Teenage birthday party ideas are tough because princess and pirate themes are no longer an option and you’re limited to what’s “cool,” which is an ever-changing and somewhat risky thing for parents to shoot for. That being said, I went hunting and found 16 birthday party ideas for teenagers that I think (hey, I’m just shooting to be cool too) could win you the title of “Cool Parent” (at least until you have to take away their cell phone again) and make your teenager’s next birthday party the best yet! And, when you’re done checking out these fun ideas, at the end of this post, I’ll direct you to some awesome gifts that teens will love.
It’s important to know that you don’t have to spend lots of money or rent out a location to give teen a great time. There are so many fun teenage birthday party ideas that are affordable and can be hosted in your own home. As long as there are food and friends, everything else you offer is just a bonus. Teenagers have fun built into their bones!
16 Teenage Birthday Party Ideas
Candy Themed Teen Party ~ Elisa Hubbard Studios
Not only is candy super tasty, but it actually makes for great decorations too! You could stick to a color theme, style of candy theme (vintage?), etc. The kids could play candy related games, win candy prizes. You could give out a candy party favor… or, you could just use candy as a backdrop for the party and let the kids mingle, eat their sweets, watch an outdoor movie, or anything that teenagers love to do. Mostly, they just love to hang out!
Minute to Win It Party ~ Let’s Get Together
Sometimes teens have a short attention span, and these minute-to-win-it games make for a perfect teen party! They’re simple to put together and quick to play… oh, and always fun. Be sure to keep your camera out to capture some hilarious pictures. I swear, teenagers and toddlers make the best pictures. Well, I think it’s just that my in-between kids won’t let me take their pictures. But, once they get to teen age, they’re all about striking a pose!
Some Favorite Products for This Party: These buzzers come in handy for lots of minute-to-win-it games, and how cool is being a winner if you don’t get a medal?? These medals are perfect and affordable… and come in bulk!
Instagram Party ~ Kara’s Party Ideas
My teen daughter loves doing photoshoots with her friends. They would get a kick out of having an Instagram or SnapChat party… complete with lots of pictures of themselves! If they want to take the party up a notch, they could even bring some changes of clothes and you (or another photographer) can be available to take a bunch of friend pictures. How cute would it be to frame the best one and give them all a framed ‘friend picture’ later?
Some Favorite Products for This Party: Fujifilm has so much more than just plain photo paper… we love these fun photo paper designs that would make a great party favor for guests! Also, it’s always fun to have silly pictures with the friends, if you would rather go the ‘silly’ route, so supply some costumes and accessories. We love this bulk pack of sunglasses!
Night Games Party ~ The Crafting Chicks
No post on teenage birthday party ideas would be complete without mentioning night games! There are so many fun games to play and there’s something about doing them in the dark that makes them extra fun. If you have chill neighbors and a good speaker, let them play one of their favorite playlists for all to hear outdoors during the games. Be sure to keep a cooler of drinks and some snacks (preferably ones without wrappers so you aren’t cleaning up the yard) out on a table!
Emoji Themed Party ~ Wants and Wishes
How would we ever know how our teens feel in their texts without emojis?! Just teasing… kind of. Did you see how cute those po0p emoji cupcakes are? It sounds a little off to say that, but seriously. Cute. The easy thing about an emoji party is there is literally a huge variety of emoji trinkets and decorations available to use.
Some Favorite Products for This Party: These emoji keychains are such a great party favor… I know my kids would hook them on their backpacks and love it even more that their friends had one too!
Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt ~ Or so she says…
This is one of those activity ideas that’s fun for little kids, all the way to teens, and adults! Simply send them outside (or to the mall?) with a camera (most teens seem to have a phone these days that will work) and a time limit. There are so many fun places to go for a teenage birthday party!) See who can get a picture for every letter of the alphabet. Have some fun prizes available and even have their pictures turned into a photo collage! Read more about it on the blog post linked above.
