What is There to Do for Teenagers in Valparaiso, Anyway?

What is There to Do for Teenagers in Valparaiso, Anyway?
By: Chris Mahlmann Last Updated: July 5, 2016

The subject of "things to do in Valparaiso for teenagers" was an active one this week, and being the positive news place for Valpo, we want to gather all of your suggestions for Things for Teenagers to do in Valparaiso. We encouraged readers to share their positive suggestions only, as with all our content all the time. There are plenty of other places for debates of all kinds.

We knew there are good things to do here in Valpo for teenagers and we wanted to bring the minds of many together to share as many of those ideas as possible. We got a huge response and most everyone kept it positive and productive, which as you know is our whole premise of being.

There are many good ideas for things that could be and it sounds like many would invest their time to make them happen. We look forward to seeing even more, but we're all darn lucky to live in a community with things to do like this and people like this - with positive ideas.

Below we highlighted some of our favorite suggestions and responses, so leave a comment below with your suggestion or jump into the thread over on Facebook by clicking here!

Michelle Clifford
Take guitar lessons at Front Porch Music downtown Valpo. Front Porch has open mic night on Thursday nights.

Cathy Brown Brown
Or go the many awesome concerts that Front Porch puts on!! So many awesome ones.

Alicia Vara
Those who like animals can walk dogs at Lakeshore Paws, those who are interested in the environment can pick up litter, if you like books you can volunteer at our amazing library, if you like fitness you can get your workout on at Butterfield for free, if you want to tan you can lay out in one of our gorgeous parks, if you want to play basketball you can at Tower park or TJE, if it's Tues you can catch a movie for $5 .... Valpo has a lot going on....don't waste it!!

Rich Schmidt
These are all great... but you don't have to volunteer there to hang out at the library and read books, graphic novels, magazines, etc. Or check out some movies for free and go watch them with friends. No Netflix subscription required! There are tons of great books on CD, too, of all genres (novels, comedians, biographies, etc). Just borrow someone's CD player or pop it in the car, if you're driving.

Diana Coppage Landrum
Get some friends together and go visit nursing homes and maybe read a book with them. THey have some super cool stories to share about their lives. Just smile and say hello to people you see out on the street July 3 at 11:09am

Rich Schmidt
And if you're musically inclined, go play them some music. You might have to coordinate these things with someone at the building, but they're typically thrilled to have people willing to stop by. (Think "Christmas caroling" but any time of the year.) And no, this isn't a joke. The teens at our church have loved going to Christmas carol at nursing homes in years past.

Jessica Zelhart
Take a hike....in the woods :)

Andrew Morris
Take yoga at Yoga Mecca, $20 a month for unlimited yoga for those under 25

Sheryl Rugg
Stay fit--- walk, run, bike around town with your friends! Make money - mow neighbor's lawn, babysit, find a summer job! Volunteer everywhere! Help an elderly neighbor and talk to them! Borrow free movies, books etc at the LIBRARY! Surprise your parents-- clean the house, make a simple dinner for them! Gather all unwanted, unused stuff in your house and sell them online or garage sale! Grab a camera and take pictures, it's an easy, affordable hobby to start! Walk your pets! It's not the city's responsibility to cater to bored kids. If you are my kid, trust me, you will never be bored. I will have a long list of things for you to do AND reward you too! July 3 at 1:40pm

Carol Stoner
Play tennis at one of the tennis courts, ride bikes, take up jogging, go to the Dunes (if you don't drive, get dropped off by a parent and have someone else's parent pick you up), hang out at Lakewood and rent some paddle boats or fish, go fishing, read a book YOU want to read.....or more than one, do something nice for someone else, have a game night at your house and/or play cards like SPIT or Euchre or Spades or games like charades, hide and seek, play tag, come up with and complete a project that makes your neighborhood or your community a better place (even if just for a while), learn a new skill and practice it (macrame, knitting, juggling, a line dance of some sort, changing the oil in your car, sewing--even a button, making a main course for dinner, baking bread/cake from scratch, playing an instrument), ask the first five adults you encounter in a day what they did when they were bored as a kid, go roller skating or roller blading, make an obstacle course in your yard or a park and invite your friends over--divide into teams and see which team completes the course first/which obstacle is hardest, etc; play Croquet, pick a baseball team/golfer and follow them/watch as many games/matches as you can during the summer, make a birthday card from scratch for everyone in your family or group of friends--being as funny or serious as you care to be. Organize the cards so that you remember to send them to your friend. Have a lemonade stand and give half away to something you care about. Find something to care about. Go into the Chamber of Commerce (across the street from Sage/between Centier and the Mayor's office downtown) and get brochures on all there is to do in Valpo!, have a talent show with your friends, see how many different leaves you and your friends can collect and find out the name of the tree from which each leaf came (see who collects the largest, the smallest, the most unusual, etc.) Have a book club with your friends and all read the same book and then get together and talk about it over pizza or popcorn or a hamburger or a hotdog. Have each of your best friends clean out their closets and either have an impromptu driveway sale or take your unwanted "stuff" to a re-sale shop (if in good enough shape). Do a car wash in your neighborhood. Organize a bags tournament. Play kickball at your closest park.

