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Sweet 16 Party Ideas

5 Sweet 16 Party Ideas That Are On Fleek

sweet 16 party

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!


sweet 16 party


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!


sweet 16 party

Photo Credit, Christian Unger


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.


sweet 16 party ideas

Photo Credit, Oh My! Creative


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.


sweet 16 party ideas


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.


vintage circus party

Photo Credit, Bacchanal Promotions on GigSalad.com


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!


sweet 16 party


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!


sweet 16 party


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!


sweet 16 party


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!


sweet 16 party


For more Sweet 16 party ideas, check out our Pinterest page!


Ready to book something awesome and make your Sweet 16 party a reality? Find the best on GigSalad.com.

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7 Steps to a Really SWEET 16

Girl at sixteenth birthday party blowing out birthday candles on cake

Turning 16 is one of the most anticipated moments in your teen’s life and with it comes all kinds of excitement. Once they get past the driver’s test (phew!), the one thing on their mind is throwing the greatest Sweet 16 Party their friends have ever seen! With such high expectations, the task of celebrating your 16-year-old’s birthday may seem a little daunting. How do you pull off a party that your teen will never forget (and might even put down their phone to experience)? Follow these 6 steps and you’ll be well on your way to throwing a spectacular Sweet 16 Party…

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Sixteen is a big one!

Sixteen. It marks the monumental year that you get your driver's license. It may also be the year that you throw a killer sweet sixteen birthday bash that your friends will be talking about for years! GigSalad is ready to supply you with all the tools and ideas you need to throw an unforgettable sweet sixteen party. Whatever you have in mind, we have an array of party ideas to suit your needs and keep everyone entertained.

What will your sweet sixteen year old want?

Shows on MTV such as "MY Super Sweet 16" can give your teenager some extravagant ideas for their party...ideas that may be WAY out of your budget. So it is a good idea to sit down with them and discuss ideas and let them know their limits. It's important to keep them involved because this birthday is a very important one, so you want to make sure it's everything they dreamed it would be. Give them your budget and have them help make decisions about the number of guests, venue, entertainment and food. By giving your teenager the opportunity to help plan their sweet sixteen party, you're giving them the responsibility and independence they want while still being involved in their life.

Before working out the entertainment and party details, first decide on a theme for the sweet sixteen party. Will it just be a simple party done up in decorations based off your teenagers favorite color, hobbies or movie? Or do you want to do a full theme party such as a Hawaiian luau, Flashback to the 80s or maybe an Oscar or Hollywood themed party! Once you've decided the theme, choose your location, date, time and guest list and get your invitations out right away! Use an invitation printer to have invites worked up that match your theme!

Find the perfect entertainment to rock the party!

The most important piece of the sweet sixteen party is the entertainment! There are so many options to go with, so it is very important that you figure out together what will work best for your teenager and most importantly, your budget! This might be the thing you spend the most money on. You may cut back on the decorations or the food so that you have more for entertainment. If you just want music to back up a dance party then you will want to look into hiring a party band or cover band! If you do go with a live band, choose a style that matches your teen's music genre preference. Would they like a country band, a rock band or you could possibly get a tribute band of one of your teenagers favorite groups? Or you could go more simple and hire a DJ to come in and provide a variety of music or make the guests the entertainment and hire a karaoke DJ to get the party goers involved!

If you decided to do a specific theme, you might want to hire entertainment to go with that party theme. If you chose to have a luau or beach party then you might want to hire hula dancers or a steel drum band. If you went with a Hollywood theme, you could bring in a celebrity impersonator to mingle with the crowd and take photos with the guests. One last option to consider is to bring in a comedian, hypnotist or magician to put on a show. Everyone loves to laugh and be amazed so any of these options could be a great hit among the teens at the sweet sixteen celebration!

Something to remember about teenagers: they are always hungry!

You will definitely want to provide food at this sweet sixteen bash. Your budget, location and theme all need to be taken into consideration when planning the menu. If you can afford it, you may want to hire a caterer and choose the menu based off their specialties and creative party food ideas. If your party is going to take place outdoors, then maybe barbecuing with a menu of hot dogs and hamburgers would be the best option.

If you have a specific theme then maybe talk to your caterer about specializing the menu to fit that theme. At a luau, have seafood and tropical fruits with smoothies. At a Hollywood party, have a wait staff serve hors d'oeuvres and bartenders with sparkling cider and Shirley Temples. If the party is more low key then you might not need an elaborate menu. Order some pizzas and set up a pizza buffet, or just have a table of refreshments and snacks such as chips, dip, fruit trays and desserts with bowls of punch. If the venue you have chosen does not provide tables and chairs and these things are necessary you will want to contact a party rental company to provide these things for you.

Filling in all the details

It's important to set the mood of the party with appropriate decorations. Find party decor that fits your theme and creates a fun atmosphere for your teen and their guests. If you do not have a specific theme then go with decorations and streamers in your teen's favorite colors. It is also a good idea to come up with party favors to give to the guests. This is a great way to thank them for coming to your party and also gives them something fun to save as a keepsake to remember the wonderful party they attended! Your party favors will generally tie into your theme. Hand out leis at a luau or give out awards at an Oscars party. If you cannot come up with theme appropriate favors, then you can have goodie bags with candy or chocolates.

Both you and your teenager will want the memories of this sweet sixteen party to last forever, so it is very important that you capture all the little moments with pictures. You can decide to take the pictures yourself or designate a family member to do it for you. If you have the budget for it, hire a professional photographer to handle it for you so that you can spend your time either at the party with your teen or hiding away in the corner watching from afar as your teen may request. After all, parents are an embarrassment! Another fun idea is to set up a photo booth. Allow your teen and their guests to take goofy candid photos that print out right away. This is an additional party favor for the guests as well!

If all of this still sounds like a lot to take on, you could always hire a party planner to handle it for you. However, with the right resources you and your teen can do it yourselves and have fun doing it. GigSalad is here to help you every step of the way as your one stop shop for all your sweet sixteen party planning needs!