The best way to host a teenage party that stays under control is to provide an activity that completely involves and engages the kids. That way, they’re not interested in doing the things you don’t want them doing. Of course, they need to socialize, but within the parameters of your planned activity. A Casino Night party for teenagers does the trick and does it well.
Casino games are great fun and people enjoy playing them- that’s why casino nights are so often used as fund raising events. And this goes for teens as well as grown-ups. The fact that a Casino night theme seems like a very ‘sophisticated’ thing to do helps get the kids invested in your party activities from the very beginning.
Playing card and dice games isn’t and doesn’t have to be the equivalent of gambling. Make it clear at the outset, on your invitation, that “Only Fun Allowed- No Gambling”. You can use poker chips to keep track of score, or your counters can be pennies, M&M’s, matchsticks, anything. Further invest the kids in your party by encouraging them all to “Dress for Vegas”; fancy clothes can equate to better behavior in the kids’ minds.
Borrow a bunch of card tables and chairs, but you can have more kids than seats to allow for that socializing when there’s no available game to play. To keep the dice contained rather than flying onto the floor, make some dice trays using the low cardboard trays from the beer or soda store. You can paint them, contact paper them, or leave them just the way they are. You’ll need cards and dice enough for every game.
Set up a buffet table to encourage grazing. Keep it easy with store-bought frozen meatballs, purchased or home-made chicken wings with sauce, salad, and/or a 6 foot hero. It doesn’t need to be fancy food, just look nice with some dice, jokers and face cards, and poker chips sprinkled around the buffet table for themed decoration. Have a big tub of soda and bottled water on ice for the kids to grab as needed. Tunes in the background will keep the mood festive.
In addition to the ever popular poker and blackjack games, you can find a variety of appropriate and fun dice games on line. If you’ve got the room and the budget for it, I strongly recommend including a craps game in your casino night lineup. A craps table cover can be bought for $20-$30, so it’s not out of sight. Craps is by far and away the most fascinating and complex of the dice games, and many would say it’s by far the most fun. If you’ve ever been to a casino, you know that it’s always the loudest with laughter and whoops. It will definitely challenge the kids to learn how to play all the variations contained in a craps game and think about the differing odds for each.
And there’s one other advantage to including a craps game: you’ll need a croupier to man the table that understands the game, and no teenage guest is going to want to be stuck with that job all night long. So- your croupier needs to be an adult, who then becomes an adult presence in the room. And that’s a good thing. There’s plenty of online help to learn how to play the game to get your croupier up to speed so he or she can in turn teach the kids and run the game.
A casino party isn’t hard to pull off and everybody will have lots of fun. The games will keep the teens busy competing to do well and to do better than the next guy (or girl). You can finish the evening off with a silly prize or two for the nights ‘big winners’. While teens are indeed harder to please and to engage in games than younger kids, it CAN be done, and casino games will do it. The more engaged they are, the less likely it is that your teenage gathering will spin out of control into activities you don’t want occurring.
Creating kids party packages that keep them fully engaged in the party activities is the specialty of the Birthday Party Games Lady, aka Leslie Lyons. She’s also constantly on the lookout for good kids and teenage party ideas to pass along to busy parents.