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. Here’s our list of birthday party ideas for 13 year olds.

Thought of 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 years…

For many children, it’s also the year when they begin high school, yet another adventure on the character-building highway of life.

So 13 really is a milestone year for a lot of kids.

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.

Birthday party ideas for 13 year olds

Planning a 13 year old’s 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 kids 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.

You might find they only want to invite a few close friends around. Sometimes a 13th birthday party is just a small group of close friends staying overnight and watching movies.

They may not want a party at all, and just ask for an evening spent with close family. This might be a nice meal with extended family, or even a fine dining experience with close family.

Whatever they decide, here’s some great ideas for making the day extra special.

13th birthday party themes

You might find your ‘almost teen’ 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 party themes that are a little less formal, include:

1. Movie Party

Birthday party ideas for 13 year olds - movie party

You can really go overboard with a movie party by setting up your whole house to look like a movie theatre. Make snack trays out of cardboard boxes, and serve your guests popcorn, choc-dipped ice creams, and giant frozen fruit slushies!

Your party invitations can be in the form of “Admit One’ tickets, or a red ribbon card inviting your guests to a special movie premier. For more on this idea check out our Celebrity red carpet party theme.

2. Beach Holiday Party

13th birthday party ideas-beach party

Hunt the many holiday rental websites like Book a Bach in New Zealand, Home Away in the US, Holiday Lettings in the UK, or Air BnB anywhere else in the world, and find something cool, beachy (or with a pool) and with plenty of room to spread out and chill.

Or, ask around, you could be surprised with just whose sister’s-cousin’s-aunt has one that they rent out, or would let you use for the weekend.

3. Pizza Party

Birthday ideas for 13 year olds - pizza party

Many teenagers love pizza, so a pizza party is an easy theme to pull off. There’s some more ideas on our Pizza Party party theme page. For 12 and 13 year olds you probably want to go for the more full-on ‘make your own’ style pizza party. Just provide the dough and a range of different toppings, and let them roll out their own bases, and make up their own creations.

A super-easy version of this idea is just to order in a bulk-lot of pizzas, and get all your teens favourite movies to watch for the night!

4. High Tea Party

Birthday party ideas for 13 year olds - High tea

Get the girls to pull out their best dresses or raid their mother’s… sister’s… friend’s wardrobes and head out for the fine experience of high tea. Some girls may never have heard of high tea, so you may need to show them how!

You can have high tea in many places now, some are a bit average, so do your research and find one in your location that goes ‘all out’ and really makes it a true experience, and one worthy of a party. A great gift idea for this birthday theme would be a personalized MasterCard Gift from GiftCards.com including a photo of your daughter dressed to the nines!

5. Hunger Games Party

Birthday ideas for 13 year olds - hunger games

Now we’re not talking about the ‘woosie laser tag type’ one you go to when you’re 10! We’re talking a full on Hunger Games-esque, forest adventure, paint ball fight to the death (ok, not quite to the death, but you know, nearly!).

Picture your teens fully decked out in camo gear, full face masks and impressive looking machine guns. They’ll even walk different when they strut off into the forest brandishing their weapons for what will be an epic showdown.

6. Music Party

13th birthday party ideas-music party

At 13, music is probably a big part of your child’s life, and it’s a great theme for both boys and girls. Invitations can be written on old CD’s using a permanent marker.

One idea is to decorate your house to look like a recording studio with album covers, CD covers, posters, and fake trophies framing the walls. Organise a simple-to-use music software programme on a computer, and have your teen’s guests make their own music recording to take home on a funky USB stick.

You could go down the karaoke route. You can hire karaoke setups with microphones, screens, lights and speakers very cheaply. Or find someone with Playstation Rock Band to set up.

A third idea is to just download a bunch of music videos and hire in some great speakers, disco lights and maybe even a smoke machine, and just let them disco it out!

