16 Backyard Party Ideas for a Sweet 16th Birthday

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Sixteen is the coming of age party for a teenage girl.  In the US, 16 is the age where a person can drive, get jobs, as well as other adult responsibilities.  For many, the 16th birthday is the end of a girl’s childhood and the start of womanhood. While it’s supposed to be celebrated for both boys and girls, Sweet 16 is geared more towards young ladies. 

We have list down 16 Backyard Party Ideas for Sweet 16 girls that they will remember for the rest of their lives:

1. Masquerade Ball Sweet 16

With girls growing up in the fairy tale world of magical castles, dashing princes and lovely princesses, a masquerade ball gives an impression of mystery.  And mystery is what our sweet 16 birthday celebrant and the rest of the guests will experience with fancy clothes and feathered masks to hide everyone’s identity.  They will dance with a familiar “stranger” and try to figure out who’s who amongst the sea of swirling masks. 

2. Backyard Movie Night

small backyard sweet 16

Set up the projector and the big screen, and bring out those bean bag chairs, blankets and cushions for a night of great movie night. The backyard can be decorated like a movie premiere and guests are the stars.  And of course, the star of the night to walk the red carpet is no other than the birthday celebrant herself.  Food can be set up on a side table and everybody can splurge on popcorn and soda for the rest of the movie.   

Food tables can be set up in the backyard and decorated. Everybody can splurge on popcorn and soda after a light evening meal prepared in the backyard.

3. Cheerleading Theme Party

Everybody wears their cheer uniform and set up a dance floor for a cheering competition.  Have pom poms available for guests and group them into 2 or 3 for a cheering competition.  Whichever group comes up with the most creative cheer and choreography wins with the approval of the birthday girl of course. 

4. Fashion Show/Supermodel Party

It’s time to wear those high heels and the fanciest boardwalk outfit for the night’s Supermodels.  Everyone gets the chance to show off their runway walk and Supermodel pose while photos are taken.  Pink and silver balloons decorate the backyard runway and the last runway walk is reserved for the birthday girl.

5. New Wave 80s Party

sweet 16 backyard party

Relive the 80’s New Wave Party Craze with those Mullet and tall Mohawk hairstyles.  It’s time to wear those high waisted jeans, lacey shirts, and neon colors.  Dance to the beat of the sounds from The Cure, Duran Duran, Boy George and more! Parents, if you were born in the 1980’s you can reminisce along with the big hair and leg warmers. This is one of those a backyard party ideas both adults and teens enjoy.

6. Disco Fever Party

Decorate your backyard with the mirrored disco ball and play those disco music from ABBA’s Dancing Queen, and Bee Gees’ Stayin Alive beat.  Have guests come in their most authentic disco attire and give awards and prizes for the best dressed and the best disco dancer of the night.  This is truly a disco night to remember.

7. Rockstar Party

Have your guests come out in their most audacious “Rock Star” outfits complete with wigs and crazy accessories.  Decorate your backyard with a carpet runner Rockstars deserve to walk on.  You can have a karaoke singing contest and the birthday girl will decide who will be the winner.

8. Party Animal Sweet 16 Theme Party

backyard sweet sixteen party ideas

Everyone must come in animal print attires and choose which animal in the jungle they admire.  Guests can come in leotard attires or zebra stripe clothes.  Decorate the backyard with jungle theme decors with balloons and tarps.  Menu can be grilled meat barbecues in honor of all the carnivores of the wild.

If the 16th birthday coincides with Halloween, consider a Halloween themed outdoor party.

9. 1960’s Sweet 16 Theme Party

Relive the 60’s era with guests dress up in 60’s glam costume like Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn.  Have prizes ready for best outfit and dance the night away to the beat of the Beatles dance songs.

10. Hawaiian Luau Sweet 16 Party

Decorate your backyard with leis and faux torches to capture the Hawaiian vibe.  Have guests put on a grass skirt and leis for a night of fun and dance.  Flowers, balloons, straws, and garland should dominate the décor.  Set up games for hula dancing and limbo and award prizes for winners.

Luau themed parties can be enjoyed by adults and teens alike and is an inexpensive backyard party idea.

11. Photo Booth Party

Set up a photo booth station in your backyard and ready all the crazy props you can find.  Tiaras, oversized sunglasses, crazy hats, and more.  Come up with cut out frames and let your creative juices flow for captions on guest’s photos.  Award prizes for craziest photos.  Make sure a group photo is taken at the end so it’s a night that everybody will remember for a long time. Photo booths are also popular for backyard graduation parties.

12. Sugary Sweet 16 Party

backyard sweet 16

It’s not sweet 16 for nothing, so have all the sweet treats ready for a night of sugary craze.  Ready all those sweet candies, cupcakes, cookies and the sweet 16 birthday cake to top it all off.  Decorate the backyard with colorful candy colors and set up a candy bar station to satisfy all the sweet tooth of your friends.

This is one of those fun backyard party ideas that won’t break the budget.

13. Black Light Sweet 16 Party

Have a black light set up in your backyard for a highlighter party.  Distribute cheap white t-shirts to your guests and highlighter pens.  Ask everyone to write on each other shirts.  Decorate the backyard with bright colors for great effect.

14. Makeup Photoshoot Party

Make a live tutorial on how to apply makeup by hiring a professional makeup artist.  Encourage your friends to apply what they’ve learned and prepare ready makeup kits for them to demo on.  Have a photoshoot after and award prizes for the girl who applies the best make up.

15. Camping Barbeque Party

backyard teenage birthday party ideas

Set up tents in your backyard for a camping theme party and let everyone enjoy barbecue foods as if you are in the great wild outdoors.  Decorate your backyard with streamers and campfires. 

16. America’s Got Talent Party

Invite friends and have them prepare for a performance either as a solo act or a group.  There can be a panel of judges with the birthday girl as the main judge and will decide the night’s winner.  Give prizes for the champion and runners up.  This should be a fun night of crazy performances. 

Enjoy Your Backyard Sweet 16 Party!

There are still more party ideas that you can do for your daughter’s Sweet 16 party.  Remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for her which she will remember and cherish for the rest of her life.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive Sweet 16 party so let your creative juices flow in terms of decoration that will set the mood for your chosen theme. 

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