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Hipsters to the Rescue: How Do You Entertain Teens Over Summer Break?!

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Check out this email I just received from Hip2Save reader Nancy:

[h2s_box]I am not sure if you have posted about this in the past, but I just signed my 16 year old up for a monthly membership at my local YMCA. It was only $25 for a month membership (payable monthly, no commitment!) and she has access to all the Y facilities….pools, gym, classes, etc. I thought this was a great entertainment value and healthy too. I thought your readers might be interested.  I was shocked at the value![/h2s_box]

With that being said, how do you keep your older kids entertained over the Summer? What ideas do you have to keep them engaged, active, and out of trouble 😉 …yet still able to have fun!?

Now it’s your turn… please share your HIP tips with us!

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Comments 39

  1. Cannielle

    Growing up I don’t remember parents c

    • Cannielle

      Sorry, 1 year old posted it.

      Growing up I don’t remember parents need to keep us entertained, we just find ways to have fun ourselves. I know it is different nowadays, looking forward to the ideas. DH and I were not born here, so we will probably take DD to see our relatives overseas.

  2. Kate

    Free YMCA Membership for teens 13-17 in the Greater Boston area starting June 29th!

    (I can’t help with other ideas, no teens yet!)

  3. Allison

    Check out your local Boys and Girls Club. I drive about 15 mins. from my house verses the one about 5 mins. away) to go to a nice Boys and Girls location for my kids (which are not teens yet). I believe the age is up to 17. There is an annual membership of $15 for the year!

  4. brandice

    They can always get a job or be a CIT counselor in training at local camps

  5. Heather

    Make them volunteer at a horse farm or a nursing home. Anywhere really. They will get to broaden their minds and learn a little responsibility.

    • Katelyn

      YES! Totally agree Heather! Teaches them work ethic, they get to learn some sort of skill and it keeps them occupied. And avoids them sitting in front of the the TV or game console all day!

    • Emily

      I volunteered at a nursing home as a teen and I learned compassion for the elderly. It still serves me well when I’m at the grocery store and help someone load the groceries into the car or take the cart back to the store for them. It is important and all I did there was fill and deliver water pitchers to each of the rooms during my time there.

  6. karen

    My two boys played sports, so summer sports were always a big thing for them. Now 18 and 19 they have jobs and get together with friends for basketballs games, trips to the beach and the gym etc. My health insurance offers a $150 rebate per family on the gym membership, so that’s a help. My 14 year old daughter, gets together with friends, and likes to go to her grandparents house. I think a gym is great if its affordable. Check with your health insurance plan, some offer great incentives, and I belive the YMCA has a summer camp, and if you need financial assistance I think they offer that as well.

  7. Rose

    Get them to check out geocaching. gps app. on smart phone is all they need. its a treasure hunt that is available where ever they live.

  8. Melissa

    Neighborhood jobs..they love money! Mow lawns, walk dogs, water gardens for people on vacation etc. none of these take up a ton of time, yet give them some spending freedom. We also buy a season pass to the local amusement park. Or library has a teen summer club, and our summer city playground program runs through 15 years old. We also invite friends over regularly…then I know they are out of trouble. I give them a snack budget and we hit the store together to plan. We also send our teen out of town to stay with relatives and ask that they help with whatever household projects need doing while they are there ( between the fun!) our school district offers free enrichment programs over the summer as well.

  9. animity

    Make them get a job :-)! By this point I hope they should be old enough to entertain themselves!

    • Katrina


  10. Starla

    We are hosting a French student this summer for 3 weeks who is my daughters age, 17. Lots to do and see here in Ga. to show her part of America, like Stone Mountain Park, tubing in Helen, Ga, the worlds largest aquarium here in Atlanta, World of Coca Cola, to Tennessee for Ruby Falls, and Rock City. We are going to Florida for a week also for Disney World, Panama City Beach, and Cape Canaveral for Kennedy Space Center. That should keep the two 17 year olds busy for a while and my 19 year old is coming too. Busy, fun summer when you add in 2 weddings, two bridal showers, a baby shower, and a two new babies!! We also have a pool, so a lot of swimming, they cannot get bored this summer!! Whew!! :0

    • Tia

      I’d love to tag along!

    • J

      Just went tubing in Helen GA a few weeks ago. It’s one of my favorite things to do and you can’t beat the price! Enjoy your summer!

      • Starla

        It is close enough, cheap, and so much fun. The water level has to be up with all the rain we’ve had!

      • FELICIA

        me too! just visited last month! and i have family in panama city beach, was there a few months ago. fun fun!


      I have a seventeen daughter here in Atlanta, with all you have planned I would love to ship her over to your house to join you guys for the fun. I would love to just relax, but she doesn’t understand that. Hit me up if you need one more teen and by the way she speaks French also.

      • Starla

        🙂 We usually do not do much during summer, but this was planned and hubby gave his two week notice and is switching jobs, so we are going, and going to have fun even if they all want to or not!!

        The program is: Junior diplomat International Homestays and they need more host families if you are interested. 404 723-3234 1441 Ragley Hall Rd. NE Atlanta, Ga 30319

  11. Tia

    We shipped ours away for 1/2 of the summer! He went to stay with his uncle who runs a gym in Atlanta. He’ll get to make a little money cleaning up & he’ll get to workout for free. He wants to start high school with muscles!

