Birthday party ideas for teenagers

Teenage birthday parties are tricky. On the one hand, you don’t have to entertain teenagers like you do younger children – in fact, they’d prefer you not to show your face at all. On the other hand, alcohol.

Birthday parties seem to taper off once kids hit high school. Parents are either shying away from the responsibility, or teenagers would rather not have parties where their parents are going to embarrass them, especially with a ‘no alcohol’ rule.

But it would be a shame if this generation of teens grew up without birthday party memories. So here are some ideas parents and teenagers might both like.

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With parents present

  • Parties at home. The alcohol situation is a bit easier with younger teenagers, so many 13th and 14th birthday parties are still held at home, but I would still advise to put away any alcohol you have in the house. Some kids at this age have started drinking, and they can be incredibly wiley when it comes to accessing it. And be prepared for some Spin the Bottle action.
  • Sleepovers – fun at any age. And depending on your rules and comfort levels, this could be mixed sex. But again, lock away the alcohol.
  • Hire a bunch of movies for a movie marathon and maybe even a big outdoor screen for the ‘open air movie experience’! Or a Playstation Singstar or Xbox Guitar Hero for wannabe rock stars.
  • Camping with a few friends.
  • A night away at a B&B or hotel with one or two friends.

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No parents allowed

  • Cinema – made extra special if it is a premiere, or a special double billing, or a midnight screening of the latest Hunger Games release, etc.
  • Ten pin bowling – the ‘nightclub’ action at nighttime is still fun for teens.
  • Dinner at a restaurant – find a restaurant that takes big groups and isn’t too expensive, and earlier that day deliver a birthday cake to the restaurant as a surprise dessert.
  • All-ages or under 18s band/music festival (depending on the age or nature of the teen you might want or need a parent along).

RELATED: For more ideas, check out our forum discussion Teen Party Ideas.

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If you are brave enough to attempt a party at home with 30 teenagers or more, first read these two stories written by one of our readers.

Good luck!

Do you have any ideas you can add to this list?




  1. Great ideas, Rachel! I used to love going to the movies with a big group of friends. You are far more sophisticated than me though. While you went to Chinese Restaurants for your 14th, I think I had mine at the Pancake Parlour. Classy 🙂 x

  2. I love these ideas. My favourite parties were the ones where my friends came over and we all just sat in the back yard all night solving the problems of the world. I don’t think kids parties are quite so innocent nowadays…

  3. Well that’s a given! But my Oompah Band birthday might automatically preclude me from the cool kid club.

  4. I really love this post! I’m having my 18th birthday party next month and aside of having a debut party, I’m planning of doing some of this party ideas in my post-birthday party.
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