Thirteenth birthday party

iStock_000013145378XSmall thireteenth birthday

Turning 13 is a big deal, so a 13th birthday party should be a big deal too. However, making a 13th birthday special does not have to be expensive – it really is the little things that are remembered.

Perceived in some cultures as the age when adulthood begins, 13 is the beginning of your child’s official status as a teenager. This is cause for celebration in itself, in the hope they will make it relatively unscathed through the next seven, teen years! For many children, it is the also the year when they begin high school, yet another adventure on the character-building highway of life.

This can be the birthday which some parents like to mark with a special ceremony; a type of initiation, if you will, into adulthood. For boys, this may mean going on a ‘men only’ overnight camping trip (for example) or for girls, spending some special time away with their mother or other, significant women in their life.

Planning a 13th birthday party : 13th birthday themes : 13th birthday party venues : 13th birthday games and activities : Making 13th birthday memories

Planning a 13th Birthday Party

At 13, your child may feel like they are too old for birthday parties, and may want to celebrate their birthday in a more ‘grown up’ way. Remember, no matter how much YOU want the parties to continue, this is their special day and they won’t thank you for embarrassing them – even if it is with good intentions!

So when you’re planning celebrations for your child’s 13th birthday, keep them in the loop, and let their ideas be your guide. Some children may still want to have a party, but with a definite teenage theme. Others will want to go somewhere special, or just have a few friends around for a specific activity. Whatever you decide, here are some great ideas for making the day extra special.

13th Birthday Themes

You might find that your almost 13 year  old is too old for traditional themed parties, but you can still tie the party together by choosing a specific colour, a type of food, or focusing on the type of entertainment. Your invitations, food and decorations can reflect the theme, and give the party a bigger sense of occasion. Some great 13th birthday themes include:

DVD Party

You could really go overboard with a DVD party by setting up your whole house to look like a movie theatre. Make snack trays out of old cardboard boxes, and serve your guests popcorn, choc-dipped ice creams, and a box of jaffas to eat during the movie.

Your party invitations could be in the form of “Admit One’ tickets, or a red ribbon card inviting your guests to a special movie premier. For some more Movie themed ideas check out the Movie Lovers article in our School Holiday section.

Pizza Party

Many teenagers love pizza, so a pizza party is an easy theme to pull off. We have some great ideas for a Pizza Party in our Party Themes section, or simply order in a heap of pizzas and DVD’s.

Music Party

At 13, popular music is probably a big part of your child’s life, and it’s a great theme for both boys and girls. Invitations could be written on blank CD’s using a permanent marker, or better still, make a digital slide show using your child’s favourite music and video clips. (If you don’t know how to do this on your computer, chances are your child will!)

Decorate your house to look like a recording studio with album covers, CD covers, posters, and fake trophies framing the walls. If you have a music software programme on your computer, you could have your guests make their own CD to take home. Rent some music videos and the kids will take care of the rest.

13th Birthday Games and Activities

Games and activities are a tricky topic for teenagers, as many will just want to ‘hang out’ and the idea of games seems way too babyish. The problem with ‘hanging out’, is that it leaves plenty of room for gossiping, secrets, backstabbing and tears – and dare I say it, it’s almost a given with girls.

Activities for teenagers don’t have to be structured games with lots of rules, but you should make sure there are plenty of things to keep them occupied. Bored teenagers cause trouble – especially in groups – so make sure you have a loose plan to keep them busy.

If you’re having a slumber party, then your guests may like the idea of having some organised games, especially of the games are suitably cool. Our Games for Teenagers article has some great ideas that are tried, tested and approved by the fussiest teenage kids.

13th Birthday Venues

If the idea of having a party at home seems like too much chaos, why not have your child’s birthday party elsewhere. There are plenty of great birthday party venues throughout the country, and your child could take one special friend, or a whole group of mates. Favourite teenage party venues include:

  • Rock Climbing
  • Ten Pin Bowling
  • Laser Strike
  • Movies
  • ‘Grown Up’ Restaurant
  • Horse Riding
  • Art and Craft Workshop
  • Gaming Parlour
  • Blo Karting
  • Go Karting
  • A special sports event, show or concert
  • Aquatic Centre or Water Park
  • Theme Park

Making 13th Birthday Memories

Milestone birthdays are a great chance to introduce traditions and rituals to your family, and turning 13 is definitely a milestone! 13 marks the beginning of the teenage years, and your relationship with your child is all about to change. Here are some nice ways to make memories on your child’s 13th birthday.

