44 answers

I Need Birthday Party Ideas for a 13-Year-old Girl...

Dear Mamas:

My eldest is turning thirteen and I desperately need celebration ideas! I'm not into show-offy extravaganzas and neither is she, but this IS a significant birthday (teenager-dom!) and I was wondering how we could make this fun for her. Since we are homeschoolers, she has an equal number of friends of both genders and ALL ages which makes it a bit tricky (maybe?) because I can't think of anything that would be fun for everyone!

Just for background, last year she celebrated with three close female friends who got all dressed up to go to a fancy tea house where they were spoiled to death by the staff. She loved that party, but on the other hand, she can be quite a tomboy and is fearless on a skateboard!

Any ideas out there?

Thank you!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Dear Mamas:

Wow! This was my first Mamasource inquiry and I'm so grateful for the tremendous response! Thank you so much. I knew Mamasource mamas were terrific but I think you all outdid yourselves in creativity on this one! It's been so much fun reading your suggestions. This is what I've decided to do: I'm having my daughter and her brother read them all and THEY can decide what we'll do. (And they had better hurry because we only have two weeks! We're definitely doing evites!)

Let me assure you that I'll definitely refer back to this list in the future because there's no WAY I could have generated anything this good. I've already forwarded these to several friends. I promise that as we use your ideas, I'll email you directly to let you know that we used yours. Thank you again for your generous help!

Many blessings from

M.

Featured Answers

Have a Plastic Horse Painting Party. You can buy the Horses
at a Toy Store. ALso the Acrylic Paints. You can have Horses also painted already for examples. Then everyone can vote for the best one that looks the most real or true to life. You can also add ribbons and bows for show and have another contest with prizes. She does not even have to like Horses .... Just be artsy Crafty;

2 moms found this helpful

We had a drum circle for my daugther's birthday. We brought in a professional drummer and he brought drums for all the kids and adults. It was wonderful!!

2 moms found this helpful

hello Maria,

I would contact her best girlfriend for advice. Does she want boys and girls? Maybe she wants to do an active event. A skate park might be the funnest thing for her.

A make-up party with the girls
Movie night and BBQ sounds like fun
Glow bowling or Cozmic Bowling... You can step it up a bit with glow necklaces and clothes.

If you are on a budget, make it special with 3-4 kids. Have you thought of having a bbq at a local park? If she is active, you can set up a volleyball game with more kids.

Have fun... her girlfriend will have a nice time planning with you. She will know who to invite and what is "cool".

M.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

i didn't read all the ideas, but here's a thought. for one of my son's b-days (he was younger but everyone, adults included, loved it. we made carnival games ( a large variety) and gave tickets as prizes. afterwards, they turned in their tickets for prizes (including some candy, dollar store things, etc.). you could make the games out of cardboard, tickets are cheap or you can cut up some paper. if you want to spend some money you could rent a cotton candy machine or popcorn or snowcones or something. it seems childish, but the kids really got into it! my friend who is a creative genius helped me, but we also had a coloring contest, pin the tail on the donkey type game. like i said, it seems childish, but the kids loved it and i have teenagers too!
good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

I think the rest of the Mamasource folks have it covered! (I was going to mention scavenger/treasure hunts & bowling).
one thing not aforementions: a "make your own pizza" party could be fun with both genders - you can make dough, buy dough and roll it out, or get the 'boboli' type crusts that are individually sized, and provide lots of toppings.
hope things go well -

3 moms found this helpful

Teens just like to hang, they don't need to be entertained. My daughter had a huge 14th bday party and it didn't cost much. We borrowed a dance mat and hooked it up to the big screen TV in the den. We borrowed a ping pong table and had it on the patio with our karaoke machine. We built a bonfire and setup chairs around it. We rented a bounce house. She invited ALOT of kids - with her it's everyone or no one because she doesn't like to pick and choose or leave anyone out. We had like 50 kids!!! They danced, played ping pong, sang, jumped and had a blast. A lot of the boys ended up playing basketball out front and riding their skateboards down the side. They had a blast! We bought pizza, soda and cake - that was it. Considering the crowd, it wasn't that expensive.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi Maria,

Boy- I hear your about not being into showy extravaganzas. I know it's hard figuring out what to do for kids as they get older. (My youngest will be 16 this year and I want to do something special for her....but what?)

