48 Incredible Ideas for Your 13th Birthday Party (Sans the Cringe)

Turning thirteen is a big deal for most kids. The transition from child to teen. It’s certainly a milestone birthday worth celebrating.

So, if you are looking for a fun 13th birthday party theme to ring in the start of the teenage years, this article is loaded with great ideas. Whether your teen is into board games, escape rooms, karaoke, party games or art– there is something here for everyone.

summer holidays, celebration, family, children and people concept - happy girl with colorful balloons

13th Birthday Party Ideas and Themes

Minute to Win It Party

A number of years ago NBC had a game show where contestants competed in games using common household objects with a one-minute time limit. If they successfully completed their task they were able to continue forward in the competition for a chance to win money.

Now take that idea and make it your own!

Not only are the challenges crazy fun, but they are also fairly simple and inexpensive to set up. If this sounds like the exciting activity you’ve been looking for, be sure to check out this list of over 200 minute-to-win-it game ideas.

Decades Party

Choose your favorite decade and go all out. The 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or 90’s… maybe some of everything. Create a fun atmosphere with decorations like neon scrunchie socks, poodle skirts, fanny packs or anything else you can think of.

You can even make some of the decor the party favors. I mean who doesn’t want a few neon scrunchies and a fanny pack in their life. They’re coming back!!

Top it off with yummy food and a fun playlist and you are all set.

DIY Fashion Show

If your teen’s into fashion, why not make their 13th birthday party about that? Start by transforming the party space with neon lights, fabric of different colors as a backdrop, or create a makeshift runway or red carpet.

Bring out the bling with plenty of glitter and shimmery decorations. Add in some music, and you’ve got a recipe for so much fun!

Consider setting up a photo booth– perfect for capturing all those special memories!

beautiful and happy mother and her two daughters, embrace and laugh. Sit and relax on a bed in the cozy room.

Staycation Party

Make your 13th birthday unforgettable with a staycation sleepover!

Book a hotel room or suite in your hometown or take a trip to the nearest big city for an exciting night away. Swim in the pool, get pampered at the spa, or order breakfast in bed – it’s sure to be one of the most memorable birthdays of her life.

Surprise your guests with custom pillowcases, sleep masks, or robes as a party favor they can take home and use to remember the special day.

Masquerade Ball

Make your 13th birthday a magical evening filled with mystery and intrigue! Host a masquerade ball, complete with theatrical masks and other mysterious decorations.

Guests can don their fanciest and most formal attire, while also wearing masks to hide behind. Serve light bites or hors d’oeuvres that everyone can pick and choose from throughout the evening. Play out a scavenger hunt game or have guests try their luck in a game of Name That Tune.

For the grand finale, play an energetic “unmasking” dance for everyone to take off their masks and show off their dance moves.

Luau Party

Celebrate your 13th birthday in style with a tropical-themed luau party!

Transform your backyard into a tropical paradise, complete with palm trees, strings of lights and a tiki bar. You can create a special themed menu for the event, like Hawaiian punch and plenty of pineapple treats.

To set the mood, bring in some beachy decorations, such as brightly colored flowers or inflatable pool toys. For activities, guests can turn up the fun with hula lessons or games like limbo. Finally, don’t forget to pick out the perfect luau-inspired outfit for the birthday person’s special day!

Silent Disco

Throw a silent disco for their 13th birthday party. Let them cut loose and enjoy their own little silent rave while you enjoy complete peace and quiet for a change!

Get the kids hooked up to MP3 players, iPods, or phones with your carefully curated playlist,  and get ready for a fun and creative evening of music and dancing.

All you need are inexpensive earbuds, club-worthy lighting, and plenty of dance floor space.

Parents playing with children together at bowling center

Bowling Alley and Cosmic Bowling

Kick off your teen’s 13th birthday with bowling, or if you are looking for something with a twist, check to see if your local bowling alley offers cosmic bowling. 

If cosmic bowling is new to you, it’s similar to regular bowling except with music and usually fog, strobe lights, or spot lights, etc. It’s a little “extra” to your normal bowling 

Cooking Themed Party

Add a bit of culinary fun to your teenage party with a cooking party!

Gather friends and family around meals that you’ve prepared together. Challenge each other with a Chopped-style competition using available ingredients, or sign up for an online cooking class.

Follow along with a YouTube tutorial and get creative in the kitchen while creating something special, like a dish from a favorite movie or game.

DIY Pizza Party

Make your 13-year-old’s birthday party extra special by having the party guests make their own pizzas.

