Jun 20, 2023 - Things to Do

Twin Cities businesses add curfews, age restrictions for teens

Valleyfair has implemented a curfew for teens. Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

More Twin Cities businesses are instituting age restrictions and chaperone policies as teens look to fill their summers.

Driving the news: Valleyfair in Shakopee is the latest to implement a policy, requiring teens 15 and under to be accompanied by someone over the age of 21 after 4pm.

  • Some movie theaters, including AMC Rosedale, require those under 18 to have adult supervision after 7pm, while teens under 16 need to be with someone at least 21 years old to be in Mall of America after 3pm.

Why it matters: Malls, movie theaters, and amusement parks have historically been safe and "cool" spots for teens looking to spend a parent-free, summer day with friends, but those places are slowly becoming harder to access.

Plus: Gathering spaces are important to adolescent development, as they allow teenagers to establish and practice their independence, said Dr. Sylia Wilson, a professor of child development at the University of Minnesota.

  • "If we're minimizing these family-friendly spots, they're still going to explore. But the locations might not be as safe and secure," she added.

The other side: Mall of America's policy has helped combat problems before they arise, vice president of security Will Bernhjelm told Axios.

  • Mall officers stationed at entrances stop anyone who looks under 21, Bernhjelm said. There is also a regular patrol.
  • "We know not all the teens we escort out are bad, but it gives us a proactive measure to address unsupervised kids before they can cause trouble," he said. "We want kids there, just with their parents."

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