Some Favorite Products for This Party: Keep the kids’ filled with energy while they’re out and about with these delicious, organic lollipops that I’m obsessed with! If the kids are out in the dark, maybe some little flashlights would come in handy.
Outdoor Movie Party ~ Kara’s Party Ideas
My teens love getting together to watch movies. With a table filled with food, an outdoor movie would be a total hit. Be sure to remind everyone to bring their own blankets, beanbags, lawn chairs, or anything they find comfy to sit on!
Pink and Gold Glitter Party ~ Hostess with the Mostess
This is for the fancy teen who loves a little sparkle… or a lot of sparkle! This is such a pretty party and there are so many glitter products that could be used for this. I think this would be most fun as a girl party… maybe have some spa-type fun, painting nails, doing face masks, drinking sparkling cider, eating frozen grapes. I’ve even heard of people hiring a stylist or a massage therapist to come to the party for an hour to educate and/or do some spa treatments. I want to be invited to that party!
Some Favorite Products for This Party: These glitter water bottles will make a great gift or party favor! We also love this super cool glitter nail polish… fun for the teens to do at the party or take home as a favor!
Giant Slip n’ Slide Party ~ Watt Pad
Have you ever done a giant slip n’ slide?? This is the kind of party I want to be invited to! … are parents welcome? We’ve had so many fun times on these things! It’s simple to set up and way, way, way better than the cheap Slip n’ Slides you buy at the store. Plus, you can save the roll of plastic for your next party to use again.
Teen Beach Party ~ Catch My Party
Living in Utah, the beach isn’t really an option. But, we can pretend.. we may have to use longboards, instead of surf boards! While looking for fun teenage birthday party ideas, this one definitely caught my eye! The kids could make their own seashell bracelets (that’s all the rage with my current teenagers), drink Pina coladas, play in the pool (can you get access to a pool!), decorate flip flops, or make moon sand.
Photo Booth Teen Party ~ All Things Beautiful
Back to the ‘teens like to take pictures of themselves’ thing… a photo booth party! Hello. There are so many cute photo booth props that the kids can have a blast with! This is similar to the Instagram party, but make this one super silly.
Some Favorite Products for This Party: These backdrop curtains are a great deal and come in lots of colors! Set out a basket of photo props, like these funny face ones, and the kids will have a blast!
Rad Color Fight Party ~ Hollyhocks & Honeybees
We’ve all seen the pictures of color fights… they look SO fun! I’m not sure how this couldn’t be a memorable teen party. Be super to keep the camera out and… maybe do it when it’s warm outside and power wash the kids after. Ha! Have a bunch of colorful treats available too.
S’mores Party ~ Tidy Mom
If you don’t have a bonfire, maybe you have a patio fire pit that can be used… or if not, I don’t think teens would complain about using the microwave. S’mores are welcome however they come! The kids can tell ghost stories, chat around the fire, and gather around for a movie at the end of the night.
Cake Boss Party ~ Club Chica Circle
I realize it shows younger kids at this party, but teens like to cook too and how fun would it be to let everyone decorate their own cake? There are so many fun cake making products available and lots of delicious recipes out there. Have prizes for the best decorated, best tasting, best fail…
Pizza Themed Party ~ Buzz Feed
Say ‘pizza’ and my teens are there. That’s all. Okay, well the teens could always decorate their own pizzas, make dessert pizzas, watch a movie with pizza in it!
Some Favorite Products for This Party: Because all guests need to be invited in, while you’re dressed in this. And, since you’re hosting the party, you might as well get yourself an awesome pizza cutter… you know, to tell yourself ‘thank you.’
Paintball Party ~ Hostess with the Mostess
To be honest, my girls are afraid of paintballing, but I’m sure if there were some fun guy friends involved, they would pile on the thick clothes and have a blast. 🙂 For the after party, a display of colored gumballs and other ball shaped treats would be fun!
A birthday party for teenagers isn’t complete without some great gifts… see a whole list of gift ideas below our newsletter offer!
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Want even more suggestions? Find more teen party ideas here!
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