Being a teenager can be a tough period. My sister will turn 17 in a few days and I still can’t believe that. You’re at the age where you’ve stopped playing with toys and stuffed animals, but you’re probably not quite ready to be an adult yet. You’re dealing with high school, hormones, your parents, your annoying (overprotective) older sister and lots of other things. You start dating, and start making friends and building your social circle.
If you’re the parent of a teenager, you know how unpredictable life can be. Before they grow up and move out of the house, you want to celebrate their special moments with them. With that in mind, this article will provide some great teenage party ideas that are easy and affordable.
Here are just a few theme ideas for your teenager’s party:
- Sports Parties
If you can’t take your teen to see their favorite sports team in action, the next best thing is to have a sports-themed party for them! You can decorate your house with decoration in the team’s colors, make appetizers and desserts shaped like baseballs, footballs, hockey pucks, etc., and wear your favorite team jerseys while watching the big game on TV as they snack on stadium fare like hamburgers, hotdogs and ice cream. You can even take the action outdoors and host a basketball tournament in the driveway or a flag football or dodgeball game in the backyard. If they’re a hockey fan, you can turn your backyard into its own ice rink in the winter.
- Manicure/pedicure parties
You can take your teenage girls and their friends to have a manicure and/or pedicure, or you can have your own manicure/pedicure party at home. There are lots of easy instructions online for homemade manicures, pedicures and facial treatments. You can even create gift bags for your guests full of skin care products that they can take home after the party.
- Movie night
If taking your teenagers to see the latest movies is too expensive, you can have a movie night party at home. Ideal if your home already has a home theater system. You might want to rent a projector and screen if you don’t have one, or pick up a few of the latest blockbusters to watch on DVD or Blu-Ray. Add some popcorn, soda, candy and a few fun decorations, and you’re ready to roll out the red carpet for a Hollywood extravaganza at a fraction of the price!
- Pool day
If your teenager has a summer birthday, it might be a good idea to take them and a few of their friends to a local community park, hotel or water park. Do some research for pricing and availability of pools and waterparks in your area. A pool party is also ideal if you have a backyard pool at home. Add some outdoor games (or indoor activities in case of rain), decorations and food and you’re all set!
- Sweet 16 party
Some families have special celebrations when their teenage daughter turns 15 or 16. It’s an important time in their child’s life, but it doesn’t have to break your bank. You can rent out a banquet or meeting hall room for guests and relatives, or you can have the occasion at home. Rent a few tables and chairs if you need to, and have the decorations and food that your child enjoys the most. Send invites out early, and you can even have a theme like the ones above or many more if you want to.
- Karaoke/music party
If your child is a budding musician, having a music-themed party is a great idea! If they’re in a band, they can be the evening’s entertainment for company. Add a few fun decorations to make your garage look like a sold-out concert venue! Another idea is to have a karaoke night, where your teens and their friends can compete to be the best singer in your house. Yet another option is to have a dance-off between your teen and their friends. There are lots of creative ideas online to decorate your house to look like your own music studio for a night.
- Video game night
If your teenager loves video games, why not host a video game party for them? Invite a few of their best friends over for a tournament! You can have video game-themed snacks, food and decor. You can even find trinkets and prizes to give out to winners in different categories.
- A day at the lake
If you live on a lake, you have a perfect spot to host a celebration for your teen and their friends. They can go swimming, take a ride on a boat or pontoon, go fishing, tubing, water skiing or jet skiing. You can host a barbecue or fish fry at your house. If you don’t live on a body of water, you can still take a boat out on the water and make it a fun day for everyone.
You can hire a professional photographer or take your own digital photographs of your teen and their friends and family. It’s a great way of creating lasting memories, especially before they go back to school in the fall. When the photos are finished, you can put them in decorative frames or create an online slideshow for them to enjoy.
- Social-media themed party
If your teen loves social media, you can take that interest and turn it into a unique festivity! Send invites on social media, add social-media themed party favors and desserts, and you can even create your own social media or emoji-themed games.
- Bonfire bash
A bonfire party is perfect for a nice fall day. You can take your teen and their friends to the beach for a bonfire, or you can host a bonfire party at your home if you have a fire pit. Roast some marshmallows, bring their favorite food and a few lawn chairs and their favorite music. It’s a great way for your teen to bond with their classmates and friends.
