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Sweet 16 Birthday Party Ideas

Category Birthday
In some cultures a girl's 16th birthday party is traditionally a very special occasion. This is a guide about sweet 16 birthday party ideas.
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August 26, 20161 found this helpful

This is a guide about sweet 16 masquerade party ideas. Planning a masquerade theme for your 16th party is romantic and fun.

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June 10, 20133 found this helpful

Okay, I'm turning 16 in November. But, having a party requires inviting the people I call friends who in the end will not show up and put my parents out a butt load of money. I want to do something with 5 or 6 people that is Halloweenish (apparently that's not a word). Haunted houses are a bore though. I have drawn a complete blank and my parents want me to figure out what I'm doing. Please help?

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By Alexis C.

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June 12, 20130 found this helpful

Hi Alexis! Just a thought about your birthday coming up! If your into the Twilight Saga then you can find great ideas related to that online or just create from ur own perspective. I hope this inspires you for your "halloweenish" birthday! Have a great day! <3

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June 12, 20130 found this helpful

Maybe you could base the party on a popular movie that you like.

Do you have any favorite activities you used to do for Fall time like bobbing for apples or other such games, maybe you could arrange to have a hay ride or go to a special place that features a theme that you like.

Have a Happy Birthday!

Blessings,
Robyn from Tennessee

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June 12, 20130 found this helpful

First off, let me just say how nice it is that at your young age, you thought of your parents and how much money they would/could spend. That said, I like the other ideas a lot. You could also add to that a King or Koontz novel you all like, if relevant, and/or have a costume contest. I hope you have a great one whatever you decide.
PBP

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June 13, 20130 found this helpful

Research in your area and go to an actual haunted destination. I don't know where you are located, like I'm in Pittsburgh and we have actual walking tours of the city that take you to places rumored to actually be haunted. I'm 50 and I'm doing it here soon. They have guides that give you the back story of each place.

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July 25, 20130 found this helpful

If you come up with something please let me know! I'm in he same boat for a October 29th birthday!

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July 25, 20130 found this helpful

Ooh, I just had a thought, what about a limo/bus and a driving tour of the haunted houses in your area. We are in Denver and there is a lot and then a sleepover with scary movies!

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August 9, 20131 found this helpful

I'm turning 16 at the end of August and I have no idea what to do for my party. I either want just a few of my close friends or some of my guy friends as well, I'm not sure yet. I know I want a sleepover at the end of the party. (Guys have to go home of course.) I am kind of sporty and I love sweets! Any help?

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By Meg

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August 9, 20130 found this helpful

Well, based off what your telling me if sounds like your a fun loving sweet girl and I would say that this is inexpensive and fun. Buy candy from a local store, light up balloons, and ribbon. You can get this from Walmart around the total of 30$ get two packs of light up balloons around $5 per pack.

Get four roles of ribbon any color around $3 per pack. 2 packs of your choice of candy preferably ones in rappers around $5 per pack. Here's the plan; blow of the light up balloons. Tie 5 inch ribbon on the end of the balloons to secure the air in them then tie the candy at the end of the ribbon then turn of the lights. You will have a game of find the candy at night (don't put candy on all of them it's funnier) :) Hoped this helped.

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September 17, 20130 found this helpful

Well your theme cpuld be Candy Crush cause you like candy n crush 2 show ur sporty side.I add a link off a pic i made for u to ues on the front off your invitations. And u could have candy n cupcakes with sporty wapers on them.

Well good luck!!!!!!

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October 23, 2009

My daughter is turning 16 and she doesn't want to have a typical Sweet 16. I understand and I want to throw her something super original. Paintball is too much of a guy party, but she wants something active so all her friends won't be sitting around. She likes to have fun, but I need help on what to do. Any suggestions?

By Parkkk from Miami, FL

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful

Sweet Sixteen Birthday Games: Karaoke
Karaoke is so much fun and even more fun when performed in front of lots of friends and family. You can expect to have hours of entertainment for everyone.
Karaoke compliments every theme. For example if you have an 80's theme, sing only 80's songs. Good luck.

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October 25, 20090 found this helpful

What about a scavenger hunt? or a craft to make something out of a t-shirt? For our son at that same age. We rented a cabin at a beach and rented kayaks for his guests to go out on. Afterward we barbecued. Not frugal, but lots of fun.
Good luck, it's a hard age for party planning.

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October 25, 20090 found this helpful

You could rent the roller skating rink or the bowling alley. Where I live the roller skating rink decorates and they play games on skates and give out prizes for the games. All we have to bring is the refreshments. Each person has to pay for their skates.

