It can be so difficult to find fun family activities in Boston when you have teenagers! I always have a hard time finding the right fit. They are still children, but they’re way too old for the Children’s Museum. They feel like they’re on the verge of adulthood, but they’re too young for the club scene. Sporting events are fun but are not great spur-of-the-moment activities. There are plenty of educational activities in Boston, like historical sites and museums, but sometimes learning isn’t the goal!
So, Boston, let’s see what you have for some family fun with teenagers.
For the gamer
Dave and Buster’s is a teenage version of Chuck E. Cheese. There are tons of games and fun to be had at each location (Woburn, Natick, and Braintree). We frequent the one in Woburn, and what’s even better is the bar is available near the games for snacks and drinks. Some venues have age requirements after a certain time — for example, in Woburn, people under 21 have to leave by 11 p.m. on the weekends. Even better, for my large family there’s something for everyone, from my 5-year-old up to my 17-year-old and up to my husband and me!
If you are looking for something a little more mature, check out Versus in Boston. It is part restaurant, part nostalgia, part gamer haven. They serve fun pub food and drinks and have a neon explosion atmosphere straight out of the ’80s. After you have eaten, take a turn on some old school game systems, including pinball, “Space Invaders,” and “Crazy Taxi” (my personal favorite). Versus is 21+ plus after 7 p.m., but it’s a great lunch spot with older teens.
For the adventurer
Level 99 in the Natick Mall is a super fun place to bond with your teens. It is part escape room, part interactive problem solving, and part Legends of the Hidden Temple. You and your teens can make a team and try to solve as many challenges as possible. They also offer food and beverages to weary adventurers, including the Night Shift Beer Hall for mom and dad!
Malden is home to another fun adventure venue called Boda Borg. Here, you make a team of 3-5 people and try your luck in various rooms. You have a card that gets stamped each time you make it through one of the rooms. Bring back your card each time to collect all the stamps. The rooms don’t change much but are not easy to get through, requiring a few tries to understand how to conquer the challenge! There are some food options here, but it is more like a cafe than a restaurant.
For the show stoppers
The Museum of Science’s laser light shows in the planetarium are a great way to connect with your teen over music. I hadn’t given it much thought until I heard my 14-year-old listening to a Pink Floyd song! The planetarium has Friday and Saturday night shows that feature music by Pink Floyd, Beyonce, Fleetwood Mac, and Radiohead. Grab a bite to eat at the Cambridgeside Galleria next door and head over to a fun musical experience.
For older teens, check out an improv show! Improv Asylum in Boston is a great time! They recommend their shows for ages 16 and up, but depending on your (and your teens’) level of comfort, it’s a fun time. They do have specific shows for adults only, so be sure to double check before grabbing tickets.
If your teen has a love of the stage, check out some local teen open mic nights. The Arts at the Armory in Somerville offers specific nights for teens to have the floor. They also have so many other great events to check out. If you are musically inclined, check out the open mic nights at Main Idea in Worcester each month!
Entertaining teens can be difficult, but entertaining them and their parents at the same time? That’s where magic happens. Check out some of these great teen-friendly options in Boston and be sure to let us know how it goes! Good luck, parents of teens — it’s quite a journey.