You might fondly remember how easy it was to make your young child happy with a cake, balloons, some friends, and party games.
Now that your teenage child is older and a bit harder to please, you might worry about what you’re going to do for your teenager’s upcoming birthday.
There’s no need to worry, as there are many amazing teenage birthday party ideas that I will share with you below.
Whether your teen is happy to have a party at home, or would prefer to do something outdoors, there are several options to choose from.
The best way to decide on the perfect teenage birthday party for your child is to read through all the options and then discuss these with them. Once you know how many kids your teen wants to invite and what kind of party they’d like, then you can start planning all the finer details like location, theme, decor, food, music, games, date, and time.
Every child is different, which is why I don’t specify which party idea is best for a particular age group. Whether your 16-year-old only wants to hang with some of his best mates, or your 14-year-old is keen on having a neon glow dance party with all the kids in their class, we have a party idea that will be perfect for them.
How To Plan A Teen Party
Before you can plan the party, you need to discuss what kind of party your teen has in mind. Decide if it’s going to be at home, how many kids they want to invite, if they have a theme in mind, and don’t forget to discuss your budget with them.
Whatever the age of your teen, or the size of your celebration, you can utilize the tips from my party planning guide for a successful teen birthday party planning process.
Things to remember include:
- Listen to the birthday girl/guy
- Decide on a budget
- Choose a venue – at home or not
- How many kids can they invite?
- What kind of food would they like?
- Decorations – do they have a theme in mind?
- Safety – discuss your rules, do’s and don’ts, and have adult supervision.
Teenage Birthday Party Ideas At Home
We’ve enjoyed having birthday parties at home, as well as at venues that cater to a specific activity. There are advantages to both, so it really depends on what your teen would like to do specifically.
Parties at home can be less costly, and it’s easier to keep an eye on your kids, but there’s always the inevitable clean-up afterward.
I’ve rounded up some really fun teen party ideas below that include parties at home as well as at a venue away from home.
Indoor Teenage Birthday Party Ideas
If your teen’s birthday falls during Winter, then an indoor birthday party might be your best choice.
Online Gaming or LAN Party
If your teen likes playing online games – okay who am I kidding – most teens love gaming. A fun gaming party might be perfect for your avid gamer.
A LAN party is best for smaller groups of friends who all have access to a computer or compatible gaming consoles so that they can play the same game simultaneously.
You can read HigherEdGeek’s 5 tips to help you throw an amazing LAN party and get some insight on how to set it up.
There’s a great selection of affordably priced gaming party supplies available on Amazon, from paper plates and napkins to party favors and decorations.
Alternatively, there might be a gaming venue near you where all the kids can spend an hour or so playing games on the latest computers and gaming consoles together.
Your teen might be interested in hosting a classic disco or dance party.
I’ve found that teenage girls are much keener on dancing but at some point, boys start showing interest too, so the success of a dance party will mostly depend on the age of your teen.
Until about 15 yrs the girls seem to have loads of fun dancing while you might find the boys outside kicking a soccer ball instead.
Remember that playing the right music is really important, so you might want to hire a DJ, or at least have an amazing music playlist to keep the party going.
You can definitely get the boys involved by adding a game of limbo.
Glow in the Dark or Neon Party for Teens
A very popular twist on the classic disco is to transform your party room into a Glow In The Dark Party.
You will need some black light to make your decorations and food light up, and get your guests to dress up in neon outfits and glow-in-the-dark accessories.
A glow-in-the-dark party doesn’t have to be a dance party, as there are several awesome glow party activities and games to keep your teen and their friends entertained.
If your teen is keen on a glow party, then read my Glow In The Dark Party Ideas post for all the info you need to throw the perfect neon glow party.
Game Night Party
Games are great icebreakers for awkward teens. The right games can transform any gathering into a competitive, fun, and exciting occasion.
It’s always a good idea to have a few games available so that your guests choose their favorite for the night.
Murder Mystery Party
If you’ve enjoyed playing Clue (or Cluedo), then why not try a fun murder mystery party where your guests look for clues to solve a murder.
Each guest gets a murder mystery character and name and can dress up to match their persona.
You can find some amazing Murder Mystery Games at Makers Of Mystery.
