They’re past the little games and goodies, and they may be embarrassed to have you around, but teenagers still love their birthday parties!
Whether they are a tween or well into high school, you can still plan fun and “cool” parties for them. The trick is to allow them to plan it with you, and give them space on the big day.
What a Teen Wants
First, organize a party around a theme – this will help keep things organized. Your teen’s tastes and current interests will determine what kind of party they will want. Sit down and talk it over. Does he love pizza? Sleepovers? American Idol? Let them pick the theme, then you set the pace with fun, safe and affordable options.
For instance, have guests cook their own pizza with whatever toppings they choose, then settle down for a night of munching and rented movies. Or host a “murder mystery” party with clues you make up and put on Post-Its around the house.
Slumber parties are also ideal for teens and tweens; have your child choose two or three friends, give them lots of popcorn and a couple movies, and let them stay up as late as they want (as long as they can close the door and you can get your own beauty sleep!) This is ideal for you and your teen – you are secure with the knowledge that they are safe in your house, and your teen will have the social space they need.
If this is a milestone for your child—such as his or her 13th or 16th birthday, or graduation—consider something more “grown up”, such as dinner out with a few friends at a restaurant of the guest of honor’s choice.
The kids can go casual or dress up in their going-out best; their choice and style of restaurant will help determine this. For the truly fancy, a “dinner party at home” can be a wonderful and very adult option. Let them help with preparing the food, if they wish. The idea is to make them feel grown up and in control – after all, it’s only a few short years until they’re an adult!
We’ve provided more ideas below. Choose simple, elaborate or anything in between to make your teen’s birthday special.