How to keep an American teenager entertained during a visit to London?
You ask, we respond.
Much of the hip teenage socializing in London is nocturnal. The Under-18 website posts a calendar of events and addresses for venues throughout the U.K. that cater to teens.
I'd recommend taking in one of the comedy shows at London's Leicester Square Theatre, which plays host to up-and-coming comedians like Laura Solon and Jerry Sadowitz. Also recommended: The Comedy Store, which has been one of the best establishments since Rowan Atikinson (Mr. Bean) and Ben Elton made their names here in the 1980s. If these strike you as too adult, the Soho Theater has a Comedy Club for Kids, with top flight comedians performing routines without the rude bits. The theater also offers comedy stand-up classes and workshops for aspiring young comics.
Almost all London's clubs are not open to under-18 year olds, but Rhythm hosts party nights in Central London for 13–17-year-olds. Check out their website for the latest dates that correspond to U.K. children's holidays (dates for the summer semester are around the first week of June). Smarter Grooves offer a similar program.
Whirly Gig is a dance party for people of all ages—from toddlers and teenagers to pensioners. The vibe here is "electro-hippy" with rainbow colored lights, tie-dye, and trancey electronic music from DJ Monkey Pilot.
The city's teen sport of the moment—popular in school yards and university campuses the city over is free-running, or parkour—a combination of acrobatics and sprinting. There are parkour classes all over the capital. Your son could even pay and play soccer, the quintessentially English sport, known to locals as football. If he prefers to skateboard or BMX, there are some excellent venues that either charge an admission fee, like BaySixty6, or free skate parks, like Cantelowes.
Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.