Why is 16 such a BIG Deal?
Well, the 16th birthday party is a big deal because teens officially become young adults. They are able to get their drivers license and can obtain legal employment. Making this a memorable transition in need of celebrating!
Typically a sweet sixteen party was meant to honor a growing daughter. However, celebrating for a son can be done as well.
No one is quite sure how sweet sixteen parties were started, but some say it is linked to the medieval times when a young girl was presented to the court. At this time she would become eligible for marriage and given away by her father in a series of symbolic rituals.
It wasn’t until the 1970’s that these parties turned into more of what they resemble today. Fun, food and games galore!
What are some sweet 16 party traditions?
A sweet sixteen party has many traditions that can be followed. Here are some fun ideas.
Father Daughter Dance:
A 16th birthday is a time when a father can show his daughter how much he loves her with a one on one dance. This is also a time for him to give her some words of wisdom before she enters adulthood or a special gift. Try to do this before the party begins and as an introduction to the party guests. Sometimes fathers will even give an opening speech before the dance begins. One could do this same thing for a son and possibly have a mother son dance instead.
Candle Lighting Ceremony:
A popular tradition for a sweet sixteen party is the candle lighting ceremony. You would want to do this after the father daughter dance. The birthday girl or boy will light 16 candles, each one representing a different person in their life. As they light each candle, they will say something about that person and what they mean to them. Once the candles are lit, have her make a wish and blow them all out at once.
Pass on of Family Heirloom:
Another tradition that is popular, is the passing on of a family heirloom. This can be something small such as a piece of jewelry or something bigger such as a car. For girls, it is common for their father to give them a necklace, bracelet or earrings that have been passed down from another female family member. For boys, it is common for their father to give them a watch or something similar.
Stepping into High Heels :
This is a darling extra special sweet sixteen party tradition for the girls. Give the birthday girl a pair of high heels from her mother, grandmother or another important female figure in her life. Her father will help take off her flat shoes and replace them with the high heels.
Next, instruct her to walk around the room in them to get a feel for what it is like to be a woman. Have everyone cheering her on and giving her words of encouragement as she walks around.
These traditions can be done to make the party even more special. It is up to the birthday girl or boy to decide what they want to do for their big day.
What are some fun party games to play at a 16th birthday party?
A sweet 16 party can have some dancing or other fun party games to play. Here are some fun party ideas. These teenage birthday party games will surely be a hit!
Would she rather?
This is a fun game that can be played with any number of guests. The way to play is everyone gets a paper that has a list of choices on it already. Next, each guest will try to guess which choice the birthday girl would choose in a game called “would she rather?”.
If you need a game that can be played indoors or outdoors for your sweet sixteen party this is a fun game! Hang streamers or balloons from the ceiling or tree and have the guests try to pop as many as they can. The first player with the most popped balloons wins a prize!
A scavenger hunt is a great idea for a fun game that can be customized to fit any party theme. Make a list of items for the guests to find and see who can find the most in a certain amount of time. You can even divide the group into two teams. Examples of some sweet sixteen related scavenger hunt ideas would be finding hidden number 16’s throughout the room, finding sixteen of one particular item or solving riddles that would lead to sweet things like different desserts. The first person to find everything on the scavenger hunt list wins!
Selfie scavenger hunt
Anyone that has a camera or phone can play this party game. Make a list of things for the guests to take selfies with, give them a time frame and see who can complete the list the fastest.
At the end of the party ask everyone to share their photos with you. As a bonus you will have a wonderful collection of photos without the cost of a photographer! This game is great fun!
Name that cake
This is a fun game that can be played with any type of cake at your sweet sixteen party. The guests will have to guess what kind of cake it is just by looking at it. They can write their answer on a small white sheet of paper and place it in a jar or large bowl. Later, someone will announce the winner. If there is a tie have a small cake or cupcake ready for a final tie breaker round of guessing. Winner wins a cake or gift card to somewhere that has tasty desserts! This is a great game for anyone who loves sweet treats!
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What’s in your phone?
Anyone that has a cell phone can play this game. The object of the game is to see how much someone can remember about their own phone. The person will have to list of as many things as they can about their phone in one minute. This includes the make, model, color, apps, pictures, etc. The person with the most remembered wins a prize! Fantastic teenage birthday party games like this are easy to play and the best way to get everyone involved!
