Inside: Wondering what to do in the holidays with teenagers? Here are 100 + ways to get them off their devices and into the holidays. (Download the list for future reference)

Holidays pose a real challenge for some parents in terms of getting kids off the couch. It is relatively easy to get young kids out to play, but teenagers are a bit more difficult.

When teenagers are sitting around using their devices, it is often out of habit. It’s not always about not wanting to do anything else. So, here’s a great ‘no excuses’ list of activities for your teens this summer. Don’t forget to download a copy and put it on the fridge so the kids can tick the ideas they love and start planning. (The download button is at the bottom of the page.)

Get Physical

1. Snorkelling

2. Rock climbing at a climbing gym or outdoors

3. Free-throw basketball competition

4. Tennis or badminton

5. Swimming

6. Surfing

7. Geocaching is a treasure hunt with something for everyone. Using map coordinates and a GPS enabled device, you can find a geocache near your home, in the city, in the bush, or in Antarctica. Have a look at the website here

8. The skate park

9. Fishing

10. Surf catting

what to do in the holidays teenager

11. Sailing

12. The gym… Most gyms are very flexible, you can buy a short monthly to half-yearly membership.

13. Couch to 5km app running program

14. Get training for a mini-triathlon

15. Visit Bounce or Latitude or your local version of a trampoline gym

16. Hire bikes or electric scooters and see your city

17. Water skiing

18. Visit an all-ages playground

19. Visit a water park

20. Fitbit Challenges are a fun, competitive way of getting kids to increase their activity levels

21. Golf – There are lots of public golf courses, just look for the one closest to home.

22. Stand up paddleboarding

23. Get a group of friends and take them paintballing

24. Join a Zumba, Yoga, or Pilates class

Wondering what to do in the holidays with your teenager?

Get Back to Nature

25. The beach, the beach, the glorious beach!

26. Bushwalks. Look for your state’s best walks and hikes. Send your teen out with a couple of friends and pick them up at the end.

27. Plant a veggie patch

28. Spend some time as a family at your local swimming/picnic spots

29. Horse riding

30. Go camping

31. Volunteer at a wildlife park

32. Canoe or sup down a river

33. Abseiling

34. Enrol in a high ropes course in the bush

35. Mountain biking

36. Visit friends with a farm

37. Do a SCUBA diving course


38. Walk the dog twice a day, but suggest they double up with a friend and walk their dogs together

39. Create a roster for cooking meals. Make it competitive by making it a Masterchef competition.

40. Give each child one area (on top of their own room) to spring clean.

41. Set the Declutter Challenge

42. Challenge them to go through their wardrobe and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or that they will never wear again and then take it all to a charity shop.

43. Weeding. At this time of the year, there is plenty to go around. Appoint a section of the garden to each family member and see who has a green thumb.

44. Give them a budget and ask them to do the family grocery shopping

45. Wash the car

Book in Some Special Events

Every family member puts an idea for an activity on a piece of paper and puts it in a jar. Once a week you draw out an activity that everyone must participate in. Put in some parameters! Include things like outdoor movies and fish and chips on the foreshore for dinner.

46. Outdoor movies

47. Fish and chips on the foreshore for dinner

48. Have a family movie marathon

49. Go-karting

50. Play mini-golf

51. Go on a ghost tour

52. Hire a jetski

53. Go to an escape room

54. Go to the beach

55. Skating

56. A couple of nights camping

57. Whale-watching tour

58. A day trip to a favourite destination (E.g. Perth’s Rottnest or Garden Island)

Holidays with teenagers

Short Courses

There are so many holiday programs available to teens. I love the idea of kids trying something new. Often adolescents start to narrow their range of hobbies and skills at a time in their life when they should be expanding them.

59. Arts Centres

60. Film Schools

61. Photography courses

62. Jewellery making

63. Cooking

64. Barista course

65. Vacswim – practical water safety, lifesaving & first aid skills are a mustfor every teenager who is around water.

66. Circus Skills at Circus School

67. Learn to drive

What to do with a teenager during school vacation?


Kids in the Kitchen

68. Bake cupcakes and design toppings

69. Hold a barbeque for friends

70. Make a pie

71. Cook a meal for the family

72. Make pasta from scratch

73. Run a Masterchef competition



74. There are countless organisations that would appreciate your teen’s help. Send them with a friend so that it isn’t quite so daunting.

Get a Job

Being paid is a terrific incentive to put down the game controller. It is also a great way to teach the value of money. When kids have a job, they take instructions from someone other than their parents and teachers. They learn that society has expectations of them. It also starts the process of integration into the adult world. Your teen may well benefit from getting a job.

75. Write a CV

76. Check for opportunities in local area

77. If your teen isn’t old enough to be formally employed, they can do paid jobs for family, friends, and neighbours.

enjoy holidays with your teens

Be Creative

78. Writing

79. Painting

80. Renovate an old piece of furniture

81. Design a dress for the school ball

82. Learn to sew

83. Build a piece of furniture

84. Choose a great colour and paint their bedroom

85. Origami

86. Create a dance with friends

87. Create photo books

88. Make candles…these could double as Christmas or birthday gifts

89. Make a movie with friends, siblings or cousins

90. Get started on submissions for some competitions. (Eg. In Australia, The Tim Winton Young Writers’ Award or the Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists)


Read and Research

91. Try your City council library for holiday programs

92. Enrol in your local Summer Reading Club

93. Research the family tree

94. Read a great book

95. Listen to an audiobook

96. Research your first car

97. Read your set literature texts for the next school year


Family Time

The participation of parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles can be a vital ingredient in getting kids off the couch.

98. Get grandparents involved in teaching kids something new and spending time with them. Equally as valuable is getting your teens to teach their grandparents something new…maybe how to send emails, Skype or join Facebook.

99. Spend time with cousins

100. Plan a pamper day for extended family

101. Tech-free family time

102. Have an extended family lunch where every family makes a different course

103. Card and board games inside on a stinking hot afternoon

104. Family sport, like basketball or cricket, that involves all the adults and children in your extended family can become one of those great rituals that you all look forward to every holiday.

105. Book in a few one on one dates with your teenager doing something simple that you both like. It may be something as little as a morning at the beach, or a morning tea together, or shopping.

Enjoy Holidays with Your Teens!


When you download this list you also receive Linda’s fortnightly blog posts. They are full of great information to support you as you journey through your children’s school years.