Teens are the toughest crowd to please, but when you’re armed with these nuggets of fun, it’s quite possible you’ll see a smile sneak through.The obvious top contenders for teen fun are theme parks and Virginia has two major players in that arena: Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and Kings Dominion in Doswell. Which to choose? There are a number of factors, but go with location first.
Families vacationing along the coast or in Colonial Williamsburg will appreciate Busch Gardens’ location. Families visiting the Richmond area or looking to escape the busyness of the metro DC area will encounter Kings Dominion first. For those west and south of these locations, we suggest you make the parks themselves your destination.
If location is less of an issue, consider the value of each park. Will you come back again or is this a one-time round of fun? See the cost break down in our New at Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion for 2013 post.
Adrenaline doesn’t stop when the roller coaster pulls into the station. Let your adventure seekers try their hands at hang gliding. The Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center in Weirwood is surprisingly able to accommodate nearly every member of the family, should the teen in question need moral support.
Not quite ready to glide mile-high? Perhaps a zip line is a good starting place for those new at pulling their feet off the ground. Virginia has several zip line opportunities to choose from, so again, let their locations guide you.The Discovery Ridge Adventure Center is located at Wintergreen Resort, which is easily accessed from the Valley, Northern Virginia and Central Virginia. Not to mention, the zip line is accompanied by mini golf, arcade, mechanical bull, climbing tower, summer tubing and more.
Nearby Bryce Resort in Basye also has zip lining for summer fun – ten platforms totaling 3500′ of cable! Check the schedule for days and hours of operation.
Fifty-two obstacles and 13 zip lines make the canopy at the Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat pretty awesome. This park is the largest and first of its kind in Central Virginia (it’s in Rice, VA) and offers an advanced, state-of-the-art safety system.
Bear Mountain Ziplines is located in Luray and your adventure starts with a tractor-drawn wagon ride up the mountain. ‘Liners are given the safety and usage instructions before descending 2700 feet down “Mama Bear.” It’s doubtful the ziplining will get old, but if it does, there’s a three-story Bear Scramble climbing wall waiting to be conquered.
A 900′ zip line is the centerpiece of Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing in New Castle, but visitors will also find a 50′ climbing wall, canoeing on Craig Creek, bike trails, ropes courses and more. It’s easy to spend a day or more at Wilderness Adventure.
Once teens get the hang of driving, they might be tempted to put the pedal to the metal. At Martinsville Grand Prix Go Karts, they can do just that and get a taste of what NASCAR is all about. Fifteen to 20 laps around the oval track with banked turns will give them all the speed they can handle.
The XZone in Chesterfield was built especially with teens in mind. Join in the fun of paintball with all of the equipment and supplies available on-site.
Ever tried kiteboarding or paddleboarding? SouthEast Expeditions offers lessons in both sports and in multiple locations. Try either of those or take out a kayak or hang glider from Cape Charles, Onancock or Sunset Beach.
Is this inspiration enough for your active teen or do you need more? Click over to Virginia.org/CoolPlacesforTeens for more ideas.