The Ultimate Guide to 13th Birthday Party Ideas

9 Party Themes for Teenagers

Party themes for teenagers can be a challenge; it's a fine line between awesome and awful. Whether you're looking for 13th birthday ideas or teenage party themes, you've come to the right place.

1. Summer Movie Blowout

Party themes for teenage girls should incorporate pop culture, and what better than a summer movie? Set up a projector in your backyard and show a flick starring the most recent teenage heart-throb.

2. Monster Mash

Stalled coming up with 13th birthday ideas? Throw a monster mash! Each teen can dress up as his/her favorite ghoul. Party themes for teenagers have never been spookier!

3. Scavenger Hunt

Party ideas for teenage girls don't need to cost an arm and a leg; a scavenger hunt is cheap and fun. The hunt could even stretch across your neighborhood and collect items for a local charity.

4. Fashion Show

Heaven knows that teens love fashion, show why shouldn't teenage party themes encompass that? Give the girls some basic supplies and let them design their own line.

5. Glamping

Party themes for teenage girls can extend to the great outdoors. However, camping has gone the way of the dinosaur. Instead, go "glamping" (or glamour camping) and rock it.

6. Day at the Spa

Party themes for teenagers can be more grown up. After all, at 13 years old girls are eager to act older than they are. To top all other 13th birthday ideas, create a spa at your house.

7. Pool Party

Summer teenage party themes can't be mentioned without a pool party being thrown out there. For some extra fun, have the party at night; the kids will love swimming under the stars.

8. Disney Bash

Almost no one ever outgrows Disney movies, so of course party ideas for teenage girls can encompass anything from Frozen, Cinderella, or even Snow White. Have the girls dress up at their favorite Disney princess and it will be a night to remember.

9. Twilight

Twilight party themes for teenage girls will never go out of fashion. Love it or hate it, these are party ideas for teenage girls that are here to stay.

6 Unforgettable 13th Birthday Party Ideas

As one of the most exciting (and dramatic) age milestones, every parent wants to make their 13 year old’s birthday party perfect. This, as parents who already have teenagers know, is a near impossible feat.

Every child (I mean, new young adult), has different styles, hobbies, and preferences. Fortunately, at least one of these 13th birthday party ideas for girls and even boys are sure to please even the pickiest teenager:

13th birthday party ideas1) Neon after Dark Party (For Boys or Girls)

A neon themed 13 year old birthday party is a fun way to turn a back yard into a glow in the dark party zone. Kids can begin the night inside, prepping for the big night by making their own glow-in-the-dark outfits (packs of socks and white tee shirts of different cuts and styles can be purchased on the cheap at Target or Wal-Mart). For girls, glow-in-the-dark nail polish and hair accessories are another fun idea.

Set up a dinner table outside with glow stick necklaces lining the perimeters of plates and cups, and use light up centerpieces to increase visibility at the table. Cotton candy served on long glow sticks makes for a fun dessert idea. If you have a card table with a long translucent tablecloth, add a lantern underneath to add even more glow and magic to the scene. Fun outdoor game ideas include touch football with a light-up ball, glowing ring toss, or light up bowling using glow sticks in water bottles for pins.

2) Live Band Karaoke (For Boys or Girls)

13th birthday party ideasFor musical kids who love to watch television shows like Glee or The Voice, a live band karaoke party is a 13 year old birthday party idea that will top the charts. Hire a local band in the backyard or reserve the back room of a local bar for a special event. For parents on a budget, renting a karaoke machine is always a winning idea for music lovers too. Set up a screen behind the machine (using a projector and a white sheet) to play the music videos in the background!

To make it a sleepover, bring the kids back to the house for a viewing party of the karaoke footage or an American Idol/Glee/Voice etc. television marathon. And of course, don’t forget the music themed cake.

3) For Small Groups of Close Friends, Try a Time Capsule (Works Better With Girls)

13th birthday party ideasFor the sentimental type, for this birthday party idea for 13 year olds you will have a time capsule themed party would be a fun idea for a small group of lifelong friends. These 13 year old birthday party ideas works better for girls than boys, considering girls tend to be more sentimental at an early age.

Use stationary or scrap booking paper for party goers to write letters, or come up with fun surveys for kids to fill out about their favorite stories and dreams for the future, celebrity crushes, favorite foods, etc. Set up an Instagram hashtag for party goers to post from the event, and print them out for the time capsule as well.

Have each friend bring a small token (i.e. concert wristband, stuffed animal, ticket stub, old shirt from a shared sports team, etc.) to contribute to the capsule.

If dirt’s not really your thing, “bury” the time capsule in a large re-purposed glass planter filled with sand, or create an indoor terrarium with the time capsule placed at the bottom. This cool looking party gift can decorate your new teen’s bedroom, where it can wait to be opened for the next milestone birthday or graduation party.

