Let's face it, teens and tweens think every birthday is a milestone, and with good reason! These are some of the most transforming years in a young person's life. Adding "teen" to the end of the number is a big deal! So is getting a driver's permit, then a driver's license. You may earn a lot of gray hairs during the teenage years, so celebrate each one of those gray hairs and birthdays with a beach bash fit for a teenager. If you're worried you won't score high enough on the cool-meter, we've taken the worry out of the planning. Check out our teenage birthday itinerary for three days of Instagram- and Snapchat-worthy fun.
Bonus tip: Since every teen is different, talk with them to find out what type of beach setting they prefer. Do they want to be in a secluded area of Orange Beach or in the hustle and bustle of downtown Gulf Shores? This will help you determine what type of beach accommodations are ideal for their birthday getaway.
Who are we kidding? Your teen is probably sleeping in today. Hop in the car and make your way to City Donut in Orange Beach and bring back a dozen assorted donuts. It's hard to resist the smell of fresh donuts, and the sugar rush will jumpstart the day.
Beach day! Pack a cooler of your teen's favorite snacks and drinks and head to the sand for a day of fun in the sun and surf. Choose a spot near a beach volleyball net and give your teen a little space to hang out with friends. Depending on your teen's interests, consider bringing along a skim board or boogie board.
It's pretty hard to leave the warm sun and soft sand once you've staked your claim for the day. So today, bring a lunch and have a picnic on the beach.
Take a break from the sun and head to The Wharf where you'll find Arena the Next Level, a fun spot for lazer tag and bazooka ball.
For a dinner the whole family will enjoy, go to LuLu's in Gulf Shores. Order a Cheeseburger in Paradise with a big slice of key lime pie for the birthday teen! LuLu's features nightly live music during the summer season and most other nights of the year, as well. From the Mountain of Youth ropes course to the onsite arcade and even beach volleyball court, there's plenty to do. Use the Wait In Line feature on LuLu's website to put yourself on a wait list prior to your arrival.
Donuts were yesterday. Today, feed that teenage appetite and treat yourself to waterfront views at Tacky Jacks. The Farmer's Omelet is a local favorite and is on the "100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die" list. With a Tacky Jacks location in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and even Fort Morgan, you'll be near your condo, hotel or beach house no matter which one you choose.
Get your motor running and challenge your teen to a race on the Wild Woody at The Track Recreation Center in Gulf Shores. The Wild Woody is the only wooden go-kart track on Alabama's beaches. Drivers race up three and a half stories and then circle back down. After your race is over, check out the other attractions at The Track, including a Skycoaster and bumper boats.
Pull up a chair at Cactus Cantina for a casual lunch featuring traditional Mexican food and piles of crispy chips and salsa. (Psst. Now's the time to sing "Happy Birthday!" The Cactus Cantina staff's serenade will be complete with sombrero and maybe a little whipped cream in the face.)
With sky-high slides and a Flowrider, it's tough to pass up a birthday stop at Waterville USA. The waterpark opens each year just before Memorial Day and closes after Labor Day weekend. If your trip isn't during this time period, you'll find the year-round amusement park is ready for action. Waterville also offers group rates for birthday parties.
Do a few stretches and then make a stop at The Hangout in Gulf Shores for dinner. Why stretch? Because you might be tempted to go head-to-head with your teen when the DJ calls for limbo contestants.
Pancakes, anyone? Get a stack piled high at Island Pancake House. You can even get takeout if the birthday teen is sleeping on their last birthday-bash morning.
Plan an all-dayer today on the beach! Take a picnic lunch with you and make birthday memories with your family.
Finish off the birthday teen trip with dinner at Big Wave Dave's Beach Bar & Kitchen. There's something to please even the pickiest of eaters, including flatbread pizzas, tacos, burgers and more. Not to mention your teen will love the Big Wave Dave's vibe!