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65 Party Ideas, Games, And Activities For Sweet 16

Are you looking for cool birthday party ideas, games, and activities for teenagers? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll share 65 great ideas for teen birthday parties that will surely be a hit with your friends.

16 is such an important year for a teenage girl! Soon she’ll be getting her driver’s license and going on new adventures, so what better way to kick off this new year right with an amazing party?

From a classic party game like charades to creative activities like making your own pizzas or playing a round of flashlight tag, there’s something for everyone on this list.

So, whether you’re looking for a low-key party or an all-out bash, read on for the best party ideas for teenagers.

Here’s the scoop on party activities for 16 year olds!

65 Party Ideas, Games, And Activities

1. Have a movie marathon

One of the easiest party ideas is to have a movie marathon. Simply pop some popcorn, grab some snacks and drinks, and settle in for a night of fun.

Choose the favorite genre or movies of your birthday girl and she will have a blast! This is a great video for party activities for 16 year olds!

2. Play some party games

Party games are always a hit with teenagers. You could keep it simple with decks of cards or popular board games. If you have a large group, consider a game that allows a sizeable number of players, such as twister.

One example of a classic party game is the gift grab, in which everyone receives a random gift if they roll 7, 11, or doubles on a set of dice. The first person to roll the dice is the birthday girl, the next person is to their left, and then everyone rolls until the gifts are gone.

After everyone has rolled, if players roll a 7, 11, or doubles they can steal from another person, making it a fun and competitive game! If you plan to incorporate this activity, you could use smaller prizes such as sweet treats or trinkets for the gifts.

3. Have a themed party 

Want to really wow your friends? Host a themed party! 

For example, if you’re a fan of the movie “The Hunger Games,” how about throwing a “Hunger Games” themed party?  Or, you can go with something more general like a beach party or an 80s prom party. 

The possibilities are endless! This is a special party that your teen will love and their friends won’t forget. 

4. Set up a photo booth

A photo booth is a great way to add some fun to any party. All you need is a camera, some props, and a few backdrops and you’re good to go.

Party guests can take turns posing for photos and you can even print them out at the end of the night for everyone to take home. This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds!

5. Make your own pizzas

Pizza is always a party favorite, so why not make your own? Set up a toppings bar with all of your favorite toppings and let guests build their own pies.

Don’t forget the cheese and pepperoni!

6. Go on a scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are great for parties because they can be tailored to any group size and you can make them as challenging or easy as you want. The birthday girl and her best friends could team up against family members.

A popular strategy for scavenger hunts is that part of the team focuses on dissecting clues while the rest of the team goes out and keeps searching for more.

You can hide clues around your house or even outside in your neighborhood. Have a prize for the winners!

7. Play a game of laser tag

Want to really get your heart racing? Try playing a round of laser tag!

You can do laser tag at a venue or at home if you have a large space. You will need vests and laser guns if you do it at home, which you can often find at party supply stores or online.

Once you have your supplies, you’re ready for an action-packed battle! Maybe give the first team with the birthday girl a head start.

8. Have a dance party

Crank up great music and let loose on the dance floor! Dance parties are always a blast, no matter what your age.

If you want to make things even more fun, try incorporating some fun teen party games that involve dancing, like freeze dance or musical chairs. Pick the favorite tunes of the birthday girl and her best friends.  

For supplies, you’ll need a speaker and themed decorations such as a disco ball, fun lights, or confetti.

9. Make your own sundaes

What’s a party without some sweet treats? Set up a sundae bar with all of your favorite toppings and let guests make their own creations.

Chocolate sauce, sprinkles, whipped cream… the sky’s the limit! This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds.

10. Have a water balloon fight

If you’re looking for a party game that will cool everyone down, why not water balloons? It’s easy to set up since it doesn’t require any special equipment. 

Moreover, water balloons are a great game for a teenage birthday party on a budget. Remember to wear some old clothes that you don’t mind getting wet and bring an extra pair of clothes!

Have towels ready for party guests after the water balloon fight.

11. Make a giant fort

Forts are always fun, no matter how old you are. So, why not make a giant fort in your living room for your next party? 

All you need is some blankets, pillows, and a white sheet, and you’re good to go. You can even decorate the fort to make it more fun and festive.

12. Go on a nature hike

If you’re looking for a party idea that’s a little different, why not go on a nature hike? This is especially great if you live near woods or hiking trails.

Just be sure to pack some snacks, drinks, and wear comfortable shoes!

