10 Summer Activities for Teens

The summer activity planning was easy when the kids were younger, but now that they are all teenagers, spending time together and making summer plans can be a little more difficult. It's hard to find something everyone can enjoy together while still balancing "chill" time and making memories. I've got some ideas of things you can do this summer with your kids that everyone will enjoy and it will leave you with just the right balance of relaxation and exploration.

10 Summer Activities for Older Kids

Explore the Great Outdoors

Get outside and explore the beauty of the great outdoors.  Make a list of several local hikes you want to take or plan to pitch a tent with a few friends of family members. Camping is a great way to take advantage of the cool summer nights and spend time outdoors exploring the wildlife. No matter where you live, there is sure to be some gorgeous scenery for you to explore. The National Park Service has some handy resources for locating parks and trails near you.

Escape the Heat and Take a Dip 

Take advantage of the warmth and sunshine by going for a dip in the oceans, rivers, lakes, swimming pools, water parks or whatever you have access to in your area. There is nothing more refreshing than wading in the water on a hot summer day. With so many public access points at most bodies of water, there is no reason not to visit the thousands of water-spots in the country.

Take in a Museum

Make a day trip to a local museum or plan a vacation around seeing multiple exhibits across the country. If you’re on a tight budget, don't worry. There are loads of free museums just a google search away. Many even offer free evenings each month. Check your local library for passes as well.

Witness the World’s Wildlife

You don't have to travel further than your local zoo to see animals from all over the world. America is home to some of the best zoos and aquariums in the world. 

If you are trying to decide on a family vacation, I've got a list of the many benefits of family travel.

Earn Some Cash and Build Your Resume

With all of the spare time in the summer, getting a part-time job can never hurt. Whether you are saving up for college or earning some money to help fund your summer excursions, it is no doubt that the three-month break from school is a wonderful opportunity to earn some extra cash.  Besides making some extra spending money, it's also a great way to start gaining valuable work experience. 

Summer is also a great time to explore what kids might want to do in the future. It's a great time to line up a summer intership or call up a friend in the field your child is interested in to see if they can job shadow for the day. 

Declutter with a Garage Sale

A garage sale is a great way to get rid of some of those unused items that are just taking up space. You can also earn a little bit of money while you are doing it too! Don't miss my book "The Ultimate Garage Sale Handbook." There is a chapter in the book dedicated to having your own garage sale and how to make the most money doing it!

Try something new

With a three month break from peers and teacher, this is the perfect time to let your kids try something new. Let them explore a new hairstyle or try a new outfit without fear of judgement. Let your kids try new ways of expressing themselves. Don't let kids stop at the outward appearance though, sign up for a cooking or art class or summer sports team. 

Start a Summer Book Club

Kids may not want to pick up a book during the school year because they have so much mandatory reading, but summer is a great time to pick up a book for fun. Start a summer book club as a family and discuss a book together, or help your kids start a book club with friends and meet at a local coffee shop for a treat so they can discuss it together.

Have Fun at the Fair

Summer is the perfect time to hunt down your local carnival or fair. Who doesn't love fair food? Not only that you can find games, rides and lost of fun at your local fair.


It's never a bad idea to look for ways that teens can serve in the community. Thinking of others before themselves isn't something that is necessarily easy for a teen, so making sure you give them opportunities to look beyond themselves is a good way to install gratitude. Plus, summer gives you a little flexibility in your schedule to schedule in some time to do good and cross off community service hours that may be required for school. 

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully, they can just start to get the ball rolling so your teens aren't just finding themselves locked in their room while the sun is shining! What's on your list of things to do this summer?

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