Daughters 16 Birthday- I Need Ideas!

Updated on September 16, 2008
C.B. asks from Plainfield, IL
18 answers

My daughter is turning 16 next week. I need an idea for gifts. I got her some clothes, but I don't know what else to get. She has an ipod, cellphone, digital camera, tv, etc... She won't have a license until next summer and a car is really out of our price range right now. So any ideas other than a car would be great.

Any party ideas would be helpful too. She is having a party with about 20 friends at our house. I am great when it comes to parties for the little ones, but I'm really stuck on this one. She whines about every idea I have. I also need to organize something with the rest of our family. Everyone has called me today wondering what we're doing. My husband and I were just going to take her out to dinner. I don't know what to do. I need some ideas to get me going.

The teenage whinny-ness takes all the fun out of it and I completely lost my motivation.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Her party for her friends is pretty much set. My dilemma for the family party was that my husband and I were going to take her out with a couple of other family members and then it turned into people who haven't come to a party of hers in years now want to celebrate with her. Which is very nice, but I wasn't prepared to take 20+ family members out to dinner as well. I think we have decided that we will go out to dinner just the 5 of us another night. Then we'll have the family over to the house the day after her friend party.

Gifts are done. I think she'll be very happy.

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C.C.

answers from Chicago on

How about a small gold bracelet, or charm bracelet? semi-precious earrings? Some kind of rite of passage.... my mom got us all claddagh rings for 8th grade graduation and I still have mine and it means a lot.

How about for the family party, as a joke, you all go to a go cart track and let her 'take the road' and everyone else can laugh and have a good time. Odyssey fun world is a good choice, though a bit young for her. Other than a good old BBQ, I'm not much help there, sorry.

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E.S.

answers from Chicago on

What a hard age!! I am thankful at this time that I have little ones. What about taking her on a day spa time with you or with one of her friends, or tickets to a broadway show or concert, or a mini weekend vacation where she wants to go. Hope this helps!
PS I do cakes and cookies for just about any theme. If you are interested to see what I have email me at [email protected]____.com

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A.H.

answers from Chicago on

I had the most remarkable party for my daughter (who wanted to change everything at the last moment), with the help of my mamasource advisors who helped me replace the macaroni in my spine with bone. I catered the party and had some vegetarian foods for her and her friends. We played loud music, had a dance contest, had everyone get up and give a little speech about why they came to the party (almost every cried)and had a fantastic dessert bar that was the talk of the party season in our little social circle. It seems like good food and desserts made the day. Oh, and by the way, my daughter could win almost any "whiney" contest since she was four.

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L.B.

answers from Chicago on

when I turned 16, my aunt did the coolest thing. (This would cool for the party.) She took all sorts of candy, like hard candy in the wrappers and Smarties (things with twist wrappers), and strung them together with curling ribbon. There was tons of it and she gave it to me in a box, but it would be so cool and decorative to hung it in a doorway like a beaded curtain. I will never ever forget it, plus I know she put a lot of work into it. It was so cool!

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E.T.

answers from Chicago on

Hi C.,
Ah, the big 16. I'm a young mother, but I have sisters that have recently enough been teenagers. They have done some creative and fun things that don't cost a lot. I'll just list the ideas for you. :)

1. Thrift Store Party - guests are required to wear the weirdest outfit they can find at the thrift store for $10 or less. If she doesn't like this one try it again when she gets to college. For some reason college kids love weird things like that.
2. Let her go sky diving and her friends can watch her come in from the ground.
3. Disco - disco music is really fun. It seems to relax people. Just so long as they don't start dirt dancing.
4. Masquerade - This could be really fun. People can dress up, reuse those homecoming and prom dresses. Serve hor doeuvres and other "fancy pants" foods. Have her favorite music playing.

