A lack of teen hangout spots

November 3, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Avery Park

As teenagers in Orangeville, my friends and I are always looking for something to go out and do, but we can never think of anything to do in town.

I know some people will say, “You can do this in town.” There are these programs running, but none of us ever knows about them.

When I was in grades 6 to 8, Alder Street arena hosted Youth Nights, and my friends and I loved going to those. They had a mechanical bull, rock-climbing, sumo suits for fighting, laser tag, and a lot of really fun activities for us to do. Kids from all of the surrounding schools would come, so you could meet new people, and hang out with your own friends.

What was different about these nights is that it would be well-known in the schools. Everyone wanted to go, and told everyone they could about it. They were a lot of fun, and I remember looking forward to them every time.

When I was even younger, maybe grade 3 or 4, Tony Rose arena had Laser Dances upstairs, and I remember going with my cousin a lot. They had dance-offs, hula-hooping competitions, a raffle, and a costume contest on Halloween.

These dances were a lot of fun for me as a kid, because you just went, met new people, and danced your little hearts out. I also won the costume contest as Hannah Montana, so that helped a little.

I’m just looking for something like that, but for teenagers. We still like to have fun!

I know we have school dances, twice a year, but they are more formal. Somewhere to casually hang out at any time would be well received in the community.

My friends and I have gone out of town and done a lot of fun stuff. Some of that includes roller-skating in an old school roller rink, going on rides in Canada’s Wonderland, mini golfing, playing games at arcades, bowling, rock-,climbing, and bouncing around at a trampoline park.

If we have any of that in Orangeville, please let me know. As far as I know, in Orangeville we can go eat somewhere, watch a movie at the theater, go for a walk, eat some more food, make pottery, and go ice-skating. After awhile, it gets a little repetitive.

Now I’m not saying anything bad about Orangeville. I used to love going skating all the time, when I was in grades 7 and 8, there are a lot of great places to eat in Orangeville, and I always love a good movie. There just isn’t a lot of variety, and I think we need something more.

I know I left out the mall in my list, but I’m not a big shopper and can’t spend more then 20 minutes in there.

Some smaller ideas, rather then a roller rink, could be an escape room. I’ve seen houses that were turned into an escape room, and they’re a lot of fun for all ages. Whether they’re scary or not, getting out of the room is fun to figure out with a group of people.

There could also be nights somewhere that teens could go see live music, because we are underage so we can’t go to a lot of places that serve alcohol, and don’t have the opportunity to see performances otherwise. I know I would love to go and see something like that. I just want somewhere to have fun with friends, in town.

The only problem with having somewhere teenagers could go is that younger kids would want to go too. I know that if I went anywhere when I was younger, my little sister would want to go with me.

If there was a place for high school students to go, and grade 12’s saw some grade 7’s hanging around, the 12’s would leave. Age limits would be strongly recommended if there were something made specifically for teenagers, just different time slots for different ages would be great.

Anything new in town would be very popular, if it made itself well-known. I feel that Orangeville has the space for it and also has a large number of people who would use a new facility like this.

It just seems like I have to find a way to get 30 minutes or more out of town when I want to do something new, because going to a friend’s house is becoming less appealing.

Wouldn’t you rather have a controlled area for teenagers to go, rather then have us wandering around town, and in the forests, looking for something to do?

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