- Backyard olympics
You can turn your backyard into your own Olympic stadium or obstacle course. You can use ideas online or make up your own games. You can buy trophies or make your own unique trophies, ribbons and prizes. You can even make up games and the rules to them as you go.
- Scavenger hunt
A classic party idea that goes back for generations. You can create your own list of items for the teens to search for, and be creative on where the items can be found. You can host this party at home, at the mall, at a restaurant, or anywhere else you decide. Have food and party gifts for your guests, and see how many items each person can find.
- 70’s/disco night
Dig out your old clothes or search garage sales and rummage sales to find some funky fashions for your teens to wear at this groovy party! Add a disco ball, a few wigs, sunglasses and lava lamps to turn your home into a blast from the past! You can also host the party at a roller rink, bowling alley or meeting room. Add some vintage music, decor and food and watch your teen and their friends take a time trip back to the past!
- Runway model party
If your teen girl is obsessed with the latest fashions and makeup, you can host a fashion/runway model party for them and their friends. You can make a temporary runway, and let them parade up and down sporting their favorite clothes. You can also add makeup and nail painting as easy, fun activities. Your teens get to be the most attractive fashion models on the block!
- Holiday themed parties
Your teen and their friends can have a great time at holiday parties. Some ideas are:
– Having a Valentine’s Day dance
– A 4th of July barbecue cookout with sparklers, firecrackers and holiday-themed food and decor
– A Halloween costume contest and games, ghost stories and more
– A Christmas gift exchange, with food, music, movies and entertainment.
- Glow party
Glow parties are becoming more and more popular with teens. Some bowling alleys already host glow in the dark bowling nights, which can be a fun way for them to be active while having fun. Add a few glow sticks and put them all over the party room for a festive and illuminating party!
- Cooking party
If your teen likes to cook, come up with a few simple recipes for them and their friends. They can bake a cake, make and decorate cookies, or even make a tasty meal for the entire group. Add some games and activities for them to do while they’re waiting for their meals in the oven, and you’re sure to have an enjoyable time for everyone.
- A night at the roller rink
You can take your teen and their friends back to the ’80s with a party at the local roller skating arena. Rent skates for them, provide them with pizza, soda and enough quarters for the video games and watch them have fun skating the night away while you relive your roller rink memories from the ’80s.
- Hawaiian luau
Perfect for a mid-summer party or summer birthday, you can create your own tropical island party right in your own backyard. Add some Hawaiian shirts, party favors, games, snacks and food and you can have your own island cookout. Have a limbo contest or your own island dance party on your patio.
- Television show or movie themed party
If your teen has a favorite television show or movie franchise, you can turn that into its own customizable themed holiday party. Guests can dress up as their favorite characters and party favors and snacks can be bought or made to fit in with the theme. You can come up with games based on the show or movie, or even have a binge marathon of their beloved movies and shows.
- Carnival party
Clowns, stuffed animals, festive food and games can turn your home into a carnival adventure for your teen and their friends. You can dress up as the ringmaster as you lead them into a fun day of adventures and activities. You can transform your backyard into a miniature three-ring circus! Add a few carnival games and festival foods, and have a ton of fun!
These are just a few teenage party ideas to choose from. Whatever party you decide, you need to consider a few things before hosting:
Send your invites in advance. You can do this on social media, or go the old-fashioned route and send them in the mail. Add an RSVP card and create or send a reminder or two in advance. You can even have your teen help in creating and sending out the party invitations.
Parties don’t have to be expensive. You can find a lot of great party decorating items, balloons, prizes and snacks at your local dollar store or party planning store. Most items are relatively inexpensive, so you can provide your teenager with a fun party that’s relatively inexpensive. You can even make a lot of the decorations and party supplies yourself with a few items and enough creativity. If you’re stumped for ideas, there are sites like Pinterest, Etsy and many others that can help make your teen’s party a rousing success.
Plan for the weather. If your plans for an outdoor party are cancelled or postponed due to weather, have a backup plan ready! Bring out a few board games, video games, or fun and creative activities to keep the teens occupied. Sometimes the plan “B” party ends up being even better than what you originally planned.
Get your teen’s input. The party is for your teenager, so don’t plan their party without asking what they’d like to do. Getting them involved in their own party planning is a great way to ensure the event will run smoothly, because they are doing what they want to do with the people that they want to spend time with. It’s also a great way for you to bond with your teen.
Whatever you decide, plan your event accordingly, have enough adult supervision and have fun!