Sweet Sixteen Venues
Picking the right venue for your sweet sixteen can make all the difference between the best birthday party of your life or the worst party of your life! Finding the right venue doesn’t have to be hard.
When choosing a venue there are a few things to keep in mind to find the perfect fit:
- What are the most important factor to you? Full service, lowest cost possible, the best or nothing, DIY, just need a space?
- How many guests are you expecting?
- How close is the venue to the majority of your guests?
- Is the room already decorated or will you need to transform your venue?
- Does the venue provide catering or do you have to take care of food and drink?
- What date will you have your party? Are the venues you are considering open for that date?
- What is the layout of the space? Will you dance and eat in the same are or separate rooms?
- What’s your total party budget? Will you still have room in your budget for music, decorations, cake, favors, invitations, transportation, etc. after spending money on the venue?
What types of venue would be good for my party?
There are typically a few different types of venues in any given location that you might consider for your party. Make a list to begin and then weigh the pros and cons of each, keeping in mind the questions above, to help make a decision.
This is generally the least expensive option if you have a basement or large outdoor area, or if you’re considering a smaller, more intimate party guest list. Backyards/pool areas can be a good option but you should always have a backup plan in case it rains! Nothing will kill a party quicker than the biggest rainstorm of the year in a space that is exposed to the elements. Even the best tents will leak and water will flow under the panels or over the grass at your guests’ feet.
Community Center / Clubhouse / YMCA / Jaycee Center / Gym / Church Hall
These spaces are built to handle parties day in and day out and are generally cheaper than spaces that are more furnished and decorated. These types of spaces benefit greatly from decorations like drapery and lighting. There are great DIY lighting options that are really affordable for achieving a high-end and transformative ambiance from an ordinary hall.
Bowling Alley / Laser Tag / Movie Theater / Ice Rink / Roller Skating / Equine Center / Driving Range
These spaces work well because they are built for a specific purpose and the party activity is built into the space. This makes it easy to keep your guests entertained and do something that you enjoy doing. It’s also a great option if you don’t want to dance or pay for a DJ. These venues often include many of the features that would normally cost extra including sound, lighting, chairs, tables, etc. They can usually recommend additional preferred vendors as well.
Lake / Whitewater Rafting
A lake can be an awesome way to spend the day relaxing on the water, having fun with your friends, and going tubing or water skiing. Pontoon boats can typically be rented on most large public lakes and are a fantastic way to bring the entire party with you wherever you go.
Ropes courses are an amazing way to spend the day. Learn about your friends and build your friendships literally as you navigate your way through obstacles, challenges, and working together as a team to get through a course. You’ll work together to come up with ways to solve problems and have fun at the same time. Many ropes courses have zip lines which are a thrilling memory for your birthday party.
Country Club / Restaurant / Catering Hall
A country club or a restaurant is a great space to hold a sweet sixteen party because they handle many aspects of the party including food, drinks, and clean up. This allows you and your family a chance to enjoy the party more and worry less about all the details.
State / County / City Parks / Government Event Venues
These are the hidden gems of sweet sixteen birthday parties because they are a great mix of value/cost, unique space, built specifically for special events, used to working with teen events, and usually have kitchens, refrigerators and extended timelines for event setup. The best place to start looking is your local city or county parks and recreation website. From there they can guide you to local venues and spaces that might be available for your event.
Club / Bar / Concert Venue
Many local bars and clubs will open up early for special events. These can be perfect spaces for sweet sixteen parties because they can handle food, drinks, parking, and oftentimes have a dance floor, sound and lights built into the venue. This saves a ton of money on entertainment and it’s ready to go for the ultimate dance party. Parking is taken care of and the bouncers come with the space to handle security issues. Imagine if you could bring in your favorite musician to play for all of your friends!
Hotels are always a great option to host your sweet sixteen party. Out of town cousins or friends can stay at the hotel, ballrooms come with everything you need for the party, food and drinks are easy to coordinate, and they are centrally located in most cities and towns. The hotel class and/or brand will determine the cost and they can range quite considerably. They usually have an onsite event coordinator that makes it easy to plan all the details of your party.
Private Space Rental
There are some truly unique and magnificent venues that are spectacular for sweet sixteen parties. Manor houses, castles, mansions, and special event venues can create the ultimate sweet sixteen party. Many are set up for great photos, great movement throughout the venue, and some can be rented for entire weekends. A great place to find these venues is on sites like weddingwire.com. Many are used for weddings but are perfect for sweet sixteen birthday parties, too. Generally during the winter these venues are readily available for teen parties.
Many sports venues have event rental spaces available. Major league baseball, minor league baseball, basketball, college basketball, football, tennis centers, and racetracks all have spaces available for rent. Host your party in the sports’ offseason for a lower price and have a unique venue with a view. They can often take care of food and all of the details for you so you just have to worry about having a great time.
Renting a theme park can be a great way to host a huge crowd. Many will let you rent the park out after hours or before the park opens which can be a one of a kind experience. Imagine having the entire park available to just you and your friends. More likely, parks have special packages available for group pricing, party pavilions and attraction tickets.
Review Your Party Venue Online
Finding a sweet sixteen birthday party venue can be easy once you can decide on your preferred type of venue and the location. Searching on Google maps can help you quickly find places in your area. Then it’s a good idea to research your venue to see what other people thought of that specific party place. You can find good reviews on:
- Google Local
Final Venue Tips
When finding a venue for your sweet sixteen party make sure that you are working with a venue that is accommodating of your wishes and is excited with the opportunity to work with you! If the initial meeting leaves you with the impression that they’re not excited to help you and your friends have the time of your life, chances are it won’t get any better as you go along the planning process.
Once you find a venue make sure you get everything signed in writing. Make sure the contract includes the total price, what the rental includes, what happens if you have to cancel, or if you don’t reach a specific number of guests. These should all be detailed in the contract.
Once you have the perfect venue then you are well on your way to having the perfect sweet sixteen party!