When you’re a teenager, parties really begin to really step up their “wow” factor. The social stakes are much higher, of course, and the get-togethers must adapt accordingly. We put together some teen party ideas that will help make some unforgettable memories.
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Teen Party Ideas: Themes
Neon Glow Party
Start by choosing a dark venue, or if at home, use blackout curtains to ensure minimal light. The darkness will accentuate the neon and glow-in-the-dark elements. Send out fluorescent invites! For decorations, hang neon-colored paper lanterns, streamers, and UV-reactive balloons. Purchase glow sticks in bulk— they can be worn as bracelets, necklaces, and headbands. If it’s in the budget, invest in black lights that’ll make all white and neon colors pop.
No glow-in-the-dark party would be complete without a dance floor and a killer playlist. For refreshments, serve drinks with tonic water, which glows under black light. Encourage attendees to wear white or neon and provide fluorescent face paint!
First, pick a specific decade like the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, or ’90s. Your choice will set the tone for everything from decorations to music. Start with invitations styled according to the era, perhaps resembling vinyl records for the ’70s or cassette tapes for the ’80s. For decorations, source posters of iconic films, bands, or events from that decade. Neon lights or disco balls for the ’80s, flower power, and lava lamps for the ’60s, and grunge aesthetics for the ’90s can transform your venue.
Create a playlist featuring the top hits from the chosen era to ensure the dance floor stays alive. Encourage attendees to dress according to the decade, either with thrifted finds or homemade costumes. Don’t forget to serve era-specific snacks or drinks.
Hollywood Red Carpet
Who didn’t have a dream of becoming famous as a teen? Send out invitations resembling movie tickets or golden award statuettes. Encourage guests to come dressed in costumes of their favorite celebrities or music stars. Roll out a red carpet and set up a photo booth for guests to strike their best pose! You could even hire a photographer (or just a friend) to be the “paparazzi to greet them on arrival! Play movie-themed trivia games, host an awards ceremony or a few rounds of “celebrity!”
Activities for Your Party
Teens these days can be pretty stressed, and there’s no better stress reducer than a good, old-fashioned spa party. Start by setting a calming ambiance with soft music, dimmed lights, and scented candles. Provide plush robes and headbands for each guest. Set up different “stations” – a facial area with various masks (consider DIY masks like honey-oatmeal or avocado), a manicure-pedicure zone with a range of polish colors, and a massage corner with lotions and essential oils.
Incorporate a DIY scrub bar where teens can mix sugar or salt with oils and their choice of fragrances. For refreshments, serve sparkling water infused with fruits and herbal teas. Make sure you have plenty of comfy seating and soft towels on hand. Finish the spa day with goodie bags filled with sample-sized beauty products.
Teen Baking Championship
If your teen is a fan of baking or cooking shows, a good, old-fashioned bake-off may just be in order. Set up baking stations equipped with essential ingredients and tools. Depending on space and equipment, you can either pre-select recipes or give them a “mystery ingredient” to center their creation around. Feel free to get creative and downright weird here.
Kick off the event with a brief demonstration and some rules. As the teens dive into their baking endeavors, set a timer and play high-energy music to keep the atmosphere energetic. Once baking is complete, have a taste-testing session, definitely with a few appointed judges or audience voting. Conclude with prizes for creativity, taste, and presentation, ensuring every participant receives recognition for their hard work.
Murder Mystery Dinner
This one goes out to the theater kids (who absolutely eat this kind of party up). Start by selecting a mystery theme or storyline; options range from vintage mansion mysteries to modern detective tales. Pre-written kits are available for purchase, or you can even craft your own narrative! Assign characters to each guest ahead of time, allowing them to prepare costumes and familiarize themselves with their roles.
Upon arrival, provide each participant with a set of clues or tasks to complete throughout the evening. As the story unfolds, the young detectives will engage in conversations, seek hidden clues, and piece together the puzzle. Ambient music, dim lighting, and thematic decor enhance the eerie atmosphere. As the climax approaches, gather everyone to share their deductions. Finally, reveal the perpetrator and award prizes for best performance, best costume, or most accurate guess.
Being a teen can be pretty, well, angsty. Sometimes you gotta just let loose, and a karaoke battle is the perfect solution. Begin by setting up a dedicated stage area, either using an actual raised platform or a designated section of the room, complete with a quality karaoke machine, a screen for lyrics, and vibrant lighting. Even better– consider adding disco lights or a smoke machine.
Divide attendees into teams or let them choose their duet partners. Prepare a diverse playlist of current hits, timeless classics, and wild card songs for some variety. You could even add themed rounds like the ’90s hits or movie soundtracks.
Provide props like inflatable guitars, wigs, or costumes for participants to get into character. As each team or individual performs, the audience can rate them using scorecards. Offer prizes for categories like ‘Best Performance,’ ‘Crowd Favorite,’ or ‘Most Original Rendition.’
Outdoor Teen Party Ideas
A party on the beach is ideal but logistically can be a lot to handle. Instead, bring the beach to your backyard! Create a beach atmosphere with boogie boards, tiki torches, beach balls, and inflatable palm trees. For entertainment, set up beach-themed games like beach volleyball, limbo, or spike ball. Hawaiian shirts, swimsuits, and flip-flops are a must. Refreshments have to include tiny umbrellas and maybe even be served out of coconut shells. A good summer playlist is also key–it’ll set the tone.
Who says field day should end with elementary school? Organize a party with a bunch of different team-based games to get the adrenaline pumping and competitive spirit rolling. Set up a water balloon toss, kiddie pool kickball, capture the flag, three-legged races, or an obstacle course. You could even throw in some minute-to-win-it style games–check out some of our favorite ideas here. Make sure to serve plenty of cold refreshments to cool everyone down!
Outdoor Movie Night
Nothing like a movie under the stars! For this, you’ll need a spacious backyard, a projector, and high-quality speakers. For the movie screen, you can use a white bedsheet tightly stretched between poles or a portable outdoor screen. Set the scene with blankets, bean bags, and lawn chairs so everyone can get comfy. You can add string lights or lanterns for ambiance, but keep the area directly in front of the screen dark. Don’t forget to serve classic movie snacks: popcorn, soda, candy, or maybe even a pizza station. Encourage guests to bring their favorite pillows or blankets, too! Choose a teen-friendly movie or a nostalgic classic like Harry Potter or Star Wars.
We get it. Throwing a party at your home for a bunch of teens can seem like a big hassle, especially when you think of all the factors involved (decor, food, music, entertainment, clean up). That’s why an event venue that already has a built-in activity may just be the better option for a birthday party. Hosting at any of these venues may just end up saving time and money in the long run:
- Roller rink
- Paintball park
- Mini golf course
- Bowling alley
- Pottery-painting studio
- Ropes course
- Amusement park
- Laser tag
- Indoor adventure park
- Adventure park
- Escape room
No matter what venue you choose, be sure to check into their party packages and see if you can find any discounts.
Throw an Unforgettable Teen Party
As kids get older and it becomes harder to find a way to throw a “cool” party, but fear not–it’s not impossible. Whether your teen is hosting a birthday or even just an end-of-the-summer bash, there are plenty of ways to make a teen party a hit.