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October 26, 20090 found this helpful

All these ideas are great. Another option is to have your daughter and some of her friends plan it with your advice and guidance.

Our son would plan his own parties when he was a teenager as long as we approved his plans. He had to work with a budget. He didn't realize this but he learned to budget his money and how to organize while having fun making the plans.

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October 26, 20090 found this helpful

How about a hay ride and a corn maze at your closest horse riding facility. They are lots of fun!

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October 27, 20090 found this helpful

I will never forget the fun had by all those in attendance at my triplets sweet 16. They all have momentos to help them remember as well. I bought size 2X size t-shirts for each teen, decorating the front with the statement" I went to a rockin' sweet 16 birthday party and all I got was this totally awesome sleep shirt. They decorated the back of them while eating cake and ice cream in the middle of the party. Near the end of the party, we had an unbiased person (a neighbor who had no idea what t-shirt belonged to what guest), judge the teens' art work. A prize was given for the one chosen.

Some game ideas: a ladle race-carry a softball size water balloon, filled of course, from one corner of your street to the next. If the balloon is dropped and busted, that person is out.

Say cheese-pair off and blindfold each person. slather one persons face with redi-whip. Sit each pair in chairs, facing each other, about 3 feet apart. hand the dry faced member a small mixing bowl full of cheese puffs. The players have 3 minutes to make as many puffs stick as possible. directions can be given (only by the receiving partner) such as 'more to the left', etc. puffs that fall off no longer count. a prize is given to each member of the winning team. in the rare case of a tie, a small amount of puffs are put in a bowl and the tied teams guess the number of puffs. closest without going over, wins.

One last game. Cupcake races-best played on the porch or floor. The players are seated on their knees, with their hands tied behind their backs. Overly decorated cupcakes (still in the paper cups) are placed in front of each player. First one to finish their messy treat wins the prize. (hint: it will be nearly impossible to clean the cup, decide the amount that is acceptable to be left to claim a winner)

Memory jar-each guest writes a memory they have of the birthday girl/boy. The honoree has to read each, one at a time, and guess who wrote it. I prize is given fo those who bluff him/her.

Prize suggestions:
Gift certificates for a favorite fast food hangout, a gift card for a video/music store, a movie theater ticket, gift card for a bookstore or favorite clothing store, packages of cookies, 2-liter bottles of soda. These can be placed out all together so a winner can pick the prize that fits them, eliminating the possibility of, for example, a diabetic winning cookies.

Good luck and have fun!

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January 19, 2017

I am Zach Lau and I'm turning 16 next month. I was wondering if you can give me any ideas for my party because I want it to be the best that no one will ever forget.

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November 27, 2016

My sweet sixteen is in January and I'm gonna invite twenty or so people. I'm not big on dressing up and all that. I wanted to have a bonfire party thing, but it'll be winter so it might not work. I'm really on a low budget since I'll be paying for it myself. Any ideas will help!

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July 31, 20130 found this helpful

My birthday is coming up (Novmeber 13th) and I was planning on travelling (from Florida) to NYC with a couple of friends. The thing is, I have no idea what to do while there. I was thinking of staying 5-7 days since it's a school week after all.
Anyway, the question is: What hotel should we stay at? (Not too expensive, but not too cheap. I'd say 4-5 star hotel). What to spend my day doing? (Going shopping, dinner, spa day, etc?) Should I rent a limo to take us places?

By Mariana F

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August 1, 20130 found this helpful

You must have a lot of money to spend, to be thinking along those lines. When you invite people to go with you, it is up to you to pay their expenses too. It is one thing when you invite, it is another thing when they volunteer. Now you are too young to be going on a trip like that without parental supervision. There is tons of things to do in NYC, day and night, it depends on your interests, finances, etc. Do you have any idea what a limo charges per hour or trip? At your age, you would be better off planning a party in your home town. You just don't have any idea what you are planning.

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August 2, 20130 found this helpful

This is pretend, right? I'll go along. You can have a spa day anywhere. In NYC, go to a Broadway play, or to several. Get on www.google.com and search on museums and galleries in NYC. Search on "unique attractions in NYC". Get around by taxi and bus. See the Statue of Liberty, there's no where else in the world you can see that. See Chinatown and Central Park.

Your post makes it clear you have no experience traveling. Things will go better if you involve an experienced traveler in making your plans.

