Plan your teen’s birthday party, using a theme based on his interests, hobbies and personality. The type of party you are planning, where you are throwing it, your budget and the amount of guests you plan to invite can all impact the theme of the party as well. For example, a coed party or an all-night girls’ only sleepover would likely have different themes.
Choose a theme based on your teen’s favorite reality show. For example, a talent show-based reality show could include a stage and sparkly decorations, decorated Styrofoam microphones and a dance area. Activities could include singing, dancing or acting skits where the teens can judge each other. Spa themed-birthday parties can take place at home or a posh hotel and make the teens feel more grown-up with facials, makeovers, manicures and pedicures. If video games seem to take up most of your teen’s time, consider a video game marathon-style sleepover. Set up a different video game system in different rooms and let the teens have a tournament with sports, music or racing games.
Mystery dinner parties are appropriate for coed themes and can take the pressure off of the first coed party your teen has, particularly if each guest is given a character to play. Make up your own mystery or purchase a package that comes with characters and a plot. Host a nightclub-themed party for your teen with black lights, glow-in-the-dark necklaces as party favors, a disco ball and a live DJ or your teen’s favorite music list from her iPod. Serve “mocktails” (nonalcoholic fruity drinks), even with a made-to-order bar setup, and hors d’oeuvres to make the teens feel more grown-up. Invitations could look like VIP tickets, a red carpet and the “paparazzi” can greet your guests, along with a bouncer who checks their names off the list.
Outdoor parties can include special themes, such as a poolside luau or carnival theme. A poolside luau can include tiki torches, grass skirts, exotic fruits and music. Invitations can be written on inexpensive flip flops, which can also serve as party favors. Rent real carnival games, such as a dunk tank, for a carnival-themed party. Serve nachos, popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones and other food you’d typically eat at a carnival.
Plan a pirate-themed party with a teen-style treasure or scavenger hunt if your teen and his friends enjoy being a bit childish at times. A sports-themed party could include invitations that look like stadium tickets, an interactive game between the guests, favors could be balls and food could include typical game-time food, such as nachos, hot dogs, chips and dip and popcorn. Bowling and skating parties, particularly late-night, can be fun and relatively inexpensive. If your teen wants to do something incredibly special with just a few close friends, consider a limo ride to a fancy restaurant, concert or other major event.
Tailor the party theme and details to your child. For example, if he’s always got a skateboard with him and most of his friends skate, have a skater-themed party. Check into skate parks or hire a professional skater to give the group lessons. Consider the ages of your guests and how their parents might react to the party. For example, if you plan to drop your teen and her friends off at the mall for a movie, dinner and some shopping, make sure the other parents are OK with it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- teen skateboarder dropping in image by Rose Hayes from Fotolia.com