16th Birthday Barbecue Ideas

by Shelley Frost

Barbecues are an informal 16th birthday party option.

barbecue image by reynald lassire from Fotolia.com

The 16th birthday is a big event for most teens. Deciding how to celebrate this milestone depends on the teen's personal preferences and the size of the guest list. For a smaller 16th birthday party, a backyard barbecue is a feasible option. Ask for input from the guest of honor to make sure the party lives up to his expectations.

Invitations

A red and white checkered material or paper works well to create homemade invitations to the 16th birthday barbecue. Red and white checkered tablecloths are often associated with barbecues, which ties the invitations into the theme of the party. Cut the paper or fabric into the shape of a "16" for a custom look.

Brand the Meat

Custom barbecue branding irons allow you to sear the meat with a special inscription. Most customized brands allow up to three letters on the branding iron. You can place the initials of the new 16 year old. Another option is to order a brand with the number 16 on it. Either way, the guests will notice your attention to detail as they cut into their steaks or bite into their burgers.

Decorations

An outdoor barbecue doesn't need a lot of decorations. A 16th birthday banner is one simple decoration to honor the birthday girl or boy. You can either paint your own banner or order a custom birthday banner. Large balloon bouquets tied to picnic baskets work well as centerpieces. You can fill the baskets with napkins or snacks for easy access for the guests. Tiki torches and outdoor paper lanterns or strings of lights also add ambiance to the barbecue party, especially in the evening hours.

Entertainment

Live music is a good option for the 16th birthday barbecue. Hire a local band to play music for all of the guests. Choose a band that is popular with the 16-year-olds in the neighborhood. Another option is to hire a disc jockey to play a variety of music that is popular with your child and his friends. For a personalized touch, ask the DJ to play the number one song on your child's birthday from his birth year until the current year. The 16 songs will serve as a timeline of the past 16 years in honor of the milestone birthday. Some DJs offer karaoke, which provides more entertainment for the barbecue party. Lawn games such as horseshoes and bocce ball work well, and you can organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt for the teens. Make a list of 16 total items to find, give the kids 16 minutes to complete the hunt or ask them to collect 16 of each item.

Cupcakes

Cupcakes work well at a barbecue instead of a large birthday cake. The guests can easily grab a cupcake without waiting for someone to cut it. You can also offer a variety of flavors to the guests. A swirl of icing tinted to match the party color scheme tops off the cupcakes. For an added decoration, make small paper flags to go on the top. Print the number 16 on decorative paper and cut into rectangles or triangles. When glued to a toothpick, you can place them right into the cupcakes.

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About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.