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August 2, 20130 found this helpful

It might be that you have tons of money, you didn't say. But if you expect to do all you described, you will need it. Here are a few reality checks for you.

http://manhatta  ch.com/rates.php that start at 79.00 for two hours.

And I tried to find a 4 star hotel that would give me rates but I have to reserve a room, first. You have time to talk to people who have seen the city on a budget and plan ahead. Good luck!

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October 2, 2016

My 16th birthday is coming up and I can't spend a lot of money on it. I live in a 2 bed room apartment and don't have room to do it there. Are there any cheap places inside I could have my birthday party?

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July 22, 2014

I am having my 16th birthday party at my local park. I looked at rooms to rent and it was way too expensive. It will be under a gazebo with some tables. I have picked out decorations and put together a candy buffet, but I am afraid that my friends will get bored. I would have it in my backyard, but I just moved and my yard isn't big enough. If anyone has any ideas to keep my friends busy that would be so helpful.

By cassidy.bonner

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July 23, 20140 found this helpful

You could have a scavenger hunt - items you can find in the park or items YOU hide. Kinda like an Easter egg hunt but more sophisticated. Play croquet; any child yard games would be fun for teens! Have a Happy and Blessed birthday!

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July 23, 20140 found this helpful

What sorts of things do your friends like? I'm thinking of sports such as softball, soccer, badminton. Could you do those sorts of games? I am also a big fan of scavenger hunts; I think they can be a hoot. Divide the group into teams. You could also make up a treasure hunt, which involves set up - so it is more trouble. Groups follow clues from one place to another, solving the clue riddles, till they get to the treasure - some sort of fun treat/prize. What sorts of activities are there available in the park? Perhaps you could do some of them - eg minigolf. There are also all sorts of lawn games - bocce ball, and so on, if you have access to the equipment.

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September 14, 2013

Does anyone have any ideas? My birthday is in November and I have yet to pick out every little detail! Do you have any ideas for me? I am a girl and hate the color pink.

By cookiesluvthat

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September 16, 20130 found this helpful

Just did this very thiing for my God daughter. We went with a Mexican Fiesta theme - bright colors, even reverted to chiildhood a bit and had pinata and played pin the tail on the donkey. We served both beef and chicken fajitas, tacos, mexican rice, chili, chips and salsa, guacamole and a cupcake tower. We saw teenagers turn into little kids again, playing duck duck goose and other child games. They had a ball! Of course, we decorated with bright colors, balloons, streamers, etc. Hope this helps and Happy Birthday!

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September 17, 20130 found this helpful

Hi I think that you could do a ball like party but with a touch of danger to it to get people excited. I think can help here's my facebook name Makaykay Jackson. Look me up and tell me more about how you want your party and I'll tell you some well great ideas. My blog email is MissRubyRed7 @ gmail.com and I'm not some creepy. I'm a freshman in high school and love to plan parties.

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April 14, 20130 found this helpful

I have never had a birthday party in my life and am now turning 16. My mom told me I am going to have a party, but I have to plan it and it needs to be very cheap. I have no idea of what I want to do. My birthday is in the beginning of September, but my older sister is leaving for college at the end of August and I don't want her to waste gas driving 6 hours for me. Anyone got any ideas of what I should do?

By Taylor

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April 15, 20130 found this helpful

Hi Taylor!
I saw your question and have a few more for you. First, what kind of things do you enjoy? I mean do you like dancing, make-up, music, karaoke(maybe) or something else altogether? Will this be a mixed party(girls and boys) or just girls? Do you live in town or in the country? Also have you thought about having your party before your sister leaves for college or maybe shortly after your birthday when she would be coming home for the weekend? I know it would be earlier or later than your actual birthday but you talked about not wanting her to have to drive 6 hours and I believe it would be important to you for her to be at your party. Please send me the answers to these questions and I will do my best to help you come up with inexpensive party ideas.

I have 4 grown kids, 2 girls who had Sweet 16 parties so I have planned some experience with 16th birthday parties before. You have done a great job already just by starting this early looking for ideas! The earlier you start, the better the party will be. :) You have a wonderful head start on an amazing Sweet 16 Birthday party! :-D
Hugs, Paula

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April 16, 20130 found this helpful

There are TONS of ideas on the internet (Pinterest is a GREAT resource), and most are very do-able and inexpensive. You just need to narrow down the list of themes you like and pick one (western, spa day, dance party, karaoke, makin' crafts, backwards party, etc.) and then decide who you will be inviting (guys and gals or just gals). It's sweet of you to think of your sis' long drive, so plan the party before she leaves or on a weekend you know she'll be home (before Christmas, of course!). Hope you have a GREAT and memorable 16th Birthday!

