Teens are often the most difficult among us to impress. Too old for many of the theme party ideas that often appeal to younger children and not quite old enough to appreciate some of the more entertaining adult party themes there seem to be very few options available for awesome teen birthday parties that will go down in record books. If you are looking for something a little new and different to do this year, try an Amazing Race sort of scavenger hunt for your teen’s birthday. Be sure to have interesting prizes and a gift for the birthday boy or girl to give in the name of the winners.
This is a party that needs to be planned ahead of time as permission may need to be given by parents for some of the more exciting scavenged items. It’s also a good idea to discuss this with other parents as they may have a few great suggestions for items that must be obtained in search of the holy birthday party Amazing Race grail. Keep the prizes simple and fun and keep the goals for each leg of the race challenging enough to be entertaining but something that can be accomplished without risking life and limb. Make sure that there is a little more to the challenge than having to go from one house or store to the next and buy, beg, or borrow items. Make some of the items things that must be carefully considered and well planned on behalf of the winning team. This makes the entire process more fun for everyone and a birthday party theme that will be remembered.
The most important thing to remember when planning a party such as this is to keep safety a first priority. If possible it is probably best to divide into teams and have one adult per team (even if the teens are old enough to drive) you definitely want to make sure that the parents of every teen involved is aware of what will be going on and that you have contact information for everyone. This can be a lot of fun, especially if you get the parents of your child to participate by issuing challenges of their own, or becoming a “pit stop” for the process. It’s a great way for the parents to be involved and a lot of fun for them as well.
Finish the event with pizza, cake, and video footage (that you planned ahead of time) of the festivities from one location to the next. It should make for an excellent night to remember not only for your teen but all the other teens involved in your Amazing Race birthday party. This sort of party is a little more costly then some others may be (unless you plan very carefully). You also might want to include a couple of crafty activities in the Amazing Race or as part of the scavenger hunt in order to prolong some of the events and hand out disposable cameras to each team in order to “capture” some memories and create a scrapbook of the Amazing Race. If you have a scanner and printer you can make a scrapbook for each guests to take home.
The most important thing about a party of this sort is that you use your imagination to keep things safe and entertaining for all involved. The Amazing Race/scavenger hunt party has the potential to be a special memory for your teen and his or her friends for years to come. Go with the flow and remember that it’s about fun. If something goes wrong for some reason just pick up and move on to the next event rather than getting bogged down in the details. One word of caution, plan to have plenty of food on hand regardless. A gaggle of hungry teens can go through plenty of food and pop in an amazingly short space of time.