Would the kids like going to a local miniature golf/go cart/video games place? How having her play her favorite music and have a dance with pizza/soda? I know most boys that age won't dance- but a few will.....and just having a supervised boy/girl party is a milestone at that age.

I do think it depends on the sophistication and likes of the kids. I was surprised to find that there were a couple of 6th and 7th grade kids at my daughter's school who were "dating." The school sent home a letter recommending not having any of the families in their own homes have boy/girl parties- which I thought was excessive. If a parent is supervising, and knows who and how many kids are at their house- I think that is preferable to "no boys here".

2 moms found this helpful

I was hometaughtwhen I was younger, also. I, too, had a co-ed 13th birthday party. My parents threw me a surprise party which was so much fun! We went on a HUGE scavengerhunt, and even had to ask people in the neighborhood for things on our list. She might enjoy that or maybe paintball (it's always fun for all involved =) ). I'm not sure if this is helpful at all. Good luck on finding something fun for her! = )

2 moms found this helpful

Hi M.,

I'm not sure where you live, but if it's in a place with a temperate climate, how about an outdoor movie night? You can rent a projector and screen (or project onto a wall or sheet) and have a bbq. You can set out bean bags, towels, grass mats, beach chairs, blankets and pillows along with hot chocolate, popcorn and candy. You could also double it up as an adult party - set out wine for the parents of the kids and while the kids are watching the movie, the parents can play a board game not far away. You can decorate your yard with hanging lanterns, citronella candles and anything else that personalizes it for your daughter. A cupcake cake rather than a standard cake would be good so people can eat and watch the movie. first have the bbq so people can have time to arrive and mingle and then when it gets dark, start the movie, set out the candy, popcorn and cupcakes.

Have fun whatever you decide!!!

2 moms found this helpful

We had a drum circle for my daugther's birthday. We brought in a professional drummer and he brought drums for all the kids and adults. It was wonderful!!

2 moms found this helpful

This idea is for girls. My friend had a slumber party for her 12 year old daughter and 8 friends. She asked me to come over and surprise them with make-overs for all the girls. I'm a Mary Kay consultant so I taught them about skin care and how to put on make-up. They loved it! I can do the same for you if you're interested or find someone local to you.

2 moms found this helpful

Well, since you mentioned skateboards...I'm not sure if this would work for you depending on your area, but my son attended a party at a local skate park. The mom set up a big shade canopy (It was in the summer) on the sidelines to serve pizza and cake. On the invitation told everyone to bring helmets/pads and skateboards/scooters. Our skate park has an area outside the perimeter that the younger ones can scooter around or just goof off so it would be perfect for your party. Like I said I don't know if you have something like that around? A different friend just had a party at her house w/ snacks & cake (low expense)and advertised it as such "come over for snacks and cake to wish ________ a happy birthday" but the kicker was she hired a *surprise* limo to take the kids on a cruise! It was all of their first times in a limo so it was VERY exciting!! Have fun!

2 moms found this helpful

Hey M.. I remember my girl when she was just past that age. We had a party for her and she invited all her friends and cousins, boys & girls. The hit of the party was the huge relay. I created an obstacle course with some really crazy and fun stuff. There were about 5 different stations that the kids had to perform. There was a person at every station. Station #1- First runner had to fill a 2-liter with water a cup at a time while liter was held over someones head. Station #2- When liter was full, that person ran to a fence where they stood with their arms & legs spread out. Another team member had to out line their body with cans of whipping cream, blindfolded. Station #3- The person who did the out lining next ran to a pile of old and large sweatpants & put them on. Station #4-Next they had to run to another person who had to toss paper plates of whipped cream as the first person had to open the waists of the pants to catch the plates. Station #5- Then the person with the sweatpants had to tie their ankles to another member and race around the house.The first team to cross the finish line won. It was messy, outside and in the middle of summer so they were able to get wet to wash off. It was a great hit. My daughter is now 24 and some of her old friends still mention it. Hope you can adapt this idea to help out. Norma D.