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February 28, 20130 found this helpful

I'm not sure what to do for my Sweet 16, in April. I'm really not a party type, but I feel like this is the only chance I'll get. (I'm more of a shy toned down type.) Around my birthday I'm going to see my cousins who are little princesses. I thought about doing a tea party and dressing up as Disney princess characters. Please help!
Sincerley, frustrated.

By Emma W.

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March 2, 20130 found this helpful

It would be sweet to focus on a Princess theme with your cousins; you could be the Kind Queen of all Princesses! If you look online, you can find pictures of princess-like decorations; you can make a banner (one shape for each letter in your name), make some matching hanging shapes with each of the girls' names, etc. The possibilities are endless!

When the girls arrive, announce you'll be making decorated cupcakes together; you can have the cupcakes already made, and have frosting, sprinkles, etc. ready to go. You can have some picks to go into each cupcake with a tiara picture and the girls' names - very special! You can make mini gifts for each other: decorated Altoid tins (ask friends/family to save them for you).

Paint the tins silver or red and then cover them with rhinestones, hearts, and whatever else you want (use a sturdy glue that will dry quickly). Fill the tins with small slips of paper on which each girl writes her wishes/dreams, or have each girl write something she likes about the others and give those slips to each girl; everyone will then have a container filled with wonderful things said about her to treasure for months to come!

Hope these ideas are helping you come up with many more of your own. Happy 16TH Birthday - Hope God blesses you in more ways than you ever imagined!

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March 4, 20130 found this helpful

I gave my daughter a brunch, she invited 4-5 close friends and went to local restaurant known for its brunch buffet. She used small pewter photo frames as place cards and they were favors for her guests. If your cousins or others are young or you are dealing with more than a few people, and if you want a princess theme, why don't you have a tea? Have everyone dress up, use nice teapot and dishes and serve finger sandwiches or other special tidbits. Enjoy.

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January 3, 2011

I am praying for help planning my Christian daughter's sweet 16 party. We are 2,000 miles away from our home visiting family for the next 4 months, so none of my daughter's friends will be attending. It will only be family. There will be 60 guests. Please help!

By Gail from Cheyenne, WY

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January 3, 20110 found this helpful

I'm not sure what you're looking for because you don't give a lot of info. There are a lot of party planning websites, and of course Martha Stewart's website is good for general party ideas.

You can find some good ideas at How To Do Things.com - check out their Sweet 16 article at howtodothings.com/food-and-drink/a2825-how-to-throw-a-sweet-16-birthday-party-.html. Their biggest tip - check with your daughter to see what she wants to do. :) Good luck!

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January 8, 20110 found this helpful

I saw a great Sweet 16 party on "The Cake Boss" program on TLC channel on cable. The daughter was a Catholic girl and they were proud Italian family. Nothing Risque was important. They made a Hollywood kind of theme with spotlights, movie markers, and stuff. Old movies were being played that the daughter liked (like old beach bingo movies, Sandra Day movies, and stuff like that) and the cake, of course, was absolutely beautiful.

My friend did more than that for her daughter on the same theme. There was dancing and musical games and other party games for the teens and for the grown ups there was a great time catching up with one another. Go to a recycled Auto Parts store and get a bunch of big van bench seats and make wooden things to hold them upright and space them out for the kids to sit on and watch the movies on a big screen TV or projector screen. There was a caterer on the TV show party, but my friend had just a home done buffet and had bought movie style popcorn boxes from Oriental Trading website and rented a big old popcorn popper and let the kids help themselves.

The TV show party had all kinds of great sweets, but I loved the cookies the best. They made star cookies with the girl's name on them and bundled them 6 to a mesh bag and they were not only a sweet treat, but a party favor as well. Both the TV program party and the party by my friend were excellent times and it all stemmed from the daughter's love of glitz and glam of Hollywood style. Hope this helps! Have a great time and enjoy yourself, too. This is, after all, a landmark for you as well as for your daughter.

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January 10, 2017

I am turning sixteen in the beginning of September. My mom is completely against having a large party, so I am thinking to save up and then approach her about it when I have the money to pay. However, I have no idea what to do for my party. Plus, I have closer friends where I live now, but most live hundreds of miles away :( as I moved here recently. Help!

