At this age, coolness is a factor, which means venues and activities that have a kiddie flavor are problematic. Plus, peers are increasingly important. While weekends were once prime family time, they are now likely to be invaded by tween sleepovers or sporting events or drop-off activities '- no parents desired or allowed. That's okay. The growing independence and maturity of a tween actually opens more opportunities for expanding their cultural horizons and interests. Since many are still happy to be with their parents at least some of the time, the tween stage can be one of the best for family activities.
By now, kids have acquired some modicum of history and geography, giving them a context within which to place information they might acquire from museum exhibits. Not only does that make it more interesting for them, but it'll greatly elevate the level of their discussions with you. Additionally, museum programs for this age group are far richer in content; there's really a lot to choose from. (Photo: Kids enjoy Robots + Us, a travelling exhibition at Liberty Science Center. © Liberty Science Center)
Lectures and workshops: Every one won't appeal to every child, but there are so many and they change so frequently that savvy parents should make a practice of checking local schedules regularly so as not to miss the good stuff. Popular themes for tweens include: