A birthday party amuses the celebrant and guests. When gathering boys and girls for a birthday party, plan for activities and an atmosphere to welcome and engage both genders. Invite preteen or teen boys and girls to a birthday party they will enjoy without lapsing into discomfort. Revolve the event around shared interests. Movies, outdoor activities and costume parties provide starting points for an entertaining party. Let your imagination run free to add custom touches that will keep guests interested and talking for weeks.
Movie Marathon Birthday Party
Most boys and girls enjoy movies. Arrange for an all-day movie marathon birthday party for teens or tweens. Ask the birthday girl or boy for a list of favorite—and appropriate—movies available on DVD. Suggestions for movies include "Never Been Kissed," "Grease" and "Marley and Me." Invite the celebrant's input for invitations and menu. Order invitations printed to look like movie tickets. Rent or collect from friends a few movies. Show the movies on a big screen. Rent a large screen TV if you don't have one. Serve pizza, soft drinks, popcorn and chips. Create a stir mid-way through the marathon and present the birthday kid with ice cream, cake and gifts.
Amusement Park Picnic
Throw a birthday party for older girls and boys—at least 10 years old—or tweens at a local amusement park. Combine park activities with a birthday party picnic for a small group to keep cost and oversight manageable. Meet guests at a prearranged spot or at your home. Have iced sodas, water, sub-sandwiches, fried chicken, potato salad, chips, pickles and watermelon for lunch. Announce on invitations that you will serve birthday cake and ice cream after the park visit at home. Let invitees know that the park activities will last a preset time period, such as two hours plus lunch. Do a head count going into and leaving the park. If you do not live near a small amusement park, arrange for games, such as Frisbee throwing contests, football and volleyball at a park or at the beach. Haul everyone back to your house for cake, ice cream and presents.
Costume parties generate anticipation as party day draws near. Invite boys and girls of almost any age to a costume birthday party. Ask the birthday person if he prefers a particular costume party theme. If the celebrant can't think of an idea, suggest a hippie costume party. Send invitations to match the theme. Arrange for a costume with bell bottoms, sandals, flowing tie-dye shirt and far-out sunglasses. Play music from the 60s such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Iron Butterfly. Place lava lamps and black light around the party space. Hang black light posters. Hold a 60s dance competition while showing the movie, "Woodstock" on a big screen. Give guests hippie beads or 45 RPM records as party favors. Gather guests for presentation of a multi-colored birthday cake and Neapolitan ice cream.
Alyson Paige has a master's degree in canon law and began writing professionally in 1998. Her articles specialize in culture, business and home and garden, among many other topics.