  12. todd

    I was wondering if anyone could help me with some ideas. I work in a nursing home and would like to have a special event for our residents. we have about 41 people there and i was thinking of having a ‘Christmas in July” for them. problem is, most of the expense would have to come from my pocket. biggest of them all is that I would like to have a gift for each person. so what I am asking help with is for any ideas for them as far as gift that I would get with coupons or such. most of these people are in there 90s or so. please help with your ideas. thank you

    • LAURAL

      My mother was in a nursing home – it’s shocking what they due without. Nice hand cream or body wash always needed. The dollar tree has some nice sets for a $1.00

      Good quality fresh fruit and or candy is always appreciated.

    • Ketsy

      I worked in a nursing home a long time ago. DO you have any girlfriends that like to volunteer! For females I used to do their hair, makeup or nails during my breaks and they just loved me 😀

      • Tia

        That’s such a nice to do!

    • Jen

      We do this at Xmas where I work and a local church is always excited to take on the event getting the parish to donate small gifts- lotions, clothes, toiletries, stuffed animals etc. Activities goes through the gifts to decide which resident gets what…everyone loves it and it makes the residents so happy!

    • Sharon

      Maybe just a small bag of goodies. A small candy bar, if they can have it, small sample perfume, free toothpaste (with coupon), coupons for extra massage or whatever would suit them (could even make personal to each person). Be sure to play some music from their era and maybe show a movie from the 50s. Might check the thrift stores for some costume ideas from that era. Gotta be careful that they are things you can sanitize, though. Have been in a nursing home, so I know a bit about it.

      • Joy

        Ask a local cub or boy scout troop to help donate small gifts and/or come sing/perform for them. The seniors benefit plus the boys will earn credits toward community service badges or whatever.

      • Tia

        That is a great idea! A day filled with all the songs and movies they grew up with. News clippings would be fun too.

  13. Karen

    My kids are 10,10 and 11 and I got them a pool pass for the summer. It was $135 total for the three of them to have a 3 month pass. That was cheaper than setting a pool up in the yard, maintaining and then having to worry about other kids getting in it when we aren’t home (yes the yard it fenced, but that doesn’t stop them from getting to the swingset). We also have them in baseball/softball. That was free for us because our health insurance gives $50 back for group physical activity per family member per year (wish it was $150 like the Karen above!!!!, but I will take $50). We also have them in vacation bible school (free). They do spend a lot of time playing outside too.

  14. meg

    We have always insisted that our teenage kids get a part time job. It gets them up and out of the house a few hours a day and makes them responsible!!! It has made a world of difference with their attitudes and gets them out in the “real world”. It makes them appreciate the time they have when they aren’t working. 🙂

  15. Amy

    I have a 14 & 15 year old sons…tricky time…can’t drive but still not willing to be seen with mom. I signed up for free bowling for my boys this summer, bought roller blades (at a thrift store) for $1.00 roller skating and was on the lookout and bought several Groupons for summertime treats (ice cream and Starbucks). We also bought a season pass to the water park close to our home. So far we have stayed really busy and on budget.

  16. mar

    Mini camps sponsored by the church and we plan a week or two of vacation here and there plus they have a summer job cutting grass. I occasionally when they are home go swimming with the boys and also bike riding. In order to keep up with them busy I have to be athletic! So as hard as it is I end up enjoying activities with them. By end of July and early August both boys have either band camp or football camp which takes up all of their time till school starts.

  17. Amanda

    Kids bowl free is a great idea! Price is food as well. I want to move where you live because the YMCA membership is $185 a month where I live and a one year committment, I would die for a $25 monthly fee!

  18. brandice

    Glad to see so many folks in Atlanta…I’m in Atlanta (Decatur) area

  19. edy

    My girls when they were teenagers! I did drive them to volunteer at hospital, at ymca, they got intern jobs through high school. It pay off my oldest at 18 got her permanent job at law firm at 22 bought her own home with only 500dlrs down, getting ready to be a lawyer, twins are 20 yrs old, one got her intern job at a big oil company she is the boss of 14 people, bought her own car looking for a house to buy too, and getting her BA degree, other twin can’t hear but, has all her tuition paid for, they go together everywhere, today they took day off work too me to lunch, so, do encourage volunteer, And they all played sports too! Even, the one that can’t hear she did all kinds of sports. They all cpn too, and are able to help interns students with items from our stockpile, thAnks for everyones ideas

  20. alma

    I signed up my 14 year old daughter to a volleyball camp, 1 month for $50. Mon-Fri from 8:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. practice. Tue and Thur @ 3:00 p.m she plays tournaments against other clubs. For my 16 year old son I got the family bowling pass, so whenever he wants to go, he can go with his friends. Also we are so fortunate to have a movie theater that charges $3.50 on weds and $5.00 any other day for the special engagement. The popcorn and soda are cheap as well. If you subscribe to their website you can get coupons for free tickets on your birthday and anniversary and coupons for free pop corn and sodas. So $20 for a family of 4 to movies a week is not bad. I also take advantages of the advanced free screenings.

  21. Mon

    They can also volunteer at local Petsmart or dog shelter to walk dogs and play with them nad maybe get a summer job at the local petsmart. Who knows they might grow up to be vets!

  22. Jennifer

    Sign them up for 4-H

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