Is your teen’s birthday coming up and you have no idea what kind of party they want? The older our kids get, the more difficult it is to impress them with an awesome party. While a big cake and streamers did the job when they were little, chances are that isn’t going to cut it as they mature. You need great teen party ideas, and you need them fast.
While an easy party at home may not be ‘cool’ anymore, the good news is that it means you won’t have to clean up after messy kids who are running around mid-sugar-rush anymore. Some of the best teen party ideas take place outside of the home. In the past with my own teen I've negotiated lower numbers of friends attending to enjoy the benefit of a party with a difference. Here are just a few teen party ideas that will impress your teen.
For a small group of friends, an escape room is an awesome teen party idea. Escape rooms essentially lock you in a room with your group of friends where you have nothing but clues and your own wits to riddle your way out. They are located all across Australia, with many companies offering party packages to extend your teen’s party after the mystery has been solved.
Especially popular with teen boys, but just as good for dare devil girls, is go-karting. If your teen has the need for speed and a competitive edge, this is a great idea for their next birthday party. To make it special, book a private slot so that they can race their friends without other go-karters getting in the way.
Inflatable Water Parks
For birthdays in the summer months, we suggest a party at an inflatable water park. These parks are usually located on the coast, floating on the ocean, and supply hours of fun on a hot day. They can include massive water slides, obstacle courses, and more. Some parks even let you book out a session just for your party depending on how many guests you have.
Laser Tag/Paint BallWhat teenage boy doesn’t love laser tag or paintball? Whether you go with the close quarters fun of laser tag or the open intensity of paintball, these make for awesome party themes. Not only will your teen get to play against their friends they will also need to work as a team with their own side to come out on top.
The teen years are the age where birthday parties become less about games and activities and more about hanging out with friends. If your teen is entering that stage, consider a beach party. Beach parties are great for just hanging out while still offering enough to do by way of swimming and playing beach games that it won’t be boring.
Most cities, beaches, or places near rivers, have canoeing tours that are generally lead by an experienced guide and kids pair up and canoe through the tour. They learn more about their local area, marine life, flora and fauna and its a great day out and about. Make sure you advise the tour guide in advance the age of the kids attending and ensure they are prepared for a bit of fun as well as imparting education.
Along the same vein, we have pool parties. While this one isn’t exactly away from the home, it is at least outside of the house with minimal mess involved. Pool parties are easy and fun as your teen will be able to determine whether they just want to hang out and swim with friends or play games in the water. Catering is also easy as no pool party is complete without a barbecue.
Perfect on its own or to wind up a pool or beach party is a bonfire. Being old enough to responsibly hang out at a bonfire alone is a big deal, which makes this a nice moment of trust between you and your teen. All you will have to do is prepare a bag of marshmallows and a cooler of drinks while you watch from a safe distance.
Tree Top Roping and Skywalks
This is an option for the little more adventurous. My daughther did this with a group of 10 girls for her 13th birthday as she wanted to do something a little different. Many of these places also have cafes so you may also be able to finish the party off in location with pizza and cake etc. Make sure you check in advance for the age and height requirements for this activity as some of the more challenging tree top walks do have restrictions, particularly those with flying foxes and other attractions.
Book Tickets To a Concert
Ask your teen if there is a show or concert they have been dying to see. While it may not line up exactly with their birthday, chances are that they’ll happily give up a traditional party to go see their favourite artist with all of their friends. You can either book out a row of seats for your teen and all their friends, or coordinate with your teen’s friend’s parents for a group birthday celebration.
If your teen is less into music but has a sporting team they are obsessed with, find out when the next big game is in your town. Book out a row of seats for them and their friends and buy out the food stalls for a fun viewing experience. If you want to go all out, you could even get a box so that they can cheer on their team in the lap of luxury.
Rent a Hotel RoomFor a special birthday like a sweet sixteenth or just to amp up the celebrations, book out a big hotel room for your teen and their friends. This takes the classic sleepover party to the next level, adding a grown-up feel as they are out of the house and in their own flash room with a view. They can order room service, stay up late, and make the most of the hotel amenities. The best part is that you’ll get your own mini-vacation as you keep an eye on them from your own room down the hall.
For more information and advice about raising teens, check out our blog.