What to do with a 15-year-old girl

What can I do with a 15-year-old girl? No, put that part of your mind away. This is my niece we’re talking about!

My niece will be visiting next week. I haven’t been 15 in so long that I really don’t know what the young people like to do nowadays. One person suggested taking her to the mall, but that seems so empty and meaningless. A museum? Do kids like museums?

So other than what she will tell me she wants to do (“whatever”), what do you suggest? Do you have a teenage daughter and can give me some insight? Are you a teenage daughter? Even better!

Please, folks – help me out here.

16 Comments so far

  1. Radman (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

    doesn’t wash dc have a museum complex called the smithsonian?

  2. Ian (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

    We really need some more information, where is she from, has she ever been to dc before, does she like sports, does she biking, is she a techie, does she like art?

    If she has never been to DC then you want to hit all the normal tourist spots,white house, monuments etc.

    If she is into sports, maybe a football, not not the American version, or a baseball game.

    If she likes the outdoors then you could take her to great falls, or the skyline drive

    If she likes biking then you can rent bikes and go round the mall.

    If you she is here on monday night then screen on the green might be fun.

    Not sure if the body exabition is still running in Roslyn but if she like flesh and bones then that might be an option.

    Or maybe a movie at the uptown?

    All depends on what kind of things she likes.

    Or you could just buy a PS3 or WII and drop her in front of it for the whole time she is here.

  3. Victoria (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 1:59 pm

    My 16 year old niece came to spend a week with me last year. After the first day of museums, she was bored. I would recommend things that are more interactive. For example, DC and Old Town Alexandria both have “ghost tours” and kayaking is always a popular thing to do. The Udvar Hazy museum out near Dulles is very cool, as is the Library of Congress. Good luck!

  4. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

    The Library of Congress – cool! That’s a place I have been meaning to go anyway. I don’t know what a boy-crazy 15-year-old will think about it but it’s a great idea.

    I have heard that Udvar-Hazy was neat.

    Thanks for the suggestions, folks.

    She is 15, lives in Toronto and has been here a couple times with her family. I think museums would be cool for a day but likely not more. She’s a city girl for sure, so I don’t know if she will dig the nature stuff but it’s worth a try.


  5. Don (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

    If she’s active at all it might be fun to take a Frisbee down to The Awakening and throw it around. It’s definitely one of our more unique sights. From there you can also watch the planes take off from DCA, which I enjoy.

    The paddle boats by the Jefferson are fun as well.

  6. Stacey (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

    and i hate to throw in the stereotypical answer, here…

    … but toronto has much different shopping than dc, so if she’s a shopper, you could do that too. now if you want shopping suggestions, that’s a whole ‘nother post!

  7. poo poo (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

    there’s the ‘spy museum’ (pricey but cool)

    kayaking on the potomac from fletcher boathouse

    the zoo

    there’s a universal studios (or some such) just 20 minutes outside of dc in MD

    union station ‘mall’

    walking around georgetown shops and the harbor is always cool, plus there are movie theaters there.

    the arboretum is pretty cool on a warm day…..

  8. Stacey (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 2:26 pm

    oh yeah – spy museum is a good call! forgot – also try eastern market if she’s hear on the weekend (or one of the other markets mentioned on mbdc), that would probably be a hit.

  9. Don (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

    Taking the commuter rail up to Baltimore and seeing the inner harbor and maybe an O’s game is a nice change of pace too. I think there’s plenty of awesome to be had here but that would make for a good change-up and the trip through Union Station and seeing the difference between here and B’more is very interesting.

  10. MBFan#2 (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

    From Toronto, eh. She would definitely have fun:
    shopping at Eastern Market, checking out Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Aquarium,
    doing dinner at the Charter House in Old Town Alexandria,
    Arlington’s Ballston Arts & Crafts (8/11),
    two-day trip to Rehoboth Beach, biking along the Potomac,
    trying new restaurants in the Penn Quarter,
    checking out Barracks Row,
    doing one of the walking tours around Cap Hill,
    taking high tea at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel.
    checking out the monuments and memorial buildings at night.

  11. Mary (unregistered) on August 1st, 2007 @ 12:23 am

    just somethings to add to all the other good suggestions:

    -when you go to the charter house- don’t forget to go to the torpedo factory;

    -maybe a night a wolf trap, the kennedy center or signature theater.