  • By the time your child turns 13, it is likely that they will have developed an interest in a specific sport or hobby, and chances are there is someone ‘famous’ that they look up to. In New Zealand, we are blessed to have celebrities who remember their roots and are not only happy to mentor our young people, but they usually enjoy the chance to do so.Arranging a meeting with your child’s hero may not be possible or practical, but organising a letter or a birthday card from them is certainly a do-able feat. New Zealand is such a small country that tracking down your child’s hero is not that hard, and the contact you make will provide a lasting memory for your child.
  • Give the birthday child a special dinner out, or a weekend away with you on their own. Treat the birthday child to a truly ‘grown up’ experience, where you can both talk about what it means to turn 13, and what the years ahead will bring.
  • Make becoming a teenager a time when your child earns the right to do something like go to the movies on their own, have their own EFTPOS card, or mobile phone. Whatever the ‘thing’ is, keep the same rule for every child in the house, and they will all have something to look forward to on their 13th birthday. Being allowed to do the ‘thing’ is a gift on its own.

Happy 13th Birthday!

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

  • Caitlin_docherty

    HELP I’m going to be 13 this year and I want a big party but ma mum said she isn’t going 2 hire a hall and DJ so what should I do it is 4 girls and boys ????

    • http://www.chicpartyboutique.co.nz/ Nicky @ thechicpartyboutique

      Hi Caitlin.  You could perhaps have it at home and decorate your garage instead?  Maybe not invite as many kids, keep it to about 20 and do some non alcoholic punch, party nibbles etc.  As for music, you could hook your ipod or whatever up to some speakers and just have it playing your choice of music randomly over the course of the evening.  20 guests keeps it at a managable level for your mum, have a set time that parents arrive to collect your guests.  You could even have each guest bring a plate of party food which will save on cost.  If you wanted to make it super fun, you could choose a theme and everyone dress up!
      Hope that gives you a couple of ideas!
      Cheers, Nicky :)

    • luke

      If u r having it at hm i hav a good game you put lots of clothes in a bag (bras togs etc.) and pass it around to music when the music stops the person with the bag has to reach in and pull out a bit of clotheing and put it on

  • Danika

    It’s my Birthday tomorrow and I have no ideas for games! I know it’s a bit late, but do you have any suggestions? We have about an hour for games, as we need to do hair/makeup for our school disco which we are going to straight after. Thanks :)

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      Hi Danika- Happy Birthday!  Check out some of our games here: http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/topic/teens/birthdays-teens/games-birthdays-teens/ 

      Good luck and hope you have a lovely day! 

      Rochelle

      • Rgvfd

        Thank you, I had a great day, and we played lots of these games! ;)

  • Xcfghvbjbg

    you people know nothing about kids.

    • Lub-bug

      so true kids dont want fussy childish stuff they want thier friends over and just make their own fun not planned fun like at 5:00 you will paint eachothers faces gowsh…

    • *******

      hay im a turning 13 in a cople of days and this person is right get the coolest tunes and we are cooking home made pizza made on the barbque yummy and you have to have lots of movies or your friends will be bored so think before you say so suck my ****

    • kk

      thank you! i feel like if i did any of these ideas my friends would call me lame! i really just need a fun place that everyone loves!

    • Grace

      Ok hi im turn thirteen tomorrow and this is exactly wat I wish my parents would do soo actually they no alot about children

    • Annoyed at your response

      do you? If you even do, ( which i seriously doubt it ) care to share???

    • Interested

      You are 100% correct.

  • thecoolgirl

    yeah thats cool but does it only apply to people in new zealand?

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      Hi thecoolgirl,

      Not sure what you mean..? 

      Thanks, 

      Rochelle

  • Mdoll Xoxo

    This is so crazy YOU PEOPLE OR LAPTOP WELL WHAT EVEA YOU THINGS PEOPLE NO NOTHING ABOUT TEEN’S KID’S YOU SO DUMP…… none of this information Q my Q okay. :( :( :

  • Miss13

    who do grown ups think we r?? just sayin, we r not like, a species, just let us plan the day

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      You’re absolutely right, Miss13!! Teenagers should definitely be involved in planning their parties ;) 

      Rochelle

    • Octopus’s Garden

      I’m with ya Miss13!

  • Grl

    not that good need more ideas

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      Hi there- did you have a look at some of our other games? http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/topic/teens/birthdays-teens/games-birthdays-teens/ 

      Thanks! 

