Planning A Teenager's Party and Food Suggestions

Author: Philip Lee Hewitson - Google+

Planning a party for a teenager can often be more stressful than for a child. Teenagers like to have an input and make decisions but in the end it is the parents who have to pay the bill. Parties for teenagers are an in between stage of children’s parties and 18th and 21st birthday parties.

Over the years we have helped to plan a veriety of party's so hopefully this article will give you a helping hand in the planning process.

Planning a birthday party for a teenager

The best way to plan for a teenager’s party is to produce and follow a detailed checklist. Checklists are great for making sure nothing has been forgotten and to structure tasks appropriately, delegating some jobs to possible helpers.
Try to produce the checklist yourself but don’t be afraid to let your teenager have a large input, remember, you pay the bill therefore you have the final say.

Print off a party checklist here

The initial checklist should include ideas on the following:


1. The best venue for a teenager’s birthday party is one which doesn’t serve alcohol. When teenagers get to the ages of 16 and 17 there is a risk that they may want to or already are experimenting with alcohol.
To avoid having a queue of angry parents at your door it is best to choose your venue wisely. Stay away from pubs and working men’s clubs and look at parish halls and church halls instead.

Alternatively you could hold the party at your family home, I would strongly suggest looking at alternative venues before deciding upon this option however.

no drinking under 18

Number of guests

2. The size of the venue can determine the number of guests you invite to the party. Some larger venues have a maximum capacity, for some this may be an issue. For those looking to hold the party in their home it would be sensible to invite only a small number of guests, this would obviously depend on the size of the house.

The age of the birthday boy or girl can also determine how many guests to invite. For smaller birthdays such as 14ths and 15ths it may be sensible to only invite a handful of guests, for 16ths and 17ths this may be different. The number of guests invited is very much down to personal preference.

teenager's birthday party

party prices

3. Your child will not want to have a party for each of their teen birthdays so maybe you can afford to splash out a little more on their party. Try and keep yourself in control of the spending, for example do not send you child to the shops with some money and ask them to buy their party essentials, your party essentials and theirs are likely to be totally different.

At the same time try to tell your child what the party budget is, they may do their upmost to spend the whole lot. Buy sensibly, purchasing re-usable decorations, table cloths, crockery etc may be a good idea, you can use them again next year. Try not to go over the top and make sure you are in control of the spending and not your teenager.

The length of the party

4. Is this to be a day time party, a night time party or a sleepover? All are very popular with teenagers and it is up to you to choose which will suit you best. The venue and the number of guests tend to have a big influence on this factor. Day time parties are probably more practical, particularly for young teenagers.

Three or four hours is usually the normal amount of time for a party, usually starting just after midday. However, night parties and sleepovers are equally as popular, particularly as the children grow older. Be careful however, sleepovers can be a recipe for disaster; you cannot keep tracks on the guests all through the night so a lot comes down to trust. Don’t underestimate what other people’s teenagers may get up to in your home.

Once the initial checklist has been discussed and the details of the party have been finalised it is then time to decide the finer details of the event. The checklist below will help with this.

teenage birthday party

Party Entertainment

5. Entertainment at teenager’s parties is usually a big step up from the clowns, bouncy castles and magicians you find at a children’s party. Depending on the age of your teenager, discos and DJ’s are usually good entertainment- wise, especially for large events held in private venues.

For parties and sleepovers at home look more at DVD’s, interactive TV games and games consoles, these are likely to keep the guests occupied all day and night.

party entertainment

Party Invitations

6. These carry less significance as your children get older, in fact the novelty of them wears off until your children start and reach the end of their teen years. These needn’t be formal, online invitations sent via the social networking website Facebook seem to be all the rage now.

Unless the party is a grand event with lots of guests and high quality catering and entertainment, keep it formal. You don’t want fancy expensive invitations and have all your guests arriving to at your home to a low key party, it will be a bit of an anti- climax.

party helpers

7. Depending on the size of your party, helpers may be welcome or they may just get in the way. If it is a family get together with possibly a few of your teenagers friends also invited then I think the need for help is minimal, the same with sleepovers.

However, for teenager’s parties at private venues you may want to get some extra help on board, after all there is likely to be a lot of setting up to do before the event and tidying up to do afterwards.

party catering

8. Teenagers are usually the fussiest of eaters, even if yours isn’t don’t expect everyone else’s to be the same. For large teenager’s birthday parties don’t be afraid to call in the caterers, whether the party is at home or elsewhere, it relieves a lot of pressure.

It's good to have a mixture of food so there is something for everyone, below are a few suggestions to get you started.

Hog roast - It's one of our most popular services with no fuss, hire the team to come and do it all for you it's also possible to add vegetarian options, salads and potatoes take a look at the menu choices.

party for a teenager

BBQ- It really depends on the time of year but this really is a very popular choice for teenagers check out out BBQ catering website for menus and prices.

Food platters - Ideal for home catering if you are limited for space, you can choose a mixture of food platters to create some very nice food choices.

party food plattersfood platters for a party

Finger buffets - the finger buffet is "party food" we offer 6 finger buffet menus or you could create your own menu from our extras list.

For smaller occasions however it may be more suitable to consider providing your own catering, this is very dependent on how many guests are expected. If it is a few of your teenager’s friends coming to watch a few DVDs and a sleepover then you may just decide to provide a few pizzas for them to share.

For a more traditional party in the house you may choose to go down a different route, choosing traditional finger buffet food such as sandwiches and sausage rolls. Remember to include a birthday cake, your teenager may not appreciate a cake as much as they did as a child but it wouldn’t be a birthday party without a birthday cake.