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June 11, 2008 > Summer Fun

Summer Fun

By Ethan Chou

No summer plans for your teen yet? Well, there is no need to worry! A number of organizations in the area are offering a variety of teen camps and activities, many of them still open to participants in spite of the short notice. Whether you are busy at work or just want your children to stop watching television and get out of the house, there are plenty of places in the vicinity where teens can enjoy wholesome, educational fun in the months ahead.

Chabot Space and Science Center

For younger students, Chabot offers several full-day camps. Youth can explore the intricacies of motors, gears, and sensors, design and construct their own eco-friendly "green" dollhouses, experience the challenges and learn the skills needed by astronauts, and even solve forgery, counterfeiting, and kidnapping cases via forensic science. Included with the programs are a free t-shirt, a ticket to visit Chabot at a later date, and a 10% off coupon for the gift shop. With sessions running into mid-August, these camps can be a great way for young teens to learn more about the wonders of science while having a great time.

For more information, call (510) 336-7426 or go to

Ohlone for Kids

Interested in more academic activities? Ohlone for Kids features several classes meant to prepare students for future classes and tests. Teens entering high school can participate in biology classes, where they will compare species of animals, learn about the human heart, and even do two dissections, the journalism program, where they will improve their writing, grammar, vocabulary, and interviewing skills, and algebra classes, where they will solve and graph equations and work with complex fractions. Of course, SAT and PSAT prep classes are being taught as well, perfect for getting a head start on these all-important examinations. For those interested, there are also robotics, Spanish, photography, and art classes available later in the summer. With three different sessions and an option to take multiple classes in a day, the Ohlone for Kids program has been very popular and no doubt will still be this year.

For more information, call (510) 742-2304 or email

Teen Centers

There are some great activities hosted by your very own cities for your teens to enjoy, and the best part is that many of them are drop-in events with no registration, no full classes, and tiny fees!

From June 23 to August 7, the Fremont Teen Center is hosting HangTime. For only $2 per day, from 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., teens can play as much foosball, air hockey, pool, and ping pong as they want. Plus, movies are available on the large projector screen at the Center, and students can also play Playstation II video games. Once or twice a month, there will also be Junior High dances held from 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door for these events designed to just let 7th and 8th graders have fun while enjoying live cool music. Local up and coming bands will also come to perform twice during July and August, perfect for music fans. For information on activities, times, and locations, call (510) 494-4344 or visit

The Silliman Center in Newark is open for drop-ins from 6th to 12th grade, for either a daily fee or a 6 month membership package. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekdays (until 9 p.m. on Friday), teens can enjoy pool, air hockey, foosball, and ping pong, watch the big screen television, and use the Computer Lab complete with teen-friendly video games and internet access. With the purchase of the 6 month activity pass, students will also be able to use the gymnasium for basketball, volleyball, etc., as well as the swimming pools located in the Center. Throughout the summer, a series of table game tournaments will also happen at the Silliman, a great opportunity to engage in some friendly competition. In addition, various other classes, such as SAT prep and Driver's Ed, can be taken through the Center at an additional cost. To find out more, contact the Silliman Center at (510) 578-4400 or visit

Union City Leisure Services has organized an entire summer's worth of fun, weeklong excursions. Specially designed for students aged 12-16, the trips involve going to places like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Great America, and Disney's California Adventure theme park. Also, more physical activities such as camping, kayaking, and surfing are slated for July and August, and will certainly be an exciting way to spend the vacation. You can call (510) 675-5488 and visit for more detailed information.

With a plethora of youth and teen-specific programs, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District brochure can be found at A sample of the activities offered include a karaoke competition, Guitar Hero video game nights, and even pool parties for teens to get away from their families. Students can also register for sports camps, learning to break dance, play basketball, tennis, and much more. Contact information can be found in the brochure.

The City of Milpitas Teen Center has its own interesting set of things to do. Open from June 23 to August 22, 12 p.m. - 9 p.m., along with pool, ping pong, and a computer lab, there is also a full kitchen at the Center. On the first and third Fridays of each month, movie nights for teens will be held; free swim days will occur all throughout June, July, and August; and cooking classes will also be available for sign up. Call (408) 586-3296 or visit to find out more.

Cloverleaf Family Bowl

Bowling can be a great family activity during the summer, especially at the extremely well-priced Cloverleaf Bowl. People can come and bowl for extremely low prices, even more affordable during special times. For example, on Tuesdays from 9:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m., for $10 people can bowl as many games as they want, and purchase 2 hot dogs and a soda for only $2. Open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - 2 a.m. and on weekends from 7 a.m. - 2 a.m., you can call (510) 656-4411 for further questions.

So, even though June is already here, there is no reason to panic about summer activities. With plenty of ways to get your children out of the house and/or spend more time with them, certainly, teens will have plenty to do.

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