Turning 16 is an important milestone for a young woman -- one that's often marked with a celebration that symbolizes her transition into womanhood. But it doesn't mean she wants to let go of the little girl in her all that quickly. Before you begin, take time to think of a theme that resonates with the birthday girl. Does she want to be pampered or strike out on a great adventure? Does she enjoy a thrill ride or is she thrilled by a great story? Whatever that dream theme is, Orlando can help fulfill it.
Orlando is well known for its theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando (universalorlando.com). Disney World (disneyworld.disney.go.com) offers a number of options for celebrating the day at the park, from something as simple as wearing a birthday button (so everyone knows to treat the birthday girl extra special) to working with an event planner to create an special sweet 16 no one will forget.
Day at the Spa
Orlando is dotted with luxurious day spas, perfect if your sweet 16 wants to be pampered and polished. Serenity Spa (serenitybywestgate.com) specializes in "unique services designed with our youngest spa-goers in mind," according to its website. The spa offers facials, body treatments, airbrush tanning and even hypnosis. The Spa at Orlando World Center (hespaatorlandoworldcenter.com) offers an "Around the World in 80 Minutes" packages during which visitors are treated to a sampling of massage techniques from around the world.
Night at the Theater
Your sweet 16 might want to celebrate in low-key fashion with a night of arts and culture with some of her closest friends. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (orlandophil.org) performs more than 125 shows each season, fostering symphonic music through excellence in performance, education and cultural leadership. The Winter Park Playhouse (winterparkplayhouse.org) is the only professional musical theater in Central Florida and regularly puts on new, rarely seen and original musicals.
Beyond the big amusement parks, Orlando offers smaller venues with bigger thrills for the sweet 16er who likes a little jolt of adrenaline. A small group can take a ride on a hot air balloon through Bob's Balloon Flights (bobsballoons.com) or dip into the nearby Crystal River on a scuba diving tour to see manatees up close and personal through Fun2Dive (fun2dive.com).
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