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Sweet 16: Throw Them the Perfect Party
Sweet 16: Throw Them the Perfect Party
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As anyone who has ever been a teenager will know, a sixteenth birthday can feel like a major milestone. At this age, people start treating you like an adult, you may have crucial tests to take, you will probably start planning for college and the move away from home; you may even experience the excitement of a first love. To celebrate this move towards adulthood, most parents start planning sweet sixteen ideas well in advance so they can throw their kid the party of a lifetime. But how can you make it memorable? You don't have to reinvent the wheel to wow your teenager with a great day.

01

A classic dance party

Dance party mediaphotos / Getty Images

Dance parties are easy to plan and do not have to cost huge sums of money. The must-haves of every successful dance party include a decent sound system, a carefully curated playlist with enough tunes to last several hours, and enough floor space for guests to bust a few moves.

Dance parties tend to be more atmospheric in the evening, so try to time the event so it starts as dusk settles. If your house is big enough, you may be comfortable with inviting a relatively large group of teens to your home. However, if you want to truly treat your sixteen-year-old, it is worth hiring out a special venue so they can invite as many friends as they like. Plus, you won't have to worry about energetic guests knocking over priceless family heirlooms or neighbors coming knocking.

02

A low-key slumber party

Slumber party jacoblund / Getty Images

Some teens simply aren't party animals — and that's totally fine! Instead of encouraging your quieter teen to dance the night away, why not organize a special slumber party? If your sixteen-year-old has a small but very close-knit group of friends, they would probably love nothing more than to stay up all night gossiping, playing games, and pampering themselves. Remember to offer plenty of sweet treats, fun drink options, and fuzzy pajamas. And it's always key to order pizza.

03

A baking party

Sweet sixteen cake Tim Pennington / Getty Images

Baking has become a serious trend among today's teens, with rising numbers swapping skateboarding and cheerleading for something create and flour-coated. If your kid is a fan of baking shows and has whipped up a few homemade cakes themselves, why not organize a bake-off-style party? Your kitchen may end up a little messy, but a baking party is equal parts fun and cost-effective. Plus, the day will end on a high note when everyone gets to sample the finished products!

04

A mocktail party

Mocktails vichie81 / Getty Images

Is your child sixteen going on twenty-five? A mocktail party could help them feel grown-up and sophisticated while they experiment with flavors, garnishes, and pretty glasses. Prepare for the party by buying plenty of ingredients and printing out some tasty mocktail recipes. Complete the carefree getaway effect with lounge chairs and sun umbrellas in the backyard. Fill up a few kiddie pools if you don't have one built-in.

05

A themed dress-up party

Glitter dress-up party Anchiy / Getty Images

As anyone who has hosted a Halloween party will know, dress-up parties are not just for young kids. If your sixteen-year-old loves to throw on elaborate costumes and cover themselves in make-up every so often, a themed sweet sixteen could be the way to go. Try to keep the theme relatively broad to allow guests to come up with something unique. A few good ideas include glitter, animal, movie characters, or spooky — or choose a classic decade to reproduce. For an added treat, hire a makeup artist to help your kiddo get ready.

06

A summertime barbecue

Sweet sixteen barbecue FatCamera / Getty Images

If your kid has a summertime birthday or you live where it's always summertime, why not make the most of the beautiful weather and organize a barbecue? Outdoor parties are inexpensive, fun, and provide the perfect backdrop for taking photos and capturing memories. When sending invitations, remember to ask guests about any dietary needs — you don't want to stock up on hamburgers if the party is full of vegetarians!

07

A karaoke party

Karaoke party supersizer / Getty Images

Karaoke is divisive — most people either love them or hate them. If your kid loves them, their sweet sixteen offers a fantastic opportunity for them to let loose and sing to their heart's content. If you're unsure how to go about organizing a karaoke party, there are plenty of companies online offering equipment for hire. Most will also agree to set everything up for you! Many cities also have karaoke rooms you can rent for a few hours. Order in pizza and make a night of it.

08

A fancy dinner party

Dinner party Rick Gomez / Getty Images

If you're planning to invite adult family members and friends along to your kid's sweet sixteen, a fancy dinner party could be a great way to combine this eclectic group. As well as encouraging your sixteen-year-old to feel grown-up, a dinner party allows people of all ages to bond over delicious food in a calm environment. If you're willing to set a substantial budget for the event, you could even hire a room at a restaurant. This will take the stress out of cooking and cleaning and allow you to enjoy the party for yourself, too!

09

A rollerskating party

Rollerskates Julia Ramiro Martín / Getty Images

Is your kid a fan of all things retro? Perhaps they simply love being active and taking part in sports they've never tried before? If so, then a rollerskating party could be what they've always dreamed of. Fortunately, this option is relatively easy to organize, as there are rollerskating centers all over the country that let you to book out long sessions that your kid and their friends will love. Just remember to take them out for a retro meal at a burger joint afterward!

10

A pool party

Pool party artiemedvedev / Getty Images

Pool parties have developed a bit of a bad rep thanks to teen movies, but they can be lots of fun for lively sixteen-year-olds. If you're not lucky enough to own a pool yourself, there are plenty of pools you can rent. Just remember to serve food after the guests have been in the water and dried off, or you could have a few stomach cramps on your hands!

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