The teen scene in the summertime

Kids are notorious for wanting to be older than they are. When a kid reports his or her age, it's not uncommon to hear 10 and a half or almost 13. Kids think aspirationally, and look up to and often mimic...
July 1, 2000

Kids are notorious for wanting to be older than they are. When a kid reports his or her age, it’s not uncommon to hear 10 and a half or almost 13. Kids think aspirationally, and look up to and often mimic older kids-even teens, so talking to teens can be a great way to gaze into the crystal ball and get some early intelligence on what’s next for younger kids. With this in mind, this month LiveWire decided to talk to over 100 teens ages 13 to 16. We wanted to find out what teens are up to and into this summer. We asked about their daily activities and got some details about their typical summer purchases and wish lists.

What we found:

Favorite thing about the summer

No school (surprise, surprise), going swimming, hanging out with friends more

Favorite summer activity

Going swimming, playing sports, chillin’ with friends

Least favorite activity

Girls: Just staying inside, doing summer chores, going to camp

Boys: Doing summer chores, reading, just staying inside

Top summer purchases

Girls: Swimsuits, summer clothes, sandals, music (CDs)

Boys: Food and drinks, summer clothes, music (CDs), sports equipment

Media mania

During the summer, over half of the teens we spoke

to spend more time on the Internet, and the majority spend more time watching TV and listening to

the radio.

Summer wish lists

Video games

Girls: Pokémon (various titles), Resident Evil II

Boys: Tony Hawk Pro-skater, Pokémon (various titles), Resident Evil II, Diablo II


Girls: Eminem, Britney Spears, `N Sync

Boys: Eminem, Kid Rock, Korn

Concert tix

Girls: `N Sync, Blink 182, The Dave Matthews Band

Boys: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters

Movie tix

Girls: Road Trip, Mission Impossible 2, Dinosaur

Boys: Mission Impossible 2, Gladiator, X-Men

What kids said:

Summertime is family time for teens

Over half of the teens we spoke to say they spend more time with their family over the summer than they typically do during the school year. Well over half enjoy at least one family vacation during the summer months, the most common destination being Florida.

When we asked teens to tell us about their favorite summertime memory, the majority cited moments with family members. Here’s what they had to say:

‘When my granny was still alive, she lived on a farm, and I just loved to go there and play. There was a creek and my older brother and I used to catch frogs and tadpoles there. She had a strawberry patch and we would get up early and pick strawberries and sit on the front porch and eat them in our cereal. She also taught us how to weave baskets. Cool, huh?’ Jenny, 15, Illinois

‘When my mom took me to the mountains in Virginia. We walked up the side of a mountain for two miles to a waterfall and a mountain pool that was ice cold. Then we also went to the place where Dirty Dancing was filmed and I thought that was neat.’ Jessica, 13, Alabama

‘Going fishing with my Dad at our beach house last summer in the real early morning when everyone was still asleep, and catching a little baby hammerhead shark. We kept it and showed it to everyone and then we let it go.’ Ryan, 14, California

‘My favorite summer memory was when I was 11 and I went to visit my cousins and aunts and uncles in Chicago. I had never seen many of them before. It was so wonderful and heartwarming to spend that much time with my family.’ Julia, 15, California

‘I usually go to my Aunt Sondra’s for a couple of weeks each summer. We go to the Renaissance fair or Disneyland or just fun stuff. She has no kids, so she is like a big kid herself. She spoils me and spends a lot of money and time with me. She works at Intel and she’s into computers like me. I learned a lot from her.’ Cory, 16, Oregon

Next month: BBQs across the nation are firing up for another summer. Kids talk about what foods they like (and hate) in the summertime and offer a few tips on how to brand fruit along the way.

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