Provide everyone with delicious pizza dough and an array of toppings – from the classic pepperoni to something funkier like pineapple (love it or hate it!)

Roll up your sleeves, spread the sauce, sprinkle on the cheese and toppings, and have your guests make their own crazy creations.

Nailed It-Themed Party

If you are looking for a fun activity outside of traditional party games, this is it!

Nailed it is a baking show that shows contestants a decorated baked treat, provides the necessary ingredients, and has them duplicate it to the best of their ability.

So pick your favorite party treats, grab the ingredients, and see who can get the closest to recreating the culinary masterpiece.

children celebrating party to celebrate birthday or new year.

13-Year-Old Girls Birthday Party Ideas

Jewelry Making

Does making your own jewelry sound like something the teenage girl in your life would love? This can be a lot of fun and doesn’t have to be very expensive.

Most craft stores have jewelry-making kits you can purchase, or if you are looking for something a little more personalized, you can handpick your supplies.

High Tea Party

Cucumber sandwiches, scones, petit fours, fancy teapot sets. The possibilities are endless. You can have everyone dress up and have a tea service outside if the weather is nice, or create a cozy indoor setup.

Another idea would be buying plain teacups and having the guests decorate their own to take home as a party favor.

Spa Party

Give your guests the royal treatment at your 13th birthday spa-themed party. Make it a night of relaxation and fun where you supply everything for facials, manicures, pedicures, and makeovers.

Add a DIY station for making sugar scrubs or bath bombs as party favors. Include some tasty spa-inspired snacks and drinks to complete the experience. You could even turn it into a slumber party for an extra special night.

girls eating cakes and donuts at a party

Cake Decorating

Treat your 13-year-old and their closest friends to an at-home cake decorating party! 

Just choose a budget that works for you and let your tiny bakers do the rest. Start by visiting your local baking supply store and picking up icing, sprinkles, and other cake-decorating goodies.

It’ll be a sweetly memorable event!

DIY Workshop

Let your creative side shine through with a “DIY Workshop” 13th birthday party.

Gather all your favorite supplies and tools to have an afternoon of building, crafting, painting, or whatever tickles your fancy!

Pick out projects that can be completed in one sitting, like making friendship bracelets or dream catchers. Then everyone can take the amazing things they make home with them after the party to remember the event.

Pajama Party / Sleepover Party

Have a blast with your best friends at a slumber party for your 13th birthday! Invite everyone to come dressed in their favorite PJs and prepare for a night of laughs and fun.

Play indoor games, watch movies, or have some late-night karaoke – the possibilities are endless! Don’t forget to provide snacks and drinks to complete the experience.

portrait of two friendly boys in casual wear stand posing at camera, birthday boy holding ukulele, guitar in hands. purple background

13-Year-Old Boy Party Ideas

Indoor Movie Night

Celebrate turning 13 with an unforgettable Indoor Movie Night.

Decorate the venue with fun props, such as a banner with the birthday boy’s name up in lights, and create a food and drinks stand containing favorites like popcorn, candy, and soda.

Or, if movies aren’t your thing, make it even more special by binge-watching one of your favorite Netflix series!

Nerf Party

Turn your backyard into a Nerf wonderland.

You can provide Nerf guns or have the party guest bring their own. Set up target areas around your backyard or split the party up into teams. You can play last one standing or create a capture-the-flag scenario.

Empty Amazon delivery boxes or grocery/moving boxes from buy nothing groups are a great way to source materials to create a backyard base or obstacles for around your yard. Plus, it helps keeps costs down for the party.  

Backyard Obstacle Course

Turn your backyard into an obstacle course. This is an especially great option for summer or spring birthdays when the weather is nice. 

Take things you have around your house or borrow from your neighbors to set up an afternoon of fun.

You can use pool noodles and camping stakes to create an army crawl station to crawl under. Stack two 2x4s next to each other to balance and run across. A kiddie pool filled with water to run through. 

With a little creativity, you’ve got the makings of a really fun afternoon!

Paintball Game

Looking for a low prep day of fun and adventure? Check your local area for paintball courses. 

There is usually a time limit for access to the course (1-2 hours), but typically includes the safety equipment, paintball guns, and paintballs. 

Of note, this is probably one of the pricier options as you pay per person ($30-$50 per person location depending) so if you are on a tight budget, this may not be the best fit for your party plans. 


If the great outdoors is a family favorite, a camping party might be the perfect choice for your child’s big day. You can either make it a backyard campout or rent a tent site at a nearby campground. 

