The tween and teen years are the perfect time to try new experiences, lay the foundations for life and have a whole lot of fun – the Bay has no shortage of options!
Go head-to-head with family and friends at BayStation and let rip on their drift trike tracks. The drift trike was invented right here in the Bay and no experience is necessary to get up some speed! BayStation is located at Baypark and their outdoor field is also an epic location for a paintball or laser tag battle.
Surfing is such a great way to burn some energy, connect with nature, and a way to identify as a true saltwater-loving BOP local. There are many schools to choose from including Mount Surf Academy, Papamoa’s Hakinini Surf School, and Waihī Beach Surf School. Why not get a lesson yourself?
Mount Maunganui’s Bay Karts is another fun option. Their purpose-built outdoor track is exciting in any kind of weather and night racing is available too. See who can record the fastest lap time or take on their Grand Prix or Bathurst-style endurance relay races. Their fleet includes drift karts, race karts, kids karts and two seaters so you can take little ones for a spin too.
Walks including Mauao & McLaren Falls Park
Getting away from the screens and out into nature is good for everybody in the family. Why not throw in a bit of exercise and make it all the way up to the summit of Mauao (a 30 minute walk) for that iconic Instagram shot. Alternatively, for cascading waterfalls and glow worms, head to McLaren Falls Park and really get away from it all. Get other walk ideas here.
Rockclimbing is not only a fun workout but did you know it can improve a teenaged brain? It connects brain hemispheres, releases endorphins, fosters mindfulness and focus, along with a whole host of other benefits. Rock climbing skills sets them up for a life of post-covid adventure travel too: Yosemite anyone? Check out Rocktopia in the Mount for 19 different climbing walls.
Escape rooms are real-life adventure games, where teams get together in a themed room, and have an hour to complete the challenge and escape the room. It involves detective work like looking for hidden clues and solving challenges. It’s interactive and great way to get those brains working in overdrive, and it’s a good insight into whether each teen is more of an observer, a quick thinker, a motivator or an intellectual. Escape Rooms New Zealand has various themes, from being victims of a mad scientist’s experiment to a story from The Hobbit.
Head to a virtual reality wonderland. Teens and adults alike will love this – it’s mind-blowing. There are literally hundreds of worlds you can see, hear and interact with in VR at The Cave, whether that’s walking in space, scuba diving, playing one of many VR video games, driving in racing simulators, escaping virtual escape rooms, or being in military simulators where you go through basic training and simulated military ops (R16). The virtual world is your oyster!
Send the teens or tweens off for bowling, arcade games and burgers – or join in and flex your own bowling arm and competitive flair. The arcade features a pool table, air hockey, laser tag, and all the other usual arcade games.
Time Zone, Bayfair
The younger generation may want to join you for a bit of retail therapy at Bayfair Shopping Centre, but if they don’t, just send them to Time Zone – for simulator and arcade games galore.
The benefits of swimming are endless – it's a great way to burn off some energy, have fun with friends, and cool down on a hot day. Head to Baywave TECT Aquatic & Leisure Centre, which features the biggest wave pool in New Zealand and an epic hydroslide. There's also Greerton Aquatic & Leisure Centre and Otumoetai Pool to choose from.
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