Planning for any child’s birthday party can be a trying task, but finding a teen birthday party idea that your snarky teens won't deride is practically impossible. Teenagers are a particularly tough group to plan for — and you have to account for the fact that tastes vary wildly and what is exciting for one teen is a total bore for another. Luckily, Los Angeles is jam-packed with things to do with tweens and teens, and that includes places where you can hold teen birthday parties that your celebrant will truly adore.
From comedy clubs to private pool cabanas and tech wonderlands to falcon flying fetes, we've rounded up 21 party plans that are tried and true for teens. To get more ideas for your party, like where to get the best birthday cakes in LA, be sure to visit our Guide to Birthday Party Ideas in Los Angeles for Kids. Because big kids love birthday cake, too.
1. Beetle House LA — Hollywood
For something completely different, take a teen gang to the Tim Burton-themed Beetle House LA in Hollywood. Each ticket includes a three-course meal along with a show viewing at the venue’s indoor/outdoor theater. Shows skew towards the macabre and bizarre, with sword swallowers, sideshow acts, contortionists, psychics, magicians, and more.
2. Renting a cabana at the Hilton or Paradise Cove — Universal City or Malibu
Sometimes a little rest and relaxation and being waited on is all a teen wants! Rent a cabana at the Hilton in Universal City or take the party out to the beach at Paradise Cove. You can check Resort Pass for more options—or for a more private experience, use a site like Swimply to book a backyard pool for a pool party.
3. Moonlight Rollerway — Glendale
For a retro birthday, take the party to Moonlight Roller Rink in Glendale. The roller rink has birthday packages that include snacks, drinks, ice cream, skate rentals, and an announcement of your teen's birthday! You can skate with the public or give your kiddo a more intimate party by renting out the rink.
Make 'em laugh, make 'em laugh, make 'em laugh! Photo courtesy of The Elysian
4. All ages comedy shows — Various locations
As the center of the entertainment industry, it’s no surprise LA is a comedy hotbed. There are clubs all over town, but only a few host all-ages shows. Largo at the Coronet hosts 12+ shows with performers like Nick Kroll, Sarah Silverman, Jenny Slate, and Pete Holmes. The Elysian in Echo Park is a smaller venue that is open to audiences of all ages. For older teens, there’s Groundlings on Melrose Blvd., a famous club that needs no introduction and is 16+. Get tickets for a group of your kid's friends and then take everyone for a midnight milkshake.
5. Rent out a movie theater — Various locations
Many independent movie houses in LA are available for private events like birthdays. Even big chains like AMC allow you to rent out a theater. Simply inquire at your favorite local theater.
RELATED: Things To Do with Teens in Los Angeles They'll Actually Enjoy
VR Whack a Mole? That might be the perfect birthday activity. Photo courtesy of Two Bit Circus
6. Two Bit Circus — DTLA
Located in the Arts District, Two Bit Circus is a unique experience that combines virtual reality, story rooms, and carnival games. Techies who want to bring along non-nerdy friends will find this the perfect spot.
7. Trapeze School — Santa Monica
The Trapeze School in Santa Monica is the perfect place to throw your teen an outside-the-box party. You can book a party with the Trapeze School and either take a class with other students or have a private class (which obviously costs a bit more unless you have over 10 guests).
RELATED: A Trip To Hollywood's Museum of Illusions
Escape the life of a teen on Earth in the 2020s, and go anywhere else! Photo courtesy of Dreamscape
8. Virtual Reality — Various locations
Most teens live in their own reality anyway, so why not let them choose the reality they want, and escape there with friends for a while? Most of the places on our list of the best VR arcades and centers in the city have birthday party options perfect for teenagers.
9. Go kart racing —Various locations
If your teen is more of a speed demon, K1 Speed has locations all over Southern California and is a great birthday party location. A new entry into this local go kart scene is MB2 Entertainment in Santa Clarita, which gives kids a variety of options for ways to play, including go karts, bumper boats, arcade games, mini golf, and more.
10. Pacific Pier — Santa Monica
Let's say your teen wants to go to a theme park for her birthday, but there's no way you can afford to pay the entrance fees for a half-dozen teens at Disneyland or even Knott's Berry Farm. A more reasonably-priced alternative is Pacific Pier on the Santa Monica Pier, which has no entrance fees. The pay-per-ride and pay-per-play model is perfect for parties, allowing the parents to set the spending parameters.