13. Have a karaoke contest

Hosting a karaoke contest is a great way to get everyone involved at your party. 

You can either let people sign up to perform their favorite tunes or just have a group sing-off, whichever you prefer. Make sure to have some prizes for the winners!

This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds. Play your favorite songs!

14. Play a game of paintball

Paintball is a fun party game for large a group of teens. The best way to play paintball is at an established paintball business where they have gear and a large space ready. 

If you want to do paintball from home, you will need sturdy gear, paintball guns, and pellets, as well as a large open space that you can clean the next day.

Whichever you prefer, get ready for an adrenaline-pumped day!

15. Go on a hayride

Looking for a low-key party idea? Why not take a hayride through the neighborhood or to your nearest pumpkin patch?

Hayrides are lots of fun with the right group. Just make sure to dress warmly and bring some blankets if you want to cuddle up!

16. Play some flashlight games

Flashlight games are perfect for nighttime parties. All you need is a few flashlights and you can play all sorts of fun games, like flashlight tag, hide-and-seek, or even Marco Polo.

Bring extra batteries on hand in case anyone’s flashlight goes out!

17. Make your own slime

Looking for a fun party craft that’s also somewhat educational? Why not have everyone make their own slime?

This is a great way to teach teens about chemistry and it will keep them entertained for hours. For the ingredients, you’ll need water, white glue, bicarbonate of soda, food coloring, and glitter for pazzazz.

Remember to cover tables with plastic wrap so that’s easier to clean up after.

18. Have a Nerf gun fight

If you want to have a fun gaming party at home, nerf guns are a cheap and fun option. Teens can play in the backyard against each other on teams or with targets and obstacles.

You can use the link above to buy Nerf guns and darts on Amazon. This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds!

19. Go for a swim

If you’re looking for an activity that’s fun for all ages, why not have a pool party? This is a great way to stay cool on a hot summer day and it can be even more fun if you incorporate some water games. 

If you don’t have a swimming pool, you could visit a rec center in your community. Bring lots of sunscreen and snacks!

20.  Glow In The Dark Party

Black light parties are a great option for celebrating this special occasion. You will need glow sticks, fluorescent paint, and dark space. 

A safe way to do a black light party is outside at night so that there’s lots of room for all your party guests. This is the perfect party for an artistic teen. 

21. Pajama Party

Teens love pajama parties! All you need to do is have everyone come in their favorite pajamas and bring some pillows and blankets.

The best part is that this kind of party usually comes at no extra cost. For activities, you can have a movie marathon or pillow fight! 

22. DIY Spa Party

This is a great party idea for girls of all ages. Party guests can bring their favorite beauty products and face masks and set up a little spa area in your home. 

You can even give out manicures or pedicures as part of the party! Remember to bring some towels and robes on hand to keep everyone comfortable.

23. Cookie Decorating Party

If you have a teenage girl with a sweet tooth, this kind of party is a great time. You can bake the cookies from scratch or buy them from the grocery store. 

For supplies, you will need sprinkles, frosting, and any other toppings that your teenage girl prefers. You can even have a contest to see who can decorate the best cookie!

24. Tie-Dye Party

Tie-dying is lots of fun, especially for an artistic teen. All you need to do is pick up some tie-dye kits from your local craft store and get ready to have some fun!

This is a great way to celebrate the summer or just let loose. Maybe do this activity outside so that everyone has plenty of space.

Give party guests gloves, aprons, or plastic overalls so that no one gets their clothes ruined or skin stained by the dye.

25. Cupcake Decorating Party

Both family members and the birthday girl will love this party! All you need is some cupcakes, frosting, and sprinkles

Sweet treats appeal to all age groups, including older teens. If you don’t have a cake, you can use a cupcake instead to sing happy birthday. 

26. Arts And Crafts Party

Activities for this kind of party can include scrapbooking, painting, coloring, and many more. You can have a contest to see who can make the best piece of art!

Make sure some extra supplies are on hand in case anyone spills them or wants to make more crafts. You will also need aprons if people are painting.

27. Jewelry Making Party

Jewelry making parties are lots of fun because everyone can show off their pieces and bring them home. Arts and crafts stores and online shops sell jewelry making kits.

This is a great activity for teens that are into art and fashion. Family members can participate as well by helping their teens make jewelry or making a piece for themselves.

28. Picnic Party

This is a great party idea for all party guests. You will need some food, drinks, a blanket, and a nice picnic spot in mind. 