4) Instagram Scavenger Hunt (For Boys or Girls)

13 year old birthday party ideasOne the best 13 year old birthday party ideas; While the list of things to find may vary depending on whether or not the party is for girls, boys, or co-ed, the concept remains the same. Begin a cool Instagram hashtag for the birthday event and have a list of things (depending on the setting- works great in a mall, neighborhood or amusement park) that party goers will have to find.

The upside for those on a budget is that the teens won’t have to purchase all of the scavenger items- the proof is in the pictures! If the party is taking place at home, programs like http://eventstagr.am/ will allow users to live stream the photos from an event onto a television or a projector in the middle of the party.

And of course, the best part of a scavenger hunt is the prizes. So make sure to have gift cards on hand from stores and restaurants that are popular among your child’s circle of friends (iTunes gift cards are always a win)- and of course, a screen printed photo from your teen’s Instagram feed would make for a great cake idea.

5) Outdoor Movie Night in the Backyard (Boys or Girls)

13 year old birthday party ideasFor dinner and a movie under the stars, consider one of my favorite 13 year old birthday party ideas; Set up a picnic table with a classic barbecue dinner and a movie-themed cake. Mason jars purchased from the dollar store and pinstriped diner straws will add to the wholesome “drive-in” atmosphere.

A candy buffet (pro-tip: buying the candy in bulk will save money) and a rented old-fashioned outdoor popcorn machine will fill the backyard up with the smell of melted movie theater butter. Find a spot in the yard (ideally between two trees) to hang a white sheet to act as the movie screen. Cutting holes in the sheet for bungee cords to wrap around the trees usually works best to keep the sheet pulled taut. Rent a projector and some popular movies (genre is left up to the birthday boy or girl), and make sure to have a sound system hooked up to some outdoor speakers.

Of course- don’t forget to line a tarp up underneath the blankets if it has recently rained, and depending on location, keep those mosquito Tiki lanterns burning at full capacity all night long.

6) Paint Balloon Party with Spray Paint Station (For Boys and Girls)

13 year old birthday party ideasThis 13th birthday party idea is a concept that both kids and parents will love. Party goers can bring anything white that they are willing to paint (can be clothing, a canvas, furniture, bookshelves, or beyond). Fill water balloons with different colors of paint and have kids stand at a distance and throw the balloons at their objects to create a fun splattered paint effect. It should go without saying, but this activist should definitely be done outside and away from anything in the backyard that does not want to be splatter painted.

While kids are waiting for more balloons, a face paint station (with washable, non-toxic paint) and a spray paint station are fun ways to pass the time. Use duct tape as a paint stencil to create spray paint designs and patterns. Best part- each party goer will have a unique party favor to take home and use that will add a fun pop of color to a room and last for many memories to come.

For parents, 13th birthday party ideas for girls and boys do not have to be a headache. Dare to break out of the bowling alley and laser tag rut, and try something truly unique. The only thing your new teen will have to worry about is how to top their birthday party same time next year…

tween birthday party ideas

Tween Birthday Party Ideas

Parents of pre-teen children may struggle to come up with tween birthday party ideas. The difficulty in planning party games for tweens is the awkwardness of the age. Tweens are too old for simple cake, ice cream and party hats but are still too young for a true teenage get-together. The following list can help parents find fun and appropriate tween party ideas.

Spa Theme
One of the best tween girl birthday party ideas is a spa day. Each guest brings slippers and a bathrobe to set the mood and then rotates through nail, hair and facial stations. Nail polish and colored emery boards make great party favors. This is one of the easiest tween party ideas.

Pizza Party
Parents looking for birthday party ideas for tweens need look no further than pizza. Pre-teen children will enjoy playing games like pizza twister or completing an obstacle course, while carrying a pizza box. Having the kids make their own pizza is instructional and fun. Pizza is always a hit when it comes to party games for tweens.

Mall Scavenger Hunt
Tweens love the mall and will love hunting for items, while competing with their friends. After finding all the items on the list, the kids can have dinner at a mall restaurant and talk about the search. Parents who are at a loss for tween birthday party ideas can find scavenger hunt lists on the web. Some tween girl birthday party ideas include hunts for clothes and shoes.

Fashion Show
Among the top tween girl birthday party ideas is the fashion show. Girls enjoy dressing up and trying makeup and accessories, and giving them a walkway to show off makes them feel glamorous and grown-up. Handing each girl photos as a party favor is a classy touch, and adding a music CD makes the party memorable. Fashion is a hit when it comes to birthday party ideas for tweens.

Scrapbooking
One of the unusual tween party ideas is scrapbooking. Most tweens carry a smartphone and love taking pictures of themselves or others. The kids can experiment with poses, locations and angles. After sending the pics to a computer, they can be printed off and placed in scrapbooks, which are taken home as a party favor and provide a momento for years to come. Of the many party ideas for tweens, scrapbooking is something that can be passed on.

Animal Shelter
Unique party ideas for tweens can include a trip to the local animal shelter. Instead of gifts, guests can bring pet food, treats and toys. Once at the shelter, the kids can play with the cats and dogs, or volunteer for bathing, walking and cleaning cages. This will teach love and compassion, which will stay with children forever. Life lessons can be the best birthday party ideas for tweens.