Create the crime scene with crime scene tape, evidence markers, and ramp up the theme with some great party decorations.
You could also try one of the Cold Case Murder Mystery Games.
Hold a Dinner Party
Hosting a dinner party is a fun way for your teen to feel grown-up.
Let your teen help with setting up the table(s) and arranging the seating accordingly. You could serve some fancy starters – like sushi – and keep the main meal simple like their favorite pasta.
Serve the birthday cake as dessert and their meal is complete.
For a less formal dinner, you can arrange an indoor picnic. You can make it glamorous and comfortable by adding lots of cushions and pretty decor.
When hosting a picnic you may want to serve finger foods and snacks that can be shared amongst the guests.
Put on some music and who knows, it might turn into a dance party in the end.
Classic Sleepover Pyjama Party
Sleepovers are still fun no matter how old you are, but are best when your teen invites a few of their closest friends rather than a big group.
Sleepovers can be combined with most other party ideas.
Girls could have a spa night and sleepover combination, while boys might enjoy a gaming night and sleepover.
Remember to have loads of snacks and drinks available to satisfy their grumbling tummies.
It’s also a good idea to have something special planned for breakfast like pancakes or a fun cereal bar with all their favorites.
Here’s a list of things that your teenage daughter and her friends can do at their sleepover party.
Those who love to perform will love a karaoke theme party.
Create a stage with a cool backdrop and lights to make guests feel like stars!
Rent a karaoke machine and let your kids show off their talent and sing their favorite songs while dancing the night away!
If you have a specific theme, for example, 80’s, then they can dress up and play around with costumes and accessories.
Be sure to get the kids that are shy to join in by pairing them up or even making groups or teams.
Many teen girls love being pampered so a spa night would be on the top of their list of teenage birthday party ideas.
Be sure to have loads of spa products and make-up that they can play with. They can have fun doing each other’s nails. For some inspiration check out these galaxy nails tutorials, and these latest eye shadow looks, and don’t forget the lovely smelling creams and candles to complete the spa experience.
Put on some music, pour some sparkling grape juice and combine with a sleepover and you’ll have a happy group of giggling teens spa slumber party.
For an extra special treat, let them make their own bath bombs as party favors to take home later.
Older teens could even try their hand at making luxurious soap bars with dried flowers.
Cake Boss Themed Birthday Party Idea
If your teen loves baking and is happy to have a small group of friends over, then a cake boss-inspired party is a firm favorite.
You probably won’t have time to bake enough cakes for everyone, so you could make giant muffins, or giant donuts instead and decorate those.
Alternatively, you could order already baked undecorated cakes from a local bakery.
Be sure to have enough fondant, frosting, sprinkles, chocolate chips, cake toppers, piping bags, and cake tips for everyone to decorate their cake.
If decorating a cake is too much, then you can also get your teens to decorate cookies instead.
The advantage of cookies is that they quick and easy to bake and the decorating possibilities are endless.
You’ll need cookie cutters and lots of frosting and sprinkles.
For a fun twist, they can even try cake pop decorating as well.
Just love kids love sweet treats like cookies, one of their favorite foods is pizza.
Buy several pizza bases and get them to decorate their own pizza.
Be sure to have lots of different types of cheese, meats, and veggie toppings available for them to use.
As soon as a pizza is ready pop it in the oven. If your oven is large enough, you should be able to get a couple in at the same time.
Alternatively, if you’ve always wanted an outside pizza oven, perhaps now is the time to do it. The Roccbox by Gozney portable outdoor pizza oven is highly rated as one of the best gas-fired pizza ovens available. You can even take it camping with you!
Your teen party guests can even make sweet pizzas for dessert – just add some chocolate, marshmallows, nuts, caramel, sprinkles, and ice cream and you’ve got a dessert pizza in the making.
Arts & Crafts Party
You might think that arts and crafts are for young tweens, but there are some spectacular craft kits available that teens will love.
Clear the dining room table and set out all the tools they need, put on some music, have plenty of snacks, and give them a few hours to chill and craft away. Time will fly and they’ll have so much fun making something that they can take home with them afterward.
