Some teens may want to celebrate their birthday with their family, with mom or dad serving as emcee/driver/check picker-upper. Other teens may want parents nearby but out of sight. Older teens who can drive may want their parents out of the picture entirely. Many party places in Dallas are large enough so that parents will not mortify their teen by actually standing nearby.
Teen birthdays should be adventure-filled, and attending a rodeo gives everyone a chance to step outside their comfort zone, boots optional. The most well-known rodeos in the Dallas area are the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo to the west (fwssr.com) and Mesquite ProRodeo to the east (mesquiteprorodeo.com). The Fort Worth rodeo includes a livestock show and professional rodeo athletes and takes place in January and February. Party planners expecting more than 50 guests can entertain with a catered prerodeo dinner in one of the party rooms at nearby Stockyards Station (stockyardsstation.com). (ref 2) Performers at the Mesquite rodeo compete in barrel racing, a timed speed event, and other categories such as tie-down roping and bareback riding. The Mesquite rodeo is held on weekends in June, July and August. Birthdays can be announced on the video board during the rodeo, with 24-hour notice. (ref 4)
Not sure what the birthday group wants to do? An outdoor park with a choice of activities will keep boredom away. Sandy Lake (sandylake.com) has a small admission fee, with amusement rides priced individually. Sandy Lake has been around since the 1970s, and the shade trees and pool will keep guests cool even when the temperatures are above 100 degrees, as they often are in the summer in Dallas. Park Lane Ranch (parklaneranch.com) is notable for its 54 holes of miniature golf and its central Dallas location. The ranch has private party rooms, which can be decorated in a theme, such as Mardi Gras or Wild West.
Turn back the clock and party like it's 1979. At Dallas roller-skating rinks, you can skate under the disco ball or compete in the limbo contest. White Rock Skate Center (whiterockskate.com) has party rooms available for two-hour rentals, where you can have your cake and eat it too. Or you can rent the entire center for a Texas-size party. Nostalgia is served with dinner at Magic Time Machine Restaurant (magictimemachine.com). Costumed characters such as Paul Bunyan or Woody from "Toy Story" serve and entertain guests. Seating areas are a hodgepodge of themes, giving the birthday teen the chance to have dinner in a schoolbus or a crayon box.
With Dallas the site of the 2011 Super Bowl, and the Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA champions, the city is justifiably proud of its professional sports teams. Game tickets aren't cheap, and it can be a luxury to celebrate a birthday at a Dallas pro game. For a basketball fan, it's hard to beat a suite at the American Airlines Center for a Mavericks game (mavs.com). Suite packages include game tickets, parking passes and access to a private suite with food and beverage service and plasma screen TVs. For the more budget-conscious birthday party, baseball is the ticket. The Texas Rangers team (texasrangers.com) has birthday packages for parties of 10 or more. You can save on food and drink costs by bringing your own. Fans attending Texas Rangers games are allowed to bring small, soft-sided coolers with food and plastic nonalcoholic drink bottles.