When suggesting birthday ideas for a 13-year-old, if YOU think it's "cool", you can guarantee your teen will think it's "cringey!"
Kids on the brink of turning 13 are not always the easiest to throw a party for, so the secret is to casually suggest a few birthday ideas, wait, and then let your teen believe they have come up with the Ultimate 13th Birthday Party.
Traditional party games are out, so you need to raise the bar and devise more grown-up teen party ideas; luckily we have some great 13th birthday ideas!
Listen To Your Teen
It might sound obvious, but chat to your teen and find out what birthday party ideas they have, who they want to invite, how many and what type of party they want. Remember it isn't YOUR party, so although your idea of caterpillar cake and home-made streamers may excite you, it may not be the “vibe” your teen is looking for.
You know your child better than anyone, so, create a 13th birthday party which is in their comfort zone and one to remember for all the right reasons. Let them tell you their birthday party ideas and together you can definitely come to a compromise.
Think about the dynamics of the guest they are inviting, as it's obviously a bonus if they all get on well! Sometimes, less is more; let them know they don't necessarily need to invite a big group and the party may be simpler to manage if you have a smaller number.
Avoid the “Cringe Factor”
Teens are craving a little more independence and so won't appreciate helicopter parents hovering over them, so give them some space. Saying that, there's no need to leave them to their own devices for too long!
Decorations and Party Bags
Before you go out and spend a fortune on decorations and party bags for the teen birthday, check that your 13-year-old daughter wants them, because it may no longer be "cool." However, nobody will say no to a piece of cake.
To help you decide we have come up with some teenage party ideas for the ultimate party!
15 Teenage Birthday Ideas
1. Splash Party
This is very much weather dependent and optimistically a summer party and can be held in your garden.
If you like, you can buy a large paddling pool, fun inflatable doughnuts and a slip and slide quite cheaply.
For games, you can organise a water guns fight, the guests can bring swim stuff, a towel and a change of clothes.
For food, layout beach towels and have a picnic, followed by ice creams!
2. Themed Movie Night
Relatively inexpensive, stress-free and fun.
If your teen picks a classic movie like Grease or a Marvel film, they can get their guests to dress up as a character. Or, why not let them choose an "age-appropriate" box set?
Provide home-made popcorn and sweet bags. If you want to provide hot food, consider hot dogs or burgers with relish.
Create a cosy movie atmosphere with big scatter cushions and blankets, perfect for a teen birthday party.
3. Camping Party
You will need a large tent! if you don't have one, you can borrow one or look into hiring a teepee, for something a little bit different.
Get the guests to bring over-night clothes, pillows, a torch and sleeping bags.
Set up the tent, ready, before the guests arrive.
Make some housekeeping rules, like: watch the ropes and be mindful of noise levels!
Provide lots and lots of snacks and you could even (if your teen permits it!) organise a big cooked breakfast in the morning.
4. Manicure and Spa Party
Throwing their own spa day party is perfect for a chilled out teen party. Teens can make their own beauty treatments and carry them out, including facials, manicures and pedicures.
Get the guests to bring a bathrobe, buy lots of hypo-allergenic face masks, nail polish colours, cucumbers and relax.
5. Birthday Cupcake Decorating Party
Make or if you haven't got time, buy some plain cupcakes and a host of decorating supplies; ideas include; butter icing, piping bags and nozzles, icing pens and edible glitter to add a bit of sparkle.
If you have a small group, kids can make the cupcakes themselves, if you have enough room in your kitchen.
The decorated cakes can either be eaten at the party or taken home to share.
6. DIY Pizza Party
If you don't like lots of mess in your kitchen, this may be one to avoid. The good news, however, is that the teens can make their own tasty pizzas! Check out our recipe blog here for some great ideas.
For ease, prep and measure the ingredients. Check with the parents to see if their kids are vegetarian, vegan or have allergies, particularly if they are lactose intolerant as cheese plays a vital role in pizza.
You will need; pizza dough, pizza baking trays, rolling pins and a pizza cutter.
Topping ideas include; mushrooms, tomatoes, ham, sausage, olives, pepperoni, chicken, mozzarella and all types of seasoning.
Top Tip: For a healthy kick, why not make a quick salad the hungry teen can help themselves to?
7. Jewellery Making Party
You can hire someone to come to you or buy ready-made jewellery kits from craft shops and do it yourself.
You will need, wire, beads, charms to create amazing necklaces, bracelets and anklets and the kids will have a unique gift to take home.
8. Emoji Themed Picnic Party
A simple birthday idea if your teen is into their phone, is to have an emoji themed picnic party.
Organise emoji crafts, party games and themed picnic food, yellow emoji ice cream, popcorn boxes and chocolate emoji poop cupcakes, what could be nicer?
9. Tropical Party
A great summer themed 13th birthday party idea, the teens can wear tropical shirts or grass hula skirts and assorted colour leis.
This can be held inside or outside, depending on the weather.
For activities, hold a hula dancing and limbo competition.
Food can be a veggie or meat chilli (or Hawaiian pizzas!) and drinks can have little cocktail umbrellas and a tropical-themed cake decorated with exotic flowers.
Make sure you have some earplugs at the ready before suggesting this option.
Hire a karaoke machine, or if you feel you and your family will use it on a regular basis it may be worth investing in one.
Provide lots of party snacks, crisps, dips and drinks, and enjoy the music!
11. Making Your Own Bath Bombs
Making your own bath bombs couldn't be easier, and it's one of our favourite birthday party ideas as the kids can take something home with them! Let the teens create their own bath bombs using our fun and easy recipes!
12. Pyjamas and Pancakes
Perfect for teens who love to chillax, guests can either come in their pyjamas and sleep over or just wear them and relax. The teens can make freshly made pancakes with a range of toppings, blueberries, maple syrup and bacon.
13. Glow-in-the-Dark Home Disco
Ever fancied throwing a disco at home? Look no further, as we have a whole blog post dedicated to disco party ideas!
Get your teen to choose the playlist before the party as your "Greatest Cliff Richard Hits" may not be appreciated.
Clear your room and remove any possessions you care about.
Block out the light and you could even give the guests glow-sticks!
14. Bonfire Party
Perfect for kids who have a love of the outdoors. This will need some adult supervision as it involves lighting a fire, which of course must be monitored.
Place some seating around the fire and you can roast sausages on sticks, marshmallows and bananas and chocolate wrapped in foil. Campfire songs are optional, but encouraged!
15. Non-alcoholic Cocktail Party
Making fruit mock-tails is a fun activity and you can make them as healthy as you want - either using concentrated juice or fresh orange juice and mix with different sodas. Introduce forfeit games, so if the guest gets the question wrong they have to put a teaspoon of mustard in their drink! Ew!
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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