Creative Sweet 16 Party Ideas

by Kate Bradley
A girl's sweet 16th is an important and cherished milestone.

A girl's sweet 16th is an important and cherished milestone.

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You've been attending your friends' sweet 16 parties all year, and now it's time to plan yours. But you don't want just another dance or spa party -- you want something exceptionally creative and truly memorable. Skip all the already-been-done parties and plan a sweet 16 celebration that will have everyone raving the next day.

Creative Theme Parties

It's your sweet 16th, so roll out the red carpet -- literally. Hold your party at home and lay a long red carpet from the front door to the living room and let guests walk it like celebrities. Fill the party area with cardboard cutouts of your favorite celebrities and tell guests to dress to the nines. Show classic DVDs such as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" during the party. If you believe "sweet" is the operative word in "sweet 16," throw a candy-filled bash. String Life Savers across the ceiling. Fill a dozen large, plastic bowls with small candies and arrange them on a long table. Supply chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows for guests to make s'mores. Buy a plain vanilla cupcake for each guest and supply icing for personalizing the cupcakes.


Pack a birthday picnic, then head to the lake for your sweet 16 and rent a paddle boat or canoes. Row to the opposite shore and enjoy a lazy afternoon of swimming or fishing. Play music and dance. If your favorite sports team is playing, buy the cheapest tickets available and sit in the nosebleed section. Bring your camera and party with concession-stand snacks. If you want to feel a little more adult, reserve a table at your favorite restaurant for you and a half-dozen friends. Or, pick a restaurant with entertainment such as karaoke, darts or trivia to keep the fun going all evening.

Parties at Home

Clear your living room furniture and replace it with bean bags, blankets and pillows. Move your TV and DVD player in front of the seating area for entertainment. Invite guests for a sleepover/international party. Make your own sushi rolls, pizza or enchiladas and watch foreign films. If a mellow party is more your style, have a moonlit party in the backyard. Hold your party on the night of a full moon. Put a large floor rug on the ground and place body pillows on top for comfortable seating. Light candles. Put a big plastic lawn table in the middle and supply snacks and drinks. Get an extension cord for the TV and DVD player and watch movies until the wee hours. This intimate setting is perfect for girls who just want their very best friends with them on their sweet 16th.

Other Parties

Throw a masquerade party. Decorate your venue with dark colors and play dance music. Serve finger foods, such as crackers and cheese. Give guests plenty of notice to plan costumes and send out masquerade ball "rules" well in advance. Guests should remain disguised all night to create an air of mystery. Head to the biggest shopping mall in your city with all your closest friends. Before you leave, make a shopping list for each guest with challenging items, such as "Red shoes for under $10" or "A T-shirt with a famous person on it." Give each guest a disposable camera and give her an hour to look for and take pictures of the items. Meet up and drop the cameras at a one-hour photo center, then eat dinner at the food court. Catch a movie afterward or do some more shopping.

Photo Credits

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