Ideas for a Sweet 16 Party

My daughter's sweet 16 party is less than a month away. She has invited about 23 guests who all have very different personalities. She is a very active person and wants the party to reflect her, although in the past some of her less active friends did not participate which caused the others to not as well.


We are going to have it at the bay, but do not know what games to play. We are going to set up a badminton/volleyball net and have a bonfire around 7. But she has invited the guests from 2-10. She also wants a theme, but doesn't know how to put up decorations in a place where there is nowhere to hang anything up, as well as what decorations to use. She is also afraid of embarrassment if she picks a theme like Alice in Wonderland because of the way some of her friends are.

We also can not spend a lot of money, and do not want a chill party, but would prefer one where everyone is active. The music and food is the easiest part. Please help if you have any ideas for themes, games, or any other ways to entertain a bunch of teenagers who all have very different personalities.
Thank you.


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February 25, 20190 found this helpful

This party is way too long. I would allow 1/2 hour chit-chat. 45 minutes for the main portion of the meal, 30 minutes to open gifts and 30 minutes for dessert. Make the party start later. They can always run around if they want to expend some energy.

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February 25, 20191 found this helpful

Here are some ideas for activities:

Sandcastle contest
Shell Collecting contest (who can collect the most shells)
Everyone bring a can of food to the party to give to needy families
Tic Tac Toe with Shells collected
Water Balloon Volleyball
Frisbee throwing contest


Jumping contest
Bon fire and Music
Bon fire and roasting peeps or marshmellows



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March 6, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you I'm defiantly going to use all these game ideas.

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February 26, 20191 found this helpful

Wow!! You are a good mom to be so caring for everyone's needs and wants!!! That is awesome.

So I am assuming that 2-10 you are treating this as an open house, where people will come and go? Is that the idea. That is a long time, but if you are willing to be there that entire time, go for it!!

Have a neat chalk board that everyone can see with the day's events spelled out so they are encouraged to stay (or come back) for various events.


The theme should be beachy--maybe have kites to fly between big events, sand toys and such--even grownups LOVE playing in the sand--well, I do :). You could also have beach towels that look like checker boards and 2 color frisbees to be the checkers (and then later to be used to play frisbees between big events.

For "big events" maybe at 2:30 have beach volleyball game planned (some will play, some will watch).

Then at 4 plan a second big a scavenger hunt with a theme of 16 things to find (and they get to keep the things they find--like small items you can get 4/1.00 at the dollar store.

At 6 plan the main dinner part of the day (grilled hotdogs if you can take a grill to the beach) and festive "virgin" non alcohol strawberry daiquiris.


You will need non perishable snacks for the entire day--so chips, pretzels, maybe popcorn, and cookies that won't melt--like shortbreads or animal cracker.

Be sure to have plenty of ice to keep things cool and have coolers with sodapop or water for the guests to help themselves.

At 8 plan something that can be done if it is going to be dark at 8--like a fire pit with birthday s'mores being made.

At 9 your daughter can open all the gifts and thank everyone so they can leave by 10.

I think there would be something for everyone with a day like this!! I wish I could attend--I love the beach and haven't been able to go in almost 17 LONG years.

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March 6, 20191 found this helpful

Thank you so much this was really helpful.

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March 7, 20190 found this helpful

Post back how it goes!!!

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