Throwing a successful birthday party for a teenager can be a daunting task. While some teens are perfectly reasonable when it comes to the types of parties that they enjoy having and attending, there are plenty of other stubborn teens who have a very specific idea for what they do or do not want in a birthday party. The challenge with these headstrong teens is finding the balance between the birthday party that they just have to have and the birthday party that you are able to afford. Here are some ideas for some teen-friendly party ideas that are very doable for even the least creatively inclined and that do not cost an arm and a leg to pull-off.
A Hawaiian luau is a party theme that teens generally can get excited about and whose creation can be very affordable. To set the mood, borrow CDs of old-fashioned Hawaiian music from your local library. Decorate your luau space with streamers and fresh flowers. Serve fruits that have a tropical flare to them like pineapple and other citrus fruits. If you can get coconuts, they definitely add to the luau theme. Give each teenager a lei as they arrive at the party. Luau games and activities could include a limbo contests and ring toss. You could also hire someone to come in and perform dances or to teach the party guests how to do a certain dance (p.s. you can save money by hiring student dancers instead of professional dancers).
Slumber Party or Camp Out
Girls love their slumber parties. All that you need to do is provide the food and the ideas for late-night dare type games and you’re set. The girls can paint their nails, do each other’s hair and enjoy being up late without direct parental supervision. Boys can benefit from having some space away from the folks by camping out in the back yard or even at a campsite, provided mom or dad stays close by to ensure their safety. Late night games of football and fire side stories with s’mores make this teen birthday party idea one that your teenage boys could appreciate.
All teenage girls think about what it would be like if they were princesses and their prince charming was coming to rescue them from whatever peril they found themselves in. Throwing a royal ball is a great way to act out these girlish fantasies and would make a perfect quinceanera-style celebration. Ideas for this party include asking guests to wear formal attire and drinking sparkling grape juice from plastic champagne flutes. Serve playful “grown-up” foods like finger sandwiches, éclairs and other hors d’oeuvres. Have the party later in the evening and be sure to have each girl home by midnight or allow for them to spend the night (most teenage girls really enjoy spending the night at friends’ houses).
Just as styles from years back seem to find new popularity with the younger crowds, teens tend to enjoy parties that have a retro theme. This type of a theme is perfect if your son or daughter wants a co-ed party that is not gender specific. If you have the means and a longer guest list, you may want to consider renting out your local high-school’s gym or your apartment’s recreation room for this party. Of course the teens will need to dress to match the era of the party. You can have classic music from your era of choice playing. Serve foods that are reminiscent of that era (i.e. a 50’s party food menu might include diner-style burgers and milk shakes for food). Your party favors could also follow this theme.
Whatever the theme or idea you decide to go with, make sure it is something that pleases your teenager, as it is their birthday and their feelings and ideas are important. Let them know what the budget is, if there is one, how many people they may invite, again, if there is a limit and let them decide on the date, if possible. The most important things to remember are you want everyone to have a good time and a memorable experience and you want it to be as close to hassle-free as possible for you.