16th Birthday Party Ideas

I'm having a 16th birthday party, and I have about 35-40 people I want to invite. It can't be too expensive, less that $500/$400, but I want it to be really fun while classy at the same time, you know? I know a lot of people have themes, but I'm not really too into that. I was thinking of maybe renting out a banquet hall and to just have food and dancing, but that might be too much and I can't seem to think of anything else. Any ideas? Please help! :)


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May 10, 20150 found this helpful

While I can't fathom the idea of spending that much money on a party, I can see wanting to have all of your friends. I suggest a backyard B.B.Q. You can jazz things up nicely with home-made or store bought Tiki torches or those decorative light strings, light some citronella candles, some music (played at a moderate level so as not to incur the wrath of your neighbors or involve the police).

You could (and probably should) buy paper plates, etc... to make the clean-up easy on your folks. There is a lot of stuff on the web about party games, etc...

As far as food goes, I'd grill up a lot of hamburgers and set up a condiment bar, complete with different cheeses, pickles, buns, maybe even fried bacon strips and those lovely, greasy French-fried onions. I'd probably offer some cold sides that could be made ahead (think coleslaw, broccoli salad, potato salad, a sweet salad like fruit salad or something with jello and fruit), and several different kinds of chips.


Borrow several coolers and set-up drink stations around the yard. Make sure you offer bottled water for the friends who don't care for corn-syrup based refreshments or are health conscious.

Do you know someone who is good with decorating cakes? You can buy a large-enough cake pan for these kind of parties at Wally world, and then you will have the pan for future use. You can find out how many cake mixes to use with a quick web-search. Or just bake 2 or 3 different flavors in 9x13 pans, and make several cakes so there is a choice, and have just the one special birthday cake decorated up, leaving the others with plain frosting of your choice.

For Ice cream, I suggest buying half gallon cartons (not buckets). The reason for this is ease of serving. You peel off the entire top and sides of the container, leaving you with a "brick" of ice cream. You cut it in half lengthwise, then slice it, and you have nice equal "slices" of ice cream served up before it all melts.


You could ask a couple of your friends to be cake and ice cream servers, and maybe a couple to help with clean-up after the party. You all are mature and responsible enough now to pitch in and help Mom and Dad a little, right?

This kind of party can be very cool... actually it's really all about attitude. Maybe you could enlist your very best friends to help you plan the deal and shop for it.That in itself could be a lot of fun!

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May 10, 20150 found this helpful

I agree with the previous post - have a BBQ! You could set up a "Sundae Bar" for the ice cream with all kinds of toppings - YUM! And a burger bar with toppings. Set up some activities for your friends, like volleyball or even a sprinkler - you know, even if you are 16, people of all ages enjoy "letting go" a little.


Maybe have a theme - Mad Men, Hawaii, 70's tie dye, whatever is cool to you and your friends - ask some of them what they'd like. Most of all, make sure you have fun! Hey, how about karaoke?! Yeah, it's old, but it's still fun.

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May 10, 20150 found this helpful

Also - here's something that's really cool: If you really don't need presents, ask your friends to bring donations for your local animal shelter instead of gifts. ;)

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September 20, 20151 found this helpful

I am also having a sweet sixteen, and my theme is game night/80s. We are going to have it at my house (saves you money from renting a place so you can spend it on decorations, food, and games). There will be games and contests set up all over the house and at the end of the night prizes and "teen choice awards." We are also going to have a bonfire outside.


I suggest making sure to have good food, because thats one thing that every teenager is absolutely in love with! Hope your birthday is great

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