Finding the right birthday party venue for your teenager can be tricky, but this guide will help you find teenage party venues that will keep both you and your teenager happy.

Adventure parks : Sports event or concert : Boat trip : Day spa

Teenagers can be a fussy bunch. They definitely want to celebrate their birthday, but it’s a fine line between having a great party and an out right embarrassing one.

Hosting your teenager’s party at a venue makes life easy. It means the onus is off you to be a ‘cool’ enough host, your teenager doesn’t have to worry about (apparently) embarrassing house rules, and you don’t have to worry about them breaking them. That’s not to say that your child and their guests can run riot, but venues have their own rules and consequences, so you don’t have to play the grumpy (and therefore embarrassing) parent. Loud music or shoes on the couch are no longer your concern!

Taking the party to a venue means that the activity provides a theme, and gives the guests something fun and focussed to do. Teenagers who are simply ‘hanging out’ can cause trouble, and that’s not what you want for your child’s birthday celebration.

In addition to the venues discussed in our 8-12 year old article, here are some of our favourite party venues for teenagers.

Adventure Parks

Whether it’s kayaking, white water rafting, horse riding, abseiling, motorcross, go karts, blo karts or 4 wheel driving – nothing feeds a teenager like adrenalin. New Zealand is not short of adventure based activities, and any of these parks or facilities are a great place to hold a party.

For the most part, these types of adventure parks don’t offer specific ‘party options’, but they definitely know how to entertain a group. They provide fabulous activities complete with all the equipment and expert guidance, and can cater for people with all levels of experience.

Some adventure parks offer more than one type of activity and will happily put together a package for you. If you let them know your budget, how many kids will be coming, and how long you would like to spend at the park, they will be able to create a day your child will truly remember.

Adventure activities vary in price but you can expect to pay upwards of $25 per person for any one activity. Generally speaking, any activity that involves having a guide with you will cost a little more.

Sports Event or Concert

Every day there is a special event or concert happening somewhere in New Zealand, and no matter where you live, a venue is never too far away. Whether it’s a national or international sports game, a concert, a racing meet, or a visit from the Dalai Lama – there is an event to suit the interests of absolutely everyone. Attending a special event on their birthday will definitely give your child something to celebrate.

Either call your local events venue, or check out the major ticketing agencies online. Ticket Direct, Ticket Master, and Ticketek all allow you to search for events by type, date and venue, so you can find exactly what you are looking for.

Special events are not always expensive, especially if you are buying several tickets at once. National league sports games can cost as little as $20, and the hype and excitement of being somewhere ‘live’ is definitely worth it.

Boat Trip

Spending a day out on a boat can be a real treat for a teenager, especially if it is a new experience. There are plenty of charter boat companies all over New Zealand, and each offer there own type of activities or packages. Fishing, snorkelling, dolphin or whale watching are all popular options, and some even offer island tours or kayaking from the back of the boat. Many boats will cater for you if you choose, but most encourage you to bring your own food, and offer the use of a barbeque at no extra cost.

You can either choose to charter a boat and crew for the day, or book onto a pre-arranged trip with a per person price. Which option you choose will largely depend on the amount of guests your child is bringing, and what your budget is.

Pre-arranged trips cost anywhere from $100 per person, depending on the length of the trip and the activities on offer. This charge usually includes any fishing licenses or other fees that may be required, but sometimes equipment hire is extra – so make sure you check. Taking a pre-arranged trip means you share your party with complete strangers, but this can be lots of fun and a great way to meet new friends.

To charter a boat and crew for your own party, it will cost upwards of $115 per hour, and most will charter for a minimum of 2-3 hours. Fishing licenses and any other required fees are charged on a per person basis on top of that, and equipment hire varies from boat to boat. While chartering a boat for a few hours sounds extravagant at first, it is definitely more cost effective if you are allowing your child to have several guests. Check out how many people are allowed on board, and do your sums from there.

Day Spa

At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, this venue is more for girls than boys, but it is definitely a great party treat. Day spas offer all sorts of treatments from manicures to massages, and depending on your budget your teenager could be pampered for one hour or a whole day. Hosting your child’s party at a day spa is a nice way to celebrate a milestone birthday such as their 16th, and they can share something really special with just a couple of best friends.

When choosing a venue for this age group, make sure you:

  • Consider your budget. Some teenage orientated activities can be quite expensive, but that doesn’t make them unobtainable. Let your child choose between a cheap activity for lots of guests, and a more expensive one for just them a one or two friends.
  • Consider your child’s choice. Ultimately you have the final say, but there’s little point booking a venue that you think is fabulous, only to find out they hate the idea. Teenagers have a habit of digging their toes in, so plan the party in consultation with them.
  • Decide whether you are going to be a part of the party. If you are not going to be there, you need to provide some ground rules and check with the venue regarding supervision. Parents of guests should be told if you are not staying at the venue, as they may have their own rules they may like to discuss with their child.
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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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