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Winter Party for Teens at Kansas City Crown Center

Winter Birthday with Friends

My daughter is the shortest one, standing between her best friends.

My daughter is the shortest one, standing between her best friends.

Stampin Up handcrafted party invitation with heart and wings theme.

Stampin Up handcrafted party invitation with heart and wings theme.

View of the Crown Center Fountains

View of the Crown Center Fountains

Sweet Tooth Bakery in Blue Springs, Missouri. Awesome, highly flavored, seasonal based cupcake flavors.

Sweet Tooth Bakery in Blue Springs, Missouri. Awesome, highly flavored, seasonal based cupcake flavors.

Milano Italian pizza

Milano Italian pizza

The Winter Plan for Crown Center

Sweet 16 is a substantial milestone for teenagers. The experience is a great deal about themselves and their friends and pleasant memories. For my daughter, she invited three friends to share the event. I created favor bags stuffed full of gifts and candy, handcrafted her party invitations and then planned out where to go and what to do. The event would take about 6 hours to get through every activity.

The benefits of Crown Center are vast, from shopping, eating, hot coffee, treats, ice skating, to visiting the aquarium. The bonus is constantly keeping four teens entertained without overly monitoring them. I gave them $20 each to shop and gave them about an hour to run around and explore.

The festive cupcakes are from a local Sweet Tooth Bakery in Blue Springs, Missouri. Her friends came up with the toasting idea. I think it is perfect and honorable for the well wishes.

Things to take: coats, enough gloves for all, hats, a spacious tote bag to hold the goodies and things purchased. Take a nice digital camera, cell phones, gifts, cupcakes and a small trash bag.

Take a quality camera to capture beautiful images during the event, including the fountains in front of Crown Center. The pictures of the teens are so memorable and a true representation of their lives and close friends.

Tiaras, Food, Cupcakes and Shopping

The elegantly embellished tiaras came from Charming Charles for both girls in the pictures. For the boys, which of course, they made sure they, "oops, left them in the car," Came from Michaels in the children's craft area. They were plastic and only a few dollars a piece.

The Milano Italian restaurant with a splendid view and upscale atmosphere, I picked it because of the glass view of the outdoors. The photographed images turned out immensely vibrant with natural lighting. Personally, I would not recommend Milano's to eat. The customer service and overall treatment was not particularly good. They dropped one of our pizza's and we had to wait for the second one to cook. They did not bring extra plates for the pizza, we used the dirty bread plates. The pizza was pretty tasty for Italian style.

This was time to share the gifts, favor bags and shopping money. I let them blow a few bubbles, just over the table so they would not hit the floor and make it slippery. I made a special paper money holder with the $20 dollar bills inside. That gave them each an opportunity to buy what they wanted for themselves after eating. I let them shop on their own and meet me back at a specific time and place.

I do say it is a must to bring cupcakes and let them "toast" with cupcakes and a few notable wishes to the birthday girl. It honors that person and adds to the "sweet" part of the birthday.

Sweet 16 Invitations and Favor Bags

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Invitations and Favor Theme

I took a design my daughter loves and made it the prime theme. Heart with wings embellishes both, favor bags and party invitations.

Favors: Since it is close to Valentine's Day, it was extremely easy to find heart shaped candy for her theme. The clear heart sucker, found at Michael's Craft stores, along with the toy erasers. Duck tape is a hot new craft, so I included a cool one for each person and set the bag on top of it. The rest is packaged sour candies and a little chocolate. I added a small bottle of bubbles, the old wedding kind you can now find in dollar stores.

Invitations: A clear envelope was crucial. I wanted the cool design to display the theme and sweet 16 wording, without hiding it. I added a time I would pick them up and approximate time I would return them all home. I hand stamped, hand cut and wrote inside using a metallic pen.

Sea Life Aquarium Kansas City, Missouri

Sea Life Aquarium is an engaging, colorful and beach like experience, right in the middle of winter. This is well worth the cost, but it is best to purchase tickets through the online website to save money and ensure a reserved spot for your group. Lego land is next door, but that is best for younger children. Do not worry, your teens can still run down nostalgic lane in the gift shop. One half of the shop is the sea life side and the other, legos.