These ideas can work with her friends or your family. My family and I adore to be silly and have fun. It forms stronger relationships and is just plain fun. I hope this helps you out. I still remember my 16th fondly and it was pretty simple. It was a good old surprise party. I also got to go on a date with the guy that I had a crush on (his birthday was at the same time so it was a dual surprise party). I have to say though, he wasn't a good date and I remember the party being much more fun. So, no matter how much she whines about it, she'll like it in the end and have fond memories. I think whining comes with the age. My sisters and I totally did it, don't know why, but we did. Have fun with this! :)

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

How about a certificate for a Mother/Daughter facial or mani/pedi? Or her party there?

iTunes gift card
DVDs
Room makeover (mostly just a paint job)

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C.T.

answers from Champaign on

C.:

To celebrate a young woman turning 16, it makes sense to involve her in the planning. Why not take your daughter to lunch and hold a planning session for the celebration? Give her a budget for the party and gift.

Good luck!

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N.O.

answers from Chicago on

I'm totally dating myself, but for my 16th my mom bought me an actual Lane hopechest and started filling that baby with stuff to get me out of the house...ha ha! I took it to college with me.

My girlfriend also just bought her daughetr an actual Tiffany necklace. They have stuff that's very nice for less than you would spend on an Ipod or digital camera. Check out their website. I know the heart with the toggle was popular and now the heart chocker...I think that one is $128.00. It's something special that the teen gilrls think is really cool right now.

Good luck!

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E.P.

answers from Chicago on

I hope this (whineness) season in her life ends soon. As far as gift ideas: compact photo printers, movie tickets, I-tunes cards. My friend just bought tickets for her 16 year old daughter's birthday to see "American Idol" taping in Chicago. What about some kind of event like that - or even concert tickets (might cost an arm and a leg - not sure your budget). If it's simply a fun party at home - you can do a scavenger hunt (I have a great list if you want it, just personal message me. It's a WORD document). Have a trivia game "How well do you know me???" Or make up a trivia game about the Year 1992. Or you can rent a hotel room with a nice pool and have the girls come in the day and you and your family can enjoy it for the rest of the day. William Tell / Holiday Inn, in the Countryside/LaGrange area has a wonderful pool, just off of I-55 and Joliet Road. Not sure if it is boy/girl party so...

What happened to "just you and your husband taking her out to dinner?" That's very lovely too! I think if I wasn't motivated to have the party because of a child with a poor attitude, I would be much more motivated to just go to "dinner at a nice restaurant". Sounds like the way to go. It's very generous of you and your husband - don't let her push you in a corner! Best of luck to you!

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N.H.

answers from Chicago on

Something popular at this time of the year are hayrides and dance parties are popular for this age group. I do party planning if you need any help.

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

I think what ever you do at the party will be fine. I think a good party is food and drinks. Have a Sunday Bar with all the fun toppings. Make some really good punch. One for the adults and the kids. You can have a candy bar, with little bags they can pick out what they like and take it home as a party favor. You can do a chocolate fountain. That's really popular. Or karaoke.

As for a gift, I think an experience is a good idea. Really nice restaurant, concert tickets, tickets to a play. Or take her downtown Chicago to go shopping.
My kids are not 16 yet, so I'm not up on the hottest trends.
I keep telling my 2.5 year old "don't ever turn 16!" :) Good luck, and keep your head up. It will work out fine :)

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J.D.

answers from Decatur on

I sent this along to another mother looking for ideas. Even tho she won't get her license til next summer,what's wrong with a anything you need for driving party?? When my middle daughter turned 16,I invited several of her friends for a pizza party and the theme for gifts was "anything to do with having a car". She got road maps of the area,cd holders under the visor,an insurance policy folder,bobble heads for the back window,snow scraper brush,etc. One very practical gift was a small ( bigger than pocket size) telephone book for the glove box. It was by far the best gift she got and still has. As far as family ideas I think this would work too. As far as a gift from you,why not a key chain with a key to the family car attached for when she is able to drive?? If it's an all girl party,why not something like a make up party ( mary Kay or avon reps would love to do an in home make up demo) or there are a couple jewelry party lines that could work for a party. Cookie Lee( seems to be more on the younger side) or Jewels by Park Lane,maybe even Lia Sophia. Good luck cuz as you say.........little ones are far easier. J.

