Safe and fun hangouts for teenagers and sanity-saving support for parents of teens in Suffolk County, Long Island.
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
For parents of teens with AD/HD, communication with their children can be especially challenging. CHADD works to foster positive interactions between family members by offering support groups geared toward improving relationships. The "Parent to Parent" Family Training, a seven-week program, takes place at Commack High School. Cost: $174. Space is limited; registration required. For more information: Call Eric Haracz at 631-941-9427; e-mail Liz Tibbet at email@example.com; or visit at www.chadd.net/160.
Pathways to Success (PTS) Coaching
In Cindy Goldrich's "Calm and Connected: Parenting the Challenging Child" Parent Coaching Workshop, she helps parents focus on methods of building a healthy parent-teen relationship that involve collaboration with their child. Groups meet weekly for seven sessions at two different times: Thursdays, 7-9pm, beginning March 11 at the Hallowell Center; Tuesdays, 10-11:30am, beginning March 15 in a to-be-determined location in Huntington. Cost: $700 (includes an individual one-hour coaching session). To register, call 212-799-7777 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.ptscoaching.com.
Tween & Teen L.E.D. Lounge Nights at Bounce N Play
Ride "Crazy Cow," the mechanical bull; challenge your friends in the Bouncy Boxing Ring, Bungee Run, or Jousting Unit; dance the night away with a live DJ; or just hang out in the brand new L.E.D. lounge. Parents must sign and present a waiver. $10 in advance ($11.50 online), $15 at the door. Teen Nights are held every Friday; Tween Nights are held every Saturday.
Bounce N Play at the N.Y. Party Zone, 15 Frowein Road, Center Moriches. 631-325-7529.
Suffolk Y JCC's Teen Lounge
74 Hauppauge Road, Commack
For the teenage social butterfly, the Community Center offers twice monthly "lounges" on Saturdays, featuring gym activities, air hockey, video games, movies, and more. Cost: $8. Upcoming lounge dates: March 5 and 26; April 9 and 30; May 14 and 21.
For teens that shy away from large group events, the JCC offers everything from guitar lessons and babysitting classes to bowling and indoor rock climbing. For more information or to register, call 631-462-9800 or visit www.suffolkyjcc.org.
Suffolk County Public Libraries
Besides offering a safe place for teens to hang out and do homework, the libraries host a variety of free teen programming each month. Below is a sample of what's available:
Cold Spring Harbor Library
95 Harbor Road, Cold Spring Harbor. 631-692-6820.
From a learn-to-knit workshop to teen movie nights featuring blockbuster hits like The Social Network and Eclipse, this library has a ton of free activities for teens.
Half Hollow Hills Community Library
55 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills. 631-421-4530.
Some teens are famous for complaining about there being "nothing fun to do," but at the Half Hollow Hills Library, there are plenty of boredom-fighting activities. All the activities are offered cost-free, and many of them help teens accumulate community service hours. One option is to become a "teen book reviewer" by coming to the library on Thursday nights to pick out a new book. The reviewers read the book, and then contribute a write-up to the teen blog featured on the library webpage. Other projects include helping small children with a kite-building activity, crafting handmade bookmarks for patrons who cannot make it to the library and have their books delivered, and participating in a puppet workshop on Fridays from 6:30- 8:30pm.
Westhampton Free Library
7 Library Avenue, Westhampton Beach. 631-288-3335.
Youth programming at this library includes a "Challenge the Librarian" Uno game, "count the cables in a jar" guessing contest for Tech Week, and even a blind potato chip tasting to determine the teen flavor favorite.
Harborfields Public Library
31 Broadway, Greenlawn. 631-757-4200.
The library offers Young Adult (YA) Central, with a variety of programming for library patrons in grades 6-12. March events include a "Writer's Workshop" on March 11; a "Drawing and Illustration Workshop" on March 17; and a "Teens Do Yoga" program on Saturdays starting March 19. The library is also looking for teen volunteers to assist in a children's LEGO program on March 12.
Suffolk County YMCAs
60 Main Street, Huntington. 631-421-4242.
Offers Saturday Night Teen Centers each Saturday night, from 8-10:30pm, when teens in grades 7-12 can enjoy the use of the pool, the strength training center, and the gymnasium. They can play games and sports while hanging out in a drug- and alcohol-free environment. Must bring proof of age/grade (birth certificate or report card). A contract signed by teen and parent is required. FREE.
Great South Bay YMCA
200 West Main Street, Bay Shore. 631-665-4255, ext. 182.
Saturday Night Teen Center is held Saturday nights from 7-10pm from October through May. This free program includes swimming, basketball, dance, fitness, cooking, breakdancing, karate, and special events. It is closely supervised by trained YMCA staff. To join, participants must complete a teen orientation and have parents complete/sign a permission slip.
Weekday Teen Drop-In Rec Center offers local teens the use of a teen lounge, computer center, gymnasium, and various specialty programs. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 2-6pm. Activities include basketball, crafts, dance, and fitness. FREE; registration is ongoing. To join, participants must complete a teen orientation and have parents complete/sign a permission slip.
155 Buckley Road, Holtsville. 631-289-4440.
At Teen Night, held each Saturday from 7-10pm (through May), teens interact in a structured environment that includes activities like swimming, weight training and fitness, sports, music, and indoor rock-climbing. This program is fully staffed and supervised by experienced YMCA personnel. FREE; membership not required. Pizza is offered ($2 per slice).
YMCA Patchogue Family Center
255 West Main Street, Patchogue. 631-891-1800.
Walk-In Teen Center: Teens can hang out in a safe environment and participate in activities like basketball, crafts, computers, and indoor rock climbing. FREE; registration is ongoing. To join, a parental consent form must be completed. Monday-Friday 2-6pm; Saturday 9am-1pm.
Teen Night: Held each Saturday from 7-10pm (through May). Teens interact in a structured environment that includes activities like swimming, weight training and fitness, sports, music, and indoor rock-climbing. This program is fully staffed and supervised by experienced YMCA personnel. FREE; membership not required. Pizza is offered ($2 per slice).
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