7. In home Cake Decorating Party

Birthday ideas for 13 year olds - cake decorating classes

In home classes are really big right now. And what better in home demo than a cake decorating class!

There’s lots of pastry chefs offering in home classes now in most regions. The best part about this idea is that the trainers will usually come to your house decked out with everything you need. That includes the cakes, all the decorating equipment, and all the materials and ingredients too.

The only downside to this idea is that it can get a little pricey for a large group. So you either want to keep this one down to just 2-3 BFFs. Or, see if you can find a baker who will come and do a class for a fixed fee, and maybe you supply the materials. But, the upside is that you end up with a lot of delicious cake to eat!

Other ideas in this theme include craft classes (think pottery, art classes, embroidery, sewing, etc), in home cooking classes, make your own (think lip balms and bee balms, make up, personal care), make up parties, etc.

Birthday party games and activities for 13 year olds

Party Games for Teenagers is a tricky topic, 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 if the games are suitably cool. Our Party games for Teenagers article has some great ideas that are tried, tested and approved by the fussiest teenage kids.

Birthday venues for 13th birthday party

Rock Climbing-Kiwi Families

If the idea of having a party at home seems like too much chaos, why not have your child’s birthday party elsewhere.

here are plenty of great birthday party venues throughout the country, and your child could take one or two special friends, 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

3 final tips for making 13th birthday party 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 that big transition toward adulthood, and your relationship with your child is going to change.

Here are some nice ways to make memories on your child’s 13th birthday:

1. Contact their fav celeb

By the time your child turns 13, it’s likely they’ve developed an interest in a specific sport or hobby, and chances are there’s someone ‘famous’ they look up to.

In New Zealand, we’re blessed to have celebrities who remember their roots and are happy to mentor our young people.

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.

2. Give them a grown up experience to remember

Give your birthday child a special dinner out, or the full day-spa experience, a weekend away with you on their own, or even an overseas family trip if it’s in the budget.

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. This will surely be a birthday they remember, and a great opportunity to build a foundation for those ensuing teenage years!

3. Let them be a little more grown up

Make becoming a teenager a time when your child earns the right to do something a little more adult. Something like going to the movies on their own or having their own debit or pre-loaded visa card.

Whatever the ‘thing’ is, keep the same rule for each 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.

Best of luck with your teenage birthday party planning, we hope you all have a great day when it arrives.

You might also want to read 17 Tips for negotiating teen birthdays, or for more expert party advice, check out our Teen’s Birthday section.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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Benjamin Isaacs

Just ugh i hate it all
well some ideas were good but all these comets about what we do it is rather offensive

Benjamin Isaacs

comment image

You are a stupid site kids like things you say they dont this site is very stereo typical

Benjamin Isaacs

YOU ARE ALL STEREO TYPICAL AND SEXIST BOYS LIKE TEA PARTYS TOO STUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE THIS SITE AS A 13 YEAR OLD I KNOW

KF

Hey Benjamin, thanks for your comment. You are right, calling a High Tea Party a girl’s event was a bit sexist on our part. I’m just not too sure a lot of 13 year olds boys would be into it though? And you’re welcome to like, or not like, our site, it’s all good. Just have a think before you call people you’ve never met, and know nothing about ‘stupid’. We’re actually a fairly clever bunch over here!

Tee Snm

yh kids dont fuss over parties but the themes are wrong

annonymous

I don’t know what to do for my birthday party!!! please help!!! I have groups of friends in different classes that don’t get on and I don’t want to make anyone left out. my party needs to be easy because my mum will have just had a baby!!! help!!!

