Teens have it pretty good living in OC. They’ve got the beach, cool theme parks, great hangs and perfect weather. So what’s on the teen radar for best daily outings? Popular picks include laser tag, go karts, surfing, the movies and Knott’s, of course.
K1 Speed Irvine
17221 Von Karman Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614
Teens love KI Speed Racing for adventure. The place is perfect for those with an extreme spirit. It makes for fast, slip-sliding good times. The indoor go-kart racing facility in Irvine (in OC near El Toro and Santa Ana) has not one, but two fast tracks to get a little crazy on. Each track requires skill, practice and dedication to master it. And for teens seeking the ultimate indoor kart racing experience, they can combine both tracks into one Super Track—nearly half a mile in length and featuring complex corner combinations that demand the most from drivers. The place is also great for private parties. Go as a group or just “Arrive and Drive.”
Laguna Beach Surf School
1020 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Teens dig the beach and they’re stoked to learn surf from Steven “Sli Dawg” Chew. Professor Sli Dawg, who everybody knows in town, runs a rad surf school in Laguna Beach where teens don’t just learn to surf, but they experience the whole surf culture scene. The guy is a pro, so he schools kids on everything they need to know, but he does it in a really fun way with a great crew. The camps run throughout summer, and after that, there’s always more Sli Dawg surf school. Camp hours are 9am-2pm daily with dropoff and pickup at Laguna Surf and Sport. Fridays camp ends with a chill pizza party, and Sli Dawg gives the teen groms their surf nicknames. All surfing levels welcome, no experience required. Camp cost: $450 per person per week, register online at LagunaBeachCity.net. More info at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook. Next camps: August 13, 20, 27.
Laser Quest at Kaleidoscope
27741 Crown Valley Pkwy Suite 315A
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
It’s live action laser tag at its best, and teens love tagging at Kaleidoscope. The multi-level arena has specialty lighting, swirling fog and cool music. Up to 30 or more players can play the game of high-tech hide and seek. Every teen gets their own codename that they choose for themselves, maybe it’s Midnight or Fly Girl. (And it’s cool that no names like Shooter or Sniper will be approved; it’s a tag-game of “lasers,” not “guns.”). Games start every 20 minutes, and get reservations as the place gets very busy. General pricing is $9. Membership pricing is also available. By the way, teens especially like the Ironman games ($12), so be sure to check that out.
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA USA 90620
Knott’s is the total teen scene in OC, particularly at night. The rides are faster and steeper than Disney, there’s often live music, and it’s just a good place to hang. There are also a lot of carnival games that teens will like. Some favorite teen rides? GhostRider is a wooden ride that goes underground and round and round. The Sierra Sidewinder has a twisty track and the cars spin too. The Silver Bullet is a suspended coaster, and the Xcelerator blasts riders at 82 mph up a 205ft hill at a 90-degree angle. Finally, the Pony Express launches riders sitting on horses (not real ones) at 38mph on a 1,300 ft long track.
IMAX at Spectrum
65 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
What teen doesn’t like going to the movies? It’s kind of a no-brainer. The IMAX-style theater makes the movie larger than life. Edwards 21 Cinemas shows the latest IMAX movies on an eight-story screen. And the cinema is newly renovated with stadium seating and updated surround sound. It’s a great venue for any teen movie night out.