It’s tough being a teenager. They’re not kids but they’re not quite adults either. They lack experience in almost everything in life – driving, working for an employer, saving money, and the wisdom it takes to realize the world is not about you.
They seem to drive the fashion world. And they’re quick with the latest technology. They also make up their own words because every generation has their slang. FYI: Cap means a lie and no cap means the truth.
And every generation of teenagers rolls their eyes at a “family-friendly” vacation. Family-friendly equals entertaining screaming 4-year-olds, naps, fruit snacks, timeouts, and going to bed early. The truth is tweens and teens can get overlooked because they’re not kids. Yet, they’re not adults.
Teenagers are not hard to figure out. They need adorable coffee shops because caffeine is technically a drug and they’re into it. They have an inner wanderlust to flee the nest so anywhere they can wander (and shop) is a freedom. And eat. They’re growing like hangry mini toddlers on hormones and caffeine.
We rounded up the best places to take tweens and teenagers when you stay in Overland Park.
Downtown Overland Park is good place to bring your teens with its small town feel sprinkled with an urban people-watching scene. This very walkable part of Overland Park is filled with tree-lined streets, boutiques, record stores, and a good mix of local shops to buy one-of-a-kind items. The General Store & Co. has some good “adult humor” items that many teens would appreciate. Every teen needs to document their vacation and Downtown Overland Park has some pretty cool murals to snap. Is cool still a word? Send them to Parisi Café for the complete Italian café experience to sip espresso or an iced concoction with lavender. There’s a patio that is great for people-watching too. Homers Coffee House also has plenty of people-watching with tables and chairs on the sidewalks. This long-standing coffee shop is a benchmark of Downtown OP. When it's time to eat, send them to Strang Hall, home of the picky-eaters. It has six chef-driven concepts and is impossible to find something you don’t like. Strang Hall also provides yard games in their lawn.
135th Corridor/Prairiefire is also a good hot spot for teens. There are three businesses in a row that are popular with teens. Kyoto Sushi & Steak is a teen favorite because of the food and the entertainment by the chefs that cook at your table. Amelia’s is a boutique for females of all ages, and next to Amelia’s is Crumbl Cookies. They’ll be thanking you for days for that cookie find. Send them to the nearby Prairiefire to visit Scheels for more shopping and then make your way to Creative Culture. It’s a craft bar and DIY studio with crafts such as a plant bar (no, really. Pot your own plant!), wreaths, or nail and twine art. And – AND – milkshakes. The oh-my-goodness milkshakes. Have you seen a milkshake with a donut AND a cupcake on top? Your teen is about to.
119th Street / Town Center is another place where the teenagers roam. LevelUp Esports Arena is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the only dedicated esports arena in the Midwest. They offer the best computers with all the equipment a gamer needs. You don’t need to be a professional gamer either. Walk-ins are welcome to come play too. You want Luigi or Mario?
Making your way down 119th is Town Center and Park Place in Leawood. They are open-air shopping centers filled with shopping and restaurants that many teens enjoy wandering around. Park Place has an open green space with yard games in the summer which turns into an ice rink in the winter.
Wanderlust, food, and coffee -- it’s everything a teenager needs to post to Snapchat.