Teens are so into films. In fact, entire viewing parties are put together revolving around the hottest new movie—with themed decor, food and drinks, even party games. At the same time, teens are so into hanging out with friends. Why not bring their two fave things together, then, for a Sweet 16 sleepover party with a “Going to the Movies!” theme?
The set-up we recommend is generic enough to work with whatever film happens to be the latest craze among young people. It isn’t built around any specific movie, genre, or film celebrity. But the key elements are all there—a basic party tablescape glammed up a la Hollywood, fun sleepover games, and loads of munchies for film-viewing time!
Set the Stage for a Teen Celebrity
Start the party off with a glamorous setting fit for a teen celebrity! Even if the venue will be your family dining room or a breakfast nook in your home, you can make it absolutely glitter with star quality—literally. Set out gold-edged dinnerware and gleaming cutlery in honor of the occasion. Then, add floating candles, glowing hanging votives, sparkling sequins—and stars, stars everywhere! Lay them all over the table top, and hang a large star lantern marked “16.”
This formal table spread is where the birthday girl and her guests will get some “real food” into them for the long night ahead. Serve a filling menu featuring a flavorful pasta dish topped with crunchy breaded chicken strips, a green salad (yes, they must eat their veggies!) with a tangy vinaigrette and bread sticks on the side. Dessert can be a choice of peach wedges in vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup, slices of home-baked apple pie, or good old-fashioned chocolate cake!
Warm Up the Party with Silly Games
With a gang of teen girl friends in the house, a couple of fun party games are in order. To keep things in theme, distribute a be-ribboned pillow per guest and stage nonsense games using these pillows as props. It could be something as simple as:
- having the guests act out the silly instructions on cards tucked into each pillow—with a consequence for those who go beyond a 3-second time limit for each action!
- having them act out titles of movies related to sleep (for example, “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “While You Were Sleeping”) for the other girls to guess
- letting them look for the secret mark on one of the pillows that means 2 free tickets to the movie that’s the current rage.
- play a game of “match maker”, choose classmates and friends’ names and guess who would be a good match with whom, the person who makes the most correct or popular guess of matches wins the game
Now, that they’re all warmed up, move the party guests over to a couch in the family room or to mattresses laid out in the celebrant’s bedroom. With their pillows in tow, it’s movie time!
Bring Out the Munchies!
A movie night without popcorn? Impossible! Have a supply of this film-viewing staple on hand to keep the ladies happily crunching away as they swoon, giggle, squeal, or perhaps shed a tear or two. Give them a choice of plan salted, buttered, caramel, or with M&Ms tossed in just for something different that is sweet and savory! Package them up pretty in colorful fabrics for a wonderful take-home favor.
Hint: If the girls protest that these would ruin their diets (after the fifth huge bowl of popcorn is gone), that just means more goodies for the rest of the family!
Serve Up Sweets and Desserts
As if the party guests needed more party fuel, serve up something sweet as well. Prepare a chilled snack like almond- and cherry-flavored Jello in glass goblets, topped with Oreo cookies. Then, on the side, lay out bowls of multi-colored candies such as Skittles and M&Ms. You could even offer some of the pie, cake, and peaches-and-ice-cream left over from dinner.
Sandwiches and Finger Foods for Midnight Snacks
For a sweet 16 party, think sandwiches and tasty finger foods as midnight snacks. Consider crab salad sandwiches in bread rolls. Finger foods that young adults would enjoy may include buffalo wings, bruschetta, hummus and chips, samosas, sweet potato fries, and mini corn dogs. Have these displayed on a buffet-style table, so guests can freely serve themselves.
All these great Movie-watching Party ideas make us wish we could “crash” the occasion ourselves! Have you hosted a similar themed occasion? Share what your guests liked best in a comment below.