      Rochelle

  • Itchy Kitty

    I’m a 12-year-old turning 13 and it is so not true that we think games are baby-ish and that lack of games leads to backstabbing. If you invite your closest friends that you trust, nothing bad will happen. I even just spent 3 days with some best friends, good friends, and people I don’t know well without adults in the room and everything went great! It’s true that if we have nothing to do, we will gossip and talk, but that’s totally normal. Do you really have to pretty much stuff the schedule so the girls have no room to talk? Believe me, if you deprive us of our natural habits, we’ll find a way to regain it. We always have to talk at some point. Sometimes we even get bored of stuff to do and just want to chat so we’ll just “quit” the avtivity and start talking. I recommend having activities ready for when the teens or tweens want to play. Otherwise, thanks for the ideas!

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      Thanks for that great feedback, Itchy Kitty! What an awesome, mature approach you have! Are there games that you particularly enjoy? 

      Thanks again,

      Rochelle

      • kittykats(;

        Twister

        • Chabincat

          Omg. Love twister. Also apples to apples is so fuN, or truth or dare

  • haileyj

    is a  masquerade party a good themes

  • Shaleisaito

    This has no unique games for a 13th year old birthday party.

  • London

    auuuuu…smon plz help me..how should i celebrate my13th birthday..!!??

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      Hi London,

      What would YOU like to do? 

    • Hannah banana

      Sleepovers are fun thats wat im doing

  • Cat

    i am turning 13 in 2 weeks and i don’t know what to do for my party. i am quite an active girl and like adventure parties but i hav a budget so it has to be cheap. do you hav any ideas?

    • rochelle

      You could have an ‘adventure’ theme in a local park… maybe have some kind of treasure hunt or mystery to solve?

      Good luck!

      Rochelle

    • Ashleyyyy

      Iam Quite sure you have already turned 13 . Lol . Just a Idea you could have done like a theme of a spa , You could do nails , toes , feet masage , and hair ! Just a idea . . . By the way hope you had a GREATTT 13 birthday :)))

  • Happy

    I’m a kid talking here, Im twelve, i just want to throw water balloons at people, THAT is whats fun!

    • April </3

      I have to agree with you there, nothing better than a good splashing :)

  • annabelle222555

    i am 12 going on 13teen and they r gay

    • Hannahbanana

      AGREED

      • otemkn

        totally!

  • Katy Ryan

    I am turning thirteen, and these are all good ideas, but there isn’t enough variety! I am having about 5 to 6 people over for a ‘party’ as my parents call it, but I really just want to have a get together with my friends. I have decided on some games to keep the guests amused, I suggest, well for girls, ask your daughter what she loves most, combine that into her party and she will definitely love it. As long as you don’t ruin it with anything the least bit childish.
    Hope this helps!

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      Thanks Katy – great advice!!

  • Hannahbanana

    These are not really what we like to do my birthday party is in 6 days and i am turning 13 sooo excited! Anyway we dont think party games are childish honestly pin the tail on the donkey is an awesome game just saying and i really likeplaying games involving food m and m game, donut game etc.

  • its all me!

    My birthday is in 6 days and I’m still not sure what to do. We might go toilet paper our neighbors house and play twisted and watch movies but besides that I’m not quite sure. if there is any drama whatsoever those people are going home. I’m having a lot of people over and I don’t want my party to be just about drama. its going to be an at home party and I don’t want stupid childish games like pin the tail on the donkey but I defiantly need more activities to do. we are all sleeping in my room and I’m not sure if I should play the Wii or xbox or Idk please help!!

  • :P

    this was no help i dont think any of them ideas are good you shouldnt even bother with a website

  • MYJESTIC

    HELP MEE MY PARTY IS TOMORROOW AND I STILL DONT KNOW WHAT ACTIVITIES TODOOO

  • pro_party_planner

    i am a kid and this is a tip but your tips r lame . 13 – teens want something 2 remember they want boys and girls at their party. they wanna play truth or dare, have a pool party. most of all they wanna impress their friends and make it a party 2 remember. just some tips .Good luck with website ‘kiwi families’. xx Claudia J.P

  • Frioje

    I turned 13 August 9th and I have to plan my own birthday party. I think that having your kid plan their own birthday party is a great idea. So far, I’ve come up with ideas that even my parents didn’t think about. I mean, Playing glow in the dark golf, kick the can, and techno bowling are great ideas. Well… That’s it… Frioje out.

  • 13inaweek

    hi, im from england, and i think some of your ideas are good but i thought you were taking the mikey when u sed a ‘grown up’ resaraunt we’re not five and i really want a house party but mummy won’t let meh -__- dunno what to do, thankyou for the cool ideas tho!x

  • 13inaweek

    oh and is america cool, englands wierd -__-

  • #Haters

    This is not what kids enjoy!

