Throwing a birthday party for your pre-teen or teenager can be a bit complicated. It is not as easy to get away with a cake and ice cream party with a few games now that they are not young children anymore. Unlike parties held for the 1-9 age group, pre-teens and teenagers enjoy a much more unstructured birthday party. This is not to say you shouldn’t have anything planned, but this party will probably run on auto-pilot most of the time. Definitely involve your teenager in planning their birthday party.
Destination parties are a huge hit with pre-teens and teenagers. Let your teen invite two guests and take them to an amusement park. Take a group of teenage girls to the salon for a manicure. A day at the local miniature golf, go-karts, batting cage, or laser tag center is fun for both teenage girls and boys. Call your local bowling alley and rent a few lanes for a bowling party.
If you would prefer to have a party at home, there are many ideas that will work there too. Here are some of the more popular ideas:
* Have a Luau Party. Send out Tiki Head invitations and ask you guest to wear their best island wear. The louder the Hawaiian shirt, the better. Serve pineapple and mango slices speared on fringed toothpicks. Get little paper umbrellas to decorate drink glasses. Halve some coconuts to decorate the buffet table. Make some shish kebobs on the grill. If you really want the full effect, hire a caterer that can do a pig roast. Pass out leis to every guest as they enter. Play Hawaiian music and have a hula dance competition. Don’t forget to have a limbo pole.
* Have a Spa Party. Create invitations using an individual mud mask envelope and a label with all the party details printed or handwritten on it. Set up several different stations around your home i.e. nails at one table, facials at another. Shop the dollar store of nail polish, cotton puffs, ear swabs, headbands, sea salt, etc. If you want to do pedicures, put on the invitation bring your own dishpan. That way everyone will be able to soak their feet. Serve finger foods and sparkling grape juice to further give your home the feel of a spa. Hire a masseuse to give 15 minute neck and shoulder massages.
* Have a Glow in the Dark Party. This party is better accomplished at night in a darkened home or garage. If you would like to host it during the day and have a basement, you could cover the windows. Have glow necklaces, bracelets and glow sticks. Most of these items do not need black lights, but that will enhance the party of you have access to them. Find glow in the dark nail polish and lipstick. Milky pens will glow under a black light and you could set up a table for drawing with them. Serve drinks in glow cups and straws. If this is a co-ed party, make sure there is plenty of adult supervision.
* Have a Slumber Party. First of all, accept that there will be little sleeping going on and the rest of the house will be kept up with laughter and giggling all night. Make it a bring your own sleeping bag party. Consider putting up a tent in the backyard and having a campout. It would be easy to roast hot dogs and marshmallows on a little charcoal barbecue. Have a TV and VCR/DVD player set up with all of the movie favorites to watch all night. Or have a Playstation, Nintendo, or X-box set up with multiple controllers. Also, have a good assortment of board games.
You will not have to act as Master of Ceremonies, as your birthday teenager and guests will decide what they want to do next and keep the party moving. Don’t feel as if you are entirely unneeded though. You will still want to check up on them from time to time to make sure that they are not up to mischief. And someone has to order and pay for the pizza.
Remember to have fun and to enjoy the fact that your child is now a pre-teen or teenager. This is an exciting time in their lives and in a few short years will be spreading their wings. Hopefully these ideas will let you celebrate their teen birthday in a unique and memorable way.