Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

City Offers Two Web Portals to Help Teens Stay Active and in the Loop

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department and the official Seattle government websites both of new pages aimed at luring teens to events and activities around the city.

Of the two, the Seattle Parks Teens Portal ( is the more enticing with interactive features and a smart, active, edgy design. It outlines numerous opportunities for youth ages 15 to 19 to work, play, hang, experience the arts and participate in civic events, including the Outdoor Opportunities (O2) program. O2 is an outdoor expedition level program designed to expose teens to environmental education, urban conservation, and stewardship, while creating an environment for community leadership and empowerment.

The Seattle.Gov site's teen page ( connects youth with teen-generated blogs, highlights arts and other events of interest to young people, posts job and internship opportunities along with volunteer opportunities.

The parks department offers the following answers to parents' most frequently asked questions about city programs developed for teens ages 13 to 19:

What does my teen need to participate in a teen program?

In order to participate, all teens need to have on file is an E-13 waiver. This is a liability waiver for the City of Seattle. This allows them to participate in virtually any teen related program within the city. Some programs require more documents.

Is there a fee?

Many of the city Teen Programs are free but select programs, based on the site and activity have nominal fees. Please check with the individual program.

What age do you have to be to participate in the city Teen Program?

Teens ages 11-18 can participate in the programs. Late Night activities are reserved for 13-19 yr olds.

What is a TDL?

A Teen Development Leader (TDL) works with teenagers to create programs that are educational, fun, and productive for our youth. Many TDL's try to introduce teens to a variety of experiences, some where they would not otherwise have an opportunity to try or do.

How often do the Teen Programs occur?

Most programs are 4-5 days a week. Programs very in range and scope. During the summer programs happen between the hours of 10am and 10pm. During the school year and during most breaks most programs run from 3-9pm on weekdays with an occasional weekend program.

Programs include sports, art, educational programs, trips to: museums, parks, Mariners games, concerts, dances, movies and much more. Programs are different in each community to match the diverse interests of teens in each community.

Do you provide day care?

No, we do not substitute for day care. The Associated Recreation Council runs programs at select sites for teens for ages 11-14 yrs old.

What is Late Night?

Late Night is a program that has been run in the city of Seattle for over 15 years. It provides a safe place for teens to hang out between the hours of 7pm and midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Each site offers a variety of programs for each weekend. Late Night sites are at: Rainier Beach, Rainier, Mercer Middle school, Southwest, Delridge, High Point, Garfield Teen Life center (attached to the Quincy Jones performing arts center), Bitter Lake Annex (west of the community center) and Meadowbrook Teen Life center (attached to Nathan Hale High School).

Are the Teen Programs safe for my teen?

Teen Development Leaders (TDL's) are charged with not only creating unique and fun opportunities, but to make them safe as well. TDL's ensure that language is appropriate, comments are tasteful and tactful and that nothing illegal is going on while teens are present. Often many TDL's act as peers and a step down from a parent figure.