Traveling with teens can be a frustrating experience. Attractions that adults may find inviting, such as museums and art galleries, may be boring to the average American teenager. And kid-friendly spots can be too “babyish” for the finicky teen. As a parent to a teen, here is a handy guide of places that are fun for adults and are teen-friendly, too. (Although they will never acknowledge that they’re having fun, you know they are and will.)
For the Teen with a Sense of Adventure
Hands-down, Tree to Tree Adventure Park remains on the top of the list for teens when it comes to outdoor adventure. The thrill and excitement of playing in the trees while navigating a course of obstacles can bring out childlike enthusiasm in even the most jaded teenager.
Kayaking and canoeing is also a good pastime for teenagers, whether it’s a leisurely ride along the slow-moving Tualatin River, or a family race to an imaginary finish line. Boat rentals are available from the Tualatin Riverkeepers or Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe.
Hagg Lake, located at Scoggins Valley Park, is one of several fishing spots perfect for a day of parent and teen bonding. Horning’s Fishing and Picnic Hideout also is another popular fishing hole, stocked with rainbow trout. As an added bonus, after a day of angling, try a game of disc golf at each of these locations.
For many, myself included, a great deal of bonding happens while shopping; however, we parents of teens know that this often creates some short-lived drama, so shop ’til you drop at your own risk.
Friendly Family Games
Washington County is chock-full of teen- and family-friendly hands-on activities: laser tag at Laserport, bowling at Big Al’s, outdoor go-kart racing at Malibu Raceway or indoor go-karting at Sykart Indoor Racing Center. For less competitive sports, try trampolining at Sky High Sports or rock climbing at Stoneworks Climbing Gym. (Some attractions are open during evening hours, which will keep your teen happy after the sun goes down.)
So you’ve hiked, biked and climbed your way to an appetite, and you ask, “Where can we go for dinner that has food my teenager will like?” Here are some local places that teens will enjoy, for the food, and the ambiance:
- Cruise In Country Diner: Burgers and fries served in a nostalgic 50s diner atmosphere
- Thirsty Lion Pub and Grill: Diverse menu, complete with television screens playing the latest game
- Pastini Pastaria: Affordable Italian cuisine (multiple locations)
- Nacho Mama’s: Mexican cuisine with indoor/outdoor seating
For the complete list of restaurants in Oregon’s Washington County, visit our dining page.
So, there you have it, a quick quide to exploring Oregon’s Washington County with teenagers. My own teenager helped me compile this list, so it has an unofficial stamp of approval. There are hundreds of other things to do and see while here, more than what’s on this list. Whatever you choose to do while visiting, we’re sure you (and your teen) will have a blast.