Cheap Birthday Party Ideas for a Sweet 16

Written by lanae carr
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Cheap Birthday Party Ideas for a Sweet 16
Invite a small group of boys and girls to a sweet 16 movie night. (teen on the party with noisemaker image by Alexey Klementiev from

Sweet 16 birthdays are a milestone usually celebrated by a teenage girl. Popular television programs showcase teenagers of both sexes enjoying costly birthday bashes with celebrities, international caterers and hundreds of guests for their sweet 16 parties. However, you can throw a sweet 16 birthday with close family and friends using simple activities and cuisine on a small budget.

Potluck BBQ

BBQ parties are a popular choice for birthday parties during the spring and summer. Warm, sunny weather creates a pleasurable environment for party guests and reduces the need for extensive decorations. Ask 16 family members and friends to each bring a dish for the BBQ so that you can spend less time prepping food and save money. Request that each dish possess a quality present in the guest of honour. Purchase a large easel pad and have each guest to sign their names, the dish they brought and the reason for the dish. Remember to write the title and date of the party. You can have the easel pad framed as a keepsake for the guest of honour.

Movie Night

Sweet 16 parties can be planned as a slumber party for friends where a movie is watched or as a unisex movie night. Choose popcorn and soda as the main refreshments. Instead of birthday cake, have homemade cupcakes for each guest. Designate a table for the cupcakes and, instead of lighting each cupcake with a candle, spell out "16" with tea light candles between the cupcakes so that the area stays lit while the movie is playing.

Birthday Bash

Some teenagers have a long list of friends on the guest list for their sweet 16 party. When the guest list can't be trimmed down to a small group, try a free or low cost venue for the party such as a place of worship or school. Places of worship that have a dining hall will often offer their space in exchange for a small donation. Schools may agree to host the event for a small fee if the event is approved by the PTA as a fundraiser. Serve cake and punch to students and play music from a free Internet radio station on your computer or from a Smartphone such as Live 365 or Pandora. Entertain guests with classic party games such as charades and musical chairs that don't require the purchase of props or game boards.

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