RELATED: Themed Restaurants and Family-Friendly Dinner Shows in Los Angeles
The Magic Castle makes for a magically memorable birthday. Photo courtesy of the Magic Castle
11. Magic Castle — Hollywood
While Young Adult night only happens once a year, kids are allowed at the Magic Castle for brunch every weekend. Bring a group of kids for a fancy brunch and then fantastic magic shows. Don't know a magician who can get you in? Here's a tip: check out the website and see who is performing on the date you want to visit. Slide into their DMs (or you know, go old school and email them) and ask for them to arrange passes for you. Magicians are performers and they want an appreciative audience!
12. Escape room parties — Various locations
Escape rooms may have passed peak trendiness, but there are still lots of great ones across LA. No matter what your puzzling teen wants to investigate, you can find the perfect spot that will offer a mystery that's not too easy or too hard.
RELATED: The Most Insane, Over the Top Desserts in Los Angeles That Wow Kids
Afternoon Tea at The Langham is a pinkies up place to celebrate. Photo courtesy of the blog Let Me Eat Cake
13. Afternoon Tea at The Langham — Pasadena
If your teen has a taste for elegance, take them to high tea at The Langham in Pasadena. Snack on tea sandwiches, tarts, sand cones with Devonshire cream and jam—just about every upscale pastry you can imagine! All with incredible views of the grounds and a chance to dress up and be fancy.
14. AirBallingLA — Various parks
With archery tag, nerf gun parties, and even Fortnite parties for gamers, AirBallingLA has something for everyone. What’s cool about this company is that it brings the party to whichever park is most convenient for you, servicing everywhere from Santa Clarita to the South Bay.
15. Paintball Party at Hollywood Sports Park — Bellflower
For teenagers seeking a bit more of a thrill, there are paintball or airsoft parties at the Hollywood Sports Park in Bellflower. For teens on the younger side of the spectrum try Gellyattack, which doesn’t hurt like a paintball or airsoft pellet.
16. Ultrazone Laser Tag — Sherman Oaks
Who doesn’t love laser tag? While there are places to play all over the city, our favorite is Ultrazone in Sherman Oaks. Special birthday packages include two games of laser tag, a decorated private party room, a personal party host, and of course unlimited soft drinks. This seems like it skews young, but even giant high schoolers have a blast acting like kids again when they get together here.
17. iFLY Hollywood — Universal City
There are few experiences like iFLY at Universal CityWalk. A birthday package at this one-of-a-kind indoor skydiving center includes flight lessons and flight sessions in the wind tunnel, followed by food and cake in your own private party room.
18. Book a Room at a Local Restaurant
We all know that many teenagers want to feel like adults. One great way to celebrate your teen’s birthday in a more “grown-up” setting is renting a room at a local restaurant. There are eateries all over the city where you can make this happen, but two favorites for the teen crowd include C&O Cucina in Marina Del Rey or Barton G. in West Hollywood.
RELATED: The Birthday Party Ideas Guide for LA Kids
They're getting older, why not try something new and exciting? Photo courtesy of California Dreamin' Hot Air Balloon Ride
19. California Dreamin' Hot Air Balloon Ride — Temecula
How about a hot air balloon ride, high in the sky? For birthday celebrations, the balloon basket is decked out with a Happy Birthday banner and a cake is served on the flight. Book a balloon for just your celebrants; each balloon ride accommodates 6-14 passengers.
20. Sky Falconry — Alpine
This little-known animal encounter offers a range of experiences, starting with a basic falconry lesson for a private group where kids will learn to hold a hawk, cast it into the sky, and call it back again. Kids who are really fascinated with these magnificent birds can have a private Raptor Experience, where they can free fly a hawk and a falcon.
21. Los Angeles Wake —Castaic Lake and Lake Elsinore
Got a daredevil who is looking for something new to do? Take the whole crew wakeboarding, wakesurfing, wakeskating, or tubing with Los Angeles Wake. Prices start at $225 per hour and can accommodate up to 15 people per boat.