Dela-where? Let’s be honest. Delaware is probably not on the radar of teens looking for fun things to do. But the small wonder state might surprise you if you give it a chance!
It’s ok if you aren’t exactly sure where Delaware is located. As a lifelong local, I have had to explain many, many times that Delaware is, in fact, a state on the east coast.
If you are still scratching your head and trying to figure out where we are on a map, I’ve got you covered. Look between Philadelphia and Washington DC to find our small state.
Fun facts about Delaware
Delaware’s biggest modern-day claim to fame is tax-free shopping. People from neighboring states flock to our malls and outlets to save money on their purchases.
However, we have some interesting historical facts too. For example, did you know that Delaware was the first state to ratify the US Constitution? Or that the first time Betsy Ross’s flag was flown was in Delaware?
Delaware’s state nickname is The Small Wonder, which is fitting because it is one of the smallest states in the country (only Rhode Island is smaller). With a total population of less than one million, many areas of the state still have a small town feel. Yet, we are close to larger metropolitan areas, like Philadephia, Baltimore and Washington DC.
If you are looking for more random Delaware facts, the state bird is the Blue Hen, which is also the mascot for the University of Delaware. The state flower is the peach blossom and the state insect is the ladybug.
Delaware is a mere thirty-five miles across at its widest point. And Vice-president and presidential nominee, Joe Biden, hails from here. Feeling like a Delaware expert yet?
Why should you visit Delaware?
We might be small, but there is plenty to do here. From the beautiful beaches to the historic landmarks and museums, there is something for visitors of every age. And did I mention tax-free shopping?
Things for teens to do in Delaware in the summer
Delaware is well known for the beaches in the southern part of the state. With miles of sand and plenty of restaurants and shops, the beaches are a big hit for everyone in the family.
Each beach town has it’s own personality – Rehoboth has a big boardwalk and is LGBTQ, pet and family-friendly. Lewes is a more mature scene while Dewey is for the younger, party crowd. Bethany and Fenwick are both quieter, family type towns.
If you are feeling adventurous, try out one of the exotic flavors of ice cream at The Ice Cream Store in Rehoboth. Booger ice cream is a big hit with my kids, but if that is not your thing, they have over one hundred other flavors and many of them have won national awards.
In July, the Harrington State Fair is the place to be. With concerts, animals, exhibits, food and carnival rides and games, there is enough to keep you entertained for several days.
For a professional sports experience at a fraction of the cost, check out the Blue Rocks baseball team. This small, family-friendly stadium often has fireworks after the game and does theme nights with give-aways.
Indoor things for teens to do in Delaware
One of the newest hot spots in Delaware is Main Event, which is a mecca for tweens and teens. It is conveniently located in Newark, right by the Christiana Mall and directly off I-95. They offer bowling, arcade games, an indoor zip line course, laser tag and food and drinks. Teens can easily spend an afternoon entertaining themselves while mom and dad can hang at the bar.
Escape rooms have become outrageously popular in the past few years and it’s easy to see why. They are fun, challenging and the perfect opportunity to spend time together as a family. Locations have sprouted up throughout the state, but some of the most popular ones are Great Escape in Newark and Axxiom Escape Rooms in Wilmington.
If you and your teenagers are looking for a unique experience, Battle Axe in Newark has got you covered. Their motto is “Unleash your inner Viking” and that is exactly how you will feel as you hurl axes at a target. Don’t be nervous; the employees will brief your group before you start and they follow a strict set of rules.
Teens love the thrill of go-karting. It is exhilarating to race their friends around the track, especially for teens who do not yet have their driver’s license. In the northern part of Delaware, Mid-Atlantic Grand Prix in New Castle is the place to visit. In the southern part of the state, check out Midway Speedway Park in Rehoboth Beach.
Need a rainy day activity? How about bowling or going to the movies? These are two classic teen activities and practically every town in Delaware has a local movie theater or bowling alley.
Other things for teens to do in Delaware
Delaware is one of the few states without a national park, but we do have some lovely state run ones. There are 17 locations throughout the state and each one has special features or programs.
Lums Pond in Newark is home to the Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course, which is a rope course and zip line through the trees and over the pond. Killens Pond in Felton has its own waterpark and Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island is rumored to be haunted. Some other fun things you can do at the state parks are hiking, flying remote control airplanes, camping or participating in a nature education program.
Delaware has a rich history and many museums to showcase the state and the people who lived here. Some of the most popular ones are Winterthur, Hagley and the Delaware Art Museum. Winterthur is a 175 room mansion with extensive gardens. Hagley showcases a gunpowder mill, mansion and library. The Delaware Art Museum has rotating exhibits as well as classes for budding artists.
A couple of times a year, Nascar descends upon Dover and takes over the entire city. You can check out the latest info and race schedules here.
If you are visiting Delaware in the fall, Frightland is a must see! This is not your average haunted house. Frightland is a total experience and has been named one of the top 10 scariest haunted attractions in the country by the Travel channel. The actors and special effects are top-notch!
Don’t forget the shopping!
No visit to Delaware is complete without a little bit of tax free shopping! Of course, there are independent stores and strip malls located throughout the state, but for a large cluster in one place, be sure to check out a mall or outlet center. Christiana Mall in Newark has over 170 stores and restaurants and is conveniently located right by the highway. For a shopping experience on a smaller scale, check out the Concord Mall or Dover Mall. And don’t forget to visit the Tanger outlets in Rehoboth Beach.
Which one will you choose?
Did you find a few things that appealed to you? Or have you been to some of these places already? Did we miss your favorite spot in Delware?
If so, we would love to hear about it! Comment below and let us know what you think!
If you need more ideas of fun things for teens to do, check out the summer bucket list for teens.
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