Preteen & Teen Party Ideas

By Emily Churchill

Created on June 14, 2016

Planning a party for a tween or a teen? Chances are that you are no longer planning a princess or super hero party. Tweens and teens tend to like more grown-up party themes. Need some inspiration to help plan the perfect party for your more "mature" child? Look no further! We sent out our party planning experts to dig up some of the best party ideas for even the most skeptical youth in the crowd. Browse our huge selection of party themes to help cover your tableware, decoration, and party favor needs.

Some popular birthday activities:

  • Slumber party
  • Pool party
  • Movie night
  • Concert
  • Sporting Event
  • Dinner at a favorite restaurant

Spa Party

Spa Party Ideas It's all about polishing, pampering, and primping at a spa party. Teenagers might want to have a spa party booked with professionals and a few close friends at a salon.
  • Facials, manicures and pedicures will keep the girls busy.
  • Find a favorite recipe online for a homemade sugar scrub or face mask.
  • Decorate a pair of flip-flops to wear after a pedicure.
  • Combine a few inexpensive manicure supplies for a travel spa favor kit.
  See our Spa Party Idea styled by Tara from Spot of Tea Designs. See out Pinterest board for more ideas.  


Paris Party

Paris Party Ideas   Mais oui! A Paris party is perfect for a little lady's celebration. Bring un petit français into your home with these ideas that will make you say "Ooh-la-la!"
  • Decorate with French icons like the Eiffel tower, poodles, and fleur-de-lis.
  • Pick a menu inspired by the cafes of Paris.
  • Put on a fashion show- don’t forget the feather boas.
  • Play Paris bingo with French themed prizes.
See more of our favorite ideas on our Pinterest board.


Video Game Party

Video Game Party Ideas A video game party is one way to let the kids accrue hours of game time without getting nagged. Theme out your party with decorations and treats the match your child's favorite game. From Madden to Mario, there are so many options.
  • Decorate based off a favorite video game or a retro gaming party.
  • Have a gaming tournament with teams or head to head.
  • Tetris brownies, toadstool cupcakes and coin cookies can be on the menu.
  See our Pinterest board for more ideas.


Hotel Party

Hotel Party Ideas Want to turn your child's party into a weekend event? Try a night at a hotel!
  • Take advantage of the hotel pool and throw a pool party.
  • Hotels are located by great attractions -stay the night and maximize fun.
  • Get a suite that can fit all the kids to keep the costs minimal.
  • Many hotels offer free continental breakfasts- one less thing to stress on.
See more of our favorite ideas on our Pinterest board.


Glow Party

Glow in the Dark Party Ideas Glow in the dark parties seem to toe the line between magic and science and always light up the night!
  • Bring out the black lights to maximize the glow.
  • Have everyone wear light reactive clothes- neon colors shine brightest.
  • Stock up on glow sticks and put them in helium balloons.
  • Glow bowling, glow ring toss, and glow twister keep the games on theme.
See more of our favorite ideas on our Pinterest board.


Social Media Themed Party

Instagram Party Ideas Instagram is here to stay and everyone loves to share pictures of a good time
  • Photo booths are always a party favorite!
  • Pick a #hashtag for Instagram uploads from the party.
  • The Instagram logo can adorn everything from invite to thank you.
  • Set up a Instagram scavenger hunt.
See more of our favorite ideas on our Pinterest board.


Movie Night Party

Movie Night Party Ideas Movie night Parties can be inside or outside but if the weather is good and you have the space, setting up an outdoor movie theater will win the hearts of any tween or teen.
  • DIY a projector screen with a white sheet and set up a theater inside or out.
  • Stock up on theater concessions and set up a popcorn bar.
  • Make cozy seating- gather all blankets and pillows to offer to guests.
The ideas on our Pinterest board all get 2 thumbs up. See our Movie Party Idea styled by Cheryl from Moms & Munchkins.


Sports Parties

Sports Party Ideas Sports themed parties are an easy way to please boys of all ages. Whether watching in a stadium or hitting the turf, good times are guaranteed.
  • Send a small group of friends to a local sporting event.
  • Set up a photo booth and create trading cards form the photos.
  • Reserve a field at a park for a friendly match of their favorite game.
Our Pinterest board has more winning ideas.


Karaoke Party Ideas

Karaoke Party Ideas A Karaoke Dance party breaks everyone out of their shell. It just might have them laughing to tears while dancing the night away.
  • Make a karaoke playlist on Youtube so the singing never stops.
  • Vote on best karaoke categories and have an awards ceremony.
  • Inflatable microphones and guitars will make fun favors.
See our Pinterest board for more rockin’ ideas.


Schedule a Photoshoot

Photoshoot Party Ideas Take the stress out of party planning for your teen and schedule a photo shoot for them and their friends. Top it off with dinner and you're done. Does it get much easier?
  • Book a portrait session in studio or on location depending on the season.
  • Before the party the kids can choose coordinating outfits.
  • Create a photo collage as a memorable favor.
Check out more cool ideas on our Pinterest board.


Party Olympics

Party Olympics Ideas Party Olympics will have them competing and laughing their way through the birthday party. Athletic prowess isn’t even necessary.
  • Pick out your favorite minute-to-win-it games have a tournament.
  • Gigantify classics like Jenga and Bananagrams for backyard fun.
  • Make silver, gold, and bronze medals to give out to the winners.
Find more champion ideas on our Pinterest board.

Planning & Invitations

Get guests excited to celebrate with creative invitations. The ideas below go from simple to extravagant. Choose the idea that fits best with your budget and the appetites of your teenage party guests.
  • Send out a Facebook event invite. For the event's picture, choose a cute baby photo. Make sure you ask the guests to reply "yes, no or maybe" in the invite so you can keep track of who's coming.
  • Blow up a balloon (don't tie it off) and write the party details carefully on it with a permanent marker. Deflate the balloon and wash off the tip. Mail the balloons to the party guests. Include instructions for them to inflate the balloon to read the party details!
  • Have custom t-shirts made that feature the party details and guest list. Have fun and design the shirt to look like a concert t-shirt with a big logo on the front and all the guests' names on the back.
  • For a sleepover party, deliver the invitations with a pair of flannel pajama pants.
  • If the guests live close by, hire a limousine company and then ask the chauffeur to knock on the guest's doors to deliver the invitations. Each invitation could be placed on a silver serving tray and uncovered in front of each guest and include a decadent treat on the tray as well!
  • Order personalized invitations from Birthday in a Box. Choose from more than 200 designs that match your party theme. We personalize each invitation with a name and the party details.

Decoration Ideas for a Teenage 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.
  • 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.

Food Ideas for a Teenage Party

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, gumdrops, 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.

Game Ideas for a Preteen or Teen Party

If you just want to invite a group of friends over to play games and hang out, here are some of our favor 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.

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