Turning 16 is a rite of passage and one of the first milestones towards adulthood. It is the year most teens get their driver’s license and, with it, the opportunity for a little more freedom. Turning 16 calls for a celebration that fits your teen’s style, while offering entertainment, food and fun that guests will never forget. Check out these Sweet 16 Party Themes.

Amazing Race
If your teen is a fan of “The Amazing Race,” this is a fun Sweet 16 theme. Break the group up into teams of two. You can find printables for the game online to set up pit stops, challenges, detours and roadblocks. Rope in some of your neighbors to host challenges so the players must travel on foot and find a specific house. You can use some of the food challenges, like cheese fondue and sushi, from past seasons to feed your guests.

Boho is an eclectic and artistic style with an emphasis on nature and organic elements, and is perfect for your freespirited teen. Decorate the space with soft flowing cloth, bright designs of warm colors and dried flowers. Charcuterie served on decorative wood slices or in individual mini glass jars would be an ideal choice for food. For entertainment, consider hiring a macramé instructor or setting up a DIY seed bomb making station.

If Hawaii is your teen’s dream destination, then a luau might be the perfect theme. Invite guests to come dressed for a tropical party. Entertain them with a limbo contest, coconut bowling and a lei toss. If you would like to hire some entertainment, look for someone to teach a traditional hula dance or how to make real flower leis. For food, you can’t go wrong with a pig roast, but if hosting a smaller group, consider Hawaiian sliders made with ham and pineapples and a colorful fruit salad.

Stranger Things
If your teen is a fan of “Stranger Things” on Netflix, consider this as a theme for their Sweet 16 party. Have all the guests come dressed in 80s clothes and accessories. Food ideas include a waffle bar (character Eleven’s obsession) with fun toppings like chocolate chips, fruit and whipped cream. You can also add a little protein with chicken and waffle sliders. There are dozens of ‘80s game options like Name that Tune, or a challenge like Name 11 Things (colors, car models, dog breeds, etc.).

A Night in Paris
Paris gives off a glamorous chic vibe, even for people who have never been. Ask your guests to come dressed in black, white or pink. Serve Parisian café style croissants and different cheeses with a glass of non-alcoholic bubbly. Want to try to learn a little French? Stream a popular movie in French with English subtitles. France is well known for its artists, so hire a painting instructor and let the guests replicate a famous French painting.

Glamping is the personified version of a sleepover party, taking place in a glamorous setting. You can set up your own indoor gathering space with mini tents, fluffy pillows and soft lighting. If you would rather not host in your home, consider booking a stay at a treehouse (Buckhead, East Point and Kennesaw boast them) or boutique hotel. Foil packet recipes would pair beautifully with a campfire setting. For entertainment, try a bougie version of camp crafts like tie-dye blankets for the partygoers to take home with them. You can also set up camping-related games like scavenger hunts or play Telestrations around the campfire.

Game Night
This theme is very easy to customize because it is such a broad idea. You can host a Casino Night, Bunco or Trivia Night from 2007. If you would like to take the party outside of the house, you could head to an Escape Room venue, outdoor laser tag or bowling. You can hire a mobile video game bus. Gamers of all kinds need fuel so consider onehanded items like sliders, pigs in a blanket, mini meatballs, cheese cubes and a fresh veggie tray.

The Roaring 20s
Tell everyone to put on their favorite flapper dress, Panama hat and suspenders and get ready to party like it’s 1923! Set up Blackjack tables in your Speakeasy and be sure to give everyone the secret code word to get in. Serve shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms and finger sandwiches. Don’t forget the Mocktails — it is a Sweet 16, after all.

– Pam Molnar

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