Student Union Teen Center
Features a kitchen, snack bar, foos ball and ping pong table, lounge area with TV, Xbox, and DVD player, board games, and tables for homework. Open every Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), 3-6pm. Free for members. Wilton Family Y in the Meeting House, 404 Danbury Road, Wilton. 203-762-8384.
Toquet Hall Teen Center
Hosts Friday and Saturday night social events that are geared as a safe alternative to risky behaviors. These events include live music, comedy, theater, movie nights, game tournaments, and student art shows. May be a small entrance fee ($5 or less), depending on event. Touquet Hall, 58 Post Road East, Westport. 203-341-1155.
Teen Volunteer Corp.
Teens can register with the Westport Weston Family Y's volunteer database and be matched up with volunteer opportunities at the Y, according to their interests and availability. For details, contact Sally Silverstein at 203-226-8981, ext. 118, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Westport Weston Family Y, 59 Post Road East, Westport. 203-226-8981.
Fairfield Public Libraries
In addition to being a safe environment for teens to hang out, study, and surf the net, Fairfield County's public libraries offer a variety of teen-centered events throughout the year, such as Wii gaming nights, homework help, and skill workshops. Many locations also have a Teen Room with books, games, and more geared specifically toward teens. Contact the library nearest you for programs: www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org.
Wakeman Boys and Girls Club
Any boy or girl between 3rd and 12th grade may join Wakeman Boys & Girls Club by purchasing a $70 annual membership, with a $200 ceiling per family. Membership includes the use of Wakeman's facilities and athletic fields throughout the year on a drop-in basis, as well as access to programs, leagues, and classes offered at the Southport and Stratfield Clubhouses. There are also several clubs to join, including the popular leadership- and service-oriented Keystone Club, and teens can take advantage of volunteer opportunities like coaching and tutoring. Two locations: Southport Clubhouse, 385 Center Street, Southport, 203-259-4805; Stratfield Clubhouse & McKinley Outreach Program, 2475 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield, 203-374-1108.
Offered by Dynamic Life Skills, an organization that provides life skills coaching young people, this eight-week program for pre-teen girls (grades 3-7) meets once a week. The curriculum used is a nationwide program proven to improve girls self esteem, social skills, and decision-making skills. Girls can sample the first class before committing to the group. For more information, call 203-918-2225 or email email@example.com. Dynamic Life Skills is located at 21 Locust Avenue, Suite 2A, New Canaan.
Also see: More teen resources in the New York metro area
Decoding the Teenage Brain: One Mom's Personal Essay
Our After-School Activities Guide