Decade Theme
Pre-teens who want to step into the past will enjoy a birthday party that features clothing and music from a particular decade. This could be the funky 70s, the big-hair 80s or the grungy 90s. Among the many party games for tweens is karaoke, which is perfect for playing old songs and singing along. Parents can teach the kids popular dance moves and serve food from the chosen decade, which is what makes a decade theme one of the best tween party ideas.

Crazy Socks
Crazy socks is one of many tween girl birthday party ideas that can leave a lasting impression. Each girl brings a gift-wrapped pair of crazy socks and draws a number from a bowl. The girl who draws number one picks a package of socks, opens it and leaves it at her feet. The second girl can either take a package or the socks of number one. This goes on until everyone has the socks they want. The concept can be used with party favors or other small gifts to bring extra fun into tween birthday party ideas.

Tween Idol
Imitating American Idol or other sing-off competitions is among the most exciting party ideas for tweens. This party is easy to setup with a karaoke machine and CDs. After nominating a guest as the judge, each contestant will sing karaoke and then be voted off in rounds. The winner receives a video of his or her performance, along with a trophy. Parents looking for popular birthday party ideas for tweens will find a big hit with tween idol.

Both boys and girls enjoy celebrating birthdays with friends, which are made even more fun with party games for tweens. Parents who are having difficulty thinking up tween birthday party ideas can find plenty of help online with specialized websites and advice from other families on party ideas for tweens.

Teenage Birthday Party Ideas

They’re growing up and they’re tastes are changing. Sometimes it can be hard to come up with teenage birthday party ideas that they’ll actually enjoy. Fortunately, there are some teenage party ideas here that will make you the coolest mom and dad on the block.

Out On the Townteenage birthday party ideas

Getting out of the house can help make your teen feel all grown up. Renting out a room in their favorite restaurant or even just going out to eat with their friends can result in a fun party. For something a little extra special, take these birthday party ideas for teenage girls and boys and put it on the open water. Dinner cruises, especially if there is dancing afterward, can make for an amazing party.

Movies, dance clubs specifically targeted toward teens and even mall explorations can make for some interesting teenage birthday party ideas.

Depending on your child’s personality, consider throwbacks to younger days with a bowling alley or arcade party. Arcades aimed at young adults like Dave and Busters may strike that crucial balance and prevent your teen from feeling like you’re babying him.

If you are planning for your teenage party ideas to take your birthday boy or girl to different locations, be sure to account for how many friends are coming and how many of them are able to drive.

Shared Adventures

teenage birthday party ideasThere’s nothing like a real adventure together to make memorable teenage birthday party ideas. Think about sending your teen and their friends to an amusement park or fair for the day so they can get their fill of adrenaline in a safe and fun environment.

Special trips, like a short cruise or a weekend at the beach can also be huge teenage party ideas hits.

If your teen loves the outdoors, have an adventure party on a budget with camping. Remember that teenage girl birthday party ideas don’t always have to be ribbons and lace. If your teen loves the great outdoors, get those s’mores and campfires ready.

A Day of Pampering

When trying to come up with teenage girl birthday party ideas, consider something that will make her feel special while acknowledging that she’s growing up. A day at the spa with friends, whether it’s a quick manicure pedicure or a hour long massage, can make the birthday girl feel special and connected with her friends. If you can’t afford taking her out to the spa, use these birthday party ideas for teenage girls and bring the spa home. Buy a variety of pampering facial masks, lotions, and nail polish colors and let the girls go wild.

Parties At Home

You don’t always have to go out for the best birthday party ideas for teenage girls and boys. Sometimes the best teenage birthday party ideas take place in your own backyard.

Think about gearing up for an epic barbecue to celebrate the occasion. These types of events can feed plenty of guests and result in a great time for everyone.

If your teen loves video games, consider setting up an epic tournament with all of his or her friends. The teens can have a great time without ever leaving the living room. Party games like Wii Sports, Smash Brothers, Rock Band, or Halo can also result in a good time for everyone.

Your teenage party ideas don’t always have to be fancy to be great. Consider a traditional sleep over with romantic or scary movies, plenty of popcorn, and your teen’s favorite kind of cake.

teenage party ideas

Indulging Hobbies

If your teen is all about music, the best teenage girl birthday party ideas might be a shared concert or other kind of music experience. If your son loves rock climbing, then an afternoon with his friends either at a rock climbing gym or following a guide outdoors could be great.

Don’t fall into the trap of making your teenage girl birthday party ideas stereotypical. Maybe your daughter loves go-karts, horses, or roller coasters. Find the party that will appeal most to her.

Don’t feel stuck finding birthday party ideas for teenage girls and boys. Think about what your child loves to do most and then create an amazing party around those loves. Whether it’s classic movies or classic cars, baseball games or video games, a pampering day at the spa or roughing it in the wilderness, your teen will appreciate the thought and understanding that went into your party plans.

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