KF

Hi there, it can be tricky trying to entertain groups of friends that don’t get along. Our suggestion would be a movie-themed party. With everyone hanging out watching movies, there’ll be less need for you to become a referee! You can easily make big batches of popcorn, super-slushies, and choc-dipped icecreams at home. Make sure the movie area is really cosy with cushions and blankets. And you could theme your invites like VIP movie tickets, and even print off classic movie posters to stick to the walls. Just make sure you pick a range of movies that will suit everyone’s… Read more »

trace rozer

HOW I GET MY EX BACK Hello read my testimony, I am Trace Rezor I’m the most happiest person on the face of the earth, after 6 months of sadness and sorrow without being with the one i love, i tried all my possible best to make sure i make my lover happy but it never seems to work out well it was like am doing everything in vain but all thanks goes to Dr Ahmed for coming to change all my worries and sadness to Joy. i knew the great man when i read some wonderful testimony about Dr… Read more »

mimi

hi I turned 13 a week ago but I’m having my birthday party this weekend and my mom is planning this redneck party a couple of my friends are going to be there and so is my whole family… we half to dress redneck and act like them 2 I sounds fun and I bet it will be but do u think my friends will like it or think its cool?

horseylover123

Hi i am turning 13 soon and i have no idea what to do, the ideas are great i can’t choose, any ideas? And for all thoese people who are saying these ideas are lame and stuff other people might not think so, everyone is different

Shanna

Need thoughts? I am having a surprise 13th party for my daughter. It is going to be a glow in the dark theme. Everything, I mean everything will be glow in the dark. She is helping with the guest and that is about it. I planned on setting up the volleyball net up and having the Balloon Dare Game, and designing their own glow shirts. The adults will be present because it will be coed but I was going to allow them to basically set the schedule of when they want to do what. With exception of doing the shirts… Read more »

its me hoe

that sounds freaking amazing I am 12 going on 13 and I needed ideas I’m probably going to do that

Harshada Hem

it was quite interesting topic and idea too !!!!!!! i hope it will work on my birthday………. thanks a lot guyz!!!!!!!!

libby

well for my 13th bday party i had an amazing race bday party…..and it was the best birthday party i have ever had

Rochelle Gribble

Fun! What kids of activities did you do??

Caitie G

I turn 13 in 4 and a bit months and I completely agree with ‘Itchy Kitty’. Every single word she commented was completely true. We love just playing truth or dare, gossiping and talking. For my friends graduation party from Primary School all we did was talk about our crushes because we would never see most of them again. If 13 year olds want a cheap party. Think of a theme you would to do and then find some cheap decorating ideas etc. Thats what I’m doing. I have a limit of 12-15 people and am finding it very hard… Read more »

SMILESxGIRL

Hi im turning 13 in 4 months and want to be organized and i have my themes but should i have a big party with everyone at school or school it just be me and the girls?

JackUK

The thing is, everyone is different. Some people would love the ideas while others would hate them. I’m 12 turning 13 in 2 weeks and I like the ideas here. However, some of my friends think we could do different things. These ideas are here if you want them, so don’t criticise them. They’re just IDEAS/SUGGESTIONS. If you didn’t like them, just go somewhere else. Personally, I think I’m goting to use a lot of these ideas. For me, they’re quite inreresting and I think a lot of what’s said depends on the individual and their friends. Thank you for… Read more »

Kristine

I am planning to do a candy themed birthday party for my 13th birthday party. I plan on having a candy scavenger hunt and a game where you pick two m&m’s if they are the same color you eat them but if they aren’t you keep them in your mouth. Do you think this it too childish and not lame?

Rochelle Gribble

Hi Kristine – that’s sounds fab! Hope you have a ball!

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

la

bbch234 •why do you have a boyfriend

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

blah

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

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

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!

angelarose666

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

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

Amber-Rose Davies

thx

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

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!

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… Read more »

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)

Rochelle Gribble

Great idea! Thanks!

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

Chelsea Mccaig

nice

chelsea

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

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

:( not helpin

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

Rochelle Gribble

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

Cheers,

Rochelle

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… Read more »

puppylover16

But some of the ideas are quite good so thankyou!

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… Read more »

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.

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

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)

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 😉

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!

mrsharrystyles

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

mia

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

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

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?

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”

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!!!!

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… Read more »

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!!

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… Read more »

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