You can incorporate a fun teen party game such hula hoop or a board game. This party can encompass other activities on the list like water balloons and nerf guns.

29. Carnival-Themed Party

The carnival is full of joy and adventure, so what better party for a sweet 16?

You will need to set up some classic carnival games, like ring toss and duck pond. Carnival snacks include popcorn, cotton candy, and hot dogs.

In addition, have some prizes on hand for teens that win the carnival games, such as stuffed animals, sweet treats, or trinkets.

30. Amusement Park Themed Party

Everyone loves an amusement park! If you are close to an amusement park or water park, this is a fun party idea for a large group.

The tickets come at an extra cost, but once you’re inside, activities, games, and food are all there, so you don’t have to buy typical party supplies.

From carnival games to swimming to big rollercoasters, every party guest will have a great time! Remember to bring water and sunscreen.

32. Fashion Show Party

If you have a teenage girl that loves fashion and sewing, this is the kind of party for you. For supplies, you will need various fabrics, sewing kits, glue, and flashy decorations such as plastic jewels.

You can set up a runway where party guests pose in their outfits for pictures. You can even post their outfits to social media for family members.

33. Beach Party

If your teen has a summer birthday and you live by the beach, this is the perfect party for you! There are a lots of activities that teens and adults can do at the beach such as swimming, sunbathing, shell collecting, sand castle building, and the list goes on.

For supplies, you will need a cooler packed with water and food. Remember to bring sunscreen and a good book if you plan to relax in the sun.

34. Camping Party

If you have an outdoorsy teen who loves nature, this is the kind of birthday celebration for you. There are lots of cool birthday party ideas for camping such as scavenger hunts, smores, and telling scary stories around a fire. 

If you have never been camping before, you should find family members with experience or learn basic survival skills. As for camping supplies, you will need a tent, sleeping bags, bug spray, fire starters, food, and flashlights. 

35. Paint Party

This is a great party idea for teens and family members. All you need are some paint supplies and some simple projects.

You can even have a contest to see who can make the best painting! Just be sure to have some extra supplies on hand in case anyone makes a spill. This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds!

36. Ice Cream Parlour Party

Everyone screams for ice cream! Your teens’ best friends will absolutely love this theme and want to come around to your house next year too.

For supplies, you will need ice cream, toppings, and cones. Make sure to have a variety of ice cream flavors and toppings that include your teens’ favorites.

This activity complements other kinds of parties on this list such as a sleepover party or movie marathon.

37. Bowling Party

This is a great option for party guests of all ages. Bowling parlors come with all the supplies you’ll need, including food and music. 

Adults and teens could compete against each other for the highest score. This is a classic game that keeps everyone entertained. 

38. Ice Skating Party

An ice skating is loads of fun for all ages party. Ice skating rinks will have the supplies you need including snacks, so this is a great option for a large group on a budget.

Try to go on a less crowded day so that your teen can enjoy quality time with their best friends with less noise and people. If you call in advance, you could request that rink play certain music, including happy birthday.

39. Roller Skating Party

If ice skating is too scary, roller skating is known to be easier and safer for beginners. Roller skating is great for large groups since everyone can participate.

Some roller skate rinks allow you to book the entire place in advance. Birthday packages can include pizza and cake. This is another great idea for party activities for 16 year olds!

40. Slumber party

This is a great party idea for older teens. All you need are some sleeping bags and some simple activities, like movies and popcorn. 

In addition, slumber parties are great for incorporating additional activities such as an ice cream parlor or movie marathon. You can even have a contest to see who can stay up the longest!

41. Masquerade Party

Does your teenage girl love to dress up and dance? Why not throw a masquerade?

All you need are some masks and some simple activities, like games and charades. You could buy already made masks such as the one above or blank paper masks that your party guests could decorate themselves.

Masquerade parties usually have fancier foods, so you could set up a fondue bar and extravagant small plates depending on your budget and the preferences of the birthday girl.

42. Game of Thrones Party

If your birthday girl is a fan of Game of Thrones, this kind of party is a great option. You can play Game of Thrones board games and binge the show.

A fun way to liven the party up is to do a LARP. A LARP is when party guests dress up in costumes and act out scenes from the show. To do a LARP you will need costumes, props, and decorations to set up the scenes in various rooms. 

43. Harry Potter Party

Is your teen is obsessed with the Harry Potter series? Why not have a Harry Potter-themed party?

