Planning a birthday party for your teen means balancing familiar childish delights with more grown-up desires. Most teen boys look forward to their birthdays and want to celebrate in a fun way, without compromising their reputation or opening themselves up to embarrassment. Find a happy medium by putting together a birthday party centered around one of your teen’s favorite activities or interests.
Host the party at home to cut down on costs or to provide a comfortable atmosphere with no time restrictions. Backyard barbecues or pool parties are great for warmer weather, as teen boys tend to enjoy physical activities. Take your teen and a small group of his friends to an amusement park, bowling alley, arcade, batting cages, sporting event, concert, the movies or anywhere else your teen would enjoy going. His birthday party can double as a gift if it’s something uncommon, such as seeing his favorite team play or if he’s never been to a professional sporting event.
Keep the teens occupied with various activities that don’t resemble a child’s party. Ask your teen or a few of his friends what they would enjoy doing, rather than planning activities that you might think are cool. Remember that teens are typically self-conscious and embarrass easily. Organize a game if your son and his friends enjoy the same sport, such as football, street hockey or basketball. Have an instructor accompany your teen and his friends with rock climbing, a round of golf or rafting. Host a skating or BMX competition. Water balloon fights, laser tag or paintball are other activities most teen boys enjoy. If your son is more into video games than the outdoors, consider a gamer tournament between the teens with a racing, sports or musical game.
Teen boys are notorious for eating anything and everything. Keep the menu simple, but include some of your son’s favorites. Finger foods might be easiest as the boys can come, grab a plate or handful of snacks and keep on going. Small sandwiches, sliders, hot dogs, corn dogs, chicken fingers, french fries and pizza can make up the main course. Keep chips, cookies, candy, vegetables and fresh fruit on hand to fuel the boys’ energy. Drinks can consist of juice, soda, water or even “mocktails” (non-alcoholic cocktail imitations) for a dance-themed coed party.
Consult with your teen before planning the party to find out if he wants it to be just the guys or a grown-up coed party. Include appropriate activities, foods and favors if girls will be included. Some coed ideas include outings, scavenger hunts, amusement parks, costume parties, a carnival-themed party or themed dances. For example, a 1970s disco, Hollywood red carpet party or a teen nightclub will all be popular options.
Favors are a small token of appreciation for your guests’ attendance. Gather small gifts for your guests that reflect the theme and tone of the party, but don’t make it seem like a toddler’s party. For example, coupons or gift certificates to a video game store or arcade would be fitting for a gamer party. A CD or iTunes gift certificate would work for dance-related parties or concerts. Include gender-neutral favors, or male and female favors for a coed party. You can almost never go wrong with candy favors. Create a large display of candy in multiple jars and give each teen a bag to fill.
- teen on the party with noise-maker image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com