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D.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi C.,
My name is D. and I have a mom-owned business in Oak Lawn. I sell wedding favors and the hot new thing is Sweet 16. Its just an idea for your daughter's guests and they will love it! Let me know and I would be happy to email you samples of my Sweet 16 favors. My email is [email protected]____.com
Thanks
D.

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V.L.

answers from Chicago on

That's too funny! I had just asked a similar question last week! I think you can click on this url to find all the responses I got which should help. If you can't get to the suggestions with the link, let me know and I'll type out a bunch of the suggestions (lots were really good!!).

http://www.mamasource.com/request/2608913680821125121

My daughter's friend party was nice from what she told me ... (teenagers, you know!) they had a pig roast with family and friends and a sleepover - that's the kind of things the girls all want really, just to spend time together gossipping, etc. Unfortunately, the rains were really bad, but they had planned on swimming in the afternoon, also. I guess they'd also planned on the sleepover in a tent in the backyard, but moved it to the garage. I thought that was pretty cool!

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J.W.

answers from Chicago on

I think the dinner is a nice idea. You and your husband can take her, and it could be just the three of you, without her youger siblings (unless she would like them to come along). It doesn't have to be extravagant. I know lately it has become a big deal to have something HUGE happen for kids' 16th birthdays, but it doesn't have to be. Have you tried asking her what she wants to do? I know she whines when you come up with ideas, but why don't you try telling her to come up with some ideas of her own? I think it would be easier to take all the kids somewhere instead of having the party at my house. Don't have to worry about clean-up, etc. How about Gameworks in Shaumburg? Or paying for all of them to go to a movie? (matinee of course, it's cheaper) If you did that, they could come back to your house for cake and punch only. Do you have xbox or playstation 3? I know the big game now is Rock Band. If she doesn't have it, that could be her gift, and then all the kids could play it. It's really fun. When I was 16, I was really whiney too. Nothing my mom did was right or cool. But now that I am a mom, I remember all the little stuff she used to do for me, and how EXTREMELY patient she was with me, and I realize what a great job she did. So, your daughter might not appreciate anything you do now, but she will when she gets older. Just remember that, and hopefully you will get a little bit more motivated. :)Good luck, and I hope you get a lot more ideas!

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S.A.

answers from Chicago on

Ask her for ideas since she whines so much about yours. Tell her the limitations and tell her to come up with something. Not sure why it has to be something complicated. Food, a movie, snacks...what else do teenagers do? They aren't legally old enough for some drinking party...and me personally I wouldn't promote that kind of party even for young adults that are old enough.

As far as gifts. Maybe you could get her a gift certificate to have her hair done at some place nice. Or a trip to the salon to have a manicure and pedicure...if you have the money let her take her best friend.

Good luck with that....my girls are five and three so I have a while to go. I might start planning a little now if they make it that difficult. Yikes!!!

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A.S.

answers from Peoria on

Aren't teenage girls appreciative?! LOL - why don't you ask her to come up with her own theme and help you plan the party. Turn it back on her since she doesn't seem to like any of your ideas.

Good luck!
A.

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,

I'm not sure of your price range but as for a gift, how about a nice piece of jewelry: diamond earrings, ring or a gem bracelet. The kids party could be a theme depending on what she likes. It could be a decade party such as 50's, 70's or even 80's. They all dress up, get the music from the era. Have a dance contes, costume contest, maybe a great movie from the era, ie Grease etc. Don't get yourself crazy with the family party. If she's already getting a great gift from you to and the kids party, then a normal family party should be fine. Sure you could get a great themed cake and decorations. I'm not sure if you normally have food or just cake and coffee but make this a little different. Make it early on a Saturday and have food so people hang aroung a little longer if you normally don't do that. Sixteen is a big deal but it looks like your'e going to make it very special no matter what you do. Make sure to take lots of pictures and part of her gift could be either you or her making a sweet sixteen little scrapbook. I hope this helps a bit.

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