Fun Birthday Party Ideas for Teens

Planning a birthday party used to be fun.  In fact, planning parties used to be easy.  You ask what kind of ice cream they like, get a cake with their favorite cartoon character and maybe a pinata. You order a magician, put away any low placed vases and send out a few CVS invites and you were good to go for a great pre-tween birthday party.  Yet, if you have a kid 11 and older.  HA! Magician-no way! Cake-too old school! Paper invites-cheap! Soooo not cool. (required eye roll here)

Now, you have to worry about facebook party invites vs paper, unsupervised or not, co-ed sleepovers or single sex.  Here are some ideas for some fun (and possibly cool) teen birthday party ideas.  Of course the cool factor and interest depends on your kid.  You must ask them! This is just a list to get started because I know, typically the birthday party conversation goes something like this:

“Honey, your birthday is coming up, what do you want to do?”

“I don’t know”

“Bowling maybe like last year?”

“Ahh, nah.”

“What do you feel like.”

“Don’t know yet”

“Ok, are you sure you want to do something?”

“I don’t know, can we talk about it later?”

Really helpful.  Repeat this conversation a week later and a week after that.  Here are some ideas to get the conversation started:

Unique Birthday Party Ideas for Teens and Tweens:

1) LaserTag/RollerSkating/Ice Skating Party

Ok, these are not so unique, but you can make a unique take on these parties.  I know my boyfriend used to buy cheap laser guns and vest and set up a huge obstacle course in their backyard instead of going to a lasertag place and they kept moving around the obstacles to have different courses.  At night they put glow in the dark paint on…very different!

2) Party Boating

Depending on where you are, if your kid wants some space you might want to consider renting a boat for a night and having BBQ or taking them on a minicruise.

3) Theme Park Party

These are great I think.  Especially if you do not want them ripping apart your house or you have a teen who doesn’t want you around. Theme parks you can let them go, but still be around if they need you.  You can also usually get group discounts.

4) All Ages Club with Live Music

Most teens love music.  You can often find clubs who will have nights or days where they have live music that is open to all ages.  I am usually very careful about all ages clubs, but parents can always go to and hang around in the back. Some clubs will even close for private parties.

5) Grown-Up Scavenger Hunt

Have a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood or even in a theme park.  You can make the clues celebrity or pop culture related and split the teens up into teams with great prizes.

6) Murder Mystery Party

Always a classic and usually can be great if you make the plot interesting and assign everyone parts.  You might not be able to get them to dress up, but you can try. This can be fun if your kids take charge of assigning roles.

7) TV Show of Choice Party

If your teen or tween loves a particular TV show make a party out of it.  If they love Survivor, have some quasi-survivor challenges and teams. Are they a fan of Wheel of Fortune or Price is Right make your own at home.

8) Casino Night

I always loved teen parties that allowed teens to do things they usually are not old enough to do.  Casino night is a great example or having a poker night or black jack party and teaching teens how to gamble safely.

9) Game Nights

Game nights can be great where you have 5 or 6 tables or hubs with different games and teens can rotate through each station.  You have different types of foods that correlate to each game.  Battle ship is sub sandwiches, Candyland is duh, candy….

10) Mock Prom Party

This is usually for a girl but it can be single sex or co-ed.  I had one of these when I turned 16 at our house.  Ours happened to be all-girls and everyone wore a prom like dress but didn’t do their make-up or hair and then we had a make-up woman and a hair stylist practice on the girls so we could pretend to have prom. Then we have a family friend take professional looking photographs with the girls (goody bag) to have some friend glamour shots.  Then we played music and danced in our dresses.  Really fun and great ‘practice’ for prom.

Most of all, it is important to talk to your kids about what they want.  If they say they do not want to do something, it usually means they are feeling unsure about something (no friends? embarrassed about you? too much money?) try to think about what their motives are and this can help them have a great party. Check out our icebreakers and party games too!


7 Responses to “Fun Birthday Party Ideas for Teens”

  1. j.davis
    November 13, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    i love music

  2. Paige
    March 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    I think the idea about the scavenger hunt is a great idea. Last year at my friend’s party we had one at the Mall of Georgia and it was us against the parents. It was great. Definitely when the things on the list have to do with getting a stranger in on the hunt (asking for an autograph, making them do the chicken dance with you- yes we had to do that, ect.) It is a really good idea.

  3. Random Person
    October 30, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    No Offense, but these ideas are lame! I’ve been to 8 year olds parties that are better than all of these ideas put together. Now this would be fun(except I can’t do it because it’s VERY costly; but it’s my dream birthday)
    1) Rent a Limo and tell all the people you are inviting to come fancy.
    2) Have the limo drive the teens around and then go a fancy restaurant and eat.
    3) After that, go to a hotel and rent a suite and a couple of rooms with 2 beds and a pull out couch.
    4) There, you can have a scavenger hunt around the hotel and if the hotel has an indoor swimming pool, you can swim usually to midnight.
    5) After you get back to your room, have a movie, dancing or a spa, then cut the cake.
    6) Make sure it’s a cool cake, maybe like a topsy turvy cake(NOT HOMEMADE) with an awesome design matching the theme of the party.
    7) in the morning, have breakfast at the hotel
    8) Have the people’s parents pick them up at the hotel
    whoa whoa
    now that’s a party!!!!

  4. Kate Marie
    November 14, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    Okay, first, great ideas, im a teenager and i was hoping to do a laser tag thing but my mom didnt have the money so the ‘homemade obstacle course’ sounds awesome. and btw “Random Person” some people dont have the money for that, glad you or your friend does but seriously get a reality check.

  5. mrs.right
    March 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    i have some
    sports (any)
    camping sleepover
    game show
    fear factor
    dress backwards

  6. hello
    September 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Great ideas!! just cant pick the best one

  7. Birthday Blueprints
    April 12, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    teens birthday parties is very challenging for parents. Parents become hesitant on what they really want. It’s best to discuss their party that suits their taste.

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