They may be too old to hold your hand at the movies, but too young to go out alone with their friends - so what's a tween-age kid to do on a typical summer evening?
"We go to the movies or to a friend's house and my parents drop us off and pick us up," says Kristin Serkisyan, 13, of Merrick. "We also sometimes walk around the neighborhood when there's nothing else to do," says Rachel Gullo, 14, also of Merrick.
As an antidote for boredom, some Long Island venues are hosting tween nights with activities geared for this in-between age group. Here are a few:
United Skates of America, Inc.
INFO 516-795-5474, usa-skating.com/seaford
COST $10 includes skate rental
GOOD FOR AGES 11-15 only
It's a dance party on skates every Sunday night when United Skates of America turns into a tween and younger teen club. "We have skating, dancing and play music videos on the big screen," says general manager Lisa Ingenito. Kids are encouraged to dress up - there's a different theme each week (this Sunday, it's '80s night). The concession stand stays open late so the skaters can break to scarf down a hot dog or some pizza between songs. Parents are welcome to stay and chaperone but cannot skate.
Little Chefs Cooking School
COST $50 per session (reservations required)
GOOD FOR AGES 10-14
Tweens will learn to cook a full Asian meal with the school's instructors, beginning with spring rolls and chicken and broccoli dumplings, finishing with a traditional baked dessert. "We make sure they are all doing and learning something by interacting with each other or cooking on the solo basis," says co-owner and instructor Allison Ginsberg. Parents can drop off their tween or stay to watch them cook. Tweens go home with recipes.
Creative Corner Pottery and Arts Studio
WHEN | WHERE 6-8 p.m. Aug. 19, 305-309 C Bedford Ave., Bellmore
INFO 516-279-4592, creativecornerpottery.com
GOOD FOR AGES 9-14
COST $25 (reservations required)
This luau-themed art party will have tweens painting their own ceramic piece in the pottery studio. Pizza and dessert will be served, and prizes will be raffled. Although the studio will remain open during the event, parents are welcome to drop off their tweens and return to pick them up at the end of the two-hour session.
ALSO TRY On Aug. 28, Earth Arts in Long Beach will host a tween sculpting and painting party in its newly opened studio from 7 to 9 p.m. Kids (10 or older) will paint a ceramic disk and create a sculpture from clay - owner Tim Kelly says the projects will be fired in the kiln and ready for pickup about a week later. Reservations recommended ($25, 516-432-9000, earthartslb.com).
GOOD FOR AGES 10 and up
Most tweens are all but obsessed with the Jonas Brothers. Nick, Joe and Kevin will team up with Demi Lovato at a pair of shows that will promote their upcoming Disney Channel movie, "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" - and tickets are still available.
A little older? Try Q-Zar Laser Tag
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 151 Voice Rd., Carle Place
INFO 516-877-7200, qzarny.com
GOOD FOR AGES 13-18
COST $20 unlimited laser tag
Teenagers are invited to unlimited rounds of laser tag every Friday and Saturday night at Q-Zar. A DJ takes requests, blasting pop songs throughout the night while groups zap each other. "In between games, the kids hang out. We have dance contests," says general manager Jennifer Prisco. "It's clean fun."