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Bowling and Laser Tag Activities for Teens

by Erica Loop

Whether you are looking for an entertaining place for your teen's next birthday bash or are simply searching for a way to get your adolescent out of the house -- and away from the TV or computer -- bowling and laser tag are fun-filled activities to try out. From traditional 10-pin bowling to glow-in-the-dark matches and combo parties that pair the game with a round of laser tag, there are an array of options available for teens.

Traditional Bowling and Laser Tag

Don't count out a traditional game of 10-pin bowling as a fun-filled activity for your teen. While your child, and his friends, may typically jump at the chance to try something that is much more adventurous, teens may still get a kick out of a plain old game of bowling or laser tag. Additionally, a few rounds of 10-pin or running through the laser tag arena can keep your teen active and help get in some recreational physical fitness. Have your teen invite enough of his friends along to make two teams. Bowl a few rounds, keeping it friendly but also competitive. Try a teen competition bracket in which you pit five or more teams against each other. Make a bracket board using poster paper, whittling down the competition until you have one champion left. Another option is to try out a parents vs. teens bowling or laser tag contest.

At-Home Laser Tag

Laser tag doesn't have to stay in the amusement area arena. Parents can purchase fairly inexpensive laser tag blasters and equipment to use at home. Set up your own indoor arena in a basement playroom, using furniture as obstacles and hiding spots. If you don't ant to invest in your own laser tag set, you can rent one for your teen and her friends to use on party day. For a less pricey -- and more inventive -- option, help your teen to create her own backyard laser play space. Use shrubs, benches, large-sized plastic tubs or lawn furniture to make a maze-like arena. Have the teens dress in black, and use laser pointers or flashlights instead of blasters.

Glow-in-the-Dark

Check out a midnight or glow-in-the-dark bowling or laser tag option for a uniquely entertaining teen party. These activities use special paints and black lights to create a fluorescent or glowing look on the bowling alley floors, walls or laser tag arena. Bowling alleys and laser tag arenas typically keep these activities separate from open daytime play, and may only offer them in the evening or later at night. The late night time frame may appeal more to your teen, who is looking to keep away from the mid-day "little kid" rush. Try a musical cosmic bowling activity that allows your teen, and his friends, to play to favorite tunes. Before going to the alley or arena, split the kids into teams and have them make their own glow-in-the-dark shirts. Use black light or glow fabric paint in colors such as orange and hot pink. Each team can have its own color and paint a group name or logo on the back.

Mock Bowling

Make your own bowling alley at home instead of going out to the alley. Have your teen set up an alley in a hallway or mark off a lane in the backyard, using ropes or yarn as lines. Create pins from empty plastic soda bottles or milk cartons. Bowl with a sports ball such as a soccer ball or softball. Another option is to create a splashy summer bowling activity, using water balloons in lieu of a ball.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images