Turning sixteen can be exciting for your teen as he or she transitions into adulthood. This milestone certainly warrants a celebration—however, you must be careful not to invite trouble into your home.

Much like notorious after-prom parties, sixteenth birthdays can certainly get out of hand. From sneaking in alcohol to property damage, there are many things that can turn the party into a nightmare—and as the adult, you will be held responsible.

But never fear! With the proper precautions, you can still throw a fabulous party while avoiding situations that could ruin a good time.

How to Throw a Safe 16th Birthday Party

It’s Not Cool to be Cool

The most important rule for any sixteenth birthday party: Do not, under any circumstances, serve alcohol! You may think it’s permissible if you’re having the party at your own house under adult supervision—but you need to decide if being the cool parent is worth the risk involved.

If things go awry, the best case is you’ll “only” have to answer to a group of angry parents, and risk never being able to host a party down the road—or worse, it might affect your child’s attendance to other parties. Worst case can result in grave legal consequences, from hefty fines to even jail time. Overall, it’s just not worth it! So make sure to keep the liquor cabinet locked, and if anyone is caught drinking, call their parents and have them taken home at once.

Keep it Down Over There!

Another thing that could bring the police to your door is a noise complaint if the party is too loud. This is more likely to happen if you live in a residential area with neighbors that are close by.

If the cops show up, there are several ways that this could play out. Best case, you’ll just get a warning, turn the music down, and the party will continue without a hitch. Worst case, the kids were allowed to get a little out of control, so parents need to be called and the party comes to an abrupt end—then you might really be in trouble! (See above, about angry parents, losing party privileges, etc.) Once again, it’s just not worth it, so keep it down and keep the cops away.

Crowd Control

When one kid at school has a big party, chances are the entire school will get wind of it and be tempted to invite themselves—which can result in a torrent of teenagers crashing down your door. Yikes!

That’s why it’s important to be mindful of how the invitations are sent out. A few years ago, a girl in Germany sent invitations for her sweet sixteen over Facebook—an innocent action that mistakenly resulted in an army of 1,500 party-crashers descending on her home, getting so out of hand that bottles and firecrackers were thrown at the police. While the daughter thought she had created a private event for a few friends, she inadvertently posted the party details—including her home address—to a public Facebook event, which led to many individuals inviting themselves.

To avoid this disaster at your party, make the party invite-only, and mail the invitations. Don’t let your child hand out invitations or send them via social networks. If you’re throwing a large party, consider hiring some bouncers to check invites and keep troublemakers out.


If you plan ahead, you’ll throw a memorable party for your kid, and you’ll be ready to handle any situation that comes your way. Remember to keep it down, keep the liquor locked, send invitations by mail only, and host the party in a safe environment. If you’re throwing a party with a large headcount, consider renting a venue for the night or hiring additional help to ensure a safe and successful event. This is, after all, your child—and you want them to have positive memories from their sweet sixteen.