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Teenage Party Planning Tips
The secret to hosting a successful teen birthday party is to remember that 'teens just want to have fun'. With that in mind, the four most important things to remember for a successful teenage party is:
- Incorporate a theme
- Have plenty of food - A MUST!
- Keep it loose and unstructured
- Let the guest-of-honor have a big hand in the planning
13 When Jewish boys and girls turn 13, their "coming of age" is marked by celebrating the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The religious commemoration is typically held on a Saturday morning and followed with a party. The celebration can be a casual luncheon, a more formal evening affair, or a novelty destination (i.e. dinner-dance, riverboat, cruise, etc.).
15 A Quinceañera is a significant event celebrating a Latino girl's passage into womanhood, often requiring 18 months to 2 years of planning. The Quinceañera reception usually includes a formal ball with special events such as a formal entrance, a first dance with the girl's father, a dance with her escort, a speech and then a general dance. (See our custom invitations.)
16 Turning 16 has become a significant event in a teenager's life - mainly because this is the legal age required to get a driver's license. Sometimes 16-year-old girls are given a "Sweet Sixteen" party. It can be all girls, or co-ed; it can be a dressy affair that includes dinner and dancing, a party at home or a special night out.
Choose A Theme... The Rest Will Follow!
After choosing the date and location and making the guest list, you'll need to come up with a theme. This will give the party some pizzazz and focus - and help with planning. Invitations, decorations, dress code, food and party favor can all be easily incorporated into your theme. Here are a few ideas:
Create a Pizza!
Buy some pizza crust (or dough), sauces and loads of toppings. Allow each guest (or teams) to design their own "Master Pizzas". Issue awards for the tastiest, most creative and messiest!
Set tables with drippy candles in empty wine bottles, checkered tablecloths, wine glasses filled with grape juice and a big basket of assorted breads. Prepare pasta in varying shapes and sizes, and have different sauces available. Let your guests choose their own Italian meal.
Create an Ice Cream Parlor!
Supply lots of ice cream, a variety of sodas and all the toppings for your guests to create their own delicious sundaes, floats and ice cream sodas.
Peace, Love & Flower Power!
Decorate with strobe lights, lava lamps and black lights. Request that guests come dressed in 70's style. Tie-dyed material works great for decorating tables. Hang a smiley face pinata filled with groovy prizes! Use the word bitchin' a lot and put a flower in your hair! Play 70's music.
Play traditional children's games like pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, hot potato, drop the clothes pin into the jar, etc.
Hire a limousine, pick up the party goers and take them out to a restaurant for dinner. A fun place would be a '50's diner - or any place where they can just let loose! Be sure to stock the limo with soft drinks and music, etc.
Fortune Telling Party!
Hire a palm reader and use tarot cards to tell the teenagers' fortunes. Serve fortune cookies. For party favors, give bangles and moon and star items.
Have a scavenger hunt at the mall. Prepare ahead by going to the mall to find or think of things for the hunt (i.e. number of stairs, escalators, things in shop windows, lost receipt, etc.). Give each team a list of items and a time limit. See which team comes up with the most items. Or another twist - give each person $5 and see who can get the most for their money in a limited amount of time.
Important Tips for Parents
When You and Your Teen are Hosting a Party!
Establish basic ground rules: Stress that the responsibility for hosting a party belongs to both you and your teen. Create a guest lilst and stick to it - eliminating the possibility of "crashers".
Let your teen know in advance that alcohol and drug use is prohibited. It's illegal to provide alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. As a parent, you are legally responsible for anything that happens to a minor who has been served alcohol or drugs in your home.
Stay home during the party. Provide adequate supervision without going overboard. Don't hang around, but be seen regularly. Don't allow guests to come and go, and never allow anyone who has been drinking drive a car.
Plan a party with a theme and games. Be sure to keep refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages well-stocked. Get out and meet your teen's friends.
Inform your neighbors and the police that you are having a party. Discuss an agreeable parking plan. The police will help protect all who are involved in the party -- the guests, the neighbors and you.
Print out our Party Checklist.