Flash photography is not allowed on most areas in the aquarium, but capturing fun images is what you are after. Take the silly image just before you go in (I stayed out of this one, it is all about the teens). Once inside, get them touching the live animals, staring up at sharks and looking like fish themselves inside the glass bubbles.

Ice Terrace Ice Skating at Crown Center

This was a new experience, but such a true sense of Kansas City. The cool ambiance and my sideline view of them skating was spectacular. I do recommend this sport toward the last part of your day. Just in case they get sore, tired or hurt or very chilled. Follow up with coffee, hot cocoa and tea right afterwards. Panera Bread is in walking distance; otherwise you have to drive six blocks to the nearest Starbucks. Parking is free on the weekends.

Take gloves, hats and a bag to carry the extra stuff before and after skating. Skate rental is available for all sizes and ages. Don't entrust they will bring extra winter clothing to keep warm. I brought enough gloves for all of them to wear.

Photography and videography. Try to get them all together in a few pictures and a few short videos. One thing my daughter made sure, the friends she invited like to ice skate or had some experience with it.

Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri

Teen Party on Location


deergha from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!! on March 27, 2013:

You are must be a proud mother of your darling daughter. Enjoy and feel happy seeing her growing up. My best wishes are for her as well as to you. Take care ...God bless you both. Thanks

Brenda Kyle (author) from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on March 27, 2013:

Thank you very much dghbrh. I hope she always will remember it. The party planning helped a lot. I wished I would have researched the restaurants a little better. Even that experience we made it enjoyable anyway. I will show her the birthday wish.

deergha from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!! on March 27, 2013:

Wow....such a careful planning and you have done almost all to make it a most memorable time for your darling daughter and her friends. She gonna sure remember this for whole her life. 'Belated Happy Birthday' to your sweet daughter.Many thanks for sharing the idea. Shared and voted up interesting.

Brenda Kyle (author) from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on March 26, 2013:

Thanks Suzie HQ. The funny thing is even at there age, the favor bags are cool to receive. The shopping money gave them each an opportunity to buy something and feel special too.

Brenda Kyle (author) from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on March 26, 2013:

Thanks for commenting truthfornow. Yes, those kind of memories were more important to her than just things. I know she enjoyed every second of it. This part of town has a lot to offer, especially for teens.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on March 26, 2013:

Hi Brenda,

What a great day this looks like that your daughter really seemed to enjoy with her buddies!Congrats on the planning right down to the last pair of gloves for all! Your favors look so cute and what a nice idea giving the kids $20 each, wow wish I had had a party like that! Voted up, useful and interesting. Shared on.

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on March 26, 2013:

Lots like your daughter and her friends had a great time. What memories for her. Nice that you thought to do something so special and give her a special day. Looks like a fun place for a party.

Brenda Kyle (author) from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on March 26, 2013:

Thank you for sharing Stephanie Henkel. The organizing it is key, while making it feel unplanned and just laid back and fun at the same time. The good thing is a fun winter party is possible!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on March 26, 2013:

This looks like a very special milestone birthday for a teenaged girl. The combination of activities, food and shopping is unbeatable! You did a great job organizing it, and offered some excellent suggestions for this kind of party. Good job! Voted up and shared!

Brenda Kyle (author) from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on March 25, 2013:

Thank you vickiw. It is great for kids that value their friends and memories they share instead of a bunch of gifts. I plan to create some mini albums for each of them. I will add those images once the are done. My daughter was happy the whole time.

Vickiw on March 25, 2013:

I certainly never had a party like that either! What a wonderful organiser you are, and your daughter looks so happy! She will have some great memories!

Brenda Kyle (author) from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on March 25, 2013:

It was cool, I just tagged along to keep an eye on them. It turned out really well. I am pretty sure I didn't get all of that either. I remember a cake, a big snow and building a snowman on my 16th. Good to hear from you bill.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 25, 2013:

What a great idea for a birthday party. I'm slightly jealous that I never got a party like that one. :)

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