Let’s face it – kids grow up fast. Throughout all the milestones and age groups, the pre-teen years are pretty tricky. These are the years where kids become a little more independent and adventurous; some once-loved activities feel a little too young now, while some activities geared towards teens are just outside their grasp.
With this list, we wanted to narrow down 10 Hamilton activities that are great for kids ages 10-13. In this list you’ll find a mix of educational, family-friendly, adventurous and creative activities.
Here’s our 2018 list for Hamilton’s 10 best activities for pre-teens.
Starting off our list is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. This museum is home to many historical aircrafts, such as those that were flown by the Canadian military services from the beginning of World War II to present day. At the museum you will also find other aviation artifacts of historic importance.
The Warplane Heritage Museum is both fun and educational; the museum has plenty of displays, flight demonstrations, special events and activities.
One of the most fun and interactive aspects of the museum is the Air Combat Zone Jet Fighter Simulator. In the flight simulator, you will get a real feel for what it’s like to fly a modern jet fighter.
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is the perfect experience for all young history buffs. As a mixture of entertainment and education, family members of all ages can walk away having learned something new.
Witness the social and mechanical life of Canada’s early industrial revolution at the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology.
Housed in a 150-year-old building, this National Historic Site preserves two 70-ton steam powered water pumping machines – perhaps the oldest surviving Canadian-built engines!
The museum offers guided tours, as well as various permanent and changing exhibits. If your pre-teen loves history or science, this is a great spot for educational entertainment.
Hamilton is home to plenty of public pools. Open swims are a great way to have fun and be active with the whole family, no matter what your age is!
Open swims are offered at over 25 of Hamilton’s pools. As the warmer weather winds down, your nearest public pool may be outdoors and will be closing for the season. Don’t worry, the city has plenty of indoor pools that’ll be more than happy to have you and your family as their guests!
Be sure to check online for locations and times as admission is sometimes free!
Located at the corner of Concession Street and Upper Wentworth, Mountain Lanes has been a Hamilton landmark since 1947. Generations of families have come to Mountain Lanes to introduce their children to the joy of bowling.
The five pin bowling alley has two levels – the first level is more of a traditional bowling alley, while their upstairs features glow-in-the-dark bowling. The glow-in-the-dark atmosphere makes for plenty of fun – if you wear light colours your clothes will glow too!
Bowling is a great way to get the family together and have an hour or two of good, active fun. Whether you’re more traditional or like things that glow-in-the-dark, Mountain Lanes is the best bowling alley in Hamilton.
The Art Gallery of Hamilton knows that the city’s youth need fun and creative outlets.
To help budding artists, the AGH offers children’s studio classes. These classes take place on Saturday mornings, typically for five or six weeks in a row. There are a wide variety of classes to take, such as building drawing machines, making embroidery art, storytelling and even stop motion animation.
The children’s studio classes are perfect for pre-teens who are makers and like to get creative. These classes are a great way to make new friends, as well as to try something new.
Pier 8 is a happy, bustling spot – you get great views of Hamilton’s waterfront, William’s Café serves up delicious food and you even have the option of skating at the outdoor rink.
Through the summer and into the fall, Pier 8’s outdoor rink features roller skating. Own your own roller skates? Don’t worry, you’re more than welcome to bring your own. If you don’t have your own skates, that’s okay too! There are skates, helmets and safety equipment available for rent at the rental booth. In the winter time, the roller rink turns into an ice rink.
Ever since Hamilton lost Roller Gardens, Pier 8’s skating rink has become the premiere spot to hustle and bustle on a pair of skates. With skate sizes ranging from toddler size 8 to adult size 13, the skating rink is available to all community members who want to give skating a try.
Adventure Village is an exciting, family-oriented amusement park. Set on over 3 acres of beautiful rolling hills, Adventure Village features lush vegetation, 6 fish ponds, rapids, shipwrecks and a wide range of fun activities.
The amusement park is great for both pre-teens and their younger siblings. Younger ones can participate in gemstone mining (panning for semi-precious gemstones similar to the Alaska gold rush days!) and games of miniature golf. As the age range go up, the kids might be more interested in the batting cages, bungee trampoline, outdoor laser tag, rock climbing or krazy kars.
Adventure Village makes for a great Friday after school treat or place to spend your Saturday afternoon. Be adventurous, have fun and make memories at Adventure Village.
Lazermania is an incredible spot for family fun and entertainment. This location features a multi-level, state of the art laser tag arena and the latest selection of arcade games.
The laser tag arena is set up like a maze, featuring multiple levels, ramps, glow-in-the-dark designs and visible laser beams. Suitable for players over the age of 5, the arena can host over 40 players at once. Lazer tag is an interactive, heart-healthy way to play with your kids as well as teach important life skills such as teamwork.
Whether your family prefers air hockey, pinball or an adrenaline-pumping game of lazer tag, Lazermania is the perfect spot to take your pre-teens.
Cameron Speedway has something for everyone in the family to enjoy. The facility is home to a Go-Kart track, five paintball fields, a four-sided rock wall, a target range and a laser tag arena.
The Go-Kart track is just under 2 km in length, featuring two overpasses and underpasses. The paintball fields, rock wall, lazer tag arena and target range are all outdoors. Paintball runs in any weather, while other activities are weather permitting.
Cameron Speedway does include some age restrictions. To drive a Go-Kart alone, drivers must be at least 9 years old. To participate in lazer tag, players must be at least 5 years old. To participate in paint ball, players must be at least 10 years old. Many activities require a safety waiver to be signed by an adult over the age of 18.
If you and your family are self-proclaimed adrenaline junkies, Cameron Speedway is the perfect weekend activity.
Coming in at our number one spot is Flying Squirrel. As Canada’s largest indoor trampoline park, this entertainment option is perfect for families who love to be active or need a fun-filled break from video games and the Internet.
Flying Squirrel offers plenty of fun activities throughout the trampoline park. There are basketball dunk courts, trampoline dodgeball courts, foam pits, a laser maze and a ninja course. For families with younger children, there’s even a toddler trampoline court.
What we like most about Flying Squirrel is that it’s a newer Hamilton establishment that’s making major waves across the city. As Hamiltonains we love fun, innovative things that we’ll want to do over and over again – Flying Squirrel offers that experience.
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What changes would you make to our list? Let us know in the comments!