Keep it Simple…
Hotel Pool Party
One of the best birthday parties we had for our twins was held at a local hotel with an indoor pool. You will have to call around to check the hotel’s policy on pool use for the party and pick a weekend that is not busy. Obviously, major weekends like Fourth of July and Memorial Day will be much harder to book. After a few phone calls, I found a hotel that would allow us to use the pool for a party, as long as we book at least two rooms.
We book two adjoining rooms: One for the Boys with son (the birthday boy) and my husband as chaperone. One for the girls with my daughter (the birthday girl) and myself as chaperone. The rooms had two queen sized beds and a pull out coach. We let the twins pick four friends each to spend the night and the rest were only invited to the pool party portion. The hotel allowed us full access to the pool and we could bring in our own food/drinks/cake, as long as we cleaned up after ourselves. The twins had a blast, as did all the kids whether just joining us at the pool or spending the night. The best news…I did not have to spend the next day cleaning up the house! It was one of the easiest, low stress birthdays I have ever done!
Backyard Football Party
Believe it our not, your child may enjoy a birthday at your house! I chose an outdoor activity so that the kids only had to be inside for using the restroom. All you need is a football and some drinks! It is helpful if you or your spouse can play along with the kids to keep them from tackling each other. We also had Popsicles on hand for a treat.
The girls even got in to the action playing football, even though they were having a cheerleader themed party! The girls started out practicing their cheers while the boys played football, but soon it was decided that girls wanted to challenge the boys. They all had a blast. We ended the party with cake and gifts. Viola! Simple and once again, I did not have to spend a day cleaning the house after all the kids left!
Murder Mystery Party
This by far was one of my favorite birthday parties! By doing a little research, you can find different websites that will sell you a full script and idea kit for very reasonable. They have all different themes from Las Vegas to Circus to Prom and many more…just be sure to choose the teen version, as most sites have adult versions which would not be age appropriate!
We let the twins choose the theme and they picked Vegas, since we had just visited there the summer before, which was exciting. I ordered the script online and it was delivered via email in a PDF which was simple to print. It came with customizable invitations, the script and directions how to get the packets ready for each guest/character. The invitations are delivered and when the kids rsvp they are provided with their character, as well as ideas on how to dress for their role. I also purchased a few costume accessories to have on hand to add to the moment and for kids who could not afford costumes. Goodwill or Salvation Army is a great place to pick up items at a reasonable price.
To add to the setting, I ordered Vegas/Casino decorations from Oriental Trading and we made a craps table with green felt and fabric paint. We finished it off with a blackjack table and bought a roulette game (cheaply made, but still fun). After the murder mystery was complete, we revealed “who done it,” and the kids were given their poker chips to start playing at the casino. My husband served as Black Jack dealer, while I ran the roulette wheel. The kids drank mocktails in plastic margarita glasses. I did check with the parents before hand to let them know the theme and that we would be pretending to gamble to ensure that parents had time to decline the invite if they were uncomfortable.
The kids had a blast and so did I! I made a poker chip cake for my daughter and a dice cake for my son. We ended the night with cake and gifts. This was a more labor intensive party, especially after, as it involved a lot of clean up to get the house back in order. I must say it was completely worth it, as the twins will always remember that birthday!
Party Bus Fun
This will take some planning and research to see what is available in your area. My son just attended a birthday party of a friend where the kids were picked up by a party bus and shuttled around to different events in town. The Party Bus allowed all the kids to ride together, talk and listen to music. The first stop was dinner and this can be as expensive or inexpensive as you choose. Pizza is a great option, as all teenagers love pizza! You then can head to bowling or mini-golf or laser tag, whatever your area has available to choose. Finally, end the night off at a movie. The best news…no clean up at the end of the night and all the kids go home! Cake and gifts can be done at dinner or one of the other stops along the way!
Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
In the end, be creative and don’t think that parties have to be expensive for the kids to have fun. One of my favorite parties was the one we had at our house with the kids playing football. Get your kids involved and use their interests to make a party they will remember! To add a level, make your own invitations to match the theme!