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September 4, 2016

So my birthday is in late October and for my party I'm taking around 8 friends to lunch or dinner and then 3 of my closest friends are sleeping over after, but I need ideas on what to do in between with all 8 of my friends attending. The only problem is I can't take them to my house because I just recently moved 40 minutes away. So I need ideas on things to do after lunch or dinner in New Jersey, not too expensive. BTW the lunch/dinner may be in NYC so if you have any ideas for things to do in the city please share. Thank you!

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April 12, 2016

I'm turning 16 in July. I have a group of friends I can invite and a few close close friends. I'm not one to have a bunch of attention and I also am not this huge social light extravagant person. I originally thought a fancy dinner and some games while out to dinner, but it was kind of expensive.

I don't know if I want casual party, but I don't want super crazy so I'm open to a bunch of ideas whatever can be thought of! I also thought maybe a spa day? But I don't know. I'm looking for some creative ideas! Any idea will help. I am undecided if it will be girls only or if it'll be girls and guys I don't have many guy friends, it would probably be my family that was the guys. So either idea will be great! Thanks everyone.

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January 28, 2016

Well my birthday is coming up in February 2016, but I don't know what to do. Help me please!

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November 23, 2015

I'm turnning 16 on December 27. I really wanted a glow in the dark party for my sweet 16 party, but I wanted it somewhere that has some type of games in it. I wanted to decorate it myself with lights, fog, and stuff and have some music or something. I can't find anywhere around my area or hardly anywhere else that has at least some of the things I'm looking for. I want something with some type of activities in it. If I have to I will do something else, but I want it to be somewhere I could have fun and turn up with lights. Please, does anyone have any suggestions?

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October 21, 2015

My birthday is in less than 4 months. I am inviting no more than 7 people (4 at least). I'm a girly girl, but my tom-boy side peaks out every now and then. I really want to do a fancy dinner in Highland Park, Texas, and everybody has to dress up, like dress and heels. At the same time, I want it to be really funny, messy, and memorable party.

I'm having a cousin fly in from Miami, so it has to be special! If you can think of an idea between those please tell me. I thought of just renting a lake house for a weekend with 3 people and staying out of hotel, but I don't see the fun. So, the most fun I can see is at my house. I want a glow in the dark theme, but you can't get really good pictures. No 80's or Hawaiian theme. I'm intrigued with the winter wonderland, dress to impress, Fire and Ice, and Glamour. I don't want something over the top like renting out a club, just nice and classy and casual (eeeaaakkkk). Those don't go together really well.

Thanks.

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October 16, 2015

I will be doing my sweet 16 on a yacht. There will be around 15 to 16 girls and boys, but we won't be doing any swimming. It's just that I'm worried they will get bored or something, so I want a few interesting and fun things to do. Any suggestions?

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October 7, 2015

I am having my 16th birthday in about a month, and I have absolutely no idea on what to do. About 100 people are invited, it is a co-ed party. Most of the people I invited are not close friends. The theme is Southern/country. I was thinking maybe karaoke, or partner up and blind fold a person and have them put makeup on their partner. If it's not too cold there will be a bonfire, but I need some more ideas! Any advice?

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October 1, 2015

I am turning 16 this year in October. My party is on the 24th on a Saturday. I will be having about 15-17 people be there. Mostly girls and idk if any of the guys I'm inviting can come.

The girls will sleepover and obviously no guys can, cuz of my mom. I live in a pretty good sized house with a big backyard. My backyard has 2 sitting areas that take up a good amount of space. I want to do something outside game wise! I already have a few ideas, but not enough if people get bored. The only problem is that I wanted to go swimming, but I can't with my party now.

I don't know what else that's kinda the main event to do anymore. It can't be expensive almost at all and transportation might be tight only having 1 or maybe 2 cars. I really need game and activities ideas asap. We will be in and out of the house a good amount of the time! Please help me!

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September 27, 2015

I'm having a sweet 16, but I dont know what I want the theme to be or how to start the planning. It'll be in June 2016, 4-5 months after my actual birthday. Help?

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August 5, 2015

So I turn 16 in October; that's in two months. I kinda don't want a Halloween party, I'm thinking about a Hollywood theme, or pink zebra print. I don't know, I'm really confused. BTW it's on a boat.

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July 8, 2015

I want to have a cheap and fun sweet sixteen, but I have clue what to do. There are not going to be a lot of people there, maybe 8 at most. It is ging to be at the end of July. My friends are very picky and 2 of them get annoyed easily. My other friend's bday is 7 days after mine and she is doing a camping thing so I can't copy her. I was thinking lazer tag, but idk if these girls would like it. any ideas?