2 moms found this helpful

Have a Plastic Horse Painting Party. You can buy the Horses
at a Toy Store. ALso the Acrylic Paints. You can have Horses also painted already for examples. Then everyone can vote for the best one that looks the most real or true to life. You can also add ribbons and bows for show and have another contest with prizes. She does not even have to like Horses .... Just be artsy Crafty;

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter wanted her 12th b-day to be special, so we went to the Drive In with 3 of her close school friends. We got a couple of buckets of KFC (I don't let them have fast food often) & then went to the Drive In. I sat in the back seat of my van with a book & flashlight & they sat in the front & middle seats--they talked, sang, laughed, took pictures, switched seats a million times, were completely goofy & it didn't matter to me, I wasn't interested in seeing the movies anyway. Then we came home & they had a sleep over & did make up & hair, etc..If you have a really big SUV you could proably take way more kids. We always have a family b-day night with the b-day girl picking her favorite meal & cake & ice cream, so this worked out fine. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

We're homeschoolers, too. :) We don't like splashy, expensive stuff either, but feel parties and celebrations are important.

I have 3 teens. They always love video and popcorn nights at home, and trips to the movie theater with inexpensive candy. They also like video game tournaments and video arcades. Bowling can be a lot of fun, especially if you know of a lane that offers black light bowling. This year, my son invited his friends to an indoor rock climbing facility for his birthday. And don't forget to consider a sleepover, or a plain old pizza night It's being with friends that will be the big deal.

2 moms found this helpful

My neice is turning 13 in a couple of weeks and here is her plans.

Sleep over, 3 of her best friends, pizza and sodas, movies and video games on the big screen tv. Also raiding my makeup supply!

Basically we just asked her what she wanted to do and that is what she came up with. I say as long as you include your daughter in the plans and make it her party, she will love it.

Last year we went horseback riding just her and I, and the year before was a family only pizza party at the local pizza place with games and music.

2 moms found this helpful

hello Maria,

I would contact her best girlfriend for advice. Does she want boys and girls? Maybe she wants to do an active event. A skate park might be the funnest thing for her.

A make-up party with the girls
Movie night and BBQ sounds like fun
Glow bowling or Cozmic Bowling... You can step it up a bit with glow necklaces and clothes.

If you are on a budget, make it special with 3-4 kids. Have you thought of having a bbq at a local park? If she is active, you can set up a volleyball game with more kids.

Have fun... her girlfriend will have a nice time planning with you. She will know who to invite and what is "cool".

M.

1 mom found this helpful

Let's see, its still pretty chilly where you live....a skate party, Ice skate, roller or board...
My grandaughter just turned 13..she had 5 friends went to a movie then the 2 invited girls spent the night....

1 mom found this helpful

Mar Vista Bowl it's so much fun if you go sat night it's neon bowling

1 mom found this helpful

a slumber party! I remember vividly when I was a preteen and my friend had a slumber party. We brought our sleeping bags etc and camped out in the living and watched horror movies! We spent the night screaming..... The next morning my friend mother made the best breakfast ever. It was truly one of the best bonding birthday party I ever attended and that was over 25 yes ago!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,

How about taking them all to a concert and serving as (silent) chaperone? What kind of music does she like?

1 mom found this helpful

I think the most special thing is a private dinner with her immediate family where she selects the meal and has a cake afterward. Play board games or do things that she would like. Let this be her day to spend with your family. You say that she is not into show offy things, just let it be private with your family celebrating her. You will be grateful to have the time with her now because as the years go by, you will have less and less time because it seems like friends are part of all activities for a teen and you can't have much private family time. Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

Throw a Tie-Dye Birthday Party!

Invitations: send each guest a colorful written invitation along with a new white T-shirt to bring to the party.

Dyeing the T's: Set up a dyeing station (outside if its a nice day). When the guests arrive, have them begin by making their designs.

Straw Painting: Once the shirts are dyed, set out watercolor paper, straws, and a few different colors of India ink for each child. Have them place a few drops of the ink onto the paper and blow the drops into abstract designs using the straw.

