Wondermom » Parenting » 15 Fun Things to do with Your Teenage Daughter

15 Fun Things to do with Your Teenage Daughter

Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

We all know it’s so important to spend time with our kids, so here are several ideas of things to do with your teenage daughter.

A teenage girl wearing a pink shirt and jeans paddles a canoe on a calm lake.

As a mother of five, it takes a concerted effort to spend quality time alone with each of my children. With one son away at college, I’m keenly aware of how quickly time passes so I do what I can to make sure I find the time.

Lately, it’s been hardest to pin down opportunities to spend with my teen daughter. When she was younger, there were several mother daughter bonding activities we enjoyed.

But as a junior in high school, armed with a driver’s license and a car to get around in, her schedule is now busier than mine. So, it can be hard to work my way into her busy life.

A girl is lying on a quilted bed.

We used to catch up when I would drive her to and from gymnastics, but now that she can drive herself, I’ve had to be more creative about finding opportunities to connect with her.

Jump to:

Why is it Important to Spend Time With Your Teenage Daughter?

It might seem like your teenager doesn’t need you in her life as much as she used to, or even at all, but that’s actually not true. Although she’s asserting her independence, which is an important thing for her to do, she actually needs to know that she doesn’t have too much freedom.

Your teen still needs someone to give them advice about things they hear or experience in school, and also someone to bounce their ideas off. This is actually pretty important for their mental health.

When you participate in activities with your daughter, she gets a chance to try things she’s always wanted to try, but in a safe environment with you. This can give her the confidence she needs to start to figure out what things she likes to do and realize who she wants to become.

During these fun times, you might be surprised that your teen will share something pretty personal with you. As you spend more time together, she’ll get more comfortable and be willing to open up.

So if you’re ready to start showing your daughter you’re there for her, here are some of my favorite ideas of fun things to do with your teenage daughter.

Run Errands Together

Running errands doesn’t sound like a thrilling adventure, but it’s a great way to make time to spend together when your schedules are both hectic.

Whether it’s a quick trip to the grocery store for milk or an afternoon getting an oil change and tire rotation, errands are more fun with company. They are also a great opportunity to introduce adult responsibilities to your daughter who will have to tackle these errands on her own in a few years.

a teen girl driving a car with the mother in the passenger seat.

I recommend that you have your teen drive when you run errands. For one, this lets you be in charge of how selfies turn out. In addition, it gives your teen more time to practice driving (and make funny faces when you’re taking selfies).

Go Shopping

Of course, errands are way more fun if the errand is shopping. I like to invite my teen daughter along when I buy presents for the rest of the family. It helps me to have a second opinion and she loves any reason to go to the mall.

Even if a special occasion or holiday isn’t coming up, we sometimes like to go to the downtown historic district and shop for interesting items at the boutiques.

We also love to shop the discount department stores for items to keep in our gift closet. I love stumbling upon a fun collection like this one we found at a country store:

a store with wooden signs in it.

Thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales can be fun too. It’s not about how much you spend, it’s enjoying the experience of searching and the jubilation of finding the perfect item or an amazing bargain.

Cook Together

Another life skill your daughter will have to develop is learning how to cook for herself. Preparing dinner together or baking together is a fun way to work together, create memories, and impart valuable life skills.

Dine Out

I can always talk my daughter into making time to eat out. Grab breakfast or lunch together or pick up a smoothie, frozen yogurt, or hot pretzel as an afternoon snack.

Exercise Together

Now that my daughter spends 20 hours a week at gymnastics practice, we don’t go to the gym together. However, over the summer when she had more free time and a less rigorous training schedule, we would go to the gym and workout together a few times each week.

At home, we like to jump on the trampoline (though I don’t usually last very long), canoe around our pond, and play tether ball together.

a teen girl playing tetherball outside next to a pond.

Depending on where you live and what you like to do, you could also:

  • Walk, jog, or hike
  • Bike
  • Skate
  • Swim
  • Play tennis
  • Play golf

Get Pampered

We don’t do it often, but one of our favorite mother daughter activities is to get pampered together. Depending on how much time we have and what our budget is, pampering takes several different forms.

  • Manicure and/or pedicure
  • Facial
  • Makeovers at a cosmetic counter
  • Massage
  • Hair cut and style

Be Artistic

I am NOT artistic by nature, which is why this is probably one of my most memorable mother daughter activities.

There are so many places now where you can create a painting, piece of pottery, or craft. Check your local craft store for workshops or classes or do an internet search for “make your own pottery” or “make your own painting” and include your city’s name in the search.

Learn Together

If you want to really commit to spending time together, sign up for the same class at a local community college or through your local parks and recreation department.

You can learn a foreign language, a new skill, or about an interesting topic. Not only will you get to spend time together in class, but you can work on your homework assignments together too.

Attend Events Together

We don’t live far from Washington, DC. There are always plenty of fun events like festivals, concerts, and shows going on.

My daughter isn’t comfortable driving and parking in the city, and I’m not comfortable letting her attend events like that without me. So, we end up going to a lot of them together, which is a great change from our typical hangouts near home.

a teen girl meeting-celebrities.

We’ve watched the Team USA Olympics champions, seen Nia Frazier in Trip of Love (and met her mom Holly in the audience), and sat front row together at a Blue Man Group show.

If you don’t have these types of events available near you, you might be able to find a local dinner theater, a breakout/escape the room game, or even high school sporting events and performances.