Activities for this party can include Harry Potter trivia, costume making, playing out scenes, Quidditch, and many more. In addition, you can also have a Harry Potter movie marathon, which goes great with other activities on this list such as a slumber party.

If you want to go all out and you have the budget, you could even book a trip to Harry Potter World!

44. Star Wars Party

This is one of the most popular movie series, so with the right setup and decorations, both your teen and party guests will have a blast!

Activities related to Star Wars include trivia, a LARP, a movie marathon, board games, and many more. You can even customize the food to Star Wars by making or buying a Star Wars themed cake.

45. Dodgeball Party

Do you want to throw an awesome party this year? Dodgeball is a great way to get your party guests excited!

For supplies, you will need dodgeballs and a large space. Lay down rules for party guests to ensure that they play in a safe way.

46. Tropical Luau Party

This is a great party idea for older teens and adults. All you need are some Hawaiian decorations and some simple activities, like limbo and hula hoop dancing.

You can even have a contest to see who can make the most beautiful lei! Just be sure to have some extra supplies on hand in case anyone makes a mistake. This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds!

47. Superhero Party

Whether your teen is a Marvel or DC fan, if they love superheroes and comics, this is the perfect party for you! Activities that you can set up for this party include a LARP similar to the Game of Thrones theme, a Marvel or DC movie marathon, or a costume contest.

There are even video games and board games that feature superheroes. Moreover, there are lots of superhero themed decorations.

48. Spy Party

Does your teen love mysteries and spies? This could be the kind of party for you! Spy-related activities include decoding messages, finding hidden objects, and spy games.

Moreover, you could do a spy movie marathon. Spy Kids is a nostaglic favorite!

In addition, if you’re in DC, you could visit the International Spy Museum or find a similar museum in your area.

49. Red Carpet Party

This is a great party idea for a teenage girl. All you need are some celebrity costumes and some simple activities, like a photoshoot and mock awards show.

You can even have a contest to see who can make the most beautiful costume! Just be sure to have some extra supplies on hand in case anyone makes a mistake.

50. Halloween Party

For this party, you will need Halloween decorations such as black balloons and fake spider webs. The teens can do fun activities such as bobbing for apples and carving pumpkins.

You can even have a contest to see who can make the most creative pumpkin! Or have a Halloween fashion show where everyone shows off their costumes. This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds!

51. Murder Mystery Party

Does your teen love horror? This birthday party is the perfect fit for you!

You will need crime scene supplies and some simple activities, like acting out clues and solving puzzles. Clue is a fun on-theme board game and the movie is hilarious!

Another fun teen party game that fits this theme is wink murder. It requires no supplies!

52. Barbecue

Do you love to cook over the grill? A barbecue could be perfect for this special birthday celebration!

You will need a grill, hotdogs, hamburgers, and sides such as fruit salad, pasta salad, and snacks. Make sure that you have lots of drinks for your party guests.

There are lots of activities that you can do during a barbecue such as swimming if you have a pool and outdoor games like water balloons, hula hoop, and sports.

53. Trampoline Party

If there is a trampoline park near you, this is the perfect party!

Trampoline parks usually have birthday packages that include decorations, pizza, and cake, so you wouldn’t need to buy extra supplies.

Your teen will have a blast jumping with their friends all day long! This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds.

54. Fiesta Party

This kind of party is lots of fun. You can set up activities such as piñata breaking, making sombreros, and costume making. 

In addition, fiesta parties should include a dance floor for salsa and tango dancing. If you really want to start this new year with a bang you could set off fireworks!

55. Sports-Themed Party

Does your teen play a sport? Then why not have a party dedicated to an activity they love?

This kind of party is great for a large guest list since you can have group games and teams. For supplies, you’ll need decorations dedicated to the birthday girls’ sport of choice, and a set up in an outdoor space large enough for the party guests to play.

56. LEGO Party

If your teen is creative and builds with LEGO bricks, then this party theme is a good idea!

The main activity for this party is building with LEGO bricks of course, but you could also incorporate games and competitions related to it. For example, who can build the tallest building in five minutes?

Or a group game where everyone works as a team to build a scene from the birthday girls’ favorite movie. The possibilities are endless!

57. Arcade

The arcade has something for everyone and your teen will absolutely love it for their birthday celebration! Some arcades have birthday packages that include pizza, cake, and special prizes, which would save you time and money.

Good luck scoring big and earning tickets! This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds.

