Alternative gifts for teens


Our house is full of toys. Some have been passed down from the older kids and then the little ones have had even more bought for them. There comes a point when you don’t want any more toys and fancy doing something a bit different for birthdays and other special occasions – plus teens are notoriously hard to buy for.

A family activity day is a chance to all get together and have some fun, plus there are so many more options for days out than there are when trying to find a toy or gadget the kids don’t already have. Here are some of the places we’re considering for this year’s treat…

Meeting our animal friends

My kids have been engrossed in the ‘Secret Life of Chester Zoo’ TV show and I’ve already been asked if we can go there. One of the biggest zoos in the UK, it’s definitely worth a trip to see if you can fit in all of its 20,000 animals.

We feel like we already know some of the creatures personally so will be making a beeline for Iblis the lion and Magnum the warthog, as well as to see how big the baby giraffes have got.

Pottering about on a studio tour

When, like me, you’ve got a family of both teens and toddlers, it can be hard finding somewhere to go out that everyone will enjoy. But with the Harry Potter Studio Tour the older kids will love it as they’ve grown up with the films and the little ones get wrapped up in the magical atmosphere and wizarding theme.

Their ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’ event runs until the end of January and makes the experience all the more festive. All of the sets, like Platform 9 ¾ and Diagon Alley, are donned in decorations and The Great Hall is lined with trees. Plus the Special Effects Team show how they make fire, ice and snow for the film – I know my little ones would love trying out the indoor snow!

Cave men, witches and fairies

So much more than just a valley and some caves, a trip to Cheddar Gorge in Somerset can involve an open-top bus tour, rock-climbing and a multimedia cave man exhibition inside the huge Gough’s Cave. It’s fair to say that there’s a lot going on for the young ones, while older kids will love the gore of the museum of pre-history, which has information on cannibalism in our distant ancestors.

While there we’re also thinking of heading to Wookey Hole, which is a beautifully-lit series of limestone caves housing the infamous Witch of Wookey stalagmite. Not as scary as it sounds, my little ones would love the themed areas like Dinosaur Valley, Monster Mill and Fairy Garden. It’s not just caves here though, as they have circus shows, kids play areas and a new 4D cinema to explore.

Tropical inside, British outside

Dubbing itself an all-weather attraction, at The Eden Project you can duck inside the huge biome domes if it’s wet or wander around the stunning gardens when dry to see the sculptures. The tropical rainforest biome is sure to warm everyone up and has a treetop canopy walkway.

I know I’d want to have a go on the zip wire too and there are loads of kids play areas as well as a trail especially for nippers.


Now all we have to do is decide where we’re going to go first!


*collaborative post

About teentweentoddler

Hi, I am a SAHM to 4. Two teens, a preschooler and a baby. This is where I share some of our ups and downs of life.
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2 Responses to Alternative gifts for teens

  1. We went to Chester Zoo a few weeks ago as we only live 20 minutes away. But typically we don’t watch the programme. Would love to visit the Harry Potter tour one day x

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