Sweet 16 Party Ideas for a Memorable Event!

You only turn 16 once. These sweet 16 party ideas will give you lots of ways to make your party memorable! From decorating ideas to the food to serve, you'll find everything you need here.

Take your time browsing these sweet 16 party ideas. Some are for parties you have at home, while others are for parties you can have at other venues. Each idea/theme has details on how to pull off the party, whether you are planning it for yourself, a friend, or you are a parent throwing this special party for your teen!

Sweet 16 Party Ideas: Parties at Home

Having the party at your home has plenty of advantages, but there are some disadvantages too. You will have lots of time to get the house ready and the decorations up, and, you can take your time cleaning up afterwards. It is also cheaper since you will save on renting the party place.

The disadvantages are that you will be hosting teenagers in your home, and it is a lot of work. There is a chance things will get broken. You will have to clean your entire house. Some venues include the party set up and clean up, saving you the mess!

Here's some sweet 16 party ideas for your home:

cupcakeDance Party

A lot to teenagers love to dance. Why not create your own dance space? It is easy to do. Move all the furniture to the sides of the room and dim the lights. Ask around, do any of your friends have a Disco ball? You can find party dance lights like this at many novelty stores in the mall or at party stores. Another great effect is to buy an inexpensive strobe light. They really create the look of a dance club! Buy some glow necklaces and jewelry to hand out to your guests for the dance party. Prepare some mixed CD's or a dance list of MP3's so you won't have to stop dancing to change the music!

cupcakeGame for Teens

If you want to incorporate a game, this is a fun one! You can make it as outrageous as you want. Before the party, gather slips of paper, and write down certain tasks and a time to do it during the party (see examples listed below). Put each slip of paper inside a balloon before blowing it up. Inflate the balloon, tie it off, and place around the room as usual. As each guest enters, tell them to pick out a balloon, pop it, read the slip of paper and do as it says during the party. They must keep their action a secret from others. Here's some examples of tasks:

  • "When we sing "Happy Birthday", sing it loudly and do your best Elvis impression, complete with hip movements!" (or Insert a favorite singer you have).
  • "Whenever someone at the party says birthday, squawk like a chicken."
  • "At some point during the party, leave an anonymous birthday message on the bathroom mirror." (provide a window crayon for this)
cupcakeCandy Party

It is called Sweet 16, right? Having a candy theme just makes sense! You can decorate in pretty pastels and make large lollipops to decorate the room.

diy lollipops For instance, a Candyland birthday party would work great! Click on the link to see photos of how I threw this type of party for my six year old. You can use some of the decoration ideas for a Sweet 16 party too! To make a large lollipop, wrap a sturdy paper plate in colorful cellophane, and tie the excess at the base with a big ribbon. Add a dowel to the base and you can place these in the yard, or near the front door.

Have bowls of candy around at the party, and send the guests home with a candy bar favor!

Sweet 16 Party Ideas: Parties at Venues

Here's some ideas of places to rent out to have the party. Many of these places may even have a birthday party package available If not, check into group rates for a discounted admission price! Here are sweet 16 party ideas for different venues:

cupcakeBowling Party
These parties are fun because you can bowl a couple games with your friends, enjoy the food at the snack counter, and play some arcade games. Bowling alleys always have plenty of tables around so you can all enjoy cake and open presents.

cupcakeSpa Party
Ready to pamper your girlfriends? Call your local spa and check package prices. Most spas offer a group rate so you can all get manis and pedis, or maybe even a facial!

cupcakePool Party
Many local pools, whether you are a member or not, offer an admission price for non-members. See if one is in your area and call to check what you can bring in. Some allow your own food and drink, so this can be a perfect place for a Summer party

cupcakeRoller Skating/Ice Skating Party
Do you have a rink in your area? Many offer birthday party packages and they will handle all the details. Admission for each guest, skate rental, and food/drink are provided for each guest for a group rate.

cupcakePaint Ball/Laser Tag Party
This venue is a lot of fun for the sporty and competitive teens. Gather a bunch of friends and grap a group rate at your local paint ball field or indoor laser tag.

cupcakeBeach Party
If you live near a beach or a lake, you can plan your own party at the beach. Arrive early to set up blankets, chairs, and a canopy. Provide a picnic lunch, a large thermos with cold lemonade, and bring a beach ball. Perhaps you can host a sandcastle contest!

Sweet 16 Party Ideas: Food to Serve

Teens love to eat! So have plenty of teen-friendly foods ready to serve. Here's some sweet 16 party ideas for food to serve:

cupcakePizza Pitas/Bagels

The favorite? Pizza of course! Ordering it is easy and delicious, but here's a fun snack idea too: Try making your own pizza bagels or pita pizzas. They are delicious, and guests will have making their own. You can provide a topping bar for them to use.

cupcakeTaco Bar
Another food to get your guests involved in the preparation is a taco bar (or nacho bar). Set everything up in a buffet line on a table. Include chips, soft taco shells, hard taco shells, ground meat, diced chicken, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, olives, onions, and different salsas. The teens will graze all night long, and you can prepare everything ahead of time.

cupcakePopcorn Machine

If the money is available, you may wish to consider renting a popcorn machine for the event. Guests can help themselves!

cupcakeChocolate Fountain
A chocolate fountain can be rented and they are beautiful to look at, and delicious! You can provide various fruits to dip, marshmallows, pretzels, and shortbread cookies.

Finger foods also work great, so check out my easy appetizers page for great recipes.

Sweet 16 Party Ideas: Decorations


cupcakeCandle-lit Driveway

A beautiful look I like, for any party, is the candle lit driveway. To do this is very simple, but it requires a little advance preparation. Regular brown paper lunch bags can be used, or you can get fancier and buy the colored paper bags to match the theme. Fill them will a bit of sand, gravel, or rocks, and add a battery operated tea light. Line the driveway and walkway with these candles. Your guests will love walking into your party.

cupcakeMessage Board

At 16, friends matter greatly and lasting friendships are created. At this age, having some type of guest book where guests can leave a brithday message for the guest of honor really means a lot. Teens have fun writing the messages and reading what others have written. And, it is priceless for the birthday teen, who will cherish it forever. You can leave out a notebook, or place a poster board on a wall in the party to write messages. Whatever you decide to do, provide instructions and be clear on what to write. Perhaps it could say "Please wish Brandon a Happy Birthday, and share a funny story or memory".

cupcakePhoto Board

Collect favorite photos of the guest of honor, and display them on a large board that will be displayed by the gift table. This is easy as collecting the prints, and taping them using some tape on the back, to a large poster board.

Now we are in the digital age, you may find that many of your favorite photos are not printed. Don't fret! Drag the photos to a memory card and play them on a digital photo frame. These are so fun to display at parties! Or, you can display a slide show from your smart TV or on a computer screen.

I hope these sweet 16 party ideas have given you some inspiration for your party planning. We would love to hear your ideas too! Take a moment to leave your idea below and have fun reading other visitor's sweet 16 party ideas.

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