Birthday Adventures for teens (or tweens)…..My daughter turned 18 this past spring. And while this made me feel old I wanted her to have a very wonderful birthday, since it’s the last one she will likely be home with us to celebrate. I naturally asked what she wanted to do for her birthday. Her response was simple in thought, but more complicated in execution. She said, “I want an adventure!” Thus began the creation of teen adventure birthday party ideas. I will start off telling you what we did and include all the ideas we wanted to do and some we did in the past.
What are birthday adventures?
Some people like to have gifts for their birthday. But birthday adventures is way more fun way of saying, “birthday experiences”. Which is probably the best way to celebrate a birthday for teens and tweens, cause usually they have too much stuff or are getting to the point they can get their own stuff.
I should mention that our version of “adventure” often falls outside the “inexpensive” category. I realize many great adventures are free, but given my daughter was turning 18 and going to become an adult I was very open to ideas. Call it a weak mom moment, but what parent hasn’t done this.
Fun Places to go for a teenage birthday adventure?
#1 Ziplining = Teen Birthday Idea of choice
Since we were traveling to see my family in AZ, I mentioned the need for a birthday adventure to my parents. Grandpa came through like a champ with the ziplinging suggestion. Grandpa has been chasing the thrill of a South African zipline he did 5 years ago that was half a mile long. So he was all for my daughter enjoying a ziplining adventure in AZ for her birthday. So we kept it a surprise.
We enjoyed Arizona Zipline Adventures in Oracle, AZ. I have been to a couple other ziplines in Utah and I have to say this one has a pretty nice set up. Our package included 4 ziplines of progressively more thrilling rides. Plus the waiting area has an amazing view and a grill to get food at.
My daughter was so excited when she realized that we were ziplining for her birthday. She has wanted to do this for some time. Leave it to Grandpa to know what a teen really wanted. And the best part to me, she enjoyed it and I didn’t live in fear she’d die. Ziplining is so safe in the US, my friends have scary stories from Costa Rica and Mexico.
Incidentally Grandpa didn’t find this as thrilling at his half-mile ride in South Africa. So he’ll have to keep chasing that thrill
#2 Hot Springs Visit for a teen Birthday Experience
I don’t know what it is about the draw of a hot spring to teens and young adults. I remember it. There was just something almost like breaking the rules when you get to soak in a hot tub in nature. Since we were in Arizona we could have checked out the hot springs of Thatcher Arizona. But if we had choosen this idea I would have gone to the Lava Hot Springs of Idaho. But this idea was pitched, because I took my kids there previously. And you can’t call it an “adventure” if you have already done it once. Or at least my daughter couldn’t.
#3 Teen Birthday Party Idea is Hotel Staycation
Last year we did an amazing teen adventure birthday party by doing a hotel birthday experience . It’s another great idea. And you don’t have to do any of the clean up. (A mom’s favorite perk for the event). Just make sure to read my 10 tips for a Teen Birthday Hotel Staycation.
#4 Boat Trip Birthday Experience
For years my family went boating with the grandparents boat (seriously the grandparents always have the best toys). And my daughter has missed the boating, tubing and wakeboarding since they sold the boat. So for a birthday adventure we looked into renting a boat from Wasatch Water Sports. This would have been a serious contender for the event if we knew the weather would be agreeable. Obviously this is a summer birthday only activity.
#5 A Roller Coaster –not just for summer either
You may think this idea applies only to a summer birthday as well. And it’s true if you think of just the amusement park roller coaster. And Utah’s local Lagoon has a few really fun ones. And if you live near a Six Flags you have even better options. But this is actually a winter birthday idea here in Utah. In Park City is the Winter or summer friendly Alpine Roller Coaster.
But seriously this doesn’t go fast enough for most adventuring teens on their birthday. So that’s way the best winter roller coaster only goes down and it is take a ride on the Bobsled track at the Park City Olympic Park. I did this once in the summer (cause they run it all year round too) and don’t be fooled by the fact it isn’t a formal roller coaster. The G force is so strong you can’t hold yourself upright. I have never in my life been on a roller coaster where I was asked repeatedly before the ride to sit up straight and hold my abs tight. Even doing all of that my body slowly curved and pressed down and there was no pushing it back up until “the ride came to a complete stop”.
#6 Virtual Reality is perfect for Teen Boys
This one is very appealing to the teen boys. I know girls will enjoy it, but it isn’t a big draw. In Lindon, UT there is a place called The VOID. Last year I took my son and his friends to experience a fully immersive VR experience. You strap on back packs, have full-coverage goggles and actually walk around a large space. It’s realistic enough to have thrown a few boys into a sweat. And that’s saying something of teenagers that feel themselves invincible. But be sure to book ahead.
#7 I Fly indoor skydiving
When I was 18 I signed up to jump out of a plane, because I didn’t need anyone’s permission. But you could take your teen for a birthday party adventure at iFly, the indoor skydiving experience. I have never ever done this. But everyone I talk to says it so worth the price of admission. Kinda wish my daughter had wanted this one (maybe at 19?). If you have tried it let me know.
#8 Flow Rider–best for summer teen birthdays
You’ve seen the surf places right. And while you might be able to find them at the local pool in some really cool places, usually you need to go to a water park for the experience. Provo, Utah has this totally amazing place, Provo Beach, that has an indoor surf experience. After trying it I learned two things 1. always start out on your stomach 2. always fall away from your board, don’t try to save it with your body.
Tip: If you choose this for a teen birthday adventure, just stand at the end and film until they have taken their first 5 turns. It honestly doesn’t get funnier than those tries. But hide the camera from them when you try, cause it’s soooo embarrassing.
#9 Downtown Living Experience
We are suburban-ites. When you live int he burbs, nothing holds more mystic than downtown. So a trip to town for the day can be an adventure for your teen. Depending on their interests that could be taking in a gallery and dinner. Or perhaps it’s boutique shopping and lunch. Or if you are just a bit Regency Romance novel obsessed (pointing at me), you can take afternoon tea. In Salt Lake City the Grand America is your best choice (and far as I know the only choice) for a British style afternoon tea. Lift an pinkie and cheerio!
#10 Mission to Mars
That used to be a Disney World ride, but that isn’t what we are talking about. We are talking about the shuttle simulation experience at Discovery Space in Pleasant Grove, Utah. This might seem little kid and they do have programs that cater to the younger crowd. But don’t be fooled, group missions require everyone be over 10 years old. So tween the soonest you get to experience this. And unless your kids have friends who geek out to space travel they haven’t probably haven’t tried it. My son went with his friends and spent the next year trying to get them to all go back. This was when he was 14 years old. Teen Adventure Brithday Party qualified!
So there you have it
10 teen birthday party adventure ideas
- Hot Springs Soaking
- Hotel Staycation
- Boating Trip
- Roller Coaster
- Virtual Reality
- Flow Rider
- Downtown/Uptown Experience
- Shuttle Simulation
We chose Zipline. What will you try?