Travel Together

I travel several times a year to attend various conferences and to visit my son at college (five states away). When I can afford to, and when it works in my kids’ schedules, I like to bring at least one of them with me.

These trips are a lot of fun since I have the benefit of a travel partner, my daughter gets to go on an “adventure,” and we get to see and do new things together. Even if you have to spend all day working, build in a few extra days on either side of your work time to spend sightseeing with your daughter.

On a recent trip to New York, we stayed an extra two days and hit several tourist locations, including the wax museum.

a teen girl sitting on a bike with E.T. at a wax-museum.


Working on a puzzles is a great thing to do with your teenage daughter because it can be extended for a long period of time. You might work on it for an hour one day, 15 minutes the next, etc.

Mother and daughter working together to piece together a jigsaw puzzle on a carpeted floor.

During this time, you’ll be able to relax together and have a nice chat.

Watch Movies at Home

You can learn what kinds of things your daughter likes by letting her pick what movie she wants to watch. Then, the next time, you can pick one of your favorites, so she can get to know you better.

Have fun making snacks together to enjoy while you’re watching the movie. Air fryer popcorn, fudgy Instant Pot brownies and a Starbucks dragonfruit refresher would be perfect to make.


Don’t worry, I know organizing can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be a huge project (unless you want it to be). One time, my daughter and I just did a couple of small projects together, and we had the best time.

We decided we wanted to put the napkins in something other than the plastic bag they came in, and pens were piling up on both of our desks and we needed to contain them.

So, we found a cardboard box around the house, that just happened to fit the exact size of the napkins. We cut the flaps off and then picked some scrapbook paper to decorate the outside of the box.

For the pens, we cleaned two empty soup cans and wrapped scrapbook paper around the outside. We also added tiny pearls that we had leftover from another project and glued those around the top and bottom of our cans.


Gardening is very relaxing, so it’s very easy to have a wonderful conversation with your daughter while you both tend to the garden.

Two people are involved in gardening, a perfect activity to do with a teenage daughter.

If you want to garden outside together, you can start a vegetable garden. Go shopping together for the seeds, so she can choose vegetables she likes.

Once the garden starts producing vegetables, you can meal plan together for what you’ll make using the vegetables you grew.

You can also grow houseplants together, like these purple house plants that add a pop of color to your home.

Play Board Games

My family and I love playing board games together. It’s such a fun and non-intimidating way to get to know each other better.

There are lots of fun games for teenagers that you and your daughter can play together. I even have 60 would you rather questions for teens that you can go through, which will give you a greater insight into what she thinks about things.

Even though some games are designed for teens to play with their friends, you can pick and choose the questions, cards, etc. that you answer so they’re appropriate for parents and teens to answer together, rather than the ones that are meant for teens to answer with their friends.

Overcoming Barriers to Having Time for These Things to do With Your Teenage Daughter


As I mentioned, our busy schedules often make it difficult to spend time together. That’s why so many of my suggestions involve doing necessary tasks together (e.g. cooking, running errands, travel).

If you can’t slow life down, find ways to overlap your responsibilities so you can tackle some of them together.

Other Priorities

Both you and your daughter will always have other demands on your time and attention. If you value your relationship with each other, you will find a way to make it a top priority at least once in awhile.

I strongly recommend that you establish a goal (e.g. one mother daughter activity each week or every month).

Lack of Common Interests

It can be hard to find things you both enjoy if your interests don’t align.

I love reading, my daughter hates it. She loves watching the Bachelor and I’d rather watch a documentary on outer space.

The odds that you don’t have ANY overlapping interests are really low. Take time exploring lots of different options until you find one you both love.

Also, consider stretching out of your comfort zone to try something she loves. Getting a henna tattoo may not sound like your idea of a good time, but you might feel differently when you see how much your daughter enjoys the experience when you decide to get them together.

6 thoughts on “15 Fun Things to do with Your Teenage Daughter”

  1. I believe that the article has many good ideas but in reality some families do not have the income to go shopping, attend events, bunjee jump, etc. Felt it was a little out of our league financially.

    • Thank you for your comment. There are several suggestions that don’t have to cost very much, you can modify them to meet your finances. The first suggestion is running errands, so that would be something like your regular trip to the grocery store, the post office, etc. The second suggestion to go shopping – one of the ideas is to go to a thrift store to buy gifts. I watch a YouTube family that buys gifts from the Dollar Store, and it’s amazing what they find! The third suggestion – cook together – that can just be what you would be making for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. The fifth suggestion is to exercise together – you can just walk/jog around your neighborhood, and that doesn’t have to cost anything. For the seventh suggestion – be artistic, you don’t have to go to a class, you can just draw something together at home on a piece of paper. The eighth suggestion – learn together, you don’t have to sign up for a class. You can check out a book or video from the library. Number nine is attend events together – where I live there are free concerts in the park, maybe you have something like that where you live.

  2. Greattttt article! I’m a dad w 16, 13 and 11 year olds, girl girl boy and it’s recently dawned on me that after food shelter clothing and work should come kid time, but I needed direction. They’ll be gone soonish so… Many thanks!

  3. My niece recently began dealing with PMS and she seems to change moods from one polar opposite to the next- I don’t think the cramps or back pain helps much. I’m going to suggest this to my sister for her! #client

  4. With both of my “baby” girls away at college, I say, “Treasure every moment with your daughter now!” Great tips, Corinne and I think I use a few when my “babies” are home for Christmas break.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.