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February 23, 20150 found this helpful

I turn 16 in May and 3 of my girl friends and I are going to stay at my aunt's house overnight by the pool, but I'm not sure of activities we could do. Also, there isn't anwhere we could go close by and on my family's very small budget being my little brothers birthday is a month after. I know I don't wanna do a scavenger hunt, but we need something to do when we aren't swimming, talking, playing with my baby cousin, and watching TV. Please help, it's very appreciated. Thanks!

By Destiny

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December 26, 20140 found this helpful

I'm turning 16 next month. I need help doing a cheap sweet 16 party (not a big thing). I don't know what to do for my party, and I need help.

By Ana T.

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December 2, 20140 found this helpful

So I'm turning sixteen in two weeks. I had in mind something active and something that will keep them moving (so there isn't a lot of awkwardness as is the usual for teens) and off their phones! All my guy and girl friends like outdoor/crazy stuff, but it's super cold and skiing isn't exactly great right now. Any good active indoor ideas that don't involve soccer either?

By Bethany

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December 6, 20140 found this helpful

I think you should do golf cart riding then dinner or movie.

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November 11, 2014

In December I celebrate my 16th birthday. I 'm going to invite 10 to 15 friends to come to a party in the garden. Now the question is, what can we do? I have thought for a few days but come up only with rather boring ideas.
Can anyone help ? I would prefer to do things that you can do with a whole (mixed ) group.
Thank you!

By Hannah W. from Beerse, Belgium

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July 3, 20140 found this helpful

My birthday is at the end of August and I'm moving so I will probably have the party at my new house or whatever. My party is music themed with a lot of music note themed decorations. I've found a few ideas, but I don't know what games or things to do instead of just playing music and watching most of the people sit around the whole party.

By Kiara B. from Phoenix, AZ

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July 7, 20140 found this helpful

A girl looking through birthday balloons.
As the mother of seven, four of which are girls, I have thrown more than my share of parties. Each of my girls have very different ideas, hobbies, and passions. So the party themes are varied as well. Please keep in mind that I do not pick a theme on short notice and I am always looking for new and different ideas. Planning and fore thought make for the most successful parties. The longer you have to plan, the cheaper the event.

The following ten ideas have been tried and have all been repeated by others in our area. The greatest flatter is when someone else host a party with your original theme.
Prom Night

Raid the closets of your family and friends for old prom, bridesmaids, formals, and gowns. Thrift stores often have them for a few dollars. It is best to have at least three or four per girl. Various sizes and styles make for a more exciting fashion show. You will also need a great deal of safety pins and hundreds of bobby pins.

When the girls arrive let them go crazy trying on all the dresses. Some will require privacy to change. Once the gowns have been selected, the hair salon opens. Let the girls do each others hair. Once the hair is in place which generally takes an hour, make up is applied. I highly suggest that you not have heels for the girls to wear. Someone can get hurt. Plus the tennis shoes they have on, add to the look.

You could have a limo take the girls to a movie or a restaurant once the proper look has been achieved. But a limo is not needed. Everyone looks and stares at the girls in their finery. The girls will love the attention. Wraps, boas, and old mink stoles add to the glamor.

When you arrive back home, let the girls do a fashion show to strut their stuff. Dancing is often done after the show. One year, we even had corsages for all of them. They all had a flower to take home as a keep sake.

Backwards Party

The girls are greeted at the door with a good-bye and thanks for attending the party. All clothes must be turned wrong side out or worn backwards. The dining room chairs are placed on the table, and the tablecloth is on the floor under the table. The cake and plates are on the floor. The girls eat the ice cream and cake first and then sing happy birthday. Gifts are opened next. Make sure the birthday girl thanks each person before she opens the gift.

Games are played. Do immature younger games, but play them backwards. After games, the girls will change into their pajamas, backwards or course. While the girls watch a movie, fix them breakfast food. Served under the table of course.

In the morning, serve chips and soda pop for breakfast. Added bonus, you do not have to deal with the sugar rush, their parents do. When it is time to leave. Welcome the girls with a hello and how wonderful they look. Since you have not seen them in forever.
We write the invitation backwards to get the party started right.

Cooking Night

I write on cheap rolling pins from the dollar store for the invitations. Tie ribbons on the ends for flair. I collect ugly aprons from thrift stores and garage sales for this event. I also collect paper chef hats.
When the kids arrive, have them each make their own pizza dough. It will need time to rise. While the dough is getting ready have several bowls of white icing ready. Let the kids use food coloring to make several different colors with the white icing. Make sure each child gets to make a color. Have at least three cupcakes per child made before the party begins.

