9 Fun Teen Birthday Party Themes

When your teen requests a special birthday bash, here are some easy ways to pull out all the stops (without breaking the bank) 

Alejandra Bennett
1 / 9

Photo Ready

A birthday party theme well-suited for the Instagram generation, a photo-shoot party will be a hit with your teen and friends. Provide a cool photo backdrop, like this vibrant 81-square-foot mural from Anthropologie (or DIY one with your teen!), fun wigs and costumes, a few instant cameras, and your work is done.

2 / 9

Movie under the Stars

Bring the fun of a drive-in movie to your backyard with an al fresco movie screening. You don’t need much: A projector can be found on Amazon, and picnic blankets and snacks will do the trick. Stay with the old-school vibes with this vintage-inspired tabletop popcorn maker from Target.

3 / 9

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

This quintessential story-telling game (it's based on a Nickleodeon TV series; your kids will know it) makes for a great party theme. For this b-day party version, make whoever is “it,” starting with the birthday boy or girl, get decked out in glow sticks.

4 / 9

It’s All Fun and Games

Transform your home into a game emporium! Your living room becomes the card room, the den becomes the charades and trivia room, and the backyard is designated for the more destructive games, like Giant Jenga.

5 / 9

Blazing Bonfire

Nothing is cozier than sitting around a warm fire drinking hot cocoa and roasting marshmallows. And you can do it any time of year with the right accessories! For your teenager’s next birthday, invest in a fire pit and Marshmallow Twig Roasters. You’ll especially impress with this s’mores kit from California-based Little Belgians cookie company.

6 / 9

(Make Your Own) Pizza Party

All signs point to pizza! Turn the teens into gourmet chefs with a pizza-making party. Provide an assortment of veggies, cheeses, meats, and sauce. Pro tip: Trader Joe’s is a great one-stop-shop for all accoutrements, including gluten-free cauliflower crust for anyone with allergies.

7 / 9

Garden Chic

Gives the kids an excuse to dress their best for a classy spring garden party, with everything from lawn games to beautiful mocktails and dainty desserts.

8 / 9

Totally Groovy

Go retro with a mod-style shindig. Dust off the old record player (or go with this sleek updated Bluetooth version from Crosley, complete with built-in speakers) and set out the soda pop and Twister. This birthday is going to be swell!

9 / 9

Around the World

The world is their oyster—and have the kids explore it from the comforts of home with a global-themed party. Before the big birthday, assign guests to groups by country. Then, on party day, decorate with food stations, décor, and games particular to each nation.