The teen years go by in a flash – make the most of the time you have left
Beneath their mood swings, outbursts and passionate rebellion, your teenagers are slowly moving into adulthood. Every birthday they get closer to gaining independence and taking charge of their own lives. Celebrate every precious year with gratitude and pride – they are growing older, wiser and learning about themselves. Here are our top picks for where to take your teens on a birthday outing, whether it be a memorable day out with friends, a lovely family dinner or a cheap plane ride away from London- there is something for every cheeky teen on this on-trend list.
We can’t promise they will think you are cool but we can promise they will have a great memories to look back on.
1. Mile End Indoor Climbing
Birthday parties at Mile End Climbing Wall
Looking to do something active to celebrate your teen’s birthday? Something they’ll remember for years? Then why not book a fantastic birthday party at Mile End Climbing Wall. Each party lasts for 1½ hours and are available for young people aged 7 yrs and older, so younger siblings can join in too. They feature a variety of fun & exciting climbing based activities all under the expert supervision of nationally qualified instructors.
Instructors will guide the group through a range of activities which could include scaling a 12 metre wall, abseiling from the highest point in the building and then finishing off upside down in the Monkey room. Tell the party people to come suitably dressed (jogging bottoms or shorts, T-shirts & trainers) and to leave jewellery at home to avoid tears.
All Star Lanes has four different London locations: Holborn, Brick Lane, Stratford and White City. Each venues offers a brilliant Teen Strike Out Package, perfect for ages 11-17. For £25 per person, the party package includes a game of bowling, a choice of burger with skinny fries, a Choice of mocktail or delicious ice-cream shake plus bottomless soft drinks so your kids can get their sugar fix as often as they like!
Euros 2020 at The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park
Not that your kids won’t have had a drop of liquor before, but once they turn 18, it’s fun to take them on a pub crawl to London’s finest pubs. Aren’t pubs the BEST thing about being from the UK? Highlights are the Faltering Fallback in Finsbury Park which is always buzzing when the football is on and also does yummy Thai food. Tapping The Admiral is a local Kentish Town favourite for people of any age (Matthew Wright‘s recommendation) but cheap lager plus a pretty garden is hard to find these days, eh? Your teens would probably prefer Wetherspoons or Ice Wharf Camden to be honest, but give them a brewery education they won’t forget.
4. Escape Rooms
Pier Pressure Escape Rooms, Brighton
A race against the clock to solve puzzles and complete an objective.
This one’s for your older kids and teens who love solving murder mysteries, Greg William’s Taskmaster or Sherlock Holmes and can think outside the box. There are many fantastically organised escape rooms in London: Escape Entertainment, No Escape and clueQuest. Why not get a party troupe together to put their thinking hats on and uncover clues in a whirlwind activity of excitement, tension and thrill that will challenge and excite the whole family.
Instead of trying to convert your house into a party venue for a crowd of excitable children, why not put your event in the hands of the professionals? It can be a challenge thinking of a unique idea for a birthday bash, but Gravity’s trampolines are a perfect way to provide your older kids and teens with a birthday experience they’ll never forget, allowing them to enjoy leaping around parks and obstacles with their friends.
Gravity also offer a VIP birthday package, which includes a party host – ensuring the party is fully entertained, delivering a relaxing stress free experience for adults too.
Amsterdam has a mix of history, culture, fun and excitement which makes it the perfect place for a bonding birthday treat. You can see the whole city safety by bike via the cycle lanes, buy a metro day pass to save pennies or take a special boat tour down the canals. For older kids interested in art, get them inspired by the MOCO starring Banksy’s works, The Van Gogh Museum, Foam Photography or The Straat Museum. There’s also a giant swing for fearless kids at A’Dam Toren or WONDR – Amsterdam’s new Instagram playground. Tell me, which one of your teens doesn’t love a selfie?
Cheap flights from £35 return (prices vary depending on advancement of booking). Average flight time: 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Are your kids bored of bobbing on boats with the breeze gently drifting past? Get them to jump on one of the Thames Rockets and they can feel the thrill of the wind whipping their hair as they storm down the Thames with 630hp of engine power. Your teens can gleefully revel in the pride of being the fastest boat on the river, overtaking cruisers as you go.
Comical, informative, entertaining guides are sure to keep your whole party laughing even if the adrenalin rush doesn’t, as they use their wit to teach you about the London sights that you zoom past. From the original ‘Ultimate London Adventure’ or ‘Captain Kidd’s Canary Wharf Voyage’ especially for families, the Thames Rockets are a great way for your birthday teen to see London’s sights whilst experiencing the ride of their lives! Private tours are also available for larger groups.
One things teenagers definitely love – a big olde parent paid shopping spree. I’m sure you’ve bought them items of clothings and they have returned a look of disgust. Become a parent who is up to date with the latest trends and welcome their ever changing style as they learn to express themselves. The best place to shop in London has to be Brick Lane in Shoreditch – home to Hunky Dory Vintage and The Brick Lane Vintage Shop(you can browse the vinyl section while they spend hours in the changing room).
If you fancy a grab-and-go lunch, you will be right by Beigel Bake – London’s most famous 24 hour bakery serving traditional salt beef sandwiches. Delicious!
9. Afternoon Tea at Fortnums and Masons
For 314 years, Fortnum & Mason’s has been serving English tea in some form. It began as an apartment for the Fortnum family, then became an interior decorating department in the 1920s and 1930s, and later an antiques department and a restaurant known as St. James’s. Since 2012 it has paid homage to the timeless tradition of Afternoon Tea. It is the perfect spot to share a teapot and celebrate your teen’s special day.
