What to do with Teens and Older Kids? You’re in Luck.
Teens can be a tough audience.
Sometimes it seems all of the events are geared for little kids, but teens still want to have fun and explore.
Thankfully, there are plenty of options in the Kalamazoo area and beyond for things to do for teens. From adventure rope courses to tabletop gaming, your teenager can get out of the house, hang with friends, and even discover a new interest.
They might even put those cell phones down…well, after they text a friend to invite them along.
50+ Things to Do with Teenagers in SW Michigan
Here’s the lowdown of the best things to do in Kalamazoo with teens and tweens.
We’ve highlighted lots of teen-friendly activity centers, shops, restaurants, and events. You’re sure to find something fun for your teen(s) to do and something that they’ll deem TikTok-worthy.
This is a time in life when teens really begin to carve out their identities and determine what experiences and hobbies truly excite them.
We’ve gathered over 50 fun pastimes they may actually enjoy.
Kalamazoo Child and Family Counseling
Kalamazoo Child and Family Counseling is a pediatric counseling practice dedicated to enhancing connection, and helping families find more shared joy. We offer a range of evidence-based services, accept most major insurances, and welcome new clients.
1 • Jump to new levels at Airborne Adventure’s GLOW. Lasers, music, and blacklight turn the entire place into a jumping dance club every Friday from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Jumpers must wear bright, neon clothing or they can buy a shirt that glows.
2 • Explore new heights at Allegan Event with their year-round indoor adventure center with ropes courses, climbing walls, and plenty of vertically challenging fun. Recharge and refuel with their different food options. They offer meals, snacks and treats to keep your hunger in check during your visit.
3 • Be a ninja. Head up to Grand Rapids visit one of the many ninja warrior courses: Rebounderz, and 3 Mile Project will get you started and the adrenaline pumping.
4 • Aim high with a road trip to Skydive Tecumseh – an adrenaline rush like no other.
5 • Drive to take a ride! Ride shotgun at the Michigan International Speedway with their NASCAR Ride Along Experience.
8 • Strap on those rollerblades. Rollerworld is a fun place to get exercise, hang out with friends, and listen to music.
9 • Head to the Air Zoo to see their latest exhibit or climb aboard a 3D Full-Motion Flight Simulator. Save your money to take control of a real plane with a barnstorming flight experience in an open cockpit bi-plane adventure (seasonally mid-May thru September).
10 • Volunteer at one of the local libraries to gain experience and volunteer hours and make friends. Comstock Township Library offers a teen volunteer program for the Summer Reading Program.
11 • Test out your ice-skating skills at Wings West open skate.
12 • Rock shop at Geoscape Rock Shop or Rockhound Rock Shop.
15 • Learn historic medieval martial arts with daggers, swords, and spears at Southside Dojo’s L’Arte D’Armizare classes.
16 • Branch Gymnastics/KidsSports USA offers Open Gym and Clinics a few times a year. Not a student? Not a problem! You can register and enroll for just their special events.
17 • Interested in cars? The Gilmore Car Museum has over 400 vehicles on 90 acres. Even those less enthused with cars will find something interesting to see. They offer snacks!
19 • Test your legs and bike the entire Kal-Haven Trail.
20 • Visit a beach. Fort Custer provides a nice local inland place to enjoy the sun and the water. Or venture to a Lake Michigan beach and experience the loveliness of the West Michigan Lakeshore. St. Joseph, Holland State Park, and South Haven are all about an hour from Kalamazoo.
21 • Face the wind head-on with your friends on Echo Valley’s Toboggan Run or their giant tubing hill.
22 • Go rock hunting at Pilgrim Haven Natural Area. Jump in the lake to cool off after your rock hunting adventure.
23 • Play team frisbee with the Kalamazoo Ultimate Disc League. They offer a youth league.
24 • Relax in a tube or try the water-slides at Flash Flood Outdoor Waterpark in Battle Creek during the summer.
28 • Explore the night sky. In Lowell the telescopes are open to the public at Veen Observato on various Saturdays, April through October when skies are clear. Make sure you check their website ahead of time to confirm the skies are clear enough for a viewing.
29 • Take golf lessons at First Tee of West Michigan. If your teen is looking to learn a new sport or brush up on their golf skills, have them check out golf lessons.
30 • Go horseback riding. Wild West Ranch in Fennville offers year-round trail rides.
Food & Drink Lovers
31 • Drink a cup of java or boba tea at Chocolatea. Is coffee not your thing? Visit a spot known for hot cocoa bombs.
32 • Grab homemade root beer and a dog with your friends at The Root Beer Stand (open seasonally).
33 • Go on a donut adventure by sampling some delicious Kalamazoo donuts.
34 • Sugar Rush: Pair up a popcorn and candy stop in downtown Kalamazoo at Pop City Popcorn and Rocket Fizz.
35 • Backyard of Kalamazoo: The Backyard of Kalamazoo is open year-round, with heated igloos in the chilly months and plenty of patio seats during the summer. The “backyard” here is packed with outdoor games that rotate regularly.
Artsy & Creative Activities
36 • Sign up for a class at the Civic Theatre to explore acting basics such as speaking with a different accent, writing plays, as well as beginning dance. Classes for ages 12 and up, and 16+ can take adult classes.
37 • Draw, paint, and learn photography at one of the many teen classes offered by the KIA with classes offered year-round.
38 • Head to Art Hop on the first Friday of the month with your friends. It’s a perfect way to explore Kalamazoo and support local artists.
39 • Paint pottery at Art Bayou.
40 • Drop by Kalamazoo Candle Company and make your very own candle. Explore the different fragrances and mix & match your favorites until you find the perfect combination. Create your very own labels for unique-as-you candles.
41 • Make perfume (or cologne). Visit The Aroma Labs and make your own fragrance.
44 • Book a video game theater party with BattleGR.
45 • Escape. Grab a bunch of friends and try to solve one of seven different puzzles to escape in Escapology at Airway Fun Center.
46 • Work on your arcade skills. Pac-Man or Donkey Kong anyone? Play the classic arcade games your parents enjoyed at Klassic Arcade in Gobles.
47 • Go Modern. Looking for a modern gaming lounge? Check out LVL Up Gaming Lounge in Vicksburg. They offer PC, PS5, and XBox gaming.
48 • Go retro. Grab your friends and play some vintage arcade and pinball at Rocket Arcade in South Haven.
50 • Watch a movie from your car. In the summer, make your way to Coldwater to catch a flick at the old-fashioned Capri Drive-In Theater.
51 • Catch an IMAX movie at Celebration Cinema Crossroads.
52 • Play ball! Battle Creek Battle Jacks play baseball May throught August. Single tickets and Group Outings are available.
53 • Support the Broncos. Sporting events are in Kalamazoo’s backyard at Western Michigan University. You can purchase tickets for football, basketball and hockey online.
Map: Fun Places to Go with Teens
Plan your adventures with this map, outlining some fun things to do with teens in SWMI:
Did We Miss One of Your Teen’s Favorites?
Know of a popular activity that we missed? Let us know in the comments!