  • kitty kitty bang bang

    I was kind of disappointed in this website. There was only one game that i liked and that was wink Murder………. my birthday party is in less the 2 weeks so i guess i have some more time to plan its just i have so many sports and stuff and theres gonna be around 40 kids there so I just dont want them to get bored.

  • Daisy I

    These ideas are amazing but so not what i was looking for.

  • Haley

    Wtf is this im 13 and this is stupid

  • Lala333

    I’m 13 soon, my room is too small to have a sleepover in so I wanted a birthday party;lots of people in school have had either parties or big sleepovers. My parents said I’m aloud a party and its not ‘uncool’ to have parties at our age, it sort of depends on the type of person you are, if you know who to invite and if you know what you want to do for your birthday. BUT, I’m stuck on what sort of things to do at the party, my party is going to be at the rfc with everyone at school and some friends from outside school(so pretty big). Please somebody tell me WHAT i can do at this party?x

  • The party planner

    I just turned 13, and I’m planning my own birthday party. I have been searching for ideas, and to be honest, these people have no idea what 13 year olds like. I love little things like cake and pizza. They remind me on when I was little. But my favorite things to do for my party’s would help you best of coarse. I’m 13 after all. Try letting your 13 year old get involved in the planning. It will not only give you and your child a nice bonding experience, but it will help your child become more independent. Try a black light themed party! Have all the guests wear white, and when they enter the dark room with the black light, they will glow, and this is always a blast! You can also buy glow necklaces, braclets, and anclets. Once everyone gets there, turn on some music, and leave them be to dance the night away! Teens don’t like when adults stand over them. It makes them feel like they can’t be themselves. One more big no no is your 13 year old is a teenager now. Don’t have the parents stay if its not an over nighter! I hope this helped!

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      Great advice! Thanks!

      • Jesica

        This sucks this is white people stuff I can’t do this crab.
        !

    • cupcake10203

      Omg that’s an AMAZING idea!!! How did you come up with that?!?!?!?! You’re a genius!!

  • Anna Johnson

    sence i am turing 13 most of these idea are REALLY stuiped, its stuff are little sibling whould like but not the birthday girl/boy.how u people even think of asking your kid what THEY want to do 4 there party

    • April </3

      Ikr? All I wanna do for my 13th is have a bunch of mates (boy/girl) over to play random games (like xbox) or watch movies.

      • soccerjunkie

        im turning 13 in a month and im thinking of mini golf, then a candy bar, a bunch of finger foods, then just me and my 10 closest friends hanging out and talking at the venue. my mom is going on a buisness trip so, i want to have it away from home. any ideas please help!!!!

  • Anna Johnson

    my birthday is in a month by still i plan ahead i want to have a big redneck camp outside but my mom said “we live in washington its to colf 4 that”

  • purplegirl21

    I’m 12 going on 13 and i want to have a birthday party with some of my closest friends which are girls and guys and i kinda really like one of the guys so i was thinking of doing a masquerade ball…..but i have no idea where to do it where it would be cheap….any ideas?

  • purplegirl21

    Y’all had some good ideas but its kinda more of what todo at a party not so much of where to have a party because in my opinion im turning thirteen and i really dont want to have my big party and my house…..its kinda lame

  • mia

    these suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mrsharrystyles

    i am turning 13 in septembre none of these ideas suite me !! :(

  • dancer girl

    i would just ask one of there friends to help you plan a surprise party believe it or not there friends know what they like to do more then you!

  • dancer girl

    im 13 and i know i hate being told to do things make all the games optinal and have food out at all times and music playing ;)

  • April </3

    This is sorta helpful, but we 12, going on 13 year olds usually prefer to have a bunch of mates over (boy and girl) and just watch movies, listen to music, eat pizza (or whatever else)

  • Riah Mae

    I’m turning 13 and we might have a glamour party where we get makeovers by professional stylists and get our hair done then have a photo shot
    possibly

  • gabby m.m.

    i am going to turn 13 soon and i want something big but alot of money and i dont no what to do. yay some ideas are good or okish but some people want something big.

  • puppylover16

    I am turning thirteen soon and these party ideas sound more for five year olds not thirteen year olds! I have never heard of anyone going somewhere special with their mums when they tturn thirteen, and “talking about what it means to be thirteen” who does that? I have been going to the movies on my own since I was ten and all of this is really patronizing. Why would you argue with your friends ever? It’s not like every time you leave us alone we start fighting each other! All we need is to have some space to talk and have fun on our own!

