It’s tough to plan birthday parties for teens! Gone are the days when all a parent needed to do was have an inflatable bounce house and hire a clown to come make some balloon animals. For teens, there’s a greater desire for something cool they can invite their friends to. To help you out, we’ve put together some summer birthday party ideas for teens that are sure to get them excited about their big day. From teen birthday invites to game ideas, we’ll show you how to pull off each of these ideas without a hitch.
1.) Outdoor Glow in the Dark Party
Glow in the dark parties are a big hit with teenagers. With this theme, teens show up dressed in either neon or white, decked out in glow in the dark accessories. You can set the scene by setting up blacklights throughout your home and serving drinks and snacks out of glow in the dark cups and plates, which are easy to find online. However, the best way to make these types of parties fun and memorable in the summer is by organizing some competitive games outdoors, such as:
- Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag
This is a new take on an old favorite outdoor game that uses tall glow sticks for flags. Basically, you separate your teen’s friends into two teams, each wearing glow in the dark bracelets that represent their team’s color. Teams can get pumped up to compete with fierce, glow-in-the-dark face and body paint. Then you set them loose to snag the other team’s “flag.” The Let’s Get Together blog has some great ideas for pulling this game off, but it’s best to let your teen set his or her own “house rules” as far as how the game will be played.
- Glow in the Dark Flag Football
This is played exactly the same way as regular touchless football except at night with glow in the dark gear. You can find LED light footballs on Amazon, but participants should bring their own glow in the dark gear.
- Glow in the Dark Dodgeball
This game requires you to have several glowing dodgeballs on hand so that participants can peg each other out or dodge out of the way when they see it coming.
Glow in the Dark Invitations
Get your teen’s friends excited about the glow in the dark theme with custom glow in the dark invitations. Make sure you put on the invitation that guests should come decked out with glow in the dark bracelets, facepaint, clothing and more.
2.) Teen Pool Party
If you have a pool or have access to one in your city that you can rent out for a few hours, a pool party is always a good time for teens. Have some refreshing sliced watermelon on hand, some cool drinks on ice, and lawn games available for when everyone is done swimming. The real fun, however, is in the pool games:
- Water jousting with inflatable logs and jousting sticks (available here)
- Swimming pool disc golf using an inflatable Swimline Slot Slam Game
- Pool volleyball
- Pool basketball
- Old school super soaker fights
- Bellyflop competitions
Pool Party Invitations
Let your teen’s friends know to bring their swimsuits and swim shorts with a pool party invitation from Invite Shop. You can choose from one of the many pool party invitation designs available or design your own using available templates and embellishments.
3.) Outdoor Movie Night Party
A movie night under the stars is easier to achieve than you’d think. You simply lay out a bunch of blankets and pillows in your backyard, let your teenager pick out their favorite movie, rent or borrow a projector, and set up a movie screen along the side of your home or against a wood fence line. You could set up a popcorn bar outside with little red and white popcorn boxes, and have a variety of candies on hand that’s you’d typically get at a movie theatre, like Whoppers, Milk Duds, and Sour Patch Kids.
The Instructables blog offers great step-by-step instructions for assembling a DIY outdoor movie screen using PVC pipe, some basic frame hardware, and blackout shade fabric. Projectors can be expensive to rent (about $75 to $100 for the day), so it’s best to ask around your social and professional circles if someone has one you could borrow for the evening. Business offices and schools often have this sort of equipment on hand, so it’s worth the ask.
Movie Night Invitations
Get your teen’s friends excited about the upcoming outdoor movie party with some movie themed teen birthday invitations. We love this example above from Invite Shop featuring a Hollywood star in the design. Who doesn’t love a little red carpet glitz and glam in their teen birthday invitations?
4.) Photo Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party
Scavenger hunts are always a blast, not to mention a great way to let your teen and their friends burn their boundless energy running through your neighborhood on the hunt for items on their list. A modern take on the classic scavenger hunt is to simply have your teen use their phone to take pictures with the item they’re looking for and report back to home base with their collection of photos. If your teen and their friends are old enough to drive, a scavenger hunt is also a fun excuse to drive around to find destination-related scavenger items. Here are a few random items you can put on the list for your teen to find:
- A library book about insects
- A Taylor Swift CD
- A pair of Converse sneakers
- An energy drink
- A selfie with an old lady
- A Redbox station
- A wildflower
- Graffiti on a wall
Be sure to specify on the invitations that the party will be a scavenger hunt. You can include wording to remind your teen’s friends to bring tennis shoes for running around outside.
5.) Basketball Birthday Party
A basketball birthday party is a great option for teen athletes. This kind of party can be hosted at a local park or community center in your neighborhood where basketball courts and picnic tables are available. Just make sure you reserve the basketball courts ahead of time, if necessary. You can either let your teen direct the games that will be played or set up competitions to keep things interesting. Fun games beyond traditional full-court or half-court basketball include:
- Around the World
- Alley Oop Competitions with mini-trampolines
- HORSE or PIG
For a basketball themed birthday party, orange balloons with black basketball lines drawn on in black marker are a quick and easy decoration. You can also decorate with any trophies or jerseys your teen is particularly proud of. In keeping with the theme, you can fit the birthday party food within an orange and black color scheme, including foods like Doritos, cheese puffs, and orange flavored Gatorade.
Basketball Birthday Invitations
Let your teen’s friends and teammates know you’re planning a basketball themed party with basketball birthday party invitations from Invite Shop. This way your teen’s friends will know to bring basketball shoes and clothes to get sweaty in.
We hope these five summer birthday party ideas for teens help you come up with a great game plan for your teen’s upcoming birthday!