    – is she too young for a night at the birchmere?

    – buy some sandwiches and eat them at gravelly point.

    -the arlington county fair is 8/15-19- she may miss it.

    – the georgetown flee market

    -go to one of a farmers market (ballston on friday), buy stuff for dinner, make it together and spend the evening watching a movie- she just might like spending a night with her uncle.

    You can get a walkabout map from an Arlington commuter store and learn the history of arlington.

    Check out arlington county’s website for special events for the week- I hope this link works:

    The rosslyn jazz festival should be coming up soon. I can’t find the schedule for it.

    – give her one of your cameras and take her on a photo shoot- teach her some tricks (you know what I mean). Then come home and make a slide show of her trip. She can use it as a screen saver over the next year.

    Whatever you end up doing- remember- she’s going to enjoy spending time with her uncle and the adventure of doing it without her parents.

  12. Kate D (unregistered) on August 1st, 2007 @ 10:01 am

    I visited my brother here when I was 17, and still remember loving a visit to Wolf Trap.

    Take her to “Reefer Madness” at Studio Theatre. And I second the Screen on the Green.

    Try the off-the-path museums: the Kreeger, Dumbarton Oaks. Yes, you have to pay for them, but they are different than the usual tourist haunts.

  13. Quita (unregistered) on August 1st, 2007 @ 10:03 am

    Hey im just 25 and i am a dc resident and honestly who wants to go to the museum at 15 yrs old? I didnt. How about Georgetown like a few people suggested. Its a movie theatre there, you can get on a boat ride, all the nice stores, and grab something to eat. i love georgetown. Union station and eastern market is okay but its nothing like georgetown. If she wants to go shopping i would recommend pentagon city mall/pentagon city row, georgetown of course and maybe wheaton mall. Now if you all dont want to pay the high gas prices then take the metro. People from out of states like riding the metro. Also if you were to take the metro they can inform you on events that are happening in the area like going to the verizon center which something is always happening there (thats where the wizards, capitals, etc play). It will be plenty of thing to do, she will be fine even if she wants to chill and play games with the family or what a dvd late a night she will be cool. Good luck and enjoy….

  14. monavano (unregistered) on August 1st, 2007 @ 10:39 am

    See the monuments from the Potomac, or view Mt. Vernon. From Georgetown, or Old Town:

  15. East Coast Girl (unregistered) on August 1st, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

    If she is from Toronto, riding the Metro is nothing new, they have an extensive subway/train system up there (The Toronto Transit Commission TTC). Also, they have some amazing malls in Toronto, like the Eaton Center, and you would want to pick ones that are unique or stand out, or are popular with young people her age, to make it interesting. They also have one of the largest zoos up there, but an animal lover will like zoos, no matter where they are, especially with the giant pandas.

    They have waterfront and beaches in Toronto (by the CN Tower), but I don’t remember any boat rides, per se (except maybe nearby Niagara Falls). How about combining dinner and the waterfront and take her on one of the dinner cruises on the Potomac (like the Spirit of Washington) where she can see the Monuments and popular DC sites as you cruise by. You should be able to get an idea of her interest in seeing any of them closer during the tour.

    And while museums and monuments may seem cliche, we have some pretty unique sites in DC — like the White House, the Capitol, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Air & Space Museum — that she may have seen on TV or in pictures, but is a completely different experience seeing them in person.

  16. MBFan#2 (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

    As a former Torontonian and current resident of metro DC, I can definitely give comparisons between TO and DC. Shopping at Eastern Market and seeing the SE neighborhood is differently than browsing at Kensington Market. Exposure to the different metro systems is a good thing (tokens vs fare cards). Georgetown is fun and is different from exploring the shops along Queen St. The Harbourfront in TO is culturally focused vs. the restaurant social scene of DC’s waterfront (ie. Sequoia where the beautiful people hang or used to).

    I wouldn’t discount any of the suggestions because they are similar. Everyone’s experience of places is going to be as unique as a fingerprint – I think as long as you have a lot of options, she can pick and choose. I think the comments so far have presented a good range of interests for a 15 y.o.

    Good luck, Carl!

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