Please give me some ideas other than a party for DD's 16th birthday next year

Avatar for chimichanga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2000
Please give me some ideas other than a party for DD's 16th birthday next year
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Wed, 09-25-2013 - 8:13am

I still have another year but we recently attended very lavish parties for sweet 16 kiddos. We simply do not have that many friends to fill up a hotel ballroom and both DH and DD are rather introverted. So how else can I celebrate it? DD likes to travel, read, eat. When we were casually bouncing off ideas, she thought she could take 2 friends to go to H.Potter World in FL. But these kids are very unpredictable and cancel even movies at the last minute. So I am not sure if it will work out after all the expense etc.

Thank you so much,

Chimi

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Avatar for turtletime
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Registered: 05-13-1998

My eldest had a game night for her 16th birthday. The kids came dressed nice (not formal, just nice.) We had some snacks and punch. They played pictionary which was a HUGE success... I mean HUGE lol. We set-up an outdoor fire pit in the yard and the roasted marshmellows. Everyone seemed to think it was the best party ever. This was a great relief to DD who has hated the dance parties other kids were having.

Not everyone does parties. Actually, most of DD's closer friends chose not too. We've done the theme park thing with a friend in years past and that is fun. A fancy dinner would be nice. We've don't the travel thing too... a weekend trip to a big city or a camping trip up in the mountains. All successful ways to celebrate.

Cake and Ice cream at home work too! That's how I like to celebrate!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

Down here, the Hispanic culture has the Quinceanera for girls when they turn 15. Special cloths, Mariachi Bands, etcetera. I suppose that it is somewhat like Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah for Jewish boys and girls of a certain age. And some parents and grandparents do go way out with the “sweet sixteen” parties. I have heard of a couple of those parties that were in the low tens of thousands of dollars. Must be nice to have lots of money.

Comically, I think of Alan Stanford of Stanford Financial who was a lite version of con artist Bernie Madoff. About the time that the feds were moving in to charge him with fraud, 60 minutes showed a clip where Alan was asked about how it felt to be a billionaire. “Actually quite fun!” was his answer, when in reality he was several billion in the opposite direction and could, maybe should, have said. “Actually, I have NO clue as mine is all money that I have stolen from lots of stupid people like Kimmy.” LOL Being poor, we did not have money to have in his bank. There are benefits to being poor. Alan comes up for parole in 2105. Does that seem like a long time from now? It does to me as I’ll be 138.

I was tempted to come in and tell you about how hubby and I spent over $100,000 on each of our daughters’ sweet sixteen, but that would be a very LARGE LIE. LOL Being poor folks our daughters were happy with having a few close friends go with us and their guys to our favorite Mexican restaurant and then dropping them all off at the movie house with cake afterwards back at our home. They all had a good time. For their guys it was just the three sets of parents and the guys and gals eating at the favorite Mexican restaurant with cake and ice cream at home and that was fun too. Guys always get cheated.

I was also tempted to say we took them to their favorite pizza restaurant, Chuck E Cheese, which was their favorite at one time. I remember having mothers day meals there on several occasions when the girls were still in the single digit age numbers. So special and romantic. Something tells me that mothers day at Chuck's is in the cards for me again as the grandkids reach those golden ages.. LOL "Yes, that is your grandpas and my most favorite restaurant also." LOL

I think our kids are mostly introverts also. And I think introverts are the majority with extroverts being the exceptions to that norm of introverts. We’re in the majority!

When you said your daughter likes to “travel, read, and eat,” I thought of our youngest SIL and to a lesser degree his bride. They have been the driving force behind our “see America” summer vacations for the past four summers. Both are avid readers, youngest SIL is a voracious reader, who by the time we arrive at various locations has command of all the details—our tour guide.

To me, travel is about going to places of interest to the traveler(s). When we started seeing America, I really thought this would be boing 101, but I was wrong. It has been fascinating and most enjoyable.

New Jersey is close to several target rich areas. If you’re DD is into Broadway and show business. WOW, NYC "is the place to be." Dave Letterman Show, also. I have heard it’s a hoot to be there. If it’s nature, New England, Cape Cod, Niagara Falls or as my soon to be three year old grandson pronounces it "Viagra Falls" (shame on his uncle and father for teaching him that LOL). If its history, Boston, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, NYC, DC, Old Williamsburg, Jamestown.

And if Harry Potter is important to her, by all means that is the place to go. Lots of other things to see and do down there, like the beaches and Kennedy Space Center, Miami and the Keys. Not sure when her birthday is, but you can always do it the summer before when you will have more time to do it all.

For more than a decade our summer vacations alternated between Walt Disney World and Florida beaches. The last three of those were with the future SIL with us. Fabulous memories of time well spent with the kids. As I’m sure you are aware we only have them with us for a short time and by 16 that time is quickly passing. We’re looking forward to returning to our old haunts in Florida with the grandkids in just another couple of years.

As the other ladies said, check with the other parents; figure it out with your daughter and most important of all: Do come back and share it with all of us next year. I would love to hear about Harry Potter and what it meant to your DD.

Avatar for chimichanga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2000
Wow, thank you so much for such a detailed reply - it is awesome that you have extended family to do things with. We will probably do a show in NYC and take DD on a shopping trip there. Thanks again, Chimi
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

I too would keep it lower-key.  We live in NY, and my DD went to what felt like dozens of Sweet 16 parties.  DH used to work for a caterer and catered what felt like hundreds.  But DD herself didn't have anything other than a "normal" (for her) party - had some friends over to our house, DH cooked dinner, we had birthday cake, etc.  She was fine with going to all those sweet 16s, but wasn't into it herself.  I don't think anyone should spend lots of money on it, because there will be soooo many other things after that party to pay for - junior prom, senior prom, trips (DD went to Europe with her youth symphony and to Florida with her high school music dept), visiting colleges, applying to colleges, PAYING for college.  Sweet 16 really should be no big deal.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001

What kind of budget do you have in mind? A friend of mine is arranging a cruise for her DD's 16th next year. My oldest DD turned 16 this past August, She was at a camp and I arranged a surprise party for her there with her friends. 16 is a milestone, I still remember turning 16 myself, Lol but how you celebrate is up to you I think. 

 


 


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