Summer Activities for Teens That Will Keep Them Busy and Inspired

by Indiana Lee
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Summertime is monumental in many teens’ lives. It’s a time of relaxation, reflection, and growth. However, it’s also a time when school is out and many young adults have extra downtime that they may not know what to do with.

Luckily, you can provide an environment conducive to learning and growth while still adding that zing of excitement that comes with the summer breeze each year. Read on to find out why it’s important to have a semi-structured summer plan for teens — and get inspired by the following must-try summer activities.

teen working on garden | Sisoje from Getty Images Signature via
Photo credit: Sisoje from Getty Images Signature via

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Why It’s Important To Keep Teens Entertained and Productive

The structure doing the school year can be exhausting, yes. However, teens can benefit from having goals to work toward, even during the summer. Providing them with fun, productive activities can quell their boredom and prevent them from engaging in unhealthy behaviors. Teenagers with unhealthy habits, like poor diets, smoking, or staying sedentary, can exhibit signs of aging faster than their healthier counterparts.

Instead of allowing too much time for unhealthy activities, try to facilitate summer fun that fosters personal growth, builds skills, and creates positive experiences. This can boost their self-esteem and help them navigate life with a positive outlook for years to come.

Rather than forcing them to participate in whatever you decide, you can choose a variety of activities to give them options and form a sense of autonomy. Consider some of the following when making your summer bucket list for teens.

Beach Camping

Camping, in general, is a classic option to get teens out into nature, bond with friends and family, and use their skills to “survive.” Beach camping is a fun twist on the tradition, giving them a chance to bask in the summer sun while connecting with nature.

When planning a beach camping trip, remember to check the weather and local laws about camping on the beach. Treat it just like you would a more forest-centric camping trip, and prepare with emergency supplies, food, and water. Add some beach essentials like sunscreen, beach chairs, and floating devices, and your teens are ready for a fun, sand-filled adventure they likely haven’t experienced before.

Frisbee Golf

Also known as disc golf, frisbee golf combines two classic activities into one novel experience. Getting your teens out in nature to throw frisbees on a course can give them purpose and an outlet for physical activity.

They also have to use strategy to determine the best types of discs and throws depending on the course target. It’s a laid-back sport that teens can master in the short summer months with rewarding results. You could even get them involved in local teams and tournaments for extra socialization while enhancing their coordination and getting them out in nature.

Internships and Shadowing

If you’re looking for a more productive, future-oriented summer activity, try to find some options for your teen to intern or shadow in a field they are interested in. Teens are at a unique time in their lives where they are deciding their unique path and what they want to do in the future. You can future-proof their career planning by providing them with opportunities to experience some hands-on training and shadowing in a job they might like.

By actively participating in the industry, they can test the waters and find mentors who can guide them on their career journey. Inside information about the trajectory of the industry is important to shape their plans for continued education or experience. While this activity isn’t as laidback, it can be an enriching experience that offers networking, learning, and development of soft and technical skills. This can set a strong foundation for their professional futures.


While volunteering doesn’t sound exciting on the surface, it can be tailored to your teens’ specific hobbies and preferences. For example, you can offer the option for them to volunteer at an animal shelter during the summer. If they love animals, they can explore that passion and meet like-minded individuals. Volunteering in any field can be an enriching experience, giving them lasting memories and social connections as well as professional experience to add to their growing resumes.

Starting a Business

If your teen is particularly ambitious, allow them to start a business. This creative outlet can be fruitful and a great learning experience if nothing else. Think beyond typical summer businesses like lemonade stands. Have a brainstorming session with your teen to see what they are passionate about.

You can learn a lot about their ambitions and life goals this way, and the business may even take off. Helping them get started is a great bonding experience and gives them the confidence that they can pursue big dreams.

Growing Their Own Food

Nutrition is a crucial part of holistic health. Teaching your teens about eating healthily can only go so far if they’re more inclined to eat processed snacks and drink energy drinks around the clock. To motivate them to get outside, exercise, and learn about the nutritional value of foods, try introducing gardening as a fun summer activity.

Although an underrated hobby amongst teens, gardening can be exciting and worthwhile at any age. Whether you have space in your yard, on your balcony, or in a community garden, cultivating a garden full of fruits and vegetables can show teens the impact they can have on the world in a tangible way. Further, they’ll be more inclined to eat what they harvest.


Summer is a perfect time to experience clear enough weather to stargaze. If your teen is interested in astronomy, they may opt to shoot for the stars. This is a more expensive hobby if you plan to purchase the telescope, but there are budget-friendly options available for beginners.

On temperate, cloudless nights, teens can find a safe spot with little light pollution to set up and gaze at the stars. What’s more, they can learn about space and be inspired to dive deeper into the constellation of opportunities space can have for their educational and professional future.

Through Summer and Beyond

Summer can be a time of wonder and discovery for teens. Instead of spending hours scrolling on social media or watching videos on their devices, they can make an impact on the world and their futures. You can equip teens with the tools they need to make every summer a summer to remember, socializing with new people, learning novel subjects, and forming the foundation to a successful future.

Make sure you check out all our other activity ideas for teenagers for even more summer ideas!

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