Birthday party ideas for teens

Be the hippest parent around. Throw a great birthday party for your teens!

Teenagers are a finicky breed. One day they love you. The next day they ignore you. They’re all in all a basic tangle of hormones and head strong will–and they tend to complicate matters by not knowing which role to assume. One day they’re kids. The next day they’re young adults. So what’s a parent of a teenager to do when planning a birthday party?

Certainly the old cake and ice cream bashes of childhood are out. Just how un-cool would that be? Yet parents aren’t comfortable sending their kids out to unsupervised, wild parties–with absolutely no adult supervision. There needs to be a happy medium–one that pleases both teens and their parents.

Expenses add up quickly for teen birthday parties. To entertain this peculiar pack of pals, one definitely needs more than a “pin the tail on the donkey” game or a balloon toss. There must be some form of entertainment, food, and parental supervision. If expense is a big concern, consider having your teen invite just two or three very close friends and let the fun begin. If a larger group is on the invitation list, call in the troops. You’ll need help for preparation, supervision, and clean-up.
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For small groups–a very “grown up” type of dinner party will be a hit. This can be carried out on a variety of budgets. Mom can whip up a gourmet meal at home–saving loads of money–and serve the guests and party host at a quaint outdoor “bistro” type setting. Is it a little too cold for dining al fresco? Then grab the good china, linen table cloth and napkins and deck the dining room in exquisite style. Many parents opt for alcohol free champagne and decorate the table with fine crystal as well.

If the budget allows, a dining out party for a small group is sure to be a popular option. After all, everyone loves to go out to eat. Make a reservation in advance and be sure to inform the restaurant that you’re celebrating a special occasion. Many restaurants offer free dessert to the birthday guy or girl, and sometimes the staff will even sing a round of Happy Birthday! Most restaurants are happy to have customers stay and open presents if the plan is made ahead of time. This plan eliminates all at-home clean up and preparation–allowing the parents an easy alternative to hosting a party in their home.

If you own a swimming pool or have a neighbor who generously loans the use of theirs–host a pool party for your teen’s birthday. The theme can be “tropical” or retro–with ample decorations available at party stores for very reasonable prices. Fire up the grill and serve typical cookout fair. Light decorative candles around the pool and patio area to create a more grown up ambience.

Don’t rule out ideas like pizza parties or movie night themes. Sometimes teens just enjoy the idea of hanging out in a relaxed atmosphere where food and drinks are provided. Set up large party buckets of ice and be well stocked in your supply of soft drinks. In addition to pizza, serve some classy appetizers and finger foods. For movie night, rent a few of the most popular recent releases and stage a movie marathon. Allow kids to stay until all the movies are finished. Order late night takeout after an appetizer of soda and popcorn.

Supervision is a concern, as teens–even very good teens–are known to experiment with cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Make the rules clear in your home and stick around. Be an obvious presence at your teen’s birthday party and there should be relatively few problems with enforcing your house rules. The combination of safety, fun, good food and safe supervision will ensure your teenager a birthday party to remember.

Posted by on Jul 11 2012. Filed under Family. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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