Sweet 16 – it’s a tricky one.
You might have a soon-to-be-16 year old who’s been seeing posts and stories about sweet 16 parties in the US, and has some pretty wild aspirations. Some of those parties are beyond over the top – just take a look at this eye-popping blog post if you need to be convinced. Easy to see why they suggest 6 to 12 months to plan!
Or a girl who wants to drink fruit cider and hang out about with a hundred or so of her male and female mates at a house party – totally unsupervised, naturally.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to avoid both these scenarios. So we’ve put some 16th birthday party ideas for girls together to keep everyone happy.
A 16th birthday party at home
If you aim is to avoid a massive ‘everyone-she-knows’ house party, some of these ideas might help:
- A girls-only party, with a suitable theme – spa day or slumber party
- Afternoon tea
- An art or cooking class (always a surprising hit)
- Black tie dinner party or murder mystery party for ‘exclusive’ guests
- Indoor/outdoor movie party with a big screen and plenty of popcorn
- Glamping in the back garden or daytime boho garden party
If you can’t persuade the birthday girl out of a big gathering at home, you might want to read our tips on how not to plan a teenage house party (written from bitter experience!).
A 16th birthday party at a hired venue
If you’ve got the budget, this makes life a whole lot easier, especially as it’s easier to enforce a no-alcohol rule. If you can stretch to hiring a venue, it’s possible to add excitement and glamour without totally blowing the budget. Try some of these:
- Casino night (without real money, of course!)
- Fancy dress, with a theme such as ‘favourite decade’ or ‘come as your favourite movie star’ that means guests can put together outfits from what they already have or can easily borrow
- Good old karaoke – in groups to break the ice and make it fun for everyone
- A glow in the dark party looks amazing and is reasonably cheap and easy to do
Take a tip from weddings and supply disposable cameras. Collect them up at the end of the evening and get them developed for the birthday girl to enjoy.
A 16th birthday party activity
If you keep the numbers reasonable to contain costs, this is a brilliantly stress-free way to mark the occasion. There are loads of companies out there who have taken activity parties to the next level and made them much cooler for older teens – have a look at Gravity Active Entertainment, for example. There are some (Fight Club darts, virtual bingo) that are over-18s only, but plenty that are open to younger visitors. There’s so much to choose from, but here are some of our favourites:
- A virtual gaming experience party somewhere like Electric Gamebox
- A throw-back trip to a classic trampoline park or bowling alley (they can pretend it’s ironic, but they’ll love it just as much as they did when they were 10!)
- Escape room (you might need an adult if some of the party aren’t yet 16)
- Roller disco
- Theme park
- A weekend away with two or three friends – expensive (unless you can house swap and get clever with activities) but highly memorable
Hopefully, these 16th birthday party ideas for girls have given you some inspiration to get planning! We’ve got loads more ideas in the Teen birthdays section of our blog. Our post on Birthday ideas for teenagers includes some lovely ideas on how to celebrate the teen years that would be just perfect for a 16th birthday. For example, getting their friends to “heart attack” your front door with birthday message notes.
We’ve also got some brilliant gift ideas – have a browse through our collections and check them out 💕
Whatever you decide to do, wish the birthday girl a very happy day from us!
Louise & Anna x