Parents want to spend time with their teenage boys, but sometimes it is hard to find things that everyone will want to do. Here are 21 things that you can do with your teenage son.
1. Play Airsoft
Airsoft is really fun. You can get airsoft guns for as little as $25 at Walmart, head out in the backyard, the woods, or down by a river and have a blast on a Saturday morning. I know, it’s not as easy as making a blanket fort, but it’ll be something your son will remember you doing for a long time. Be an epic parent!
A great way to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air, hiking is great for people of all ages, especially for teens who have a lot of energy. Whether it is a simple day hike or a weekend trip, hiking is an awesome option that will allow you to spend a few hours with your teen.
Before you head out, find hikes that have some great scenery so your teen is more likely to enjoy it. Ideally, visit a waterfall or river, as many teenage boys enjoy climbing on the rocks around them.
2. Play This Prank on Him Right Now
Okay, this one is really fun. Get a ladder, a mixing bowl, and a broom. Set up the ladder and have someone climb to the top. Fill the mixing bowl half-way full of water. Now have the person on the ladder place the bowl firmly against the ceiling. You stand on the ground next to the ladder and press the broom handle up against the bowl.
Now, the person on the ladder removes the ladder and leaves the room. You’re holding the mixing bowl of water up against the ceiling. If you were to let go of the broomstick, the water would fall on you.
Now, you start screaming. Scream your son’s name and say “HELP! Come in here!” You have to make it feel like an EMERGENCY or he won’t fall for it.
As soon as your son runs into the room, yell in a panicked voice “Quick! Come hold this tight up against the ceiling!” If you do it in a panicked voice, they won’t question it.
As soon as they take over the broom, casually say “Okay, see ya!” and walk out of the room. Now they are trapped. If they let go, they get soaked. But they can’t stay there forever…
I played this prank on my son just yesterday when he had friends over and they laughed like crazy. Go be a fun mom or dad. Do a prank.
3. Take a Camping Trip
Camping is a great way to spend up to several days with your teenage son. You could even combine hiking and camping. While camping, you can do many fun things with your teenage son, such as cooking or swimming.
When camping with your teen, let him be an active participant in putting together your camp and in preparing the meal. This is a great time to talk and bond with him as well.
4. Cook a Meal Together
Cooking is a vital skill for kids and teens to learn, so take the opportunity to learn how to cook with them. When you first start teaching them how to cook, teach them how to make their favorite foods. Then teach him how to make other foods that he will eat.
Once they have started to get basic cooking down, teach them how to grill and smoke foods, as many teenage boys enjoy grilling and want to learn more about it.
5. Play a Strategy Game
Once they become a teenager, they might not enjoy games that are just based on luck like Sorry or Candyland. Instead, they will want to play games that rely more on skill and critical thinking.
Games like Betrayal at House on the Hill or Settlers of Catan (links to Amazon) are great options since they require lots of thought, and they are slightly different every time that you play. These games do cost a bit more than your younger kids’ games, but they are much more enjoyable for you to play and often have a relatively high resale value.
6. Play Hearts
Hearts is a really fun card game and all you’ll need is a regular deck of cards. You can understand the rules in about 5 minutes, and it’s great for the whole family if there are younger kids as well.
Here’s a great video that explains the rules clearly.
7. Try Playing Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons is a fun game that many teenage boys enjoy. It will allow you to spend several hours with your teenager. It allows you to go on an adventure like in Lord of the Rings and similar fantasy movies. It usually requires at least 3 people to play at once, but it can be done with fewer. With a bit of preparation, your party will soon defeat your world’s dark lord!
Many sites offer all of the resources you need to play, so playing this game can cost you nothing. However, if you enjoy playing the game, you can purchase the related books and various miniatures to help add elements of realism to your game. Either way, this is a great option that can lead to many fond memories being developed.
8. Have a Vintage Video Game Tournament
Last year for Christmas, we bought this Sega video game console for cheap on Amazon. It’s made new, but allows you to plug in to HDMI and enjoy all your old Sega games from when you were a kid.
It has been a HUGE hit with my two teenagers. My wife, sons, and I have played for hours and my kids laugh when their mom destroys them in Contra or Mario.
I know, it requires ordering something and you won’t be able to play today, but it’ll provide lots of family fun in a couple days.
9. Workout Together
I’ve been surprised at how much my kids enjoy working out with me. My daughter loves doing the dance-type workouts with my wife where you follow an instructor on the TV. I prefer weightlifting with my boys and we pick what lifts to each other should do to improve their physique.
