Birthday parties can be a lot of fun, but they can also be stressful – for the parents and for the teens involved. While children’s parties can be pretty simple to throw, teen birthday parties can require a little more thought and finesse.
Your teenager is growing up and it can seem like their interests change daily. This can make planning a great birthday party a real challenge. The last thing you want to do is put together something super lame party theme that has all the teens cringing and you child sulking for a week.
So, to help, we’ve put together a list of 10 great teen birthday party ideas that will appeal to pre-teens, tweens and teens alike. And the best thing is they’re easy to customise so you can them to your child’s preferences, tastes and funky style.
1. Sleepover party
So, this one’s a classic for a reason. Invite your teen’s closest friends and get ready to roll out the sleeping bags, order some pizza and have plenty of activities to keep them busy all night. Make sure you’re stocked with plenty of food, drinks, movies, music and let the kids make their own fun. But make sure to give them some space. Nothing kills the vibe more than mum or dad hovering over the party.
2. Karaoke party
This one’s a great option if you’ve got a little performer on your hands. You’ll need to hire a karaoke machine for this kind of party. Make sure it has the kind of music the kids are into, and you should think about multiple microphones for duets and those group songs. But to really kick the vibe up a notch, you can even look at hiring a lighting set up and smoke machine.
Next, you’ll need to set the scene. Create a makeshift stage, add some curtains and set up your lighting rig and smoke machine. You can even go through wardrobes and op shops for a range of performance costumes. Look for items that are easy to put on and take off, like wigs, sunglasses, costume jewellery and jackets. Now it’s time for the kinds to belt out their favourite songs to an adoring audience.
3. Pool party
Pool parties are another classic and great for summer birthdays. There are plenty of fun games to play in the pool and many that require nothing more than a group of people.When everyone’s finished splashing, a barbeque and refreshing fruit salad is sure to satisfy. If you don’t have a pool in your backyard, don’t worry, you can still get in on the fun; many swimming clubs have space to rent.
When it comes to younger kids, pool parties require a high level of supervision and safety awareness. It’s also worth bearing in mind that pool parties can make some teens uncomfortable, so it’s worth bearing this in mind when planning.
4. Bonfire party
A bonfire can be the perfect option for teens who want to talk and spend time with close friends in the outdoors. Before announcing a bonfire party in your backyard though, check what your local fire regulations are. There may even be some local parks where bonfires can be held easily and safely.
While the bonfire will clearly be the centre of attention, don’t forget the minor details. Have some wireless speakers to hand so the crackle of wood can be complemented by your teen’s favourite music. Grab some comfortable chairs and picnic rugs and set them up a safe distance from the fire. And, most importantly, don’t forget the marshmallows.
Like pool parties, bonfires also require a great deal of supervision and fire safety. Since it’s outside at night, you also need to make sure you keep the group together and that people don’t wander off.
5. LAN party
If your kid is a gamer, a LAN party can be the perfect party option. Have a range of games to play so everyone can get involved and make sure you have everything required to play the games, like enough computers or controllers. Make sure the games are all age appropriate as well. You could even set up a high score board or run your own tournament to ramp up the competition and excitement.
6. Mini carnival party
While a carnival party can take a bit of set-up, it can be a great way to make some truly magical memories. You don’t have to rent a lot of equipment if budget is a concern but it can be good to have a central fairground ride to tie the whole party together; jumping castles and carousels are classic favourites. Fairground games can be easy to set up with a little ingenuity and fairground food like popcorn, hot dogs and fairy floss are cheap.
This one can be a risky choice for older teens, but it’ll be a winner for the younger kids. But, remember: despite what anyone says, clowns are scary.
7. Spa party
For a more laid-back party, consider a day spa theme. It’s easy to turn your home into a spa, simply light some candles and incense, play some soft soothing music and lay out some soft towels and it’s time for pampering. Simple spa beauty products can be bought cheaply or there are plenty of home methods your teen and their friends can have fun trying out. Have a selection of nail polish ready for manicures and pedicures.
8. Adventure party
If you want to encourage your teenager and their friends to get out of the house, an adventure party is the perfect way. Organise a trip to a beach or a local hiking spot and have some games ready to play. A little set-up beforehand means you can have a scavenger or treasure hunt to keep them busy for hours. For younger kids, make sure you can keep an eye on them at all times, and older teenagers should always be, at least, in pairs for safety.
9. Board game party
With so many fantastic board games out there, you’re bound to find plenty to suit your teen and their friends. Choose a range of games, from table top to cards, that suits everyone’s ages. Pick ones that require different skills, like bluffing, creativity, communication and logic. If you want to get really adventurous, you can design your own board game or put a fun twist on a classic. What about Monopoly but all the spaces are important places in your child’s life? Could you turn your house into a real-life Cluedo?
10. Fashion party
Dressing up is a favourite for many kids and teens can have a lot of fun experimenting with different styles. Search your wardrobe for fun pieces or even organise a trip to local op shops to purchase some clothes on a budget. For a catwalk, roll out a carpet and set up some lights and curtains. Play some dramatic music and tell everyone it’s time to strut their stuff. Set up a make-up station for some added fun.
Which party do you think your teen will love? You can even try a combination of party ideas to create the ultimate teen birthday party!