Your teen’s sweet sixteen is, without a doubt, the birthday she is going to remember forever! This is an important event for both of you, a coming of age party that marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. Before your teenager begins her responsible stage of life she first needs to have an unforgettable party.
However, a party comes with a lot of responsibilities and planning too. There are many things to consider, but the first and the most important one is your party venue. Do you want an outdoor or an indoor party, a club or a restaurant, a lavish or relaxed event? There are so many options! But, before we start jumping to concrete location ideas there are some things you need to ask yourself first.
Before choosing a venue
Determine your budget
Party budget is probably the most important thing you need to think about. Decide what your limit is and stick to it. Discuss with your teen what the best choice is. If money is tight, don’t worry – there are plenty of inexpensive options. For example, a low budget might mean you need to cut down your guest list. Decide who you absolutely have to invite. Who are the people that would feel sad or excluded if they didn’t get the invitation? For most teenagers, it’s their family and close friends. A home party is, obviously, one of the cheaper alternatives. In the end, whether you choose home or some other location, know there are countless creative DIY ideas that can make any place look like a fairy tale.
Guest type and venue capacity
If you are inviting just teenagers then it is easier to choose a venue that is perfect for them. But, be careful if there are also going to be adults because then you need to consider their taste and preferences too. Party needs to be enjoyable for everyone!
Don’t forget to make a guest list and see what number of people you are inviting. There is a huge difference when inviting 50 or 200 people and the choice of the venue depends on it. Best options for a large number of people are renting halls or making the party outside so everyone can fit. If you don’t have a lot of guests that gives you freedom for more creative options.
Is the party happening during summer or winter days? Always check the weather forecast and make sure you don’t book an outdoor venue if it is going to be cold or rainy. An indoor party is a safer option if the weather is unpredictable. But if you are having an outdoor party it is always a good idea to have a plan b, an indoor space where your guests can move in case of the rain.
Plan and book a venue on time
If you have already set your mind to a certain location, check if that venue is free for the exact date you are planning to have a party. If the place is popular there is a possibility that the venue is already booked. This is why it is always better to start planning on time and have many more options available. A lot of venues need to be booked a few months or even a year in advance.
Know what expectations your daughter has
If you are planning a surprise party take into account what your daughter likes or doesn’t like. Don’t forget that this is a special event for her. If this is not a surprise party then discuss every aspect with her so you choose the best solution that is within your budget. This is also a great opportunity for some family bonding time.
A theme can also help you decide what the venue will be like. Once your choice lands on a swimming pool or a beach party, outdoor movie party, BBQ party or something similar, then you will automatically know what the best location for the occasion. If you still aren’t sure then choose a venue that can be easily transformed and decorated, like big renting halls.
What does the venue offer?
Are you planning on getting the food and drinks on your own or do you need catering services? If you are not willing or you don’t have the time to plan all the other details then you should consider a place that offers all of that – food, drinks, music, photographer, decorations, etc.
Are there any limits?
Consider how long the party is going to last and pick the time that fits with the opening hours of the venue. How far is the venue from the city center and can everyone reach it easily? Are there enough parking spaces? These are all points you need to consider if you want your guests to have a pleasant experience.
Now, if you have taken into consideration these things mentioned above, here are some ideas of the exact locations:
- This is a great option if you have a lot of guests and you need a large space
- The room can be easily adapted to many theme ideas and it allows you to be creative
- You can bring your own food, drinks, put up your own decorations, arrange music, etc. and in this way save some money (e.g. Community Center, Gym, Recreation Halls) or you can find a venue that can help you with some of these services (e.g. Catering Halls)
- Good option if you don’t like cooking
- It is suitable both for smaller as well as larger groups of guests. You can rent a whole place or book a few tables
- You don’t have to spend time on decorations and other arrangements
- More intimate than parties in huge halls
Don’t think because the party is at home that it won’t be fun. It actually gives you much more options than renting a place.
- If you want it to be affordable then this is the right answer
- There are no time limits or other restrictions
- You and your guests can be a lot more comfortable and relaxed
- If you have a garden you can choose between the indoor and outdoor options
- You have to do all the planning, take care of food and drinks, music, decorations, moving furniture and much more (although, for some people this can be an advantage). Prepare to spend a lot of time organizing
- When the party is over you will have to do the clean-up, which can be difficult if it is a big party
- Your number of guests is limited
- There is always the risk of someone damaging your furniture or other house items
- Parking can also be a problem
There are numerous outdoor options, some of which are parks, outdoor pools, beaches, etc.
- If your birthday girl loves nature and enjoys being outside, then look no further
- Outdoor parties create a laid-back vibe and are much more comfortable
- There is plenty of space for your guests
- Outdoor venues can turn out to be much cheaper (or even free) than renting an indoor space
- There are many activity options, starting from dancing to any sports activity, like volleyball, or just making a movie night under the open sky
- If the weather is bad, then you will either have to postpone or cancel the party
- If it is a public space then most probably it is impossible to rent the whole space, so you’re not going to have a lot of privacy
If you want something that is most party-like and has a lot of space for dancing then you should choose a nightclub.
- For a large number of guests, you can rent a whole place for the night
- If you are celebrating with a smaller group of people then you can just take them out for a few drinks
- You can organize karaoke activities, dance competitions, and be as loud as you like
- Music and drinks can be arranged for you so you don’t have to spend a lot of time planning
Creative or specific activity ideas
Here are some ideas if you are interested in a specific activity and want your party to be authentic. These are good options for a smaller number of guests and are quite entertaining.
- Board game cafe
- Boat cruise
- Bowling alley
- Escape room
- Horse ranch
- Ice-skating rink
- Indoor pool
- Movie theater
- Rock climbing
- Skateboarding park
- Spa center
- Tennis court
- Trampoline center
- Water park
Super unique ideas
If your daughter is interested in the natural environment or volunteerism maybe she could use her birthday to do something that can make an impact. This also gives a good example to all her friends and can change their perspective on things.
Here are some ideas:
- Going to a local park with her friends and all of them planting a tree or some flowers
- Cleaning up a local beach or a park
- Going to a homeless shelter and helping out
Even though there are so many options and planning can be stressful, don’t forget that the main purpose of the celebration is to have fun and enjoy it. Whatever you choose in the end it will be the right decision if you have friends and family you love next to you.