Many teenage boys aren't into typical birthday parties, as they can come off as childish. The last thing a teenager wants is to be embarrassed in front of his friends. Instead, plan a birthday celebration that embraces the things he and his friends are "into" at the moment.
Plan an all-night or all-weekend activity for your teen and his friends. This can include camping or hiking with activities such as dirt bikes, quads, fishing or tracking. An all-night video game marathon could be like paradise on earth for the guys. Set up games and TVs all in the same room. Ask his friends about borrowing some of their games and systems if necessary. Another all-night option could include cosmic bowling.
Center his birthday celebration on his favourite sport or team. If he loves baseball, consider taking him and his friends to a professional game, even if it's a minor league team. Call ahead to see if you can arrange something special, such as the teens meeting some of the players or a happy birthday announcement on the big screen. Another option is to rent a sports facility for your teen and his friends to play each other, practice or gain professional instruction. This works for teams sports such as baseball, basketball, golf, football or soccer.
Parties that get teen boys active may be a favourite. Take them to a paintball range and let them spend the day shooting paintballs at each other. Rent jet skis if you don't have them, and let the boys take turns riding on the lake. Make up water balloons and bring out your biggest water guns for a backyard battle.
If your teen wants a co-ed party, consider a murder mystery dinner party where each guest has a role. This may create a less intimidating atmosphere for your teen and his guests because everyone pretends to be someone else. Mall scavenger hunts allow teens to wreak havoc in the mall trying to find items before other team(s). Anything that seems out of the ordinary and comical could work. Invite a comedian who specialises in teen parties to keep guests laughing, perhaps turning the party into a roast if your teen isn't too self-conscious.
Most teen boys aren't quite as difficult to buy for as you might think. The latest electronics or video games work for many 16-year-old boys, or consider a gift card to his favourite game store or musical download website. Tickets to a sporting event or concert he wants to attend are other options. If nothing else, give him a wallet stuffed with gift cards or cash.
Go beyond common foods like takeout pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs. Instead, create a small buffet around your teen's favourite foods. If he loves Mexican food, set up a taco bar and offer dishes such as enchiladas, tamales or carne asada. Serve lasagne or spaghetti with different sauces if those are his favourites. Or plan an all-out cowboy-inspired barbecue. Consider a chocolate fondue bar or dessert buffet in lieu of a traditional birthday cake if you think your teen would enjoy that more.