Alternative Leisure Activities for Young People

Offering alternative leisure activities for young adults helps curb a sedentary lifestyle and prevent them from consuming harmful substances, such as alcohol.
Alternative Leisure Activities for Young People
Natalia Cobos Serrano

Written and verified by the social educator Natalia Cobos Serrano.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

One of the social issues that requires attention and that concerns both parents and teachers is how teens and children use and enjoy their free time. It’s important to offer alternative leisure activities for young adults and teens. This way, you can curb sedentary lifestyles and attitudes that are harmful to health, such as substance abuse.

What are alternative leisure activities?

Offering alternative leisure activities to young people means offering a way to spend free time, focused on planning and developing workshops, as well as cultural and socio-educational activities.

There are lots of benefits of teaching children and teenagers alternative leisure activities. While they’re learning new things in their free time, they’ll also learn to spend their time in healthy ways.

For example, the Gijón Open Until Dawn Youth Association developed a leisure program that is based on education in free time through sports and cultural activities. Its goal is to give kids activities to prevent substance use.

Alternative Leisure Activities for Young People

In addition, the YMCA in the United States has various programs for kids of all ages. Some of their objectives are youth development, in addition to teaching social responsibility and healthy living.

How to offer alternative leisure activities

There are lots of different associations dedicated to offering alternative leisure activities for children and adolescents. However, if your city doesn’t have any, we’ll give you a list of different activities that can spark your kids’ interest in healthy pastimes.


Clearly, following a sedentary lifestyle is common in many of our homes. In fact, the American Heart Association warns that lack of exercise is considered one of the major risk factors in the development of heart disease.

Sports are a great way to encourage physical activity. Playing sports also helps people create social bonds and learn important values, etc. Constructive martial arts such as judo, karate or fencing are great options, too.

“Once something is a passion, the motivation is there.”

– Michael Schumacher –

Art and culture

Attending painting or ceramics classes, or starting to play an instrument, means much more than a hobby. In fact, it encourages kids to invest their time in appreciating and enjoying the arts.

Alternative Leisure Activities for Young People

“Without art, life would be a mistake.”

– Friedrich Nietzshe –

Likewise, cultural and artistic activities help develop personality. According to UNESCO, art and culture promote sensitivity, solidarity and even social awareness in children.


Many young people want to be heard and participate actively in their environment. Associationism is a way in which young people can express their interests, opinions and social concerns.

By participating, kids and teens develop skills like responsibility and critical thinking. In addition, this activity fosters commitment and social cohesion.

Youth empowerment

Once we’ve taught children and adolescents how to enjoy their free time in a conscious and healthy way, the most important part comes: making them responsible for their free time. That is, empower them, make them autonomous and independent when it comes to using their free time without the help of adults.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.