Turning 16 is a huge milestone in any teen’s life, so it’s time to celebrate! Whether you prefer something low-key or want to go a little crazy, we have some creative Sweet 16 party ideas that will fit any personality. Make your friends jealous and throw the party of the decade with these killer themes.
1. Glow Party
If you and your friends love the “club” scene, a Glow Party is a great theme. It’s very versatile and offers all kinds of ways to use a neon glow. Try contacting local Party Rentals vendors for LED furniture and local Lighting Techs to install black lights in your Venue. LED Dance Floors are becoming more popular, as well, and can be found with Portable Dance Floor vendors.
Music is a must at a Glow Party. You want people to dance, right? A Mobile DJ can help get the party going, take requests from the crowd, act as emcee, and let you focus on having fun on the floor with your friends! Encourage your guests to wear white or other neons to really make the colors pop in the room.
Pass out glow-in-the-dark Party Favors like necklaces, bracelets, or glasses. You can even bring in an Airbrush Artist to offer live painting on t-shirts or hats with glow paint! Temporary Tattoo Artists or Face Painters may offer glow tattoos or paint as well. If you really want to get crazy, set up a Glow Paint station where you and your friends can do your own body painting!
At the refreshment table, even your drinks can glow! Simply drop a mini glow stick into the drinks, or check your local party supply store for neon cups, plates, and other tableware.
If you’d really like to raise the wow factor, try hiring an LED Hoop Dancer!
2. Hawaiian Luau
Bring the beach to your Sweet 16 party! Throwing a luau can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be. Of course, you’ll want the traditional grass skirts and coconut decorations (or costumes) to set the tone. Set up a buffet table with finger foods, or even an authentic roasted pig. A Caterer may make this go a little easier! Serve fruity “mocktails” like virgin Pina Coladas or Strawberry Daquiris in colorful cups. If you have access to a pool, even better! Being outside is always more fun when throwing a luau. String up some white lights or tiki torches to take the party into the evening.
Not a fan of the bright (or sometimes tacky) look of the luau decorations at party stores? Check out this vintage luau look from Oh My! Creative. We love it! Still fun, but without the gaudiness.
The entertainment can be very engaging with a luau! Steel Drum Players or a Beach Music Band will add ambiance and atmosphere, and can usually play some popular music at your request. To step things up a bit, Polynesian Entertainment with Fire Poi can put on an amazing show for you and your guests! (This is where being outside is a plus! If you’re renting a venue, be sure to check on any restrictions they have for entertainment.) To get your guests more involved, hire a group of Hula Dancers to give Hula lessons to everyone.
3. Vintage Circus
A trending theme in the Sweet 16 party realm is “vintage.” One of our current favorites is the Vintage Circus theme. We covered this theme in a previous post, so check it out for all the details on decorations, refreshments, invitations, and more! But we’ll cover a bit about the entertainment possibilities.
The Vintage Circus theme allows for some incredible entertainment. While it would be amazing to have an elephant in your backyard, it’s not entirely probable. That doesn’t mean you can’t have awe-inspiring acts at your party! In fact, some of our favorite types of talent live in this category. If you have space, Aerialists put on some amazing shows in the air above the party. Jugglers, Fire Eaters, and Acrobats can also take advantage of the area and keep your guests mesmerized.
4. Birthday Bonnaroo
Are you a huge music lover? This is a GigSalad favorite! If you can’t go to Bonnaroo for your birthday, create your own! Whether your party is in your backyard or you’re able to secure a large venue with a stage, you can host a few different bands to play. For transition and time’s sake, it would probably be easiest to have Singing Guitarists, Acoustic Bands, Indie Bands, or Folk Bands. Check out their GigSalad profile for photos, audio clips, videos, and booking information. Some artists take song requests ahead of time and include them in the show, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Have each band play for 30-45 minutes while your guests enjoy festival foods. Concessions Companies can bring the food to you, or check your area for available Food Trucks. Have tubs of ice filled with bottled water, soda, or other drinks.
For outdoor parties, encourage guests to bring lawn chairs or blankets to lounge on during the music. Really get into the festival vibe and pass out sunglasses, t-shirts, or koozies as party favors!
5. Around the World
Do you love traveling and learning about other cultures? Or maybe you haven’t had the opportunity, but you dream of visiting exotic places. You’re about to hit a huge milestone, so bring the world to you! Pick a place (or a few) and build your party around it.
Serve food from different parts of the country, like appetizers from Thailand or desserts from France. This is where a Professional Caterer can come in handy, to help you create an interesting and worldly menu.
Entertainment ideas can be easily themed around different countries. For example, Henna Tattoo Artists and Bollywood Dancers are excellent ideas for India, while Flamenco Dancers and Latin Bands are lots of fun for a Spanish theme!
The options for entertainers from around the globe are endless. Musicians like Bagpipers, Didgeridoo Players, or Sitar Players can all help add an authentic flair. Live entertainment like Belly Dancers, Samba Dancers, or African Drum and Dance are other great options for including world culture in your Sweet 16 party!
For more Sweet 16 party ideas, check out our Pinterest page!