We always go way overboard on the big birthdays! These are 1st, 5th, 10th, 13th, sweet 16, 18th, and 21st (so far) LOL! On our oldest daughter's 10th birthday we had a beach party/ bbq. It was a blast! I rented space at a family friendly park that had a pond, and even bought each of the kids who attended their own boogie board. (found them for under 5 bucks at a discount store) We got them all a pair of goggles, and played some fun games. Set up volleyball and badmitten on the beach. Even had a horseshoe pit. Then, the following night, we let our daughter pick her 2 closest friends to come with us in a limo ride. We rented the stretch limo and took them to play mini golf, get ice cream, and drive around. The girls had SO much fun just being IN the limo! It was a blast! For our next oldest when she turned 10, we picked 10 friends to go to the local laser tag place and we had a party there. (she was a tomboy at the time) The kids all had a blast there too! after we played laser tag and rode in the go carts, we all came back to our house and the kids watched a movie and did a craft/ project. We had them make ten page books about their favorite things. Funny thing is they ALL made one of the pages that day, playing laser tag and coming to her party. LOL! Our son was a little different. He is BIG into Harry Potter, so when he turned 10 this past July, we took him to Universal studios and Islands of adventure to go to the new Harry Potter exibit and rides in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. We booked a hotel onsite for 2 days, and we all had so much fun. We do live in Florida and have annual passes to those parks already, so the only real expenses were the hotel and food. We did allow him to pick out all of his birthday gifts from the gift shops there at the park in Hogsmead, so everything was Harry Potter themed and kind of pricey, but since we had the passes I didn't mind. Also, he didn't bring any of his friends since we were staying for a whole weekend, and he had his 3 sisters and both Mom and Dad with him. Having the annual passes also gave us a discount on the hotel too. Our youngest will turn 10 next Jnuary, and I am not sure what we will do for her yet. She wants to go to Disney and do the whole "princess for a day" thing they have there. We may end up doing that for her. I have a while to think about it.
If we didn't live near the theme parks, I would probably look into some type of go carts, laser tag, or is there a six flags near you? Kids LOVE to stay in hotels and get room service, at least MINE do! Pamper him for his birthday! Ten is a big deal, and it's his day! What does HE want to do? Have fun!!