Teenagers today have plenty to be stressed about – from schoolwork, to entering the workforce for the first time and rising problems in mental health, teenagers deserve a break just as much as anyone else. Social, creative and physical activities have enormously positive impacts on anyone, no matter their age, so why not get a group together and try out something fun?
Whether it’s the school holidays, there’s an upcoming birthday party, or you’re just looking to get out of the house for the weekend, it can be a bit tricky to find a great activity for teenagers. It’s important to look for activities that offer creative outlets, are fun for large groups, and are energetic and engaging – maybe even something educational. But how can you tell the difference between an average activity or program, and a great one?
In this article, we’ll go through some of the most important things that make an activity perfect for teenagers, as well as a guide to some of Canberra’s best available businesses.
What makes a great activity or program for teenagers?
With so many options in Canberra to choose from when it comes to activities and programs for teenagers, there are some qualities that you must prioritise when deciding which one will be perfect for you. Let’s go through them together:
- Socialisation. No one wants to go bowling on their own – a great program will be catered towards large groups, whether that means you organising a group of your friends or joining a program that gives you the opportunity to meet new people.
- Creative and unique. This doesn’t necessarily mean painting or learning a musical instrument – even though those things might be fun, they’re not for everyone. A creative activity is one that is offering something unique and interesting, to keep everyone fully engaged and entertained.
- Educational and extra-curricular. The benefits of picking up an activity or joining a program aren’t restricted to the emotional – a great program might teach you a new skill or could even be added to your resumé as an extra-curricular activity.
- Physical activity. Doing an activity that gets us up and moving has almost too many benefits to name – while obviously great for physical health, it’s also great for your mental health and can be an excellent way to socialise with others.
The best activities and programs for teenagers in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Established over 31 years ago, the Youth Engagement Team at Woden Youth Centre works with young people aged 12-25 to find the right support, the right worker, at the right place, at the right time. The team of trained youth workers – who continuously seek training relevant to the needs of young people – are committed to creating a safe space for young people to meet friends, speak with counsellors, and have fun!
The Centre is free to access for all people aged 12-25 and boasts a range of facilities such as pool tables, table tennis, a half-court basketball stadium, as well as video games, kitchen facilities, computer access, music equipment, and occasionally the centre hosts live music gigs as well. There really is something for everyone at the Centre, whether you’re interested in a long-term membership or an occasional hang-out spot with friends.
As Facebook user Angela Hart describes the Centre in their review, “Excellent entertainment, great people, fantastic venue.”
Seg Glide Ride is a guided Segway tour service based on Lake Burley Griffin, offering you a whole new way to see some of Canberra’s greatest attractions. After a quick but comprehensive training session with their professional and friendly team, you and your friends will be read for a fun, 30-minute tour of the lake, taking you past the National Gallery, Old Parliament House, and the Carillon.
Happy customer Helen Hurry writes in their Google review, “This was so awesome. The staff are brilliant, and professional. The smile never left our faces. I'd recommend the company to everyone. Thank you Seg Glide Ride.”
The National Gallery of Australia offers a special activities program just for teens in Canberra – the NGA Teen Council. If you’re passionate about art and technology, and about making it fun and accessible for everybody, then the activities run by the Teen Council at the NGA are for you. From VR experiences to live music and other online-based artistic events, Teen Council is a great way to explore your creative side in a new and engaging way.
Kingpin is one of the newest additions to the Canberra Centre, a large entertainment venue with something for everyone. But Kingpin is about more than just bowling – this enormous arcade in the middle of the Canberra Centre also boasts food, bars, laser tag, karaoke, escape rooms, and many more fun activities. They also offer some great party packages for teens, offering special deals on VIP rooms, food, drinks, and a selection of their best activities.
See what Google reviewer Peter Thomas wrote about their experience at Kingpin, “Birthdays, get-togethers or just a quick muck around while Mum's in the shop! If you're in civic this is a must check in zone!”
Are you looking for more recommendations on activities in Canberra for your family? Take a look at our articles, the best school holiday programs and activities in Canberra and the best kids birthday party venues in Canberra for some helpful information.
Your experience with activities and programs for teenagers in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the programs or activities listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I add school holiday programs to my resumé?
Absolutely - employers will very often be looking for job candidates with a wide range of skills and experiences, and school holiday programs are a great way to gain some, such as joining a sports team, trying out something artistic, or learning how to use new technology.
Where do I find programs for teenagers in my area?
Youth centres and educational institutions are a great place to start - Questacon, the galleries and museums, and the YMCA all offer programs both in and out of school holidays that are perfect for teenagers in Canberra.
How can I reduce screentime?
According to a poll conducted by the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne in 2017, teenagers aged 13-18 years spend over 40 hours a week using screen-based devices. Joining a regular program or making time for activities out of the house are great ways to reduce this number, while also getting you moving, socialising, and thinking creatively.
Can I get a student discount on programs for teenagers?
Usually, yes. Most programs and activities will have some kind of sign-up fee, whether it's for a one-off thing or something more long term, and as they are aimed at teenagers will more than likely offer a student or large group discount. Check the program's information before booking, just to be certain.