One day you’re caring for a newborn and before you know it, you’re sending him or her off to college. They grow up fast and the teenage years can be some of the hardest for finding ways to connect with your kids. We’ve rounded up 18 local experiences to try with your kids before they turn 18.
1. Check out a food truck park
Resolve any argument about personal dinner tastes and preferences and settle into one of Oklahoma City’s two food truck parks for a relaxing dinner with your teen. Delmar Gardens (1225 S.W. 2nd St.) and Bleu Garten (301 N.W. 10th) both offer a rotating selection of food trucks serving up an assortment of cuisines.
2. Race to the finish
A little friendly family competition is good for everyone. Take your teen to Andy Alligator’s Fun Park (3300 Market Pl, Norman) where you can each climb into a go-kart and battle to the finish line.
3. Pick produce
Oklahoma City’s farmers market scene is an exciting place for you and your teen to discover locally-grown produce and products. Visit an area market and select something to cook together. Find a complete list of local markets at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/farmers-markets. Most are open through October.
4. Soar together
A one-of-a-kind attraction that’s new to the city is iFly (13600 Pawnee Dr.), where visitors can simulate skydiving in a thrilling wind tunnel. It’s a perfect outing for celebrating a special occasion or event with your teen.
5. Roll retro
More than a bowling alley, Dust Bowl Lanes (421 N.W. 10th St.) offers an unforgettably old-fashioned bowling experience. Your teen will adore the nostalgic feel and delicious food delivered straight to the lanes.
6. Cruise the canal
A trip down the Bricktown Canal on a water taxi (ticket booth at 111 S. Mickey Mantle) never gets old. Catch up with your teen on a tour of one of Oklahoma City’s most iconic attractions.
7. Discover something new and unusual
Perhaps the most interesting museum in Oklahoma City is SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology (10301 S. Sunnylane Rd.). It’s a perfect stop for teens as it puts the weird and wonderful on display in an educational way.
8. Guarantee screams
Frontier City (11501 N. I-35 Service Rd.) boasts thrills at every turn for older kids. Bring out the kid in yourself by boarding some of your teen’s favorite roller coasters with them.
9. Give back
One of the most impactful things you can do for your community and for your children is volunteer together. There are endless opportunities for you to volunteer with your teen. Find them at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/volunteer.
10. Set out on a river adventure
Thrill-seeking teens will love stepping out of their comfort zones at RIVERSPORT Adventures (800 Riversport Dr.). Take to the new roaring rapids attraction in a kayak or simply enjoy the facility’s exciting adventure course complete with trip across the Oklahoma River on a zip line.
11. Experience nostalgia
Take your teen back in time with a trip to Winchester Drive-In (6930 S. Western Ave.). Let your teen take the wheel to enjoy a family-friendly flick complete with classic concessions.
12. See OKC from above
The Wheeler District is Oklahoma City’s newest booming area and the biggest reason for visiting the neighborhood is to take a ride on the Wheeler Ferris Wheel (701 S. Western Ave.). The ride once stood on the Santa Monica pier but was erected in the local district earlier this year. Snap plenty of photos as you enjoy the sweeping views of the city from the top of the ride.
13. Explore nature indoors
While the children’s area at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W. Reno) beckons little visitors, older kids will love a tour through the Crystal Bridge, an indoor rainforest environment boasting plants from around the world.
14. Soak up some culture
Before they get too old, every Oklahoma City kid needs to experience a live production at Lyric Theatre (1727 N.W. 16th). This Plaza District icon puts local talent in display in an endlessly entertaining way. Upcoming shows include “Fully Committed” and “The Rocky Horror Show.”
15. Remember OKC’s past
Visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial (620 N. Harvey Ave.) with your teen can be a reflective and memorable experience. The visit will be a great reminder to you and your child about the importance of giving back to the community and the values that make Oklahoma City stand out.
16. Explore a new neighborhood
Oklahoma City’s urban core has experienced a tremendous boom in recent years. There’s no better way to experience that than to climb onto a bike and explore a new area. If you don’t have your own bike, pick up a rental from one of several Spokies stations scattered throughout the downtown area. They offer easy access to areas like the Plaza District, Paseo Arts District and Midtown. Find a station at www.spokiesokc.com.
17. Stroll a street festival
One of the best ways to discover Oklahoma City’s unique neighborhoods and spark your teen’s curiosity is at one of the city’s many regular street festivals. From the First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District (NW 30th & 27th Streets, Walker and Hudson Ave.) to Auto Alley Shop Hop (Broadway Ave. between NW 4th and 10th Streets), these monthly festivals offer an exposure to local arts and culture in an environment older kids are sure to love.
18. Have an off-beat movie night
Most teens love going to the theater but upgrade to an extra-special movie night by finding a unique film at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The museum’s art house cinema offers a refined theater experience that will stand out from all the rest.
For a monthly list of local events perfect for teens, visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/5-Things-to-Do-with-Teens-in-OKC.