Desert: For a tie-dye dessert, frost cupcakes white, then squirt a series of concentric circles of different-colored gel icings on each one. Draw a toothpick through the gel, moving from the center outward like a spideweb.

~ taken from FamilyFun Magazine

[IMG]http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa316/mceachen/tie-dye...

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.!

Is your daughter a reader or movie fan? How about a party based on her favorite book or movie (for me at 13, that would've been a Star Wars or Gone with the Wind party). For example, if she enjoyed Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, that could be an easy way to go since the movie came out in November, along with a gazillion tie-in items.

Just a thought,
S.

1 mom found this helpful

I saw the rock climbing idea that sounds great.
How about a Night at the Movies.
I know the Red Rock Movie Theatre has a party area.
That age can be tricky because you have those kids that are teenagers and some that still play with cars and dolls. Maybe go carts would be good too.
Just remember parent permission slips may have to be signed for some of these venues, such as rock climbing.

1 mom found this helpful

for girls only you could have a "spa day". Facials, masks, manicurs, etc. Heck, boys are into that these days too, so you could include them!

1 mom found this helpful

How about a rockstar party? I saw this in a magazine-probably Family fun-check their website. Have all the kids dress up like movie or rockstars. Use red butcher paper to creat a red carpet entrance, gather somepeople with cameras and video for the "paparazzi." Serve sparkling cider in plastic champagne glasses along with all the junk food teenagers love. Rent a Karaoke machine and/or have a video camera available that they can record their own music video and take it home for a parting favor.

I know some teenagers who have asked for bounce houses at a party since they don't often get to do that "kid" stuff.

You can also check with places like Super Suppers-they host birthday parties and teach kids how to cook. I've seen home versions of this where kids make their own dough and pizza, an Italian pizza parlor theme with italian sodas and italian ices for dessert.

1 mom found this helpful

When our daughter turned 13 we took her and a couple of friends bowling. We all had a great time, and it didn't cost too much.

1 mom found this helpful

This year for my daughter birthday (she is 15), we got her limo and all her friends got dressed up and we all went out to dinner. I was a real nice time. The girls wore party time dressed and the boys dressed up as well. The limo then took them driving around.

1 mom found this helpful

For my own 13th birthday party my dad did an awesome scavenger hunt that I will always remeber as one of my FAVORTIE birthday parties. I, too, had equal boy and girl friends and all thought my dad was the coolest to do this. He went to the local mall and found things to make ambigious clues aobut...so no talking to stangers to get things from them or to get them to take photos of us. One example was something like "I'm an 8 legged "octopus" and all of my LEGGS are a different color." And the answer was the LEGGS pantyhose display at Macy's. He had 25 of these clues and we had 1 1/2 hours (I think)to find them and most of us got through all but about 2 or 3. And then my mom had brought the cake to the mall and we just had cake at the food court and that was it. I and my friends loved it and now as an adult I see what a money saver it was, too!

1 mom found this helpful

How about a scavanger hunt? Put together a list and have the kids break up into groups and let them run around the neighorhood asking for rubberbands, hangers, thimbles, and anything weird or a bit harder to come by. That will keep the kids busy and they will actually have a blast. Then, just do the normal, pizza party back at the house. If the party isn't too large, give each team some kind of prize for winning.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey M.,

I'm trying to plan a party for my little girl too for Feburary. She is a daredevil and loves adventure. I thought about the indoor skydiving at Universal Citywalk. We took her to try it and she LOVED it! She wanted to do it again. Just an idea for something different. I'm sure you can google it and get more info. They have party packages. Good luck and I hope your daughter has a great birthday!

M.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter just turned 13 in October, She wanted to go to Build a Bear. So we allowed 5 friends and she made 6 kids. They had fun and all got a bear, we told them that we would pay $20.00 and if they wanted to bring extra money that was fine. They all brought extra and walked out of their with the cutest bears ever.

Lazer tag was a blast even for us grown ups.
and getting their nails done at a salon was fun too.
Don't for get Scandia, (Little theme park with miniture golf). J.

1 mom found this helpful

We had a surpise party at the lazer tag place for my daughter when she turned 15. My daugher isn't much of a tom boy, but she had lots of fun running around with her friends and she loved being surprised. Some thing like this is good because kids of many ages like lazer tag.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.!

