What Do You Do For a Boy Who Is Turning “Sweet Sixteen”? Trisha’s TOP 10 Choices
So, I was sitting here thinking that one month from today, our eldest son Bridger, will be turning 16. I have always heard of "Sweet Sixteen" parties for young ladies, in fact, I remember having my own "Sweet Sixteen" party back in the day. But I don't recall ever hearing about parties for young men turning 16. So this lead me to the web...I did some checking and apparently I am not the only one who has had this thought...surprise!!!! Lol.
Bridger is a huge sports fan, in fact, since he was about 6, we have always had a Superbowl party, because the kid loves football and all other sports for that matter...he knows more about every sport out there than most adult sports fans I know. When Bridger started kindergarten, he could not wait to learn to read, so he could read the sports page of the paper. By Christmas that year, he was reading the sports page like a pro! So, maybe I shouldn't consider anything different, because his birthday falls on Superbowl Sunday. He'll also be wrestling that weekend down in Riverton for the Natrona County Mustangs in one of the biggest tournaments of the season, the "Ron Thon Memorial". So, this doesn't give me a lot of options for that weekend anyway.
But, I still can't help but think I should do something different, and maybe more special.
So here's the Top 10 things I found:
A pool party is a gender-neutral party idea that sounds like it would work well for a 16th birthday. Organize pool games to keep the party moving. A pool party doesn't require a lot of decorations. Hang a few 16th birthday decorations along with 16th birthday balloons to dress up the venue. Include lots of finger foods to keep the growing teens nourished. Finish off the pool party with a barbecue. Hmmm...Bridger has never been much of a swimmer, so lets go ahead and cross that one off of the list.
If your 16-year-old likes the X Games and extreme sports, use it as the theme for his birthday party. Hold the party at a skateboard park. Invite all of your son's skateboarding friends to bring their gear. Hold different competitions such as the best trick or a skateboard obstacle course. Skateboard tag is another option. Decorate a cake in the shape of a skateboard with the number 16 on it. Well...although this sound fun, and Bridger does loves all sports, he isn't necessarily able to compete in all of them...you see, at 6' 1" 140 pounds with size 13 shoes...he tends to be a little clumsy...I prefer to stay out of the emergency room on his birthday...so let's cross that one off the list as well.
Laser tag or Paintball is another active birthday party idea for a boy's 16th birthday. Because the kids will be running around during laser tag, provide lots of food and drinks to keep them hydrated and fed. Many laser tag facilities also have party rooms, so you can hold the rest of the party the kids finish playing. Or better yet, since we happen to live on 2.5 acres, we could build our own paintball range out at the house and still manage to keep the cost down a bit...I am liking this idea because all 3 of my boys are also avid outdoorsmen and love shooting just about anything you put in front of them. I am not 100% sure about this one...but it seems like the best option so far...so I am keeping it on the list.
If your son prefers video games, use them as the theme for his 16th birthday party. Set up a tournament for the kids featuring the birthday boy's favorite video games, which will keep the kids entertained for hours. Another option is to set up different video game systems throughout the party area. This gives the guests more options if they have different video game interests. Hmm...ok, I am not totally against this one, but I think kids, in general, spend a little bit too much time on the gaming systems, so this wouldn't be my first choice for sure...but an option. We'll keep it on the list for now.
- For teen boys who enjoy the cinema, a great idea for a birthday party is a movie night. Many Cinemas have birthday party packages that include use of their party room and reserved seating for party goers. For boys who have a lot of guests, there is an option to have a private showing of the movie of their choice in one of the theater's auditoriums. After the movie, guests can indulge in food that is selected to go with the movie's theme. I like this option too...and it could even be incorporated into a house party where Bridger could pick his favorite movies and host a movie marathon...not bad....we'll keep it on the list too!
Plan a dinner party at a local sports restaurant where the boys can talk and watch sports. If you want to make it a surprise, call up your son's friends and tell them to meet at the restaurant at a certain time. Then you tell your son that you would like to take him to eat for his birthday and you want to take him to a certain restaurant. When he walks in the restaurant, have the host lead him to his own party table that he will know nothing about. If he will not be too embarrassed, have a cake, balloons and few decorations for the table. Hmmm...this one sounds pretty good too...anywhere that you can watch sports and play NTN trivia is always a big hit with Bridger...so I'm keeping this one on the list as well.
If budget allows, rent a limo for a few hours for the birthday boy and some of his close friends. Let the limo take the boys to a restaurant, movie and the mall. The boys will enjoy listening to music and sharing stories in the limo. Get permission from the limo owner to place large posters on the side of the limo that wish the guest of honor a happy birthday. Hmmm...not a bad idea, but not sure it's within my budget and I think I like some of the other choices a lot better, so, I am taking this one off my list as well.
Throw your 16 year old a dance party, especially if the party is going to be coed. Hang a few decorations and a disco ball in the middle of the party area. Tape off a designated dance floor and let the party guests dance the night away. If budget allows, hire a DJ to play some music or get a neighborhood friend to setup a stereo and play some of your birthday boy's favorite music. Have a dance contest and award prizes, such as iTunes gift cards and fast food gift cards, to all winners. This one sounds pretty fun, but I'm not sure that Bridger would be interested in having a dance party...maybe attend a dance or dance party of someone else's...but not have his own...so check this one off too.
Hotel Room Party
Rent two hotel rooms, one for a couple of adult chaperones and one for the birthday boy and a few of his closest friends. Select a hotel that has an onsite swimming pool for the teens to enjoy. If the hotel has an on-site restaurant, the teens can enjoy a birthday dinner for the guest of honor. If the hotel doesn't have eateries, let the teens order pizza or Chinese food. Again, Bridger isn't big on swimming, so this one goes to the chopping block as well.
If the birthday boy isn't keen on a party, plan a trip to his favorite sporting event with a group of his friends. Get the best seats you can and lay on all the extras -- hot dogs, sodas, programs -- to make it an afternoon to remember. End the day with a trip to a sports-themed restaurant where the teenagers can chow down on burgers and watch sports on the big screen. A surprise cake is a great touch at the end of the meal as well. I like this idea a lot, but we would have to travel to make this happen,which we could do as a family, but not with extra teenagers along, that definitely is not within my budget, so unfortunately this one will have to get the axe as well.
So there you have it...the top ten things to do for a young man turning 16. I can't believe my son will be sixteen in a month...that must make me what?... 32? LOL...I wish! Anyway, I will visit with my hubby, Jim and see what we can come up with for the big celebration. If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment and share your ideas! I'll be sure to keep you updated on what we decide...and beginning February 5th...watch out for a new teenage driver on the road...lol. I'm kidding, he is actually a very good driver! :)