If you don’t have weights at home, you can use milk jugs filled with water, or get a day pass at the local YMCA.
Here’s the dance workout my wife and daughter like doing together:
Jogging and going for runs is another simple option that you have that you can do with your teen. Whether it is just around your neighborhood or on a nearby trail, this is a great way to go out and just be with your teen.
10. Practice a Sport
You could also participate in your son’s favorite sports with them. It can be as simple as going out and playing catch in your yard, or it could be you helping them train for their sport.
You can also pick up a new sport, as there are lots of options for wacky and fun sports that are easy to learn and get into, such as cheese rolling and cardboard tube fighting. Whether it is a crazy, unique sport or a more traditional one, this is a fun way to stay fit and spend time with your teenage son.
11. Go Swimming/Pick up a Watersport
There are also plenty of watersports that you can take up with your teen. Underwater basket weaving is always a fun option because of the uniqueness of the experience.
Even if they aren’t into watersports, swimming is a fun activity for most teenagers. So, for a fun afternoon, go to the local pool, a nearby lake, or, if possible, to the nearest beach.
12. Go to a Museum
Another option for something you can do with your teenager for a day is to go to a museum. There are so many different types of museums that there will likely be several that will interest your teenager.
This is a great way to learn a bit more about a topic, but it is also an opportunity to enjoy the past and maybe even to find a new interest. If you’re not sure what museum to go to, flight museums typically are very enjoyable and often have some great hands-on exhibits.
13. Go to a Concert or Festival
Many teenage boys enjoy going to concerts. If they have a band that they enjoy that is visiting a city nearby it can make a great afternoon and evening together. Going out to the concert will be a memory that they will likely remember for years to come.
Festivals are another similar option. These tend to be a bit more frequent than concerts, but attending a fun festival can be just as enjoyable as a concert and lead to even more memories. Keep an eye out for upcoming festivals that your teenager might enjoy and go to the concert with them. Even if it isn’t something that you like, be with them and enjoy some of their hobbies and interests.
14. Do an Escape Room or Go Axe Throwing
An escape room is a great idea for a fun afternoon. It allows you to work together with your teenager to solve a fun unique and often difficult puzzle that usually has a creative theme. If you get into escape rooms, you can begin to try and solve them as quickly as possible and even try to break the room records many escape room businesses keep track of the fastest times.
If there are no nearby escape rooms, then you can even set up your simple escape room in your house. There are many simple escape room kits that you can get online. To complete them, you have to work together and solve problems to get into the locked item. These at-home escape rooms also make for great practice to hone your techniques before starting the more difficult in-person rooms.
15. Go Bowling
Bowling is an all-time classic that many people have likely done many times. However, even if you have done it often it still makes for a great activity.
For those who are looking for a unique bowling experience, try checking out candlepin bowling as it uses smaller bowling balls, and you have three rolls to knock down all ten pins rather than the traditional two.
16. Have a Movie Night
A movie night or even an all-day movie marathon is another great thing that will allow you to spend some quality time with your teenager. There are plenty of moves that will make for great movie marathons, like all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Harry Potter movies.
During a movie night, watch your favorite classic movies or a movie that you want your teenage son to watch.
There is a great app that has tons of service projects you can sign up for in your community. No work needed to find a way to serve. Get the JustServe app for free (or just visit their website) and then see what’s available in your community.
Volunteering and doing service is an amazing way to spend time with your teenage son. Most likely this will involve yard work, but when you are helping others, it can help teach many great values in them.
Service also helps revive stress and depression which are very common in teenagers, so this offers many different benefits for both those being served, for your teen, and your relationship with them. (Source)
18. Take a Class
Taking a fun class is also a great option. I would recommend it be a class that teaches a skill that your teenager is interested in. Some great options for classes include photography, coding, and kick-boxing.
Another option for something that your son might be interested in could be a handyman class or something that allows them to work with their hands, as you can work on it alongside them.
19. Go to a Local College Campus, Then Out to Eat
Nearly every city has a college nearby. Just drive over there and walk around. Go see what the gym looks like, see if there are any classes going on that you could peak in the back of, go to the admissions office and get a packet. Notice the flyers on the walls of activities that might get your son excited about college.
Then, go out to their favorite restaurant and talk about what career they might want to go into, or what college they would like, and what steps they need to take now to prepare.