(Family Features) Birthday parties can be fun to plan for toddlers, but most parents are fresh out of ideas by the tween and teen years.
Here are a few ideas that might just bring a smile to your teen-ager's face:
Music Mayhem - Great music can be the perfect party theme. Crank up some tunes in the backyard, set out snacks and let the merriment ensue. Chances are, dancing will break out spontaneously with a lot of fun and laughter mixed in.
Breakfast Hijinks - Looking for a truly unexpected way to start off a day full of birthday festivities? Picture a small group "kidnapping" the guest of honor in the wee hours of the morning, and then taking the teen out for a celebratory breakfast. It's important to let parents in on the plan early.
Slumber Party - Most kids have had their share of traditional slumber parties by the time they've hit their teens. How about an overnight campout in the backyard? Fire up the grill, play some music and let the kids just hang out.
Garage Band - Have a local band take over the family garage for the evening. Once you warn the neighbors, you'll just need some great party food and a few black lights to set the mood. If a band isn't in the budget, ask one of the teens to volunteer as DJ for the night or have everyone share some tunes from their smartphones.
Recycled Fun - If the birthday girl is a fashionista who loves makeup and fashion, why not combine the two. Have a makeover party that ends with a clothing or jewelry swap. All of the girls will leave with a bag of fashionable goodies and a brand new style.
Fashionable Dining - Have a few friends dress up in their favorite formal attire, and then get swept away to dinner in a limousine. It will make for a memorable evening. So, be sure to stop at a few fun spots for pictures.
Take it on the Road - Lots of entertainment businesses cater to birthday parties for this age group. Take a group, big or small, to black light bowling, laser tag or trampoline centers for a fun evening. Many offer a private party room where kids can hang out and enjoy that all-important birthday cake.
Always be open to ideas. Some kids might want something silly, like a shaving cream fight. Others might want to play a game of touch football or hang out at the local coffee shop. So, planning the perfect birthday party might be as simple as asking them for ideas. After all, most teen-agers just want to have fun.