Cathy Brown Brown
At Valpo Velvet we are gonna start a small music night called Decktunes in Thursday's Come down and sing along and get an Ice Cream Soda! And on Wednesdays there are FREE concerts in Aberdeen in the center grass area. Bring a chair and listen. Also the Harley car show on Friday nights is awesome. Some seriously cool cars. Or go to Johnsons and pick your own berries for your parents! They will love it! Also there's a hike called The Three Dune Challenge at the Dunes. Stop by the Dunes visitor center and ask about it. Did you also know that rent out backpacks with information and binoculars related to bird watching at The Dunes? That is a cool thing to go see.

Tiffany Wilcox
I would like my kids to get involved in community projects. Something they can be proud of.

Courtney Mason
Give me a venue and I can do womens self defense for a considerably lower rate than my regular. July 3 at 7:38pm

Toby Hitchcock
I grew up in Valpo. We rode our bikes, skated, play TONS of basketball, worked in yards to make money, played video games on rainy days, jumped on the trampoline, swam, played hide and seek, or just hung out. I don't understand what the issue is here!! Go outside! Valpo is beautiful. Go to Lakewood Rogers or flint lake. Go fishing. Go to the dunes. The choices are endless. Enjoy your teen years with your friends and make memories! ;)

Judy Cramer-Kukelka
Boys and Girls Club they even have teen nights every other Friday night, Intramural at Valparaiso Nazarene Church on Wednesday nights, a good old game of football in the open field off of Roosevelt north of Evans.

Nate McChesney
-free movies at central park
-rollerblading/ice skating at central park
-shopping downtown
-inmans
-bowling
-minigolf
-arcade
-watching movies with friends(at home)
-zao island
-arcade
-go-karts
-minigolf
-getting a job
-cinemark
-shopping
-Take a drive
-go on a bike ride
- visit any one of the numerous parks
- community work
-Volunteer at the animal shelter
-events held by Valparaiso University
- events held by any local groups
-etc... (I'm sure there's more that I didn't think of!)

Erin Shay Davis
The fishing is great on many of the lakes in valpo and the state has free fishing days intermittently when you don't need a license to fish. Soccer/softball at the old fairgrounds park. Get a carpool together and head to LaPorte/porter/lake/jasper/Newton county fairs. Frisbee golf at Rogers Lakewood, picnic at a park, indoor archery lessons at one source archery on route 6 on Thursday nights for $5 or rent equipment for $5 more, horseback riding lessons at multiple facilities in Valparaiso, join 4H- go to the meetings and events then complete projects, join the Red Cross disaster relief team, join a volunteer fire department, join the northwest Indiana paddling association and learn to kayak and canoe with rented equipment from them, take a firearm safety course at blythe's, learn to safely and successfully hunt from someone experienced then participate this fall and obtain your own organic food, volunteer at the animal shelter or lakeshore paws As a community, we could implement events in the evenings, similar to Fit Friday at noon, for kids to join in. We could vary physical fitness activities with instruction with art related instructional sessions....Yoga, Pilates, running and biking groups for teens, martial arts, hit intensity interval training, crossfit, painting, drawing, music, acting, tap/jazz/ballet/hip hop dance.

Anthony Ferrell
We have a live music venue in the area that teens can go to. Why couldn't that be included in what teens in valpo could do. You include an open mic night that might happen and other musical options, but Big Shots is real and it's becoming a great place for the community to have something to do. Teens can go to these shows, hang out, make new friends, listen to music, meet national performers, start a band and play shows there. Big Shots even has live wrestling shows and video game tournaments every once in awhile. It's a perfect place for teens to escape to and stay out of trouble. I wish I had something like this when I was a teen. Why not throw this option out there for teens that might not know this place exists yet. You want to help teens you have to think like a teenager. Teens don't want to do volunteer work and go to retirement homes. They want to be teenagers. Be goofy and have fun.