Being a teenager can be difficult age, for everyone involved. Travelling with teens and keeping them entertained can be challenging, when one minute this age group is so grown up, astute and mature, and the next minute wishing to be a big kid again. Aberdeen has a solid range of activities, both fun and educational, to keep this particular age bracket thinking that holidays with the folks are still cool. Here are Skene House’s recommendations to make your stay in the Granite City as entertaining as possible for all concerned.
A short drive or bus trip takes you to Aberdeen Beach, which works for all ages. Start with a walk, run, skateboard or scoot down the promenade, then pop into Codona’s for amusement rides, indoor and outdoor golf and ten pin bowling. Next, head along to Transition Extreme for any climbing, BMX or skateboarding fanatics. With its own ramps, climbing wall and high ropes experience, this activity centre works well for active dudes. Then bring out the big kid in everyone by hurling down the flumes at Aberdeen’s Beach Leisure Centre. Its wave machines, rapids and water guns encourage the juvenile side in the whole family. And it’s a relief that all along the beachfront are cafes and coffee shops selling everything from ice-cream, to snacks and lunches to keep growing boys’ and girls’ hunger at bay.
A short walk round the corner from the beach is Aberdeen Harbour. In the summer months it’s possible to embark on a Harbour Tour by boat. The Fish n Ships early evening sailing works especially well because, even if your kids are a little blasé about the scenery and the history, at least a meal of fish and chips should keep everyone happy.
Union Square Shopping Centre, in close proximity to the harbour and within walking distance of the Skene House properties, has a really chilled American mall feeling to it. It’s not uncommon to see teenagers shopping, going to the cinema or having a meal with friends and siblings here. Whilst alcohol is served in the restaurants, Union Square doesn’t have any bars, so it’s quite a wholesome self-contained destination for the more independent teen.
Then, if you want to revert to Big Kid mode again, Jump In, Aberdeen’s trampoline park, is fun for all the family, especially with little brothers and sisters in tow. Located in the Tullos Industrial Park it’s a short drive or bus journey to reach this bouncy destination.
For any history buffs take the 10-15 minute walk from Skene House to reach the Gordon Highlanders Museum on Viewfield Road. This five star attraction covers the dramatic and often selfless story of this excellent regiment. From key campaigns to outstanding individuals this museum works hard to engage children and adults alike.
Finally, for cool one off gigs, performances and events, the schedule at The Lemon Tree is definitely worth taking a look at. The theatre here can be innovative, the music cutting edge, the comedy contagious, and the club nights lively. Its central location on West North Street means it’s only a few minutes walk from all three Skene House properties.
OUT OF TOWN
If you want to visit a castle when in Aberdeenshire, and let’s face it most people do, then Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven is a good choice for any teen. With tales of hiding the Honours of Scotland (Crown Jewels) from the English, and prisoners perishing within the dungeon, there’s horrible history galore. It’s a great sight for anyone keen on photography as it’s absolutely stunning, and it’s also possible to hike along the clifftops from Stonehaven to the castle itself, so it’s a healthy expedition for older children.
Get on your bike and cycle along the Deeside Way, 41 miles of converted railway line, direct from Aberdeen out to Ballater, taking in the glorious countryside of Royal Deeside en route. With gradual gradients its ideally suited for family cycling for those of mixed abilities.
For an active hike embark on the circular and relatively flat walking path around Loch Muick, just south of Braemar on the Balmoral Estate. Allow around three hours to complete the rugged but picturesque route. Or, to reach the heady heights of Aberdeenshire, tackle the summit of Bennachie near Inverurie. Known as Mither Tap, the peak takes approximately three hours of hiking to reach, but the views are definitely worth it.
For those who wish to experience the Scottish countryside from a more relaxing perspective, consider booking onto a Braemar Highland Safari. This three hour tour takes guests into the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, on the look out for Scottish icons such as red deer, golden eagles, red and black grouse, red squirrels and mountain hares. It’s a novel form of exploration for teenage tourists.
Finally let youngsters run off steam at the Deeside Activity Park. The long list of activities includes go-kart racing, quad driving, 4×4 driving, archery, fishing and orienteering. The whole family will be exhilarated and exhausted by the time you return to Aberdeen.
WHERE TO STAY
We know that Skene House Apartment Hotels work especially well for families, as the business was established over 40 years ago with families specifically in mind. Our founder, Charles Skene, had seen enough parents trying to entertain children in small hotel rooms, and realised that families need space. At Skene House each one, two or three bedroom apartment has its own living room, bathroom and kitchen so families can have a home from home experience. Teenagers can watch tele or hang out in their own room, or join their parents and siblings in the living room or kitchen – it allows a certain independence. They can cook their own food, or parents can follow any particular diet their kids may require. Being in central Aberdeen, Skene House properties are a short walk from the railway and bus station, and their central, well lit locations mean that older teens can potentially venture out on their own for some independent exploration. With free, city centre parking for all our guests, even those newly qualified to drive, either in their own car or on mum and dad’s insurance, should be able to find a parking space with relative ease.
Our apartments boast many of the benefits of a hotel. Our staff man reception 24 hours a day to help all our guests, whether they’re children, teenagers or adults. We look forward to welcoming your family to Skene House.
To discover more about Skene House’s family friendly accommodation click here. Call +44 1224 659 392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.