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Safe Teen hangouts

Original post made by Parent of Teens on Jun 26, 2013

I would love some ideas of safe places for my teens to hang out in Palo Alto.

They like to go bowling, swimming, movies, buy ice cream or pizza, but that all costs more money than they have. They play ball, Frisbee, etc. but they say there is not enough space in the parks.

Anybody know where bored teens can hang out late afternoons and evenings to give some weary parents a break and doesn't cost them more than their allowance.

Thanks.

Comments (7)

Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 27, 2013 at 9:18 am

Parent of Teens - With as many parks as we have in Palo Alto, I find it hard to believe there isn't one with enough room to play frisbee. There is definitely space on the fields at Jordan. Aside from the parks, I don't know any place the kids can hang out for free, maybe you can set up some hang out space at your house and some of your kids friends and trade-off evenings?


Posted by Get real, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Teens quickly get bored with parks. Palo Alto used to have a teen center just north of downtown, but it is long gone.

May I suggest finding out your kids interests, hobbies, and talents, and signing them up for the appropriate clubs, or check with the Palo Alto Department of Recreation? They have excellent summer programs and activities, as does the Junior Museum and Zoo.


Posted by clickPA, a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 27, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Check out clickPA for events and activities for teens. Web Link clickPA.org Created by teens for teens in Palo Alto.

If you know of events or activities please submit online at Web Link


Posted by Parent of Teens, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 28, 2013 at 9:54 am

Thanks for the ideas, but as you see, there's not much to do in Palo Alto if you are a teen with or without lots of money!

I hope you see the frustration that caused me to post this. My teens are kept busy during the day, but late afternoon and evening is when they want to do something low key with their friends. It is hard for them to swim, go hang out at a library/community center or even a park. Parents of little kids don't want them in the play structures or playing ball or Frisbee where their little kids are playing. The organized adult sports take up a lot of the field space. They feel they can use only the leftover space that is often too close to the street, the trees, the parking lot or fences which means they lose their ball or Frisbee.

A lot of this of course is banter between bored teens and parents and probably there is more space at the parks than they perceive. But their perception does have some truth in it.

The real problem is that Palo Alto does not have areas for teens. Even Cubberly is not the place for them to safely congregate with the fears we all have because of the homeless hanging out there.

Teens are definitely forgotten about when it comes to recreation unless it is part of a "program". There are plenty of "programs", but what they need is the ability to be independent and find their own fun, at least for an hour or two a couple of times a week. It is this independence that will benefit them in the long run. They don't need parents organizing their hangouts, they need to learn how to do it themselves. Kudos to the group of teens who have organized the above mentioned website, but as you can see, there is not much there that is down time hang out activities.

We need a teen center that is open at the hours they are available, not during the day. We need a couple of play structures that are for teens and not taken over by the little kids. I have seen some of the little kids attempting to climb some of the things designed for older kids which makes the older kids unable to use them. We need some of these older themed structures with signs saying that they are for 12+ ages and younger children should use the other structures.

It is hard being a teen in Palo Alto during the school year. It is equally hard being a teen in Palo Alto during the summer.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

Parent of Teens - The Jordan field is pretty empty in the late afternoon, early evenings except for dogs (and their humans). Rinconada has lots of space away from the play structures. When the Mitchell Park library reopens, it will have a teen hang out space, but that doesn't help for this summer.

Do you or one of the kids friends have a decent size yard where the kids could hang out?


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

Parent of Teens - The Jordan field is pretty empty in the late afternoon, early evenings except for dogs (and their humans). Rinconada has lots of space away from the play structures. When the Mitchell Park library reopens, it will have a teen hang out space, but that doesn't help for this summer.

Do you or one of the kids friends have a decent size yard where the kids could hang out?


Posted by True Thomas, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 28, 2013 at 9:57 pm

We had a teen center downtown, but some moron closed it down!


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