Teen Birthday Party

Updated on January 20, 2018
K.C. asks from Bryan, OH
17 answers

I'm know I already asked a question about her bday before, but we need ideas. I've been talking about a birthday party with my daughter, and she says she wants something unique. Many of her friends have had sleepovers or makeovers, so that's out. She wants something everyone will remember and want to come too. Any suggestions

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

She's a teen. She should be coming up with ideas for her and her friends. Give her a dollar limit for the event and throw it back in her lap to plan.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Some years my girls didn’t want a party at all. They chose to go to NYC for a Broadway show instead of a friend party

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M.6.

answers from New York on

If she wants something "unique" then she should be working on figuring out what that would be. Give her a dollar limit and have her figure out what her party "theme" is going to be.

By the by, I'd hesitate to put TOO much thought into this . . . sometimes kids get these wild expectations about how things are going to go, and then are wildly let down when expectations aren't met (even though the event is going totally fine).

Good luck!

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

At this age parties were really driven by my kids. Of course we had a budget, but they got to decide on what they wanted to do and who they would invite.
It's hard to give advice without knowing your daughter and what she likes to do.
I'm also wondering what you mean by "everyone will...want to come to."
Won't her friends WANT come even if it's just dinner and cake?
Anyway, depending on her interests here are a few ideas:
sporting event, skating, laser tag, museum/aquarium, fancy dinner out, shopping, pottery place, overnight at local hotel, movies, trip to local beach/lake, beading or other craft or art activity, arcade/video games, cooking class, paintball, neighborhood scavenger hunt

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

With out knowing your daughter it is hard to say what she may love. For my son we took a couple of his friends to the opening of Starwars and they all loved it.

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Just invite 3 close friends and splurge on something like tickets to a show or game some kind of entertainment that she and her friends would enjoy. Teens are getting a little too old for having large birthday parties, unless you are doing something more traditional and easy like bowling, roller rink, etc. I think you'd have to spend a bundle to make it and original and suitable for a larger group of kids this age.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i'm always a little puzzled by these posts. how will strangers know what your daughter wants better than you or she?

if she wants unique, that's cool, but instead of it being yours to suss out, why not give this adult-in-training some adult responsibility and put it on her to devise and request exactly what she wants?

i'd want a horseback trail ride at her age. but i have no clue if that will ring HER chimes.

i'm also not so sure that 'something everyone will remember and want to come to' is a worthy goal. but popularity has always been a siren song to teenagers.
khairete
S.

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N.K.

answers from Miami on

There are lots of new things popping up everywhere...terrarium building sessions, where the girls create their own terrariums, glass blowing sessions where the girls can create their own glass sculptures, pottery nights (you get the idea), painting nights...other than that, a concert might be fun, or a local cruise around town in one of the boats, could be a speedboat or just a regular catamaran or sailboat. A camping trip somewhere with marshmallow roasting, etc., maybe to a cool park or historic property (for instance, some of the zoos here have camping nights where you bring your own tent and can hear the animals at night, so that's kind of "unique" I'd say, same as camping at one of the islands or at a nature preserve).

Maybe they can just do a "theme" party, like "80s party" where everyone dresses up as someone from the 80s, they play 80s music and eat 80s snacks at the party, they can also play cult classic movies from the 80s, etc., other ideas are a "pink party" (everyone dresses in pink and all food items, cake, decor has to be pink), a "rustic party" where everyone makes rustic centerpieces with mason jars, driftwood, etc. and dress up in Boho attire, a flapper girl/1920s party where everyone dresses up and they all learn some dance moves from that era (and listen to music from that era), a tea party where everyone comes in a pretty dress and large hat or fascinator, and brings their favorite tea to share, a Hawaiian luau where everyone wears tropical-themed clothing, maxi dresses and make their own leis, while eating Hawaiian pizza...you get the idea. A lot of celebrities do theme parties like that, and if they create a craft while at the party, then that'd be something they could take home, and always remember the party by.

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C.C.

answers from New York on

Maybe snowtubing at a local mountain resort? Tubing is fun and requires no special skills (and a tubing pass is usually much less expensive than skiing).

Also though, be careful about "something everyone will remember and want to come too"...I think you are on thin ice (no pun intended) by indulging that. It sounds a bit "mean girls" - (a) because the implication is that her so-called friends will only agree to celebrate her birthday if the party meets their standards and (b) because another implication is to make people who are not invited feel jealous.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Everyone has fun at a bowling party.
Our son also enjoyed laser tag parties.
Some people had skating parties but it was no fun for those who couldn't skate and kept falling down all the time.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

I don't know if this is what you (or she) might have in mind, but around here, a lot of tweens and teens do a "social action" type of birthday. Instead of gifts, they ask for things for a local humane society/animal shelter, for example. Then they (or the birthday child) deliver them. (Get a list from the shelter first.)