58. Ropes course Party

What’s more adventurous and exciting than venturing high into the trees where there are obstacles and ziplines? Ropes courses can be terrifying, but exhilarating for the right group!

If your teen loves challenges, heights, and adrenaline-pumped action, this is the perfect party for you. The ropes course instructors provide safety instructions and gear, but most will not provide a birthday package. So, you should prepare to set up decorations, food, and cake somewhere else.

59.  Mini Golf Party

Playing mini golf is one of the best teen party games since it involves family members as well. Everyone can enjoy themselves in the outdoors and even compete with each other on teams.

If you don’t live near a put-put venue, you can buy a mini-golf kit online using the link above. You also will need a piece of paper on hand to keep score. This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds.

60. 2000s Party

Want to do a throwback party? The 2000s is nostalgic for your 16 year old.

Classics like Mean Girls, Princess Diaries, Legally Blond, and Happy Feet are great for a Sweet 16 from the 2000s. There are also 2000s playlists with artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Katy Perry.

You could hand out flip phones as party favors!

61. Emoji Birthday Party

If your teen is addicted to their cell phone or social media, an emoji birthday party is a great idea. You should set up emoji-themed decorations and fun activities, like guessing emojis and playing emoji bingo.

You can even have emoji-themed food with emoji cupcake toppers such as the ones above!

62. Escape Room Party

The escape rooms have been on the rise for birthday parties. If your teen loves solving puzzles and you have a large number of party guests, an escape room could be the perfect kind of party for you.

While you’re searching for local escape rooms, check out their website and see what party options they offer. Some include food and birthday favors, but others don’t. Therefore, you might need to plan to do a meal and cake somewhere else.

If you don’t want to go to an escape room, you could host one from home by hiding clues throughout the room and giving everyone an hour to solve all the clues before the time runs out. Or you could buy an escape room game, such as the one above

63. Video Game Tournament

Does your teen love Mario Cart, Super Smash Bros, or another fun and competitive video game? Then they would probably be pumped for a video game tournament with their best friends!

Moreover, you could have a costume contest where party guests dress as characters from the birthday girls’ favorite video game.

For supplies, find decorations, party favors, and food that relates to your teens’ video game of choice.

64. Outdoor Movie Party

If you live in an area with nice night weather and now a large open space, an outdoor movie party is a great option. What’s more fun than kicking back and watching your favorite movie under the stars?

For supplies, you’ll need a large projector or screen, the birthday girl’s favorite movie, and movie snacks like popcorn. Party guests should bring blankets and jackets in case it gets too cold. This is a great idea for party activities for 16 year olds!

65. Black and White Ball

This is a classic party idea that works every time! A black and white ball is classy, and elegant, and a perfect introduction to this new age for your teenage girl.

For this kind of party, all of your decorations and foods, to the best of your ability, should fit the black and white theme. In addition, you should include the black and white dress code in your invitations.

How To Throw The Best Party Ever

1. Create your guest list and send out invitations. The guest list is important because part of the magic of birthday parties is getting to celebrate with friends.

Your teen will want to invite their best friends and you can enlist the help of family members. Keep your budget for supplies in mind when you consider the number of party guests. You can use affiliate links such as Evite to send out invitations.

2. Get creative with your party theme. Come up with a unique theme that will get everyone excited and in the spirit of things. Some fun teenage birthday party ideas include “fairy tale,” “anime,” or “90s throwback.”

3. Get the right party decorations. No party is complete without fun decorations, so stock up on helium balloons, streamers, and tablecloths.

4. Plan out some delicious food and drinks for your guests. Finger foods and sweet treats are great options for teen parties. Whether you’re serving pizza or hot dogs, make sure there’s something everyone will enjoy.

5. Get everyone involved with a fun party game. From a classic game like truth or dare to more recent favorite group games like app-based scavenger hunts, there are endless options for keeping your party guests entertained. A video game or board game tournament are other great party game ideas for older teens. 

6. End the night on a sweet note with some fun party favors. Whether you’re giving out goodie bags of candy or stickers as party favors, your guests will remember the night for fun times and generous hospitality.

Party Events

In conclusion, customize all of these choices for your birthday girl. This day is about her so put her preferences first, even if some of the party guests don’t like them. Include her favorite color in the decorations and favorite tunes in the playlist.

These fun ideas are great for a 16th birthday party and to celebrate getting your driver’s license!

Good luck on your big day!

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