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Teens can be a tough crowd. Making them happy on a family vacation can be even tougher. Enter these teen friendly things to do in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. These 10 things to do with teens will make your family vacation a socially sharable experience. As we all know, if your teen is sharing the trip with friends back home, you’ve scored big.
Getting teens out of their comfort zone is a sure-fire way to engage them on any outing. I’ve chosen 10 adventures from around the state of Georgia, so no matter where you visit (or live) you can find something close. These adventures are all ones that my teens (12, 17 and 19) give a big thumbs up to doing as well.
Best Things to Do with Teens in Atlanta Metro
1.Paintball, Atlanta, Ga.
There is a lot for teens to do in Atlanta, but one of my teen boy’s favorites is playing paintball in Atlanta. You normally think of paintball as a sport that needs lots of suburban land, but crazy as it sounds, there is a field located within the city limits of Atlanta called Dosser Works Paintball. Afterwards, take I-75 North for a few exits for shopping or grabbing a bit to eat at the restaurants in Atlantic Station.
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2. Learning to Fly with Young Eagles, Lawrenceville, Ga.
What could be more exciting for teens than to learn how to fly! The Experimental Aviation Association has a program called Young Eagles. It gives kids from 8 – 17 the opportunity to fly free in a small aircraft. After the program (which is one of the fun free things to do in Atlanta by the way) teens (14-17) are eligible for an online training course (a $200 value) and a voucher for their first flight lesson with an instructor!
Teen Tested Things to Do in Eastern Georgia
3. Durhamtown Off Road Resort, Union Point, Ga.
Durhamtown Off Road Resort is in Union Point, Georgia, less than two hours from Atlanta. Experienced and novice riders have lots of room to push their limits on dirt bikes and ATV on 150 miles of one way trails including pee wee, supercross, MX, a dirt drag strip, a dirt flat oval and a freestyle park. Prefer hunting to motorsports? Durhamtown has that too.
4. Southern Cross Guest Ranch, Madison, Ga.
Not too far from Madison, Ga., the southern town that Sherman spared on his March to the Sea, is a family dude ranch called Southern Cross Guest Ranch. In addition to overnight packages, Southern Cross also has day rides available. Wander through 200 acres on horseback, play a little basketball, or take the bikes into the fields. This is a wonderful experience for horse-loving teens. In addition to the ride, they can brush down the horses before and after.
5. Panola Mountain, Stockbridge, Ga.
There are lots of things to do at Panola Mountain State Park, located east of Atlanta, but the one that will get teens excited is tree climbing. And I don’t mean climbing your grandmother’s backyard tree, I mean a strapping in to harnesses, donning a helmet and shimming up a giant stately Southern Oak Tree named Naomi Ruth.
Best Things to Do with Teens in West Georgia
6. National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning, Ga.
The National Infantry Museum is located in the mid-western part of the state near Columbus, Ga. This museum was recently voted the best free museum in the US by USA Today. The central exhibit titled “The Last Hundred Yards” immerses teens into the life-sized war zone for the last hundred yards of some of the toughest battles in US history. In addition to the exhibits, there are also combat simulators, just like the neighboring soldiers at Fort Benning use for training.
7. Historic Banning Mills. Whitesburg, Ga.
Banning Mills is for the adrenaline junkie. This adventure park is located in Whitesburg, Ga., west of Atlanta. In addition to some of the longest and fastest zip lines, Banning Mills holds the Guinness World Record for tallest free standing climbing wall (14 stories). There also is the Power Free Fall, a 10-story controlled drop. (The first step is truly the worst part.)
Teen Tested Things to Do in North Georgia
8. North Georgia Zoo, Cleveland, Ga.
Get an up-close selfie with a camel or maybe a wolf at the North Georgia Zoo. This isn’t your normal city zoo. Here, teens can actually feed the camel, and there are lots of special programs to get up-close and personal with the animals. Another cool thing to know – many of the animals are movie stars in the burgeoning Georgia film industry.
9. North Georgia Canopy Tours, Lula, Ga.
As the name states, North Georgia Canopy Tours has zip line canopy adventures. At the end are two dueling zip lines – perfect for a little smack talking and competition. Teens may also enjoy the disc golf course on site.
Best Things to Do with Teens in South Georgia
10. Wild Adventures, Valdosta, Ga.
My teens love theme parks. Most people know about Six Flags Over Georgia near Atlanta, but Georgia has another awesome theme park in the Southwest corner of the state. Wild Adventures in Valdosta has roller coasters, a water park, and safari, but there also are evening concerts – a perfect combination for teens.