One thing some of these kids do (so do Scout troops) is they collect old sweaters, sweatshirts or flannel shirts, and they make dog/cat beds out of them. You can google the patterns, but basically you take items with rips/holes or which are just out of style, you stuff them with rags, old towels or pillows and so on, and you sew up the neck hole. Then you stuff the arms and wrap them around so the 2 cuffs meet and you hand sew them together, which makes the higher edge of the dog bed. I think, if the sweaters/shirts have buttons, you cut those off because they're uncomfortable and a choking hazard. It's a fun project, you don't need major skills or outlay for materials, and it's pretty easy to collect old items from neighbors and relatives.

Here are some patterns if you want to click on the links (I know, I know - not always a good idea) but you can google it yourself:

A good craft/sewing store can help you with some shortcuts ahead of time. You might be able to borrow a few sewing machines or do some advanced prep work before the party.

http://www.handimania.com/diy/sweatshirt-pet-bed.html
https://www.littlethings.com/diy-sweater-dog-bed/
https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Cat-Bed-from-an-Old-Sweater

A friend of mine just did a dog theme for her son's bar mitzvah, and she made the centerpieces out of cans of dog food she planned to donate. It looks great and costs very little. If you want to pursue this, I can send you photos of what she did.

If your daughter's friends stay overnight, you could all go the next day to the shelter to deliver whatever you've completed. They can take a half hour and walk some of the dogs or play with the cats and so on. Memorable!

Not sure if this is their cup of tea but it's a different way to go than the mani-pedi spa or make-up thing.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Take her and her closest friends (how big is her close group of friends...1, 2, 3? more?) to do an experience. What does she think is fun? What is near you? A theme park? An indoor water park? An evening cooking class at a Williams and Sonoma? An evening craft class at a Paper Source store? A hike or cross-country ski out to a cabin or yurt and spend the night? A day trip to a national park? A Paint Night where they paint their own paintings? Bowling? A volunteer activity? An outing with the local environmental center - ours does outings on birding, fossil collecting, learning plants, moonlight hikes, and lots more. Rock climbing at a local gym? A caving day trip with a guide. Downhill skiing or lessons for a day? I don't know what is near you...Good luck!

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

I would agree with the closest buds thing and just keep it small. My teens are boys - one of mine has stuck to his best bud, or 2 buds - the other usually invited 3 friends.

My good friend with a girl that age took her daughter and few friends out to a very cool hip restaurant (they thought this was fabulous) and then back to their house for cake the daughter had made (she's a baker) and to open gifts and just hang out in the afternoon. It was a fun afternoon kind of birthday. It was really simple but really fun.

Things our boys did were movies or to see hockey games for example, then they would hit a local restaurant for meal after (small group so it was affordable). One time ours had 2 buds over for swim, ordered in pizza and sleepover - that was a lot of fun.

I think it would depend on the friend dynamic - if she has a tight couple of friends or if she's part of a larger group she wants to invite. I'd keep it small though and I'd definitely get her input. My kids always told me what they wanted.

Simple tends to be best :)

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X.Y.

answers from Chicago on

You didn't mention her age or her interests

Hire a makeup artist to teach them how to put makeup on
Escape room
Hotel and swim
painting party
Some type of charity work. By us we can help at Ronald McDonald House or Feed My Starving Children
Laser Tag
Paint ball
Trampoline Park Glow Theme
City Museum in St Loius
Come to Chicago, get a hotel. Theres Sugar Factory, Navy Pier..so many options
Checkout WildLife in Need in Indiana

Then there's the obvious stuff like rollerskating, bowling, movies

Let us know what you/she decides

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know your budget. I know one of my friends rented a limo and let her daughter and her friends go in a limo to a pizza place that serves huge pizzas. (They followed behind in their car) And then I think they went to get ice cream then home for a sleep over.
You could do a painting party. Or a trampoline park if you have one near you.

There are a lot of things that you can do just figure out budget then start looking at the places to figure out how many people can come to stay within the budget.

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J.G.

answers from Chicago on

When I was a teenager, I had a friend whose other wanted to be over the top about everything. They invited 4 of us to sleep over in a fancy hotel in Chicago. We went to the Hard rock for Dinner and then got to have a sleep over in a hotel.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

How about a cooking party? Plan meal and the girls make it. Or hire a local chef to do a fun lesson in your kitchen.

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