Has she Ever or Never?
This is a fun way to get to know the birthday girl or boy. To play this game each person is given a list of “ever or never” questions to answer about the birthday girl or boy. For example, “ever or never has she been in a car accident?” Each player will write out the card with “ever” meaning she has been and “never” she has not been. The winner is the guest with the most right answers.
Who knows her best?
This is a fun game that can be played to see who knows the birthday girl or boy the best. Make a list of questions about the birthday girl or boy and have the guests players write the answers. For example, ” What is ____ favorite color?” “What’s her dream job?” “What would she do with a million dollars?”. The guests write the answers they think are correct. This is a great way to get everyone talking afterwards! The one with the most correct answers wins!
A fun classic party game that is great fun is musical chairs! It is perfect because it can be played with any number of people. Set up chairs in a circle and have the guests walk around them. Once the music stops, everyone must sit down in a chair. The one without a chair is out and a chair is removed from the circle. The game continues until there is only one person left. The last person standing is the winner!
These fun games can be played at any sweet sixteen birthday party. This game also encourages everyone to play as it is easy to follow the instructions.
What are some fun activities to do at a 16th birthday party?
At a sweet 16 party there are many different activities and fun ideas you can plan. Here are some fun teen party games & activities.
Sweet Sixteen Party Games
-cake decorating contest
-karaoke contest with a lip sync battle where guests sing
-fashion show with best diva impressions
-art station where guests can make their own special memories card to give to the birthday girl or thank you cards. Have them placed in an empty box at the end of the ight for her to look through after the party.
-have a sweet 16 wish tree where guests can write down their wishes for the birthday girl or boy
What are some fun foods to serve at a sweet 16th birthday party?
At a 16th birthday party you want to serve many yummy foods! This always encourages the guests to mingle. Here are a few party ideas:
-candy buffet with favorite sweets
-sundae bar with all the toppings
-build your own cupcake or cake station
-cookie decorating station
-popcorn bar with different flavors of popcorn and toppings
-candy sushi station where guests can make their own edible sushi rolls using candy and fruit
-cotton candy machine for everyone to enjoy
What are some fun favors to give out at a sweet 16 party?
Here are some favors that can be given out at a sweet 16 themed party. Here are a few party ideas:
-personalized thank you cards
-sixteenth birthday party themed candy
-photo frames with a photo of the girl or boy and all the guests
-magnetic photo frames with a photo taken at the party
-key chains with a photo from party
-sweet 16 themed cake pops
-mugs with a photo from party
-tote bags with a photo from party
-sweet 16 themed cupcakes
-personalized water bottles with the girl or boy’s name and photo
-customized M&M’s with the birthday girl or boy’s name
-lollipops in the shape of the number 16
-candy bars with the girl or boy’s name and photo on them
-souvenir cups with the girl or boy’s name and photo on them
What can I do for a sweet 16 instead of a party?
At a sweet 16 party you can do many different things. Here are a few party ideas that would be great with the birthday girl or boys best friends:
-DIY night with your friends (ex. make your own bath bombs, candles, etc.)
-game night with your friends (ex. board games, video games, etc.)
-have a day at the spa with your friends
-go on a shopping trip with your friends
-go to the movies with your friends
-have an outdoor movie party with your friends with water games
-visit an amusement park with your friends
-go to a concert with your friends
-visit a museum with your friends
-go to a laser tag game zone
-have a girls’ or boys’ night in with your friends
– slumber party with your friends
-themed party with your friends (ex. beach party, 80’s era, etc.)
-have a scavenger hunt with your friends
-karaoke party with your friends and lip sync battle
-themed dinner party with your friends (ex. Italian night, Mexican night, etc.)
-have a paint night with your friends
While I can’t help you choose every aspect of your sweet 16 birthday party, I hope that this list of party games has given you some great ideas to get you started. From food and drinks to games and decorations, there are plenty of fun options for you to use here for your celebration.
Whatever you decide to do it will be remembered for years to come as a wonderful and special memory. What type of party are you planning to throw?
Let us know in the comments below!