A birthday is always a special occasion. For many teens, the 16th birthday is a milestone. It is a special event to welcome them into adulthood and new responsibilities. A life event like this deserves a coming of age party, in recognition of their growth and accomplishments.
Make the occasion more special with these unique sweet 16 party ideas. Create a memorable and fun 16th birthday party with our simple tips, helping to ensure that the event is a success.
Planning the Event
1. Pick a Theme
Take time to talk to the birthday girl/boy about the theme that they want for their event. The rest of the birthday party planning will become easier once the theme is decided upon. They may want a neon party, for example, with face paint, glow sticks and a neon sign made by the Neon Mama team. The theme will determine everything, so choose it before anything else.
2. Set the Date and Time
Depending on the chosen theme, set the date and time of the event. For example, if the theme includes dancing, consider a night party. For an escape-at-the-spa theme, we recommend a daytime event. Keep in mind that you need to be open about your ideal day and time until you find a venue that’s suitable.
3. Choose the Venue
When looking for an event venue, choose one that offers both day and night bookings. Take note that not all sites provide daytime rentals. If you plan on holding the event early, it’s best to decide this early on. You will quickly narrow down your search to venues that can accommodate your schedule preferences.
When looking for an event space, ask about the amenities, convenience of the location, and privacy of the party room. Also, look for a venue with views that will make for a beautiful photo backdrop. This will ensure that the resulting images look amazing.
4. Create a Guest List
Consult the birthday girl/boy about the guest list before you create one. Make sure that all their closest friends will be there to make the event more memorable for them.
5. Send Invitations
Order the invitations early, or start crafting them if you plan on going DIY. Include information about the party location, and where to send RSVPs. If planning to invite guests via snail mail, consider sending duplicate invites on different platforms such as email or social media. This way, your guests will see your invite more than once. As such, it will remind them to send in their reply early
6. Choose a Menu
As expected, your menu will depend on the theme of the party. Will it be a formal sit-down dinner or something more casual? Once this is determined, decide upon the food and drinks you will be serving. Be sure to place an order ahead of time, so there are no last minute complications.
If your venue has a preferred catering list, be sure to ask for recommendations. There are event venues that have a list of caterers that you may want to hire. Often, these are the only catering companies that are approved to work at the venue. So be sure to find this out ahead of time, before you hire an outside caterer.
7. Plan the Entertainment
Make a list of activities to include in the party. You may want to hire a DJ or a band to provide fun and entertainment for your guests. You can also have participation games or dance contests to make the event more enjoyable. Your DJ, event coordinator, or band leader will likely have creative entertainment ideas for you.
Sweet 16 Party Theme Ideas
Can’t decide on a theme for the party? Here are some sweet 16 theme ideas to help you and the birthday girl/boy plan a memorable teen party:
1. Disco Dance Party
Dance parties are a hit for all ages. However, teens have their own preferences in music and dance styles. Talk to the DJ in advance so you can ask them about their recommended playlists. From there, add a mirror ball and a lot of flashy lights, and you’re set!
2. Spa Day Party
Treat your guests to a day at the spa with massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, or haircuts. Hire a hairstylist and challenge everyone to try a new hairstyle. Give party favors that consist of nail polish, lip balms, or scented candles.
3. VSCO vs. E-Girl/Boy
With the popularity of Tik Tok, styles by VSCO girls and social influencers have taken over the internet. Take this trend and make it the theme of the sweet 16. You’ll see teens creatively expressing themselves and having a great time as a result.
Sweet 16 Party Decoration Ideas
Make the party more festive by adding decorations for your chosen theme. Here are some decorating ideas to make the party stand out more:
Even for older kids and teens, balloons make any party more special. After choosing a theme for your teen party, add balloons to match. Some creative options include balloon arches, balloon animals, and LED balloons that light up.
Streamers, or any form of signage with the birthday girl’s/boy’s name, make for great party decorations. You have a wide option of colors and designs. Hang them on the walls, doorways, or ceiling to create fantastic photo backgrounds.
3. Table Decor
Adorn each table with centerpieces that match the party’s theme and colors. For example, you can place vases with the birthday girl’s/boy’s favorite flowers, or napkin holders with her name and birth date.
Sweet 16 Party Game Ideas
Entertain everyone with extra fun and amusement with these party game ideas:
Let everyone sing their hearts out by renting a karaoke machine for the event, or use software specially made for this purpose. Hand out slips of paper for guests to make song requests, and offer prizes to the best singers.
2. Junk in the Trunk Game
Tie empty tissue boxes to the contestants’ waist and fill them with ping pong balls. Ask the DJ to play energetic music and ask the players to dance until all the balls inside the box fall. The first one to shake out all the ping pong balls wins the game.
16. Photo Booth
Set up a photo booth backdrop and provide a box full of hats, masks, costumes, and many other fun accessories. The guests can take turns dressing up and have their pictures taken. Hire a photographer or rent an instant photo machine to create keepsakes for the party.
Need a Sweet 16 Party Room?
Celebrate your Sweet 16 with style at the Skybox, with fantastic views of the San Diego skyline, San Diego Bay, and Coronado. Ours is a unique and versatile event venue with an award-winning, expert in-house event planning team. We will help you to host a Sweet 16 party at Skybox that any teen would dream of. Contact us today to learn more.