Outdoor Teenage Birthday Party Ideas
Outdoor Movie Night
For any movie-obsessed teen, an outdoor movie night could be the ultimate way to celebrate their birthday.
You can hang a sheet, rent a projector, hang some string lights and let them watch their favorite movie.
You’ll also want to create some comfy seating for everyone. You can bring out some couches, bean bags, and add plenty of pillows, blankets, and throws.
Don’t forget the movie night snacks and you’ll have a winning party for your teen.
Both boys and girls love a sleepover and camping out makes it even more fun.
Everyone can bring their own tent and place them in a circle, or you can buy, borrow or rent a big tent so that everyone can sleep in the same tent.
It might be fun to decorate the inside with some fairy lights or keep it dark for some spooky storytelling.
Combine the camp out with a campfire with hot dogs, burgers, and toasted marshmallows and you’re all set.
For a more fancy alternative, you can also set up a glamping vibe for your teenage party. You can set up several cute teepees or you can hire a big teepee (or bell tent) where they can all sleep together.
You can get the cutest bunting and decorations in many themes from Amazon. I personally love the boho vibe, but you can find whatever theme your teen loves best.
Be sure to decorate with lots of pretty balloons, flowers, and plenty of soft pillows. Flower crowns are a must as well and make great party favors.
Sports Themed Party
Sports-themed parties are great for active teens. Depending on what sports they like you can cater to their preference.
You can even get several different sporting games like spikeball, beanbag toss, or supersized kickball to make the games even more exciting.
A really fun game to play is blindfold dodgeball, where players try to hit the central player with a soft dodgeball while blindfolded.
Pool parties are great fun in Summer and perfect for all ages.
Grab some oversized inflatables, blast some music and throw an epic pool party.
You can decorate your yard with some colorful bean bags, towels, and bright-colored plastic cups.
Here are some super fun games to play at your next pool party.
Fear Factor Party
A Fear Factor-themed party is a great birthday idea and will have everyone laughing in fear and amusement. Just imagine all the funny photos they’ll have to look back on.
You can have several different fear factor games and challenges for them to complete to score points.
Here are some challenges that they can do:
Place a few boxes on the table with a cut-out that their hands can fit through. Lable the boxes with gross things and place some gross objects in the boxes.
For example, Box 1 can be labeled bleeding heart and can have a peeled tomato in it. Box 2 could be labeled maggots and have cooked pasta for them to feel and guess what it really is.
You can find more party games and scary box ideas here.
Another fun game is egg roulette, where you place a bowl with several hard-boiled eggs on the table, plus a couple of raw eggs as well. Each player has to choose an egg and smash it on their head. Get your camera ready for the raw egg.
Check out some more scary party games that they could play in this ghoulish Halloween Party Games round-up.
Carnival Themed Party
Who doesn’t love a good carnival? Bring the carnival to your backyard by setting up different stations with traditional carnival games.
Instead of face painting, perhaps teens would prefer temporary tattoos, however, cotton candy remains a favorite no matter how old you are.
You could even rent a food truck to complete the carnival theme.
Music Festival Party
Teens might not be allowed to attend music festivals yet, but how about throwing one in your backyard.
Similar to throwing an outside movie night, you’ll need to set up a large screen or sheet. Then project recorded live performances of their favorite bands.
Make sure that you have a good music system. Add some fun lighting, temporary tattoos, funky face paints, and glow sticks and you have an awesome teenage party idea.
You can either serve some easy finger foods, pizzas, hot dogs, or burgers or pack some picnic hampers.
You can really combine many different ideas to create the ultimate party for your teen.
Tie-dye is still super popular so a tie-dye party would make a great teen party idea. There are several ways to tie-dye your tees or sweats, so choose your favorite look or technique before you start.
Those who’re even more adventurous can try to reverse tie-dye as well.
Escape Room Birthday Party
There are several fun escape room games where teens need to work together to solve a riddle and escape a Forbidden Castle, The Pharaoh’s Tomb, or The Sinister Mansion.
These games can be played with up to 6 players, but you can buy a few of the same or different options, as these games can only be played once because players will mark, fold and tear the game materials to solve the riddles.
Check the number of players and difficulty level of each game to match up with the number and age of your party guests.