Now let the kids pat out the dough, make crust, apply sauce, cheese, and toppings for their very own creation. They will use three times the amount of cheese that is needed, so stock up or explain that less is more. While the pizza pies are cooking, have them decorate their cupcakes.

After the pizzas have been admired and eaten, the real fun begins. Take number 10 cans with lids, have each child measure out the cream, sugar, and mix in a three pound coffee can with lid. Insert the three can into the ten can. Add ice, and salt. The kids will then spend the next hour to hour and a half rolling the cans back and forth to make ice cream. Driveway or uncarpeted room is perfect for this.
The ice cream and cupcakes are the highlight of the event.

Scavenger Hunt and It Only Gets Bigger Party

We do this together as one party, but only one can prove to be as awesome as well. When the kids arrive they draw a number. We have team 1 and team 2. Each group will need an adult chaperon. Each team starts with a pen.

They go from one house to another in your neighborhood asking for something bigger. But they can only trade up once at a single house. For example: they trade the pen for a comb, the comb for a brush, the brush for a stuffed animal, the animal for a roll of paper towels, the towels, for a bucket, etc. The teams have one hour to get the biggest item.
It will amaze you at how much fun the neighbors have helping and what they trade for. One team brought back an old ten speed bike and the other a two wheeled cart. The winning team must serve the losing team ice cream and cake. Let the kids rest and open gifts.
Now it is off to the mall. Once again, teams are drawn. Each team is given a list of 50 things that they need to scavenger for. The lists must be the same items and one paper sack to hold their items. Each team has an adult chaperon. They can ask people walking in the mall, people working in stores, etc.

Each team has an hour to collect the most items. The bags are collected and it is the perfect time to watch a movie at the mall or go home to watch a movie. The items are counted in front of all the kids when you arrive home and a winner is declared. The winners must make the popcorn, chips, and drinks for the losing team.

Items on the list can include a paper clip, green stamp, a milk jug lid, straight pin, gas receipt, stamp, Q-tip, etc. Make sure the items are small and hard to find.

Jewelry Party

This party theme is a huge hit with the pre teen set. I buy any and all beads, craft jewelry, old unique jewelry for the pieces, costume jewelry pieces, and craft sets. I only buy at thrift stores, garage sales, and the after Christmas sales for this items. Cross stitch yarn is a must and can be bought on clearance at all fabric stores.

The girls make necklaces, bracelets, and rings for themselves and for the birthday girl. Friendship bracelets take hours to make and the girls can watch movies while they make their unique color designs.

Spa Day Party

Collect shower caps for this event. Most hotels will give you a dozen if you ask nicely. The things you will needs on hand are: cotton balls, nail polish in many colors, cuticle sticks, nail polish remover, cucumber, oatmeal, honey, bath salts, nail files, scented lotions, dish soap, small bowls, and large pans for soaking feet, flip flops, and fabric strips.
Pour dish soap is small bowls for the girls to soak their fingernails in. Have them do this at the table so they can talk together as they soak. Show them how to correct and push back their cuticles. Have them paint each others finger nails.

Cake and ice cream before you soak their feet in bath salts. The birthday girl can open gifts in front of them as they soak. Now it is time to fill their toes with cotton balls and paint their own toe nails. Scented lotions should be applied now.

Flip flops can be purchased in September from Old Navy, Gap, Rue 21, etc. for 50 cents to a dollar. Buy most in your daughters size and a few larger and smaller. Have the girls make designer flip flops in their school colors. Have them cut stripes of fabric and tie knots to make a personal pair for each to wear and show off their pretty toe nails.

Pajamas are now put on and the shower caps are dawned. Have the girls make their own facial cream. I use oatmeal and honey. As the girls get comfortable for a movie, have them each lay down and put cucumbers on their eyes. This reduces puffy eyes and makes the girls tired. They laugh and talk for a few minutes and by twenty minutes they are fighting not to go to sleep.

Time for them to put on their facial masks and watch a movie. Twenty to thirty minutes later, let them wash the dried mask off. They can do each others hair as they finish the movie. In the morning, rave about how wonderful they all look.

