What Do Teens Usually Do on Their Birthdays?

Living with a teen can feel like living with a stranger. Planning birthday activities for your teenager can be tough -- parents want to spend time together as a family, when most teenagers would rather be out and about with their friends. However, there are certainly ways to incorporate both into your teen's special day. If you're wondering what teens normally do on their birthdays, look no further -- it's time to get planning.

Family Parties

Sometimes, it may feel like your teen wants to be anywhere except with family. However, the promise of presents can do amazing things to teens, and yours can likely find a few hours to spend with family on her birthday. Many families plan a get-together earlier in the day, freeing the evening for teens to celebrate their birthdays with friends.


For many teens, sleepovers are a favorite activity. They get to stay up late, playing video games or sharing secrets -- a perfect way to celebrate their big day. Whether your teen is hosting or going to a friend's home, talk with your teen ahead of time to make sure rules are established, recommends Family Lives, a U.K.-based charity supporting parents and family life. Also be sure that your teen understands the penalties for breaking these rules, and be prepared to stick to them, Family Lives says.

Parties With Friends

Instead of parties at home, lots of teens choose to go out with friends on their birthdays. For younger teens, this may mean a trip to the movies, or a dinner at the mall. Older teens often like to celebrate their birthdays by going to concerts or on longer trips with friends. If the idea of your teen heading out without adult supervision makes you nervous, be sure to discuss limits ahead of time and have a reliable way of keeping in touch, advises Your Teen Magazine 2.

Milestone Birthdays

The teenage years are full of milestones, and those birthdays are especially important to teens. At thirteen, your new teen may enjoy a themed party, like Rockin' 50s, that allows her inner child to stay silly. Sixteenth birthdays inspire the infamous sweet sixteen parties -- glitz and glam for boys and girls. On her eighteenth birthday, your teen will probably want to celebrate life as an adult.