Fun Things to Do in Phoenix with a Teenager: Top 15 Picks

When it comes to finding things to enjoy with a teenager, the list gets progressively shorter and shorter from when they were children. Things they would marvel at before may just be exhibited now with a simple ‘meh’.

Why do kids grow out of certain things?

Well, there are a number of reasons and influences. Mostly it’s because certain tastes change and certain things just cater to certain age groups. Also, depending on where you are geographically also has a hand in certain fun activities. Here’s some more information on this topic.

  1. Brain Development – The adolescent brain undergoes significant changes, especially in the prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making, impulse control, and risk-taking behaviors. Furthermore, the limbic system, which manages emotions, becomes more active during this period.
  2. Hormonal Changes – The surge of hormones during puberty greatly impacts an adolescent’s mood, behavior, and preferences. The increase in hormones like testosterone and estrogen not only leads to physical changes but also alters interests, especially in the context of relationships and self-identity.
  3. Peer Influence and Social Acceptance – The desire for social acceptance and belonging increases during the teenage years. Teens often adjust their likes and dislikes to align with their peer groups. This phenomenon can be explained by the heightened sensitivity to social cues and the increased value placed on peer views.
  4. Identity Formation and Autonomy – Adolescence is a crucial period for identity formation. Teens start exploring different facets of their personality, leading to shifts in their preferences. Their desire for autonomy and independence from parental control can also influence their choices.
  5. Cognitive Abilities – As kids grow, their cognitive abilities – like abstract thinking, introspection, and capacity for self-awareness – develop. This development can influence their interests, leading them to enjoy more complex activities and concepts.
  6. Exposure and Experience – As teenagers grow older, they’re exposed to more diverse experiences, cultures, and people. This exposure can broaden their horizons, leading to evolving tastes and preferences.
  7. Evolutionary Perspective – Some evolutionary psychologists argue that certain adolescent behaviors, such as risk-taking or the preference for novelty, have roots in our evolutionary past, ensuring the spread of genes and fostering independence.

With all of that being said, it’s important to just ask the teenager what their likes and dislikes are.

When in a city such as Phoenix, AZ, there are a ton of cool and fun activities to do, no matter what age.

Here are 15 handpicked places, each with its unique appeal for the teenage crowd.

Fun Things to Do in Phoenix, AZ with a Teenager

1. Arizona Science Center

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? This interactive science museum offers engaging exhibits on everything from the human body to space exploration. The hands-on approach to learning is perfect for curious teens looking to explore and understand the world around them.

2. Phoenix Art Museum

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? Contemporary art, fashion, and photography exhibits ensure that there’s something visually stimulating for all art-loving teens. Plus, it’s an excellent place to introduce them to the world of classic and modern art.

3. Castles N’ Coasters

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? It’s an amusement park! With roller coasters, mini-golf, and an arcade, it’s the perfect spot for teens looking for a day of thrilling fun.

4. Desert Botanical Garden

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? With a focus on desert plants, this unique garden allows teenagers to appreciate the beauty and resilience of nature, especially if they have a budding interest in biology or ecology.

5. K1 Speed

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? Got a need for speed? This indoor kart racing venue can satisfy the adrenaline junkie in every teen. Safe and competitive, it offers an unforgettable racing experience.

6. Escape the Room AZ

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? Engage your teen’s problem-solving and team-building skills with immersive escape room challenges that are both thrilling and intellectually stimulating.

7. Vertical Ventures Indoor Rock Climbing

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? For active teens, rock climbing offers a unique physical challenge coupled with the thrill of ascending heights.

8. The Van Buren

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? An iconic venue hosting concerts and events. It’s the perfect place for music-loving teens to catch their favorite bands or discover new ones.

9. Tempe Town Lake

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? This urban lake offers paddle boarding, kayaking, and more. It’s a great spot for water-loving teens and those looking to enjoy a chill day outdoors.

10. Japanese Friendship Garden – Ro Ho En

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? A serene space, this garden introduces teens to Japanese culture and aesthetics. It’s a peaceful escape from the urban hustle.

11. iFly Phoenix

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? Indoor skydiving? Yes, please! This is an exhilarating experience that allows teens to feel the thrill of freefall without jumping out of a plane.

12. Arizona Rattlers Indoor Football

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? For sports enthusiasts, these indoor football games are high-energy and full of excitement.

13. FilmBar Phoenix

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? This indie cinema spot showcases foreign films, documentaries, and cult classics. It’s a cool place for teens interested in films beyond the mainstream.

14. Phoenix Zoo

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? The largest privately-owned non-profit zoo in the U.S., the Phoenix Zoo offers an exciting day out with wildlife and interactive exhibits.

15. Game On Expo

  • Why would this appeal to a teenager? An annual event celebrating the world of video games. Teens can play the latest games, meet developers, and immerse themselves in the gaming culture.

What Have We Learned?

We’ve learned that teenagers are complex individuals, with ever-changing likes and dislikes. Being in a place like Phoenix, AZ as a teenager isn’t so bad, seeing as there are tons of fun things to do.

Be sure to read our articles on the best day trips from Scottsdale, AZ, the best mountain towns, and be on top of your travel game with the top Phoenix family resorts for when you and your family make a trip out here.