My son turned 13 in September, and we hosted a party for him at our local bowling alley. He had friends of both genders there, and bowling was a completely neutral activity. The kids all had a good time together! If you have a bowling alley nearby, it's definitely an option to consider. Throw in some bowling alley food, bring a cake, and you're all set! Miniature golf is also fun.

Happy birthday to your daughter!

1 mom found this helpful

How about a party at one of those pottery painting places, or mini-golf or bowling or some other venue that is a treat for everyone? No clean up for you! Lots of places have provisions for birthday parties. Talk to the manager of some activity that she enjoys and see what you can work out.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey M.! Welcome to the teen-years. Well I had my son's b-day party at the bowling alley. It was the neon kind and everyone had a great time. The last time we gave them a party it was at the movie's too! Good luck I hope this are good ideas for you.

D.:)

1 mom found this helpful

M.,
Many of the ideas you have already gotten are great. I just thought I would tell you what we did for my daughter's birthday. It was a BACKWARDS PARTY. Everyone wore their clothes backwards, we opened her presents first, she had to sit in a chair that was turned backwards while she opened her presents over the back of the chair. We then had a cake and sang Happy Birthday to her. After eating ice cream and cake, we played games(your choice of games such as Mad Libs, video games, outdoor games, charades, etc.) Next we ate pizza, played more games and let the kids enjoy each others company. We took pictures of everyone in a line standing backwards so their clothes faced forward, even a Grandma of 85 dressed in backward clothes. Lastly, her birthday sign was backwards . It was memorable and she really enjoyed herself.

E.:)

1 mom found this helpful

My 13 YO niece was pretty happy with a bowling party. We took lots of pictures and my sister was able to select age appropriate videos to be played. They ate finger food/appetizers, cake, and ice cream.

1 mom found this helpful

I also have a daughter that age. A party at a rock climbing place is fun, for boys and girls. Also, depending upon the weather, a beach party or pool party is fun. My daughter also just went to a party of a 13 year old girl at Pump-it-Up - it has all inflatable things. I thought it would be babyish, but they had a blast, both boys and girls. She also went to a party at a bounce place - it's like a gymnastics place with trampolines, etc. They had fun there too. When my daughter turned 13 she had a roller skating party on a Friday night - it was teen night, with teen music. They loved it. Lazer tag is also fun at this age.

1 mom found this helpful

Morning M.,

My sister and I teach flower arranging. We just did a kid's workshop at the Huntington Gardens for ages 7-13. It was very popular and both boys and girls attended. We have a studio space in Redondo Beach where we do our local teaching. Here is our website, www.flowerduet.com. If you think this is something that might work send me an email through our site and I'll send you the kid's party menu.

- C. - Mom to two boys

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M., If you are going to have it at home, how about a scavenger hunt? A friend of mines daughter turned 13 and thats what she did for her, the kids had a blast. How about the Wui? I know it has tons of fun games from educational to athletic....of course bowling which was already suggested is fun too for all ages...have fun and let us all know what you decided...M.

1 mom found this helpful

Here's an idea that is really fun and maybe the boys may think it was fun and funny too. Pair each person up maybe 1 boy 1 girl (if the boys don't want makeup on). The pair goes in the bathroom, no lights, and puts makeup on the other. Because they can't see what they are doing they don't know what it looks like. When they come out everyone gets to see the "makeover" that has been done. This is good for a lot of laughs.

1 mom found this helpful

Go-karting? Mulligans type of place? Ice Skating? Skatepark birthday party? Movie and pizza? PJ Party @ home with movie/pizza... those are what come to mind right now. Let us know what you end up doing!

M.

1 mom found this helpful

You can try to have a "spa slumber party" for girls.....to teach them how to take care of their skin...by washing their face......then to follow up with a scrub and putting a green mask on them....it will be fun because this teaches them about their skin and how to take care of it.....and plus they get feel the products.......and laugh at everyone who is wearing a green mask!!

1 mom found this helpful

My friend had a Survivor 13th birthday party with relays and bandanas.

1 mom found this helpful

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