Teen Birthday Party Ideas

For parents of teens, birthday parties with character cakes and sticker-filled favor bags are a thing of the past. While more sophisticated interests and relationships may have rendered kiddie parties "un-cool", there's no reason that teen birthday parties can't appeal to parents and guests alike.

If you're in the early planning stages, here are a few teen birthday party ideas to ensure that Mom and Dad have as much fun as the guest of honor.

Teen Birthday Party

Teen Birthday Party Ideas Pre-Planning Party Checklist

Before choosing a theme, date, or sending invitations, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

✔ What is the party budget?

✔ How large is the guest list?

✔ Will the party be co-ed?

✔ Will the party be hosted at home, or at an outdoor venue?

✔ Will you need additional chaperones?

Uncommonly Cool Teen Birthday Party Themes

To throw a bash that will be the talk of Monday morning homeroom, consider one of these teen party themes:

Bonfire Bash

Teen Bonfire Party

What could be more fun than roasting hotdogs and marshmallows over a campfire? Pair on-the-stick cuisine with a hayride, carport dance floor, or overnight camping adventure, and they'll rehash the fun for weeks to come.

Mall Scavenger Party

Pairing your teen's passion for shopping with his or her love for adventure is a surefire recipe for success. Arm guests with a list of scavenger hunt items, such as take-out menus, perfume samples, or security guard signatures, and then head to your local mall. Treat the gang to a movie, laser tag, or pizza dinner, then top it all off with cake in the courtyard.

Read More Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party

Reality TV Party

Fear Factor Veggie

Teen birthday parties based on Survivor, Fear Factor, Amazing Race, or other hit shows are wildly popular. Plan a reality TV birthday bash complete with physical and food challenges, skills tests, relay races, and team T-shirt decorating supplies. Appoint a "camera crew" to capture the action on film, and then have a late-night group viewing.

More Fear Factor Party Ideas

More Teen Party Themes

Teen Party Invitations

Teen Party Invitations

Naturally, you'll want teen party invitations that coordinate with the party's theme. If your teen is on the crafty side, encourage him or her to design handcrafted or Photoshopped invitations; if not, store-bought or emailed invitations are a sufficient alternative.

More Birthday Invitation Ideas

Sugar & Spice: Teen Birthday Cakes

Teen Birthday Cakes

If your teen's tastes have gone beyond layers of butter cream icing, why not mark the occasion with a "grown up" teen birthday cake? Popular flavors include coffee or cappuccino, red velvet with creamed frosting, and spice or carrot cake. For diet-conscious teens, consider serving lighter desserts like fruit compote, or fruit pizza with whipped cream frosting.

More Birthday Cake Ideas

Top their List: Teen Birthday Gifts

Teen Birthday Gifts

Teen birthday gifts are a challenge for even the most seasoned shoppers. For the girlie girl, put together a make-up kit complete with lip gloss, mascara, and funky applicator brushes. For young men, sports or gaming gifts are hard to top. If you're still undecided, opt for a fast food, department store, movie, or gas gift card.

Remember, the best teen birthday party ideas are those that cater to the guest of honor's interests and individual style. While it may not be possible to pull off the "perfect" teen birthday party, with a little patience, planning, and creativity, you'll come up with some great ways to celebrate what makes him or her unique.

More Birthday Gift Ideas

More Teenage Birthday Party Ideas

Teenage Birthday Party Games

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