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All Grown Up? Host a Teen Dinner Party

As children get into their tween and teen years, it can be more difficult to think of a party theme. A lot of kids will want to skip the theme and go with something slightly more sophisticated while using their favorite colors. A simple dinner party with your teen’s favorite foods may be the perfect idea - a little party at home before they head out to the movies.

Dinner parties for adults may include fancy foods that take a lot of time to prepare but teen dinner party menu requests are usually finger foods and appetizers. A simple selection of frozen appetizers may be all you need for food at this party!

Some menu ideas include: Chicken fingers, onion rings, jalapeno poppers, nachos, mini quiche, cheese pastry puffs, mozzarella sticks, boneless wings, meat and cheese kabobs, and bread with a variety of dips. The appetizers can be set out on cake stands and fancy appetizer trays.

For this party setup, I used a plain black tablecloth along with strips of pink fabric from the local craft store. I used a lot of the damask print because it’s so pretty and there are so many fun party items now in this print. Other options would be animal prints or simply lots of glitter.

You can find a large variety of paper plates to match any color scheme at your local party store. For this party, I chose damask prints in three different colors for the dinner plate, dessert plate and napkin. Wooden utensils can be dressed up with special stamps or washi tape.

Mason jars are still a party favorite and you can dress these up for beverages using daisy cut lids and straws in a print that matches the rest of the party. These can also double as place cards by putting a chalkboard label on each jar and writing the guests’ names on them.

For table décor, tall candlesticks can be used to hold tissue balls, pomander flower balls or colored candles to match your theme. If you have a place to hang decorations above the table, you could also include a mini chandelier or paper lanterns. For parties in warmer weather, this party could be set up outside like a garden tea party with bite-sized appetizers and iced tea.

Cupcakes are still the popular choice for party desserts. Each place setting could include a mini cupcake stand with a cupcake and a themed topper.

Although this party was aimed toward girls, there are a lot of fun ways to host a dinner party for boys as well. A casino theme with chocolate tokens and playing cards would be a unique option for a dinner party. If your son likes sports, you could set up the party like a sports pub with tall tables around your big TV so the boys could watch the game while eating.

With teen parties, you likely won’t need to plan any games. If you are looking for game options, consider things like sports trivia, mall scavenger hunt or a set of photo challenges to be done around your neighborhood.

Favor bags or boxes could be included at each place setting. It can be hard to brainstorm ideas for teen party favors, but there are a few ideas that are always popular with guests: Mall gift certificates, fast food gift cards, iTunes gift cards, movie theatre certificates and candy.

Although the days of planning princess-themed parties may be behind you, there are still plenty of ways to plan a fun party for your teens that they’ll enjoy.

Cheryl is a married mother of one. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with a strong interest in parties and event planning. She is the owner and writer for Moms & Munchkins (, which is filled with ideas for family fun, activities for kids, party ideas, party planning tips, holiday fun, moms’ night out ideas and more.

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