Your kid wants to be cool and let’s be honest, you want to be the cool parent. Planning birthday party activities for teens can be challenging because the themed ideas of their youth are too babyish and there is a fine line between what’s cool and what’s not. While teen parties can be a lot of fun, get it wrong and everyone’s cool status drops way down. Teen parties take a fair amount of planning and you need a great list of activities planned and ready to go.
A house full of teens can turn unruly if there aren’t enough activities to keep them occupied and happy. I’ve gathered up a list of cool birthday party activities and fun games, all of which received two thumbs up from my own teen, to help you plan the best bash that will elevate you to cool parent status. If you want to plan all of these activities around a theme be sure to check out these 11 Fun Party Theme Ideas for Teens.
The best part is that these birthday party activities for teens are sure to keep everyone busy and having a blast. At the end of the night, you’ll be able to sit back and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. And if you’re really lucky, your teen might even say thanks.
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Tips For Planning A Teen Birthday Party
The best parties are well planned so the final execution can go off without a hitch. These tips will help you plan the coolest party on the block so you can ensure all party guests have a great time.
Consult a Teen – Surprise parties are a great idea for adults but teens can be fickle, so the best way to make sure the party goes well is to consult your teen. Ask for their input and get their stamp of approval for every activity you plan.
Decide on a Budget – Don’t let cost get out of hand. Set a budget and stick to it.
Make a Guest List – Who will you be inviting to the party? Will you require an RSVP? Make a guest list so you have an idea of your needs for space, food and supplies.
Find a Place – Having the party at home can save money but you’ll need very specific rules about where guests can go. You’ll also want to put up anything valuable or breakable. Even with truly well behaved kids, accidents can happen. Sometimes hosting the party are a restaurant, park or arcade is the safe way to go. Paintball, Go Karts, Escape Rooms and Laser Tag are all great ideas for hosting an out-of-the-home party for teens.
Add Music – You won’t need to play DJ because every teen at the party will have a smart device loaded with their favorite music. Supply a speaker with and MP3 hookup or connection cords so kids can attach their phones and let them select the tunes they love.
Provide Food – A buffet of foods that teens can walk by and graze on is the best option over a full meal. Supply an assortment of healthy choices along with finger foods, chips, candy and cake.
Have An Extra Chaperone – Invite a few other parents to help you oversee the party, especially if kids may be moving from room to room or from indoors to outdoors. Teens are sneaky so it’s important to outsmart them and if you’ve got a few extra helpers that makes your job that much easier.
Birthday Party Activities for Teens
Plan a birthday celebration that your teenager will love with these fun party games and group activities guaranteed to have a good time.
This water gun painting on canvas activity is super fun, and is pretty budget-friendly too. Perfect for any age from little kids up to older teens, they'll love creating their own DIY decor with this entertaining arts and crafts project.
This teen scavenger hunt is designed for teens to look for the items around their town. These are items that should be easy to spot in almost any town or city location. The first person to find everything wins! (Make it more challenging by setting a time limit - also good for creating a defined end time to the activity.)
This hippy-style apparel is still around and it makes for a fun outdoor activity that teens will love. With some inexpensive t-shirts and different colors of dye, your teen's friends will have a blast getting creative and designing their own unique shirts. This is a great option when you want to keep them busy outside.
For teenage Star Wars fans, a tricky scavenger hunt can actually get them engaged in the party. One user even had the key to a new Nissan Rogue taped to the Rogue One movie in the final scavenger hunt location for their 16-year-old! Of all the teen birthday party ideas we have, this may be my favorite one!
Gather up a group of teens and all of your Nerf guns and supplies. It's time for an epic Nerf battle. No need for an amusement park when you can have your own battleground in your backyard! Divide players into teams and go! We think the winning team should get to blast the others with water balloons, but you can decide the outcome.
Learn how you and a few of your best friends can throw the ultimate murder mystery party. This is a favorite party game that all teenage girls and boys will enjoy playing. You can even develop entire themed parties based on the murder mystery!
This fun twist on the traditional White Elephant game is a good idea for older kids who want to do a gift exchange. This is a great way to cut down on excess birthday gifts while also taking care of the need for party favors!
A pool party is always fun, but what if you don't have a pool? Good news - just take the party outdoors with this fun DIY slip and slide that will be a hit with kids of all ages. Just cook up some hot dogs and invite friends over for some summer birthday fun, no swimming pool required.
Enjoy some pampering and a fun mani/pedi with an at-home spa day party. These are always a hit for teen birthday parties - and to take the fun to another level, consider adding in a fashion show as well!