Hang out at the mall 

Lakeview Square Mall has lots to entertain a teen, beyond shopping. Battleground Skate Park is inside the mall, with ramps of all sizes for BMX bikes, skateboards and scooters. Equipment is available to rent if you don’t have your own. 

Barnes and Noble is stocked with books and magazines. If your teen is looking for the latest romantasy bestseller, then they’re in luck. The store also has a surprising amount of LEGO kits, or pick up a game to play together. 

Horrocks Farm Market is a special place for anyone with a sweet tooth. They have hundreds of different kinds of candy, from chocolate Buenos to marshmallow pops to gummy snakes to pickle-flavored taffy. 

Pick out movie candy and head down to the other end of the mall to the Lakeview Square Cinema. They play the latest movies, as well as some of the films that are harder to find, such as the latest Studio Ghibli movie. 

For dinner, there’s Buffalo Wild Wings, which specializes in chicken wings and other fried foods. Perfect for teenagers. 

TikTok approved 

Umami Ramen is delicious and customizable. It’s a mix of Thai, Japanese, Korean and Filipino flavors. Choose your broth (or no broth), noodles or rice and the kind of protein you prefer. Garnishes run the gamut from bean sprouts to kimchi.  

Skip Starbucks and go to Cafe Rica for a latte (tea or coffee, depending on what your teen can drink). The Pom Bomb is also a good option, with its bubbly red color. The centerpiece of Cafe Rica is a giant flamingo mural. 

And speaking of murals, walk around downtown Battle Creek to see a variety of wall paintings. Some, like the Love Mural, make a good backdrop for photos and videos. See the mural tour brochure for where to find them, or start at 44 W. Michigan Ave., where the building has six murals.
Fantasy Forest at Leila Arboretum is another art experience that’s a little different from the ordinary. Tree trunks that were victims of the emerald ash borer have been rejuvenated as a field of carved statues. Theme: the fantastic. 

The G.O.A.T. 

Plan an overnight trip to Albion. Book a night at the Courtyard by Marriott and everything is within walking distance. Across the Courtyard is Albion Mercantile, which has a plethora of Michigan-based snacks. Teens might be too big for the Kids ‘N’ Stuff Hands-on Museum, but they can appreciate a movie at the Bohm Theatre. The theater plays blockbusters on the weekend and hosts events during the week. 

Don’t miss out on the best burger in Michigan at Albion Malleable Brewing Co., which has a set of family-friendly tabletop games to keep you busy while you wait. 
Albion College is a 10-minute walk or a 2-minute drive away. It’s never too early to see what college life looks like, and Albion is a pretty campus with its red-brick buildings. 

On day two, head to Esham Family Farm for baby goat yoga. A yoga instructor leads the class in easy movements designed to release stress. The goats think humans are fun to climb onto or want cuddles.  

Let’s go to the zoo 

Binder Park Zoo, open May through October, is fun for all ages. Get up close and personal with the giraffe herd, who are always looking for delicious lettuce leaves. There is one teen giraffe, however, who is still in his angst years and prefers to hang out by himself under a tree. 

Not far from the zoo is Torti Taco on Beckley Road. See if your teen is up for the hot sauce challenge. The tacos are good, too, whether you’re crying from hot peppers or not.