16th Birthday Presents

A Parent's Guide to 16th Birthday Presents

Do you remember your 16th birthday presents? Not many adults do. But if you had a spectacular party or an extraordinary present, the chances are that you would always remember that day with fondness. Being 16 years old is in-between being a kid and being an adult. It is an age where some kids are very social and into parties, while others are so shy that the very last thing they want is any kind of gathering of friends and classmates.

Still, most parents always want to do something special for their son or daughter’s 16th birthday. Not everyone has enough money to buy what they might consider the ultimate present, but no matter how much money you have, the day is about love, and you can find something low-cost or free that can make for a special day.

Automobiles are the ultimate gift when it comes to 16th birthday presents. What better way to celebrate your son or daughter’s entrance into the first stage of adulthood than to have a dependable car or truck for them to drive. After all, in most states when they turn sixteen, they can finally get that long-awaited driver’s license.

But, let’s be honest. Not many of us can afford to give automobiles as 16th birthday presents. But if you can and your teenager is responsible, it is definitely a memorable present. Likewise, if you can afford a getaway or party with friends, that is also a good idea. Think about renting a space for an afternoon or evening so that your son or daughter can get together with friends and have fun doing all the things they enjoy.

Some examples might be renting a room in a hotel for an overnight, with your room right next door. They can watch movies, play x-box, go swimming in the pool, listen to music, go out to a concert or any of dozens of other activities. If your kid is into a sport, finding an activity can be even easier. What about renting the afternoon at a skateboard park or a bowling alley? Or, if they are baseball, basketball or football fans, take them to a pro game. You could even take over a local field or park for the day and play games of your own.

Other fun 16th birthday presents or party ideas might be renting a hall or getting use of a local facility where you could have a dance. Maybe you could even hire a live band that the kids really like. It could be dress up or dress down. Getting the family away for a weekend with a couple of the birthday boy or girl’s best friends to go skiing or snowshoeing, hiking or canoeing, can also make for a great time. Maybe your contribution to the 16th birthday presents was a new snowboard and you are taking family and friends out to the slopes for a day or a weekend.

For the most part, boys love all kinds of electronics, x-boxes, games to go with them, GPS devices, portable DVD players, computers and other electronic gadgets. That’s not to say that a lot of girls wouldn’t be happy with the same 16th birthday presents, and maybe even a cell phone or a digital camera. Other girls might like more of the sweet-16-type of gifts. These could include a make-over, a make-up kit, perfume, a gift basket with flowers, chocolates, a book, or maybe even a jewelry box with a nice bracelet, locket, or earrings. Take the birthday girl and a couple of her friends out to a movie or ice cream shop.


If times are tough and there’s no money for store-bought gifts and the like, do something that is inexpensive. You can go camping at a state park, usually for under $15 a day for the whole family. Go camping for the weekend or one night if you prefer. Take along a home-made birthday cake for a private celebration. Guys might want to go fishing or hunting. You could go swimming at a lake or beach or hike a nearby trail. Pick some wildflowers for a nice bouquet to take home.

There are hundreds of possible 16th birthday presents. Just pick out how much money you can afford to spend and stick to it. The memories are going to come from a fun time with people who love one another, and that’s the best kind of present you can give.