Have your older kids and teens ever dreamed of having their own at home cinema? Well, this experience is pretty close!
The Lexi in Kensal Rise has two screening spaces for hire, each with its own bar/reception area, a wicked sound system plus a friendly team happy to explore all the audio-visual possibilities for your teen’s birthday event, from projecting DVDs, photos and home movies up on the big screen to blasting out your specially prepared party playlist.
For parties of all shapes, sizes and types there’s nothing like the sound of Rowans Bowling as your favourite North London party venue. Teens love bowling and there’s nowhere better to host the exciting game. If this wasn’t enough, there are also Karaoke Booths you can book by the hour for larger groups (12 persons per booth).
Adults pay £6.20 per person till 6pm, £7.30 from 6pm till close. There is also an option to rent the venue for a full-blown bowling party (costs vary).
The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience is 70 minutes of frantic, frenetic, silly team fun that’s open to those everybody aged 9 and over. The goal is to get as much time in The Crystal Dome and score as many points as you can. Your kids and their mates can run around four different zones – Industrial, Futuristic, Medieval and Aztec. In each zone, skills are tested, mysteries are solved as your teens learn how to overcome mental and physical challenges while having fun!
Birthday party packages include a fully guided experience from a Maze Master, 70 mins inside The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience, a Souvenir Maze Crystal –with a special one for the birthday boy or girl plus 1 printed photo per group. The London venue’s party package costs £79.99 per person for up to 8 guests.
No star is too A-list to avoid the party at Madame Tussauds London… even Michael Jackson managed to return from the grave to be there! For teens unimpressed by Cosmo-cover celebs, they can still be entertained thanks to the gallery’s sports stars, royals and even cultural intellects such as Einstein who dares you to see how smart you really are with his interactive IQ test. We know teens have a somewhat dangerous obsession with Insta celebs, but why not indulge them for a change?
Tickets from £30.50 per person. Duration of visit: 2.5 hours.
14. Axe Throwing, London Bridge
Axe Throwing, London Bridge
Why travel far and wide when you can experience the unique thrill of Axe Throwing in Central London, just an axe-throw away from the Tower of London! Rebellious teens will be shoulder to shoulder with your friends slinging axes and slamming bullseye. Following a session with our expert team of instructors, your kids will be throwing like a pro in no time (be scared, be very scared).
Tickets from £30 per person (Sunday-Wednesday). Exclusive lanes and Christmas lanes available, prices vary.
15. Junkyard Golf
Junkyard Golf, London
This crazy golf venue in Hackney is strictly over 18’s only -with 50% off for newbie students. Loser buys the drinks! Choose from weird and wacky mashed-up themed golf courses at this London venue – Pablo (Jungle), Bozo (Fairground), Dirk (House of Horros) and Gary (Scrapyard). Groups can book for up to 6 peeps online, with some walk-up tickets available too, first come first serve!
The inamo chain is inspired by technology, great food, and interactive fun. The Games Room at Soho & Onyx Room at Covent Garden are the next step in the technological evolution. Featuring 2 x PS4s, 2 x Wiis, Arcade Game table, Chromecast & Apple TV, you can play, drink, eat, sing(!), watch TV (e.g. live sports), and even project your own content onto the walls for a private presentation, movie night, or just showing off your favourite images, videos & music. A teenager gamers dream!
The delicious asian menu includes Hot Stone Beef, Aubergine Katsu Curry and Octopus Takoyaki. To view the full menu, click here.
17. Passyunk Avenue
Food available at Passyunk Avenue, Westfield
Transport your teens to the neighbourhoods of South Philadelphia without having to get on a plane or clear immigration – Passyunk Avenue is the ideal hungover grub post a teen night out! With locations in Cleveland St, Westfield and Waterloo Arches, this trendy venue is really for the meat eaters in the family.
Menu includes classic cheese steak, pizza steak, roast pork sandwich and south Philly sausage sandwich. Veggie and plant-based options available.
18. Dirty Bones, Kensington
Dirty Bones, Kensington
The original Dirty Bones opened in Kensington back in 2014. Launching originally as a street-level gourmet hot dog stand by day and party spot by night, the West London haven has evolved to a subterranean cocktail bar, private lounge and restaurant. Your teens will love the pinball machine and converted photobooth, with entrance to the restaurant through a retro fridge door. A fantastic place to host a family birthday meal.
To see the full food and cocktail menu on offer at Dirty Bones, click here.
19. Duck & Dry, Chelsea
Anna Too Good having a birthday blow dry
Have your teens already planned a birthday night out without you (sniff sniff)? Why not get them prepped and pampered at Duck & Dry as a special treat? They offer blowdries, updos, braids and cuts alongside a Prosecco bar to commemorate the occasion. Blowdries cost £38 per person, £5 per Prosecco glass with discounts available for large groups.
Before they go off partying, treat them to a good hair day and tell them it’s the cast of Made-In-Chelsea’s favourite hot spot.
Teens hanging out by the pool
Taking a teenager to Ibiza to celebrate a birthday is not a trip for the faint-hearted. Inspire them with relaxing self-care days on the beach to help distract from the boozing and beach parties.The Sunset Strip in San Antonio is always beautiful, tapas and snorkelling is a must. Paddleboarding is also a great outdoor activity – SUP paradise can take you through the most spectacular sea caves as well as a pilates on the board. Introduce them the other side of island life before they head off on their gap year.
Flights from £63 return (low season). Deals available with Easyjet & Airbnb.