Teenage birthday parties are one of those coming-of-age rituals you don’t want to get wrong. In your kid’s mind, the party can make or break their social life; it can raise them into the upper echelon of primary school society, or it can banish them into the netherworld of playground isolation.
So you want to throw them something decent. But party ideas are often overdone, expensive – or if it’s a remotely good idea, chances are that little Jimmy did the same thing last week.
To spare you any unnecessary pain, I’ve put together a quick list of my top five favorite party ideas, organised by how much my 13 year old self would’ve enjoyed them.
Start kids off with as much sugary food as you can possibly force them to eat, then watch the fun as they sing (badly, and off-key) to a variety of the latest tunes. You can either rent a karaoke machine, buy one of those console games, or go to a legitimate karaoke venue – for those of you in Sydney, Mizuya on George St offers two hours of karaoke AND masses of Japanese cuisine for a mere $20 per person.
2. Round Robin party
Acquire (and pay) some energetic high schoolers (drama students work well) to run party games. Split the kids into groups and have them go around each section. Best not to include team names or points – competition among sugar-high teenagers is a recipe for tears. Conclude the games with one or two big group games, cake, and presents.
3. Gaming Competition
Kids and their tech, am I right? Harness the power of technology for good with some old-fashioned competition. Kids will love the adrenaline that comes with absolutely demolishing their friend-turned-opponent. If you have several kids, make sure to have either another competition set up in a separate room, or some other activity. Or just a ton of food. Winner takes home one of those dollar trophies.
4. Breakfast Party
13 year old me would’ve loved this! The possibilities are endless. Pancakes, bacon, fruit, croissants, toast, dips, chocolate sauce, eggs – the (extremely delicious) list goes on. Have the kids over early in the morning and let them help make everything. Heck, don’t even get involved, just give them the ingredients and let them go for it. Some pop music and their favorite tv show in the background will help set the mood.
5. Cinema Under the Stars
Honestly, I think this would’ve been my favorite! Get everyone going with games, cake, and presents, then wow your child’s friends with a giant screen and a favorite movie. Good for all ages, even your older teens who think every other idea is lame. Beanbags, fairy lights, and popcorn will cement this as being an amazing night, and there’s no chance of little Jimmy stealing your idea a week earlier. It’s different, it’s super fun and it’s stupidly easy. Check out backyard cinema ideas here.