Photo Scavenger Hunt
Instead of your normal scavenger hunt, get your teenage guests to find and take photos of a list of places or objects they need to find.
You can even turn it into a selfie scavenger hunt where they need to take a photo of themselves with the object.
They’ll love being able to upload their selfies to Instagram and might even include a few TikTok videos.
This is a fun party idea for a large group of teens as they can split into groups of any size.
Night Games Party
Night games are such fun and will make your teenage party one to remember. From flashlight tag, glow stick volleyball to glow in the dark cornhole toss, there are plenty of fun outdoor night games to keep them entertained.
Combine with some glow-in-the-dark decor and lighting and you have the perfect setting for an epic night games party.
Color Fight Party
Color fight parties are such fun but can be pretty messy.
Divide the group into teams and give each team a different colored powder.
Each player gets a cup of colored powder and when the war begins they get to throw powder at the other players.
You might want to give players goggles or protective eyewear and make sure that they wear old clothes.
To match the theme, include colorful treats as well.
Teenage Birthday Party Ideas Away
Perhaps you don’t have a backyard or your teen would prefer to have a party outside of the home. There are as many exciting teenage birthday party ideas that you can organize at a venue away from your home.
If you’re lucky enough to live near an amusement park then your teen and their pals can spend a day enjoying the rides. Rollercoasters and junk food are top of the list of fun activities.
Entrance to amusement parks can be pricey so you might want to feed them before they arrive, and then just give them some extra cash for drinks.
If they’re old enough you won’t need to chaperone them the whole time, but just be sure that they all have your phone number and a way to contact you if necessary. Get your teen to touch base with you a few times so that you know they’re having a good time and everything is okay.
There are several awesome paintball party venues that throw an awesome teen party. Both our sons have had several paintball parties and they’re always a success.
Remember to wear old or camouflage clothing and be warned that they might get a few paintball bruises.
If your teen is not keen on a paintball party he might prefer a laser tag party instead. This is another fun birthday party idea for any age.
You can book at a laser tag venue or you could even get your own laser tag guns and play in your own backyard or in a park. As long as there are some places to hide behind then you can really play anywhere.
Geocaching Birthday Party
Would your teen like to try geocaching? This game involves hiding and seeking treasure caches.
You can put a cache anywhere in the world and track its location with a GPS device. You can log your cache online and share it with your friends. You can then find the cache with any GPS device or smartphone.
For older kids and teens, this is the ideal birthday party!
If you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean, then I’m sure your teenager would love a beach party at some stage.
You can decorate with some really fun inflatables and be sure to have loads of easy-to-eat snacks and cool drinks available.
Remember the sunscreen and a bit of shade is always welcome.
A Road Trip for Teen Party
If your teen has a small group of friends then a road trip could be fun. We recently combined a small road trip with cool surfing destinations for our teenage son.
Tip: always take two cars in case someone doesn’t feel well so that you can take them home, while the rest can continue the road trip.
It doesn’t have to be an overnight road trip, and you can be back home that evening. However, if you want, you can always combine it with an overnight camping trip as well.
While we’re thinking of ideas for outdoorsy parties, your teen might like to take their friends on an epic hike.
We have some amazing hikes to waterfalls in our area that we all really enjoy. We packed some great snacks and they all cooled off in the waterfall afterward.
We combined this with a movie night sleepover as our son only invited four of his best friends, so it was manageable.
Just be sure to be familiar with the route you want to hike, so that you don’t have any unforeseen issues like getting lost.
Indoor Downhill Skiing
Okay, agreed that this isn’t available for everyone but if you do happen to live near an indoor ski slope like Big Snow then this could be an amazing teen party experience.
If you have the budget then there are a few extras that are just the icing on top for any teenage birthday party. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
- Rent a food truck
- Chocolate fondue with strawberries
- Specialty foods – Mexican, Japanese, Italian
- Get a photo booth
- Create a candy shop
- Balloon arch
- Decor in their theme or color scheme
- Party games
- Party favors
I hope you’ve enjoyed all the teenage birthday party ideas that I’ve shared with you, and that you and your teen have found the perfect party to celebrate their birthday.