Last Minute 16th Birthday Party Ideas

If your teen's birthday is coming up, there are plenty of last-minute party ideas you can put together without spending a lot of time. All you need is a guest list and some room in your home for your teen's friends. Finger foods and teen-friendly music may please even the pickiest 16 year old.


Sixteen year olds enjoy hanging out with their friends, so let the birthday girl hold a sleepover in her home. Let your teen invite over as many girlfriends as you can handle and give them free rein in the house. They can play video games in the basement or volleyball in the backyard, or they can give each other makeovers in the master bathroom while gossiping about their latest crush. The focus of this event is friendship, so let the teens do whatever activity they choose. Put together a basic array of appetizers, such as pigs in a blanket, egg rolls and mini pizzas, and let the teens snack while they socialise. Add some basic birthday decorations, including streamers and balloons in your teen's favourite colour, as well as a birthday cake for a celebratory touch.

Backyard Dance

School dances are memorable events for 16 year olds. Host a dance party for your teen and his friends in your backyard. You can play DJ with your teen's MP3 device and a portable set of speakers. String twinkle lights around the perimeter of your backyard to create a dance floor, and let the teens greet the birthday boy while dancing under the stars. Keep the tunes upbeat to avoid awkward slow dancing and let the birthday boy invite both girls and boys. No need for a formal dinner---just set up a snack table on your patio with treats including popcorn, trail mix, fruit and cheese. Wrap up the dance party with the "Happy Birthday" song playing on the MP3 player and bring out a birthday cake lit with 16 candles.

Pool Party

If you have a pool at your home or in your neighbourhood, use it as a festive venue for a sweet 16 party. Teenagers can relax in the pool; toss a few floats in the pool to enjoy. Play the birthday teen's favourite music. Fire up the grill and make plenty of hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids to enjoy. This party is particularly easy because the pool provides the entertainment. Give the birthday girl a cake in the shape of a flip-flop to match the pool party theme.

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About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.