Art Party

Messy, fun, and the kids get to make their own creations. I buy ugly long sleeve men's shirts at garage sales for the kids to wear over their clothes. Have four or five art projects ready. Sidewalk chalk gets a great mural started on your driveway and starts their creative juices flowing. We have painted flower pots, birdhouses, wooden bins, piggy banks, and even glass vases. Whatever you can find that all match and are not expensive. Brushes can be bought at the dollar store.

In April you can find plain sweatshirts for a dollar at Wal-Mart. Buy them in various sizes and try to get them all the same color. Iron double sided instant hem on the back of a floral fabric that matches the sweatshirt before the party. Letter stencils will help the girls draw and cut out their own names in the fabric. After you have ironed their names on the sweatshirts, have the girls use puff paint to outline the letters. Hint: the girls must use the puff paint on the shirts in a place where the shirts will not be moved till in the morning. It takes several hours for the puff paint to dry.

Buy flat sheets at garage sales. They become perfect canvases for the kids to paint on. Finger painting is also fun.

Buy face paint at costume shops and mass merchandisers after Halloween. After the girls have painted their own portrait for the birthday girl as a keep sake, have them go crazy painting their own faces, and each others. They will laugh till they cry.

Make the World a Better Place Party

When the kids arrive have them draw numbers for two different teams. Explain to them that they are going to make the world a better place in the next few hours. Ask each one to think of one way that they could make the world a better place. Have them write it down on a piece of paper and collect them. Explain that helping others can be fun and make them feel better about themselves. To prove it, they are going to see which team can collect the most canned goods to feed those less fortunate. The winning team will get a prize.

As the teams are getting ready to leave with a chaperone, that has an empty trunk for all the food they collect, dare them to take it a step further. Tell them that you are not sure if they can do two things at once. Show them a single plastic shopping bag and ask them if they know what it is made out of. Some will be surprised to find out it is made of plastic or oil and even both sometimes. Explain to them that those bags that their groceries come home in, are filling up our dumps and hurting the environment. Dare them to see which team can collect the most bags as well.

Find a local food bank ahead of time that the kids can give the food to. Set up a time for them to meet you. Have them praise the kids and tell them how many people they will feed with the food they collected. If your party starts at 2. The kids should collect from 2:30 to 3:30. Set up a 4 o'clock appointment for the kids to help deliver the food. The arrange for the kids to take all the plastic bags to a recycling center. If one is not available or open at that time. Have them take then to a not-for-profit resale shop to be reused.

Be sure that the kids know the name of the food bank they are collecting for. You can even print a small flyer with the name of the food bank on it and ask for people to help their cause. You can get 10 on a single piece of paper for them to hand out at the door.

After the teams have collected and delivered their good deeds it is back to the birthday girls house. They will all be hungry and tired. After cake and food, read the ways they can help the world, that they wrote when they arrived. Tell them how proud you are of them and all that they have done.

We have made fleece blankets for nursing homes with the knot ties, drawn get well cards for those at the hospital, letters to soldiers over seas, and once we collected money for a local child with cancer. They raised over a hundred dollars going door to door in an hour. You would have though it was a million by the look of pride on their faces.

70's Party

Go to older persons garage sales and old thrift stores for the clothes. The uglier the better. It is disco time. You can not have enough polyester. Large wigs are a great hit.

Have them watch John Travolta shake his stuff in Saturday Night Fever. Teach them how to do the hustle. Dance to the Bee Gees and Donna Summers. It is a laid back theme that the kids love.

Costume Party

Have the kids come in costume, no matter what time of the year. Each one has a sports uniform, old Halloween costume, dance recital costume, or parents old clothes to wear. When they arrive have each one state exactly whom they are in costume of. It cannot be just a foot ball player, it must be a specific player. The other kids must call them by their characters name from that point on, plus they must talk, act, and do what their character would do at all times.

Then take them out for a fun evening. Go out to dinner, a movie, miniature golf, etc. They must stay in character the whole evening. Accents are a perfect addition to the charade. The kids will get tons of attention where ever they go. It is a winner every time.

These ideas can be done easily and cheaply if planned in advance. My children must have their theme by their half birthdays each year. It is their day and it should be celebrated. To make it more memorable, take tons of pictures. Plus, make sure all siblings are not a part of the event. A sitter or grandparent can take them during the party. Make your child feel like the only person in the world that day.

Give them all of your attention. That is the best gift of all. Don't worry if it is not perfect. Accidents will happen, something will break, and your carpet is going to get stained. Just smile at your child and remember that they are what is important. The other things can be replaced, but your child can not. Now, let's party!

By Crystal from Branson, MO

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