How to Host a Valentine's Day Party for Teens

Whether your 13-year-old has a crush or your 16-year-old is in a relationship, Valentine’s Day can be a significant day for adolescents. Many teens invest a lot of time into thinking how they’re going to spend the day—and who they’re going to spend it with.

Of course, a Valentine's Day celebration doesn't always have to be about romance. Allowing your teen to host a party can be a great way to celebrate friendship.

Hosting a party can also be an important strategic move for teenagers. Hanging out in a group can prevent a single teen from feeling bad about not having a date, and it can even help keep raging hormones in check. Keep the focus on celebrating friendship and everyone is sure to have a good time.

Put Your Teen in Charge of the Invitations

Most teens don’t want to send formal invitations to a Valentine’s Day party anymore, and that’s fine. It’s socially acceptable to send online invitations or to contact friends electronically such as by sending a group text.

Set a limit on how many teens can attend the party, however. Make sure your teen gives you a clear guest list well in advance.

Tell your teen that it's probably not a good idea to announce the party on social media. A public announcement on on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat could hurt people's feelings if they weren't invited. Not to mention, a public announcement could also lead to lots of extra uninvited guests at the party.

Set a clear time for the party to start and end. Otherwise, kids may arrive at all hours of the night.

Tell your teen it’s OK to give out your contact information so parents can call you if they have any questions. Be open to talking to parents who may have questions about the chaperone situation.

Decorate the Party Area

Create a festive Valentine’s Day atmosphere. Most teens won’t care—or notice—much in the way of decorations, so don’t feel pressured to go overboard. But a few little decorations could set the tone for a festive atmosphere.

Here are a few simple decorating tips:

  • Use white Christmas lights. Keep the room lit up enough that you’ll be able to see what’s going on but dim the overhead lights if you can. Bright lights can make teens feel especially awkward but too little light may encourage a little too much passion.
  • Create a candy buffet. Fill glass containers (bowls, glasses, and vases) with Valentine candy. Pink or red candies, heart-shaped candy, or chocolates are sure to be a hit. Not only will they be a great snack, but they’ll also provide a decorative touch.
  • Place red balloons around the room. A few heart-shaped or red balloons can put on the finishing touches.

Provide a Little Entertainment

Most teens don’t require too much entertainment for a party. If you’ve got a small group, a movie, and some popcorn might be enough.

A larger group will likely want some music. Let your teen be in charge of creating a playlist or finding music to play throughout the party.

If you’ve got a room full of shy 13-year-olds who are a bit awkward about mingling, a few games can help break the ice. Have your teen pick out some games ahead of time and make sure you keep an eye on the types of games they’re playing.

You might offer some prizes to the winners to encourage all the kids to get involved. Prizes could include anything from a small gift cards to a box of chocolates.

Serve Some Valentine's Day Treats

Of course, no teenage party is complete without food. Pizza is a great staple for any party.

But, don't forget the sweet treats. Valentine cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, and red velvet cupcakes make excellent party treats.

Keep an Eye on the Party

Monitor the party but don't stay in the same room the entire time. Refill the chip bowl or find a reason to walk through the party just to make sure everything is going OK.

Talk to your teen ahead of time about their expectations for the party. Discuss what they think will help ensure that everyone has a good time and plan accordingly.

Don't allow any underage drinking to take part in your home under any circumstances. Not only is it illegal, but alcohol can be harmful to young people's developing brains. Use the party as an opportunity to show young people they can have fun while staying safe.

1 Source
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  1. Squeglia LM, Jacobus J, Tapert SF. The effect of alcohol use on human adolescent brain structures and systems. Handb Clin Neurol. 2014;125:501-510. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-62619-6.00028-8

By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. She delivered one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.