Hosting a teen birthday dinner requires achieving a certain balance, as you may have to let go of childish memories while still maintaining traditions that matter to your child. Adding small touches to the dinner and giving your teen the chance to express his own personality can help you provide a memorable birthday dinner event that your child will remember for years to come.
Ask your teen to provide you with a guest list of a few friends. Socializing with kids her age is an important part of the teen years. If her friends aren't there to celebrate, you probably won't be able to make it a special event.
Order invitations that have the theme or style that you wish to integrate into the party or make them yourself. The invitations are the first item that guests will see and will give them an idea of what to expect.
Mail the invitations at least two weeks before the dinner. Ask the guests to email a response or respond through a social network.
Ask your child if he has a special meal in mind. Making an entire meal in your child's honor will help set this day apart from any other day of the year. He may also want to consider including items on the menu that his friends might enjoy, such as teen-friendly hits like nachos, mini burgers, quesadillas, fruit dip, food with skewers, pizza and mini cheesecakes.
Ask her if she wants to help prepare the meal. She may feel more grown-up if she has a bigger role to play. Easy meals for kids to make include recipes that call for only a few ingredients, such as beef tacos, chili or cheese pizza.
Integrate a theme into the celebration. If your child's birthday is close to Halloween, add zombie, bat and skeleton decorations to the space and foods that look like eyeballs, fingers and blood. A luau-themed party may involve draping leis on guests before they enter the dining room, plus seashell decorations and seafood.
Sprinkle confetti all over the table to decorate it. Decorate the teen's chair so that it becomes her royal throne.
Make a dessert of the teen's choosing, such as a cheesecake, cobbler or traditional cake. You can order it or make it from scratch to spend some extra time on something that your child will like. Let the teen decorate it or add decorations according to her preference.
Ask your child which restaurant she wants to go to if you prefer to go out to eat. She may choose an elegant restaurant or one where kids can also participate in activities. Giving her the option can let her feel in control of the event.
Ask the staff to decorate the table in a different manner. Adding candles can provide a sophisticated touch to the space. Matching the food to the same color as the decorations can provide an upscale look for an older child.
Instruct the waiter to bring out a birthday cake or dessert to the guest of honor. The staff may join together and sing "Happy Birthday" to the birthday teen.
Items you will need
- Betty Crocker: Dinners Kids Can Help Cook
- Piedmont Parent.com: Creating Special Birthday Traditions
- Celebrate with Style: 20 Top Party Foods for Teens
- Divine Dinner Party: Halloween Food and Party Ideas and Great Halloween Recipes
- More Style than Cash: 25 Cheap Fun Ideas to Make Your Child's Birthday Special
- Decoist: The Party Table: 25 Entertaining Themes for Your Next Event
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images