Vegas Baby! A Poker Party for the Teenager

As the kids get older, it’s getting trickier to find “cool” birthday party ideas, especially when teenagers are involved.

At the end of last summer, John Paul really got into cards and card tricks. So much so that he’s up to 85 card tricks he’s mastered and some he’s made up himself. I know. At school lunch, several guys play cards and they’ve got quite the ring going. {God bless their teacher}

So, when we mentioned the possibility of a poker party he was all, YES, before we even finished the sentence. Thus, poker night with the guys was born. We had such a blast that my 15yo, soon to be 16, was considering doing the same for his big day. We shall see.

Let’s chat all things poker, shall we?

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Invitations
I scoured Pinterest for the perfect one, but by now I should know better. At the end of the day, designing it myself turned out to be way more fun. Our house became Casino Whitaker and we had an absolute blast transforming it.

The Food
Besides the stellar poker playing, it’s always about the food with boys, amiright? Because the party activities centered around black jack, poker and roulette, I spent most of my time planning decor and food. That’s the beauty of them getting older; they entertain themselves. We started with some heavy appetizers and finished with dessert and birthday singing:

Poker Chips
Cash it in Caviar (posted below)
Hold & Fold 7-layer Dip (Pioneer Woman’s, without corn)
Two Pair Potato Skins
Bluffin’ Burgers (a-dorable)
Pay Off Popcorn
Roy Rogers/Shirley Temples
Bets Off Beer (Butterbeer standby from this party)

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

The Activities
A few days before the party, my next door neighbors totally came to the rescue. They just opened this great boutique event rental business and have so many beautiful things. I needed some black tablecloths and they totally had me covered. Pun intended. They are the cutest newlyweds and we are loving watching their business grow! Louis and Molli, we owe you beer!

As the boys arrived, Will set up shop in our dining room, turned roulette area. He was fantastic. The two older girls were just spectacular as bar maids, taking everyone’s drink and dinner orders. And, yes, those drink cups were turned into dice, John Paul’s idea!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

The Dessert Table
It’s not a Whitaker party without suuuuuuugar. This table killed. While I arranged it all, John Paul made the “13” out of an incomplete deck. Brilliant.

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!
Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

I just can’t quit fresh flowers at a party.

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

POKER!
Sheez. Get to the meat, right? The boys had an absolute blast. The best part of having home parties is the full interaction of the entire family in the birthday kid’s celebration. It always amazes me to see my kids, if only for a few hours, not fight with a sibling and make him feel like king of the castle. Our kids have found supportive and fun-loving tribes and it is a total joy to have them here at our house to celebrate such a special occasion. These photos epitomize why I love parties so much.

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

The Details
If you’ve read about any of my parties, you know this is the one I love best: finding love in the details. The kids helped me come up with the house rules and the Casino Whitaker sign really completed the roulette playing area. I’m a believer in using what you have, shopping your house and getting creative. Throwing a great party doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Party Favors
My only rule for these is simple: they must be functional. And maybe tasty. I found some great Vegas style card decks with the ends cut and paired them with a delicious cookie and cherry sours to anchor the bottom of the cup so it wouldn’t tip over. Problem? I had no container. Enter: the red solo cup. I still think that might be my most genius container ever and it was f-r-e-e.

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Birthday Singing and Revelry
The capstone of the night was the race for “the” cake ball and singing.

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

As the last guest left, John Paul looked at me and said, “Best party, Mom. I think it was more epic than Harry Potter.” Highest compliment ever. Happy birthday big man. I would do it again!

Planning a poker birthday party for your teenage son? From game ideas to inexpensive party favors, great appetizers to simple DIY decor, this party has it all! What happens here, stays here, right?!

Vendor Credits
Cake Balls/Cupcake: Polkadots
Cookies: Sweet Spot Cookie Shoppe
Poker Table: Amazon
Roulette Wheel/Table Cover: Wal-Mart
Black Tablecloths: 10th Collection
Balloons/Favor Card Decks: Party City

6 Comments

  1. Nicole on February 13, 2017 at 9:37 am

    WOW WOW WOW! Another epic party. Loved all of it. The house rules, those cookies(!), the food (the sliders!), the casino sign, the favors, all of it! That last picture is probably my favorite, since I can see the excitement and fun that the kids were having. Well done, mama! Well done!

    I do want to know how you get the food all ready and warm at the same time. That seems to always be my issue.

  2. Beth Cotell (A Mom's Life) on February 13, 2017 at 11:19 am

    You nailed it again, Kathryn!!!! What a fabulous party! And those tiny cheeseburgers are adorable!!

  3. Elizabeth on February 13, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    All kinds of awesome. You have a serious gift.

  4. Christina on March 12, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    oh you’ve definitely got my gears going for my son’s 13th this fall! love this theme! Great job, Kathryn!!

  5. Gabriella on April 17, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Hello, Kathryn! Long time lurker, first time poster. Don’t you have this cute board that you usually decorate with fabric and a banner for the parties? I think I saw it on a party post a while back, but can’t find any info on how to make one. Is it a plain cork board or do you use something else? Any help will be appreciated. I’m new to planning and have been enlisted to help plan my sister’s baby shower! Yikes!

    • Kathryn on April 20, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      HA!! Lurkers always welcome. I used a framed canvas and then I pin different fabrics over it. Or, sometimes I just affix balloons or streamers to it. I got mine at Michael’s and highly recommend using that coupon code to bring the cost down. Hope that helps.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.