day doing what they want; just talking and enjoying each other’s company.
So maybe you just stay home and cook dinner together. Or look at family photo albums. Or help them paint and redecorate their room. Do chores together.
No plans, no stress….just enjoying being together.
Got kids of all ages? Check out 20 Fun Things to Do as a Family This Summer!