A party themed on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" provides a range of characters to dress up as.

Decoration Ideas for Outdoor Dance Parties for Teenagers

by Nadia Haris

Throwing an outdoor party is a rite of passage for teens every summer. Create dramatic settings by decorating your backyard or patio with decor that represents a theme. Have teens complete the look by coming in costume and dancing to period music. The right decorations will give the party a unique flair that teens will enjoy and remember.

1. Country Barn Dance

Nothing says summer like a country bumpkin hoe-down party. Square-dancing is a fun activity that teens can learn quickly. You don't need a barn or even the countryside for this dance party. Instead decorate your yard with borrowed bales of hay, a few scarecrows and homemade cut-outs of roosters. Hang old metal bells from a tree or the porch and arrange flowers in wooden barrels. Scatter a few wooden picnic benches or tables around your yard to serve food on. Complete the country theme by serving food such as corn-on-the-cob, potatoes and fried chicken on rustic metal platters. You can purchase vintage platters from a second-hand shop or just use old baking sheets.

2. 1920s Gatsby Party

A 1920s theme party is filled with opulent, bright art-deco pieces. Have an outdoor Gatsby dance party for teenagers by decorating your backyard or an outdoor marquee to excess with cardboard cutouts of movie-stars from that era and large, gaudy chandeliers and candle-holders. Add peacock feathers to flower displays and serve finger foods and drinks in art deco dishware. Teens can dress up to 1920s jazz music, including pieces by New Orlean's Rhythm Kings, King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band and Jelly Roll Morton. Costumes for this era include newspaper boy hats, suspender and white dinner jackets for boys and flapper girl outfits complete with a knee-length straight dress and plenty of pearls and feather for girls.

3. Midsummer Night's Dream Theme

Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" has everything from romance, to fairy magic and beautiful nature. Have a whimsical dance party for teens by decorating your backyard with twinkling lights, cutouts and figurines of fairies, sorcerers and gnomes and plenty of flowers and greenery. Add seating that is covered with sheer curtains and large silk pillows. For the soft twilight lighting, add lamps or candles to your decor. Serve snacks such as bread, cheese and spinach dip, apple and caramel dip and grape juice to complete the theme. Teens will enjoy dressing up like characters from the play like the fairies, wood nymphs, rabbits, mice and other forest animals.

4. Patriotic Party

The summer is the perfect time for an outdoor party for teenagers to celebrate the nation's birthday. Hang flags and strings of lights in red, white and blue around your backyard. Add decorative touches such as a homemade cardboard cutouts of the Statue of Liberty and other national landmarks. Serve 4th of July picnic fare such as pasta salad, coleslaw, hamburgers, hotdogs and ice cream. Play traditional sports such as softball or a friendly game of touch football.

About the Author

Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.

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