  • puppylover16

    But some of the ideas are quite good so thankyou!

  • gowiththeflo

    Ok im turning 13 in a month or so and yeah, but it has to be cheap, as in really cheap, i wouldnt call my family rich but i dont want to cause my parents any hassle with my birthday since it is my birthday and im turning 13, it is a big deal for me so i do want to make it good, please help me, im inviting about 10 people i know its alot and you might think just invite your closest friends but to be honest i have 8 close friends, so yeah,
    Thanks for all the help you uys will give me.

  • :( not helpin

    i want a fun place to go with a giant group of friends!!! no links, no use!!

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      Hi there – where in New Zealand are you? Perhaps some of our readers can make a suggestion for you?

      Cheers,

      Rochelle

  • Jordyn

    i am turning 13 in 2 weeks and i wanna feel like a princess and i also want a AWESOME party !!!!!!!!! and none of these ideas relate to ANYTHING i want man these people are idiots

  • shante

    I am a 13 year old and kids my age dont want to play baby games. We want to play truth or dare with really crazy dares! We want to have sleepovers and do the weirdest things like run around in the streets

  • Chelsea Mccaig

    nice

    chelsea

  • Ineedsomeadvice

    These are all great but I’m turning 13 and I DON’T want to be a teen yet I still want to be a kid!! I don’t want to have to worry about all this crap (pardon my language) about puberty, boys,getting boobs! I mean I still just want to be a kid plz help

  • ABC123

    A really great Idea is turning your garage into a night club with disco lights and a Dj then you can turn your kitchen into a mini bar (no alcohol) invite about 14 people and they’ll have fun! (7 boys and 7 girls)

    • http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/ Rochelle Gribble

      Great idea! Thanks!

  • lara :)

    All of this sounds fun but my birthday is in 19 days. And it’s winter. And it’s a boy girl party. My first one two. I mean after all it is my 13th birthday. I would like to go bowling but then I can’t really talk to anyone. I also want to go rollerskating, yet so many people use that for their “go to.” I want my party to be unique and you know FUN. Like the color thing, and sticking to food and talking. But I want games. Unique, 13 year old, 7th grader games. Any ideas? Anyone want to help? :) and remember my mom is going to be their so :| keep it PG-13

  • doglover123

    I am turning 13 at the end of march and I am completely stumped I wanted it to be with friends and family and I have no idea where to have my party I want the party to be special though

    • Sally @ Kiwi Families

      Hi doglover123. I’m sure you’ll have an amazing party with your great attitude about providing something special for friends and family. To give you some ideas, we asked our Facebook friends for venues that might help you achieve your goal, and there are some great ideas here: https://www.facebook.com/kiwifamilies/posts/641982725860359 – Have fun!

  • Eve

    This website didnt help me at all for planning my birthday party. My birthday party is going to be at a mall and i need a few activities to do after or before

  • Amber-Rose Davies

    thx

  • booboo13

    ok I don’t turn 13 till 4 months but I have my party planned I am goin skatin, movies, sleepover, bowlin , then out to eat. so ya we hav a lot to do it will be awesome

  • angelarose666

    This web site suck I am 13 and I hate all of this

  • Nikki

    Why doesn’t everyone that is commenting be quiet.. Do you realize you guys are being rude dumb asses because this person tried helping your parents. I’m 13 and I’m pretty sure a restaurant, movie, concert, etc, would be fun! And even a letter from someone like Katy Perry would really be cool! Stop being spoiled and remember that there is kids out there without a home and something as small as face painting would be the biggest present to them. -.- Don’t be a snob and enjoy what you have right now!

  • bbch234

    I’m 11 turning 12 and I’m going to invite 3 girls (to spend the night) and my boyfriend (NOT to spend the night) what should we do at my party I don’t want anything inappropriate though.

    • bbch234

      I don’t want to make him uncomfortable

  • blah

    These ideas were pretty cool I liked the game ideas and blo Karting sounds cool

  • Ruby

    I’m turning 13 and all I want is a party! A ‘mature’ disco. I want it in a nice venue with no alcohol but yiu can dance not silly activities like rock climbing. I did that for my 10th We’re girls all we want to do is dance

  • la

    bbch234 •why do you have a boyfriend

  • Nashandcam

    Im actually turning thirteen and a lot of this isnt true
    Just because we are getting older doesnt mean we want to be treated as adults we want to stay young so we like being childish from time to time and birthday parties are the best chance to do that

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