As your child heads into the emotional teenage years, it can be difficult to find the right way to celebrate his or her birthday. Several Circle of Moms members, in fact, admit they are at a loss as how to keep their children and their friends entertained once they're past the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey stage.
"My daughter is turning 14 and I really want to throw her an amazing party to remember, but I am not sure what I should do," says Alice M. Seeking the best ideas, she says, "I really want to give it a theme that boys and girls can get into."
Since a hallmark of teens is that they try to be more like adults, several Circle of Moms members recommend that a teen birthday party should reflect that maturity while incorporating the fun. Keep reading for seven of their cool tween/teen birthday party ideas.
One of the great things about having teens or tweens is that they can have sleepovers without getting separation anxiety. As a result, Sunshine B. says her teen's last party included a sleepover. "My older daughter absolutely loved it," she says.
2. Bonfire and Night Games
Sunshine B. says she is having a coed party for her daughter's 13th birthday party that includes 15 to 20 friends. "We're going to start out in the backyard with a bonfire and they can play on our playground. Then when that's over they'll play night games such as Ghost in the Graveyard, Kick the Can, Fugitive, etc."
Kaitlynn N. similarly suggests having a small cookout where you provide food and drinks. Then, friends can stay the night and you can have a bonfire and roast marshmallows, or watch a good comedy or scary movie. After the food and drinks, "you can also just let them be them and do what[ever] they like best," she says.
3. Scavenger Hunt
Madeliene L. says she also has organized a scavenger hunt party for her 14-year-old, in which the kids hunt for items all around town. "When the guests arrived we split them into three teams with four kids on each team. The girls started the party in the park decorating team shirts with fabric markers, Sharpies, and other decorating supplies. Then, I gave them each a pretyped scavenger-hunt list. They had one hour to complete as much as they could off the list and meet me back at an ice cream parlor nearby," she explains. "Each team had a camera (most had phones or iPods with cameras) and a video camera to record all the tasks they completed. Some of the things on the list included: hug an employee at a store, do the Hokey Pokey in public, sing Christmas carols outside a Christmas store (it was April), and other silly tasks that involved them to interact with the community. They had a blast!"
4. Pool Party
One of the best ways to keep your teen or tween entertained on his birthday is to have your teen pick or approve a party theme. For instance, a Circle of Moms member named "Emilee And Carlee" says a pool-party theme usually is a hit with the older daughter. "We will be having a pool party at my grandma's, and we will also be making a campfire and we will be spending the night in her pool house, while the boys go home at night."
5. Spa Party
Brianna says for the past few years she's been having a spa-type party at her house, while Denise P. says her nieces are 14, 15, and 16, and have had "cool" sleepover movie parties. "The girls were given fuzzy slippers when they arrived," she says, and they had a pajama fashion show.
6. Dance Party
A less expensive but equally musical idea is to just have a Wii dance party, Megan E. offers. "Teens everywhere are big on this game," she says, noting her son had a crew of boys over recently and "they had a blast."
Or, Claire M., who has a 17-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter, says she once had a masked-ball-themed party where everyone wore evening dresses and masks. They "played a great range of the latest music, and everyone enjoyed dancing," she says. "It gave the girls an opportunity to dress up and dance. My daughter was really happy with the result."
7. Special Field Trip
Music is a popular theme among teens and tweens, say several moms. Claire S., for instance, threw a West End musical party, which involved going to the Les Misérables stage, meeting the cast, and doing some acting with the cast.
8. Weekend Getaway
Offering another suggestion, Sophia M. says parents can rent a cabin for a weekend, where they can watch movies, sit around the fire, and have a glow-stick party. "Make sure the parents stay in a separate tent, trailer, or cabin, or else it would take the fun out of the whole thing because the kids would feel like they couldn't do anything with the parents there because the parents would make fun of them, embarrass them, or try and control what they were doing the whole time."
Ultimately, Circle of Moms members say that the point of having a birthday party is to celebrate your child's special day. So think about what they enjoy even as they are maturing, and most of all, have fun.