Best Birthday Party Ideas for Teenagers by Teens!

Nov 18, 2010Updated 8 months ago

Need birthday party ideas for teenagers? Who better to give advice on planning an epic party than teenagers themselves? Here are lots of birthday ideas for teens by teens.

The party planning, theme, and activity ideas here are adapted and paraphrased from posted comments by teen readers of my party articles.

Of course, in the end, the real expert on party ideas is the teen having a birthday! If you are party planning for someone, get that teen involved (unless it is a surprise party, of course). If you are the birthday person, have fun looking over these suggestions and then plan your birthday your way!

Backyard Music and Dance Party Ideas

One teen wanted a "party in the backyard with music and dancing." Theme suggestions: Tiki party, BBQ party, or any outdoors theme, or no theme at all. Invites say, "Hey - Come Hang Out in My Backyard and Dance!" Provide great music.

A Kidnap Party Theme

One reader told us about how to have a surprise kidnap party. "The parents are in on it, but you go with your child at say 3 or 4 o'clock and knock on the door to grab your birthday guest out of bed just the way they are." (Yep - in their pajamas!)

Once everyone has been kidnapped, everyone goes out to breakfast to eat and open gifts. Parents of the guests should know about the kidnapping and party far in advance, so they could be asked to give any gifts to the birthday teen when their child is being kidnapped. This party idea sounds fun, especially for the teen years.

A 13th Birthday Sleepover

One teen turning 13 decided to have a sleepover party in a tent outside. Before that, she planned to turn her garage into a party place with balloons, streamers and music. In her own words, "We will do makeovers, and then I am hiring a professional photographer to take photos for us!" She also planned on watching scary movies and eating loads of chocolate. Sounds fun!

A Tween Slumber Party

A tween turning 12 wanted to throw a slumber party, but do something else before that, too. Cost was an issue for one idea: "I wanted to see a movie, but I have a lot of friends that I want to invite." Budget is sometimes quite a barrier. Perhaps guests could be asked to pay their own way instead of bringing a gift? Many people have pretty amazing home theaters today. Asking around might be an option.

More Teen Party Activities

One reader thought that tie-dying shirts could be fun. Great idea! This could be part of a '60s party theme, a rainbow theme, or a crafty theme.

Other activity ideas suggested by readers:

  • Have a karaoke competition
  • Have a Super Mario video game marathon!
  • Lip sync to music with close friends
  • Make a group music video and post it on YouTube
  • Throw mud at each other (I don't suggest this one!) and then take funny photos (Author's note - maybe a whipped cream fight?). File this one under 'outdoor activities.'
  • Have a Silly String fight. Silly String comes in spray canisters. Look at a toy store or party shop.
  • Hire a DJ, rent a party tent or a hall for dancing. Add mylar balloons or balloon bouquets.
  • For a laugh, rent a bounce house or bouncy castle (Try an online search for Party Rentals)
  • Set up a back yard carnival with homemade games and party favor prizes
  • In warmer weather, go camping, have a BBQ and a water balloon fight!
  • Small budget? Rent a good movie, bake and eat what you make!
  • Supply disposable cameras! "When you develop the pictures after the party, you are sure to get a good laugh," says one teen. As an alternative, guests could bring their digital cameras.
  • Spray each others hair with colored hair sprays. Make crazy hairstyles with colored hair gel.
  • Try some face painting, then go shopping as a group
  • Have something for guests to sign or decorate as a gift for the birthday teen. A big party banner, a party tablecloth or a poster board sign could all work. One teen said, "I got a pair of white Converse [shoes] and had my guests all sign my shoes for my Sweet 16. They look stellar and i always get compliments."

For more party activities see the pages Birthday Party Themes and Ideas and Teen Birthday Party Ideas and Themes.

Sometimes Teens Want to Go Crazy!!!

I love many of the suggestions that teens just want to be wild and have fun.

One 14 year-old, frustrated with 'boring' party ideas, commented that teens today are "outgoing and looking for excitement...we like truth or dare, gossiping, doing crazy things and being with boys!!" Someone else suggested that "dancing like idiots always works and gets everyone laughing." Another said "Just getting a laugh is the best. You don't have to spend any money. Go Bonkers!" One girl said "Do your hair, makeup, and go really crazy!!!!!!"

I am beginning to think that the way to make teen birthday parties really exciting is to use a lot of exclamation points!!!!!

Of course, I'm just kidding around; but just in case I am right, how about adding some to the party invitations!!!!!

Thank You Notes

My thanks to all my readers, with special appreciation to those who leave positive and helpful party ideas and comments.

And Happy Birthday!!!