Tween and Teen Party Ideas
Your teen may be too old for cute partyware and pin the tail on the donkey, but, that doesn't mean they can't still have an awesome birthday party! We have developed some creative teen party ideas that will entertain even the most skeptical teenager in the crowd.
At the bottom of this page is a list of teenage birthday theme ideas with coordinating games and activities to keep the party guests entertained.
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Browse this guide:
Teen Party Decorations
Teen Party Food
Teen Party Favors
Teen Games & Activities
Decorating & Food Ideas
Party Decoration Ideas for a Teenager's Birthday
Whatever the theme of your teen birthday party, we offer a multitude of different decorations that will create a festive atmosphere. For example, if you're having a pool party, we have festive luau
party supplies and decorations. If your party is based around a movie or television show, use found objects to create scenery that's similar to the show's set. Here are some more ideas that will work with most party themes.
Party Food Ideas for a Teenager's Party
- String Christmas lights around the room and dim or turn off the main lights. Add several black light bulbs to create a nightclub atmosphere.
- Don't just serve food in cups and bowls. Be creative with your food presentation with goblets, jars, hats, wicker baskets and fancy silverware.
- Play some favorite music that goes along with your party theme. You can also set out a video game system or movies for guests to play and watch.
- Display an object that your party guests can sign with a message for the guest of honor. This can be a large poster board, scrapbook or t-shirt. Be sure to include a permanent marker and ask everyone to sign before they leave.
- Scatter disposable cameras around the room for guests to use. Collect the cameras at the end of the party and see what develops!
- Create a curtain for the party room's doorway with streamers. Create a streamer chandelier by grouping a bunch of colors together in the middle of the ceiling and then draping them out to the corners of the room.
In addition to pizza, hamburgers or hotdogs serve some creative snacks at your party. Here are some suggestions your teen party guests will surely devour.
- Provide hors d'oeuvres like mini pizza bagels, pizza rolls, sliders, pigs in a blanket and chicken strips. Also provide a veggie platter or cheese and crackers.
- Serve breakfast food at the party instead of dinner foods such as waffles, pancakes, cereal, bacon, sausage and bagels.
- Serve a variety of candy like jelly beans, M&Ms, gum drops, licorice and lollipops in glass jars. The colorful candy will also serve as a nice table decoration.
- Set up an ice cream bar where the party guests can choose their own ice cream flavor and toppings.
- If you're showing a movie at your party, provide popcorn with toppings such as cinnamon, powdered cheese, and caramel.
- Have a cookie decorating contest. Use cookie cutters to make sugar cookies and then see who can decorate their cookie the best using frosting and candy.
Party Favor Ideas
Party Favor Ideas for a Teenager's Party
You're never too old for treats! Thank your guests for coming to the birthday party with a favor that rock! Here are some of our favorite ideas.
- At the party take a photo of the birthday teen with each guest. Send each guest home with a photo frame and then mail the picture of the two of them with your thank you notes.
- Temporary tattoos
- Friendship bracelets
- Notebooks or stationary with a cool pen
- Mini board games
- Swirl lollipops, rock candy or candy bars
- Personalized zipper pulls are a popular way to decorate jackets and bags. Choose from more than 200 designs and we'll customize them with your friend's names.
Party Theme Ideas
Quick List of Preteen and Teen Party Theme Ideas
Here are some creative preteen and teen party ideas that your guests will be talking about for years to come! For more in depth ideas, see the Games and Activities section at the bottom of this page.
Quick Game Ideas for a Preteen or Teen Party
- Black Light Highlighter Party: Ask your guests to arrive wearing an old white t-shirt and then pass out highlighters. Replace the lights in the party room with black light bulbs or lamps. Everyone can draw on each other's shirts to create their own glowing wardrobe!
- Ice Cream Sundae Party: Decorate the kitchen to look like an old ice cream parlor and then invite your guests to make the ice cream treat of their dreams. Make sure you provide all sorts of yummy toppings.
- Backyard Movie Night: Rent an inflatable screen or projector and then provide picnic food and blankets for your guests. Then, wait for dusk and start the movie.
- Casino Night: Ask your guests to dress in formal attire and then invite them over for a night of non-alcoholic pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris, and Shirley temples. Ask some adult friends to be card dealers and dress the part too. Then, let the card games begin! Have some pennies on hand for the guests to pretend gamble with or use candy. Cash out for bigger prizes or gift cards.
- Come as You Are Party: This idea has to be 100% cleared with parents first! On the day of the party, fake kidnap the party guests and then drive them to a special place such as a hotel, restaurant, ballgame, spa or movie.
- Olympics: Put your guests' skills to the test by hosting your own Olympic games. You don't need to play sports for this competition; get creative with the type of games that are played. They can be silly or theme related.
- Fortune Telling Party: Get out the Ouija Board and spook your guests with a night of horoscopes, palm readings and scary teen movies.
If you just want to invite a group of friends over to play games and hang out, here are some of our favor ideas.
View More Game Ideas
- Dodge Ball Tournament: Find out who has the same skills they had in Elementary School with a few rounds of dodge ball.
- Water Balloon Battles: Cool down on a hot day with an impromptu water balloon fight. This is great fun if your guests don't know it's about to happen!
- Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: Send your guests out in teams to find a list of objects from around the neighborhood. The first team back can win a cool prize.
- Gingerbread House Contest: Work together in teams of 3 or 4 to create theme-related gingerbread houses such as a house of rock, sorority house, tree house or old-fashioned gingerbread house. The best creation can win a prize.
- Whacky Races: Use household objects to create all sorts of silly races for your guests to play. Have a relay race while balancing books on your head, wearing high heels or spinning to the finish line without falling over. Award gag gifts as prizes.
- Man Hunt with Squirt Guns: Dress in old clothes and then fill water guns with water and a little bit of food coloring. Then, go crazy in the backyard with a game of water gun freeze tag.
Party Planning Toolbox
Use the links below to quickly find related theme party supplies, planning tips, printable checklists, and advice from our party planning experts.
- Teenage Party Themes: Throw a teen birthday party with these themes that teens and preteens are sure to love!
- Themed Party Supplies: Includes paperware, invitations, personalized items, favors, and decorations for over 150 themes.
- Themed Personalized Items: Check out our exclusive personalized items including invitations, bookmarks, stickers, and more!
- Birthday Party Decorating Ideas: This guide will tell you how to decorate for your party theme, what to do with balloons and streamers, how to decorate with food, how to set the table, and how to make your own party decorations.
- Parties Under $100: Use this guide to celebrate in style without breaking the bank!
- Party Budget Estimator: Download this guide to help budget your expenses.
- More Birthday Theme Ideas: Browse our list of over 130 themed party guides to find tips for your child's next birthday! Each guide includes ideas for invitations, decorations, food, favors, games and more.
Games and Activities
Board games, card games and video games will give your party guests a chance to have some laughs while winning big!
Get crafty with the girls and make bracelets, friendship pins, scrapbooks and more! Everyone can keep the items they make or trade them with their friends.
Invite a small group of close friends to go camping or, just camp out in your backyard for a night. Tell ghost stories, roast marshmallows and have a blast in the great outdoors.
If your teen's friends have the moves, they may enjoy a themed dance party. Choose a favorite style of music and DJ the night away!
If the party guests have a common interest such as a popular TV show, sport or hobby, consider a themed costume party.
Invite your party guests to a dinner party they'll never forget. Everyone will be assigned a character to play at the murder mystery party. The good news is, we've written the whole thing for you!