Hiking: If the weather is cooperating and you want to get your teen outdoors, consider a hike or walk through a local park. Strike up a conversation and get the heart pumping at one of the many picturesque spots in the area. Visit the St. Charles County Parks and St. Louis County Parks websites to find a park near you.
Dessert Date: Food has always been a catalyst to bring people together. Finish up dinner, leave the dishes in the sink and head over to your favorite dessert spot for some one-on-one time. Heaven Scent Bakery, located at 1133 Bryan Rd., O'Fallon, MO 63366, has plenty of tables for two. Heaven Scent features donuts, pies, cakes and many other sweet treats. Frozen yogurt is another fun option. Tutti Frutti and Orange Leaf are just a couple of the many self-serve frozen yogurt shops in the area. You and your teen will have fun picking out toppings for your creations.
Shopping: Whether clothes, shoes, crafts or video games are your teen’s weakness, you can find it all at the local mall. Regardless of your budget, simply window shopping and strolling through the mall are fun ways to break the rut and spend time with your teen. You may also get some good gift ideas along the way. Check out the Ultimate Mall Guide for a place near you.
Looking for something beyond the usual department store? Shop gently used fashions and help local students attend college with a mini-shopping spree at the ScholarShop, an upscale resale store that supports access to higher education. If your teen prefers vintage, round out her closet with a Taylor Swift-inspired look from Parsimonia, located in the South Grand Business District, or for an ultra-retro and unique experience, shop from Parsimonia's mobile vintage boutique, which operates out of a 1960 Holly trailer.
Take a class: Spending quality time with your teen doing something they love is a sure way to let them know you value their individuality. If your teen is sporty, consider a class at your local YMCA; if they are artistic, find a canvas painting class; if they are crafty, check out a flyer for your favorite craft store for one that might interest you both. Some grocery stores, including Dierbergs, offer cooking classes. St. Charles City-County Library and St. Louis County Library offer free classes on a variety of subjects as well. Introduce yourself and your teen to something different by taking a Classical Fencing class together at the City of St. Peters’ Rec Plex. The possibilities are only limited by your teens’ interests! If you have an open evening or weekend, check the St. Louis Sprout & About Calendar for ideas.
Movie: Bonding doesn’t have to be all about in-depth conversations. Sometimes just spending time together watching a good movie can help connect parents and teens. Put the remote down and make it special with a showing of the latest blockbuster. B&B Theaters features reclining seats at its Wildwood and Wentzville locations and retro movie nights so parents can introduce teens to “old school” flicks from their own teen years.
Take a Drive: From the time they are tiny, some of the best chats with children happen in the car. While a quick update on the way to practice is nice, sometimes it’s good to get teens away to get them talking. Put the phones in the glove compartment and head down The Great River Road in Illinois . Between the scenic views and interesting stops, your teen will hopefully “unplug,” relax and open up a bit.
Volunteer: Bonding over helping the community is a rewarding way to teach teens to use their talents and gifts for others. The opportunities can also be great discussion starters. Check out our “Best Bets for Giving Back in St. Louis” to get your ideas flowing. Your local church and city hall are also great volunteer resources.
Best Bets articles represent the views and the research completed by St. Louis Sprout & About journalists and are not driven by advertising or requests by vendors or venues. Best Bets do not imply an endorsement of a business or activity.