If you’ve already got most of the gear, like a large tent, this is a great budget-friendly option. Come up with some great fireside food like hotdogs and smores and you’re off to a great start. 

You can come up with ideas to do at the campsite like a scavenger hunt, hiking around the area, or sitting around the campfire and telling ghost stories. 

Outdoor Movie Night

Make your 13th birthday one to remember with an Outdoor Movie Night.

Set up a projector and screen, then gather all your favorite blankets, pillows, and friends for an epic night under the stars. Remember to provide snacks, candy, and popcorn for everyone to enjoy. Create a charcuterie board for a small group to graze on, or create a concession table.

And if you can’t find a projector, look for an outdoor cinema screen near you for an even bigger experience.

Glow-in-the-Dark Party

Throw an unforgettable 13th birthday bash with a neon Glow-in-the-Dark party! Ask guests to come dressed in neon clothing or provide them with a few fun glow-in-the-dark accessories.

Have fun decorating with neon and fluorescent colors, hang white sheets, glow-in-the-dark stars, and set up some black lights to make everything really pop.

For an extra special touch, provide glow face painting.

Sneaker Ball

Make their 13th birthday one to remember by throwing a Sneaker Ball.

Ask all your guests to come dressed up and rocking their favorite sneakers- it’s the perfect combination of glam and comfort! Incorporate sneakers into the decorations, desserts, and activities for an unforgettable celebration.

Then you could end the night by having a sneaker fashion show or have everyone vote for their favorite look.

Retro Surf / Surf’s Up

Turn your teen’s 13th birthday into a retro Surf-themed celebration. Have guests create their own custom surfboard designs and serve up wave-themed treats.

For an extra special touch, if you live near enough, you could host the party on the beach.

13th Birthday Party Ideas for Everyone

Zipline & Ropes Course

What could be more exhilarating than flying through treetops or shimmying across a rope bridge? If adventure is your aim, a zipline and ropes course could be just the thing. 

Both indoor and outdoor options exist depending on what’s available in your local area. You could easily spend between 1 and 2 hours on the course. Call to check for appropriate gear and any additional equipment needed. 

Family Party

If you are looking for a meaningful birthday option, a family party might be the answer. You can invite grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins– load up on party supplies and food and spend the day together.

You could rent out an Air BNB, go to a local park, or just throw a backyard BBQ. 

Gaming Night

Video games are beloved by many, making them a great option for families looking for a budget-friendly birthday party idea. 

Pick a favorite game, create a setup to accommodate your guest list, and have some great food on hand and you’ve got the makings of a great gaming night. 

You can even set it up tournament style so that everyone has a chance to compete with a special prize at the end. Or you can keep it super casual and less structured where everyone just hangs out and plays. 

Happy teenagers having fun rollerblading and skateboarding during holidays at city streets

Roller Rink or Skate Park

Rent out a roller rink or head over to a skate park; both are sure to be a hit.

While the roller rink may be more expensive, you and your guests have the ability to rent roller skates, have a dedicated place to take a break, eat a few pizza slices and the birthday kid can open their gifts.

If you opt for the skate park, just be sure to check the rules of use.

Trampoline Park

Trampoline parks are a high energy good time for the kids and a great option for families looking for a done-for-them option. 

Most birthday parties are assigned a room where you can choose your party size and party options. While you’re paying for each kid that jumps, you can also customize by including time spent jumping as well as if you want food options included. 

Most venues do not include a cake, however, so if that’s something you’d like for your birthday boy or girl, you’ll need to make outside arrangements. 

There are trampolines, foam pits, some even have obstacle courses! Be sure to check Groupon before you book to see if there are any coupons or deals to be had. 

Ice Skating

Unless your city has an ice skating rink, this may be a seasonal activity, but will truly be a ton of fun. Bundle up, grab your skates, and spend a few hours skating, racing, and playing.

If you opt for the skating rink, they will usually offer ice skating assistants to skate around the rink with for any kids who may not be a super experienced skater!

Movie Theater Fun

Delicious buttery popcorn, M&Ms, and a new movie is a great way to celebrate a birthday– especially if there’s a movie coming out that’s been highly anticipated by your child. 

Some theaters will allow you to rent out a theater if that’s an option that interests you, but if not pre-purchase your tickets, grab some snacks, and enjoy the show!

This is certainly a low prep party that’s sure to be a winner. 

Group of happy friends playing with color powder

Color Party

Transform your teen’s 13th birthday into a mess of fun with a Color Powder Party!

Greet your guests with white t-shirts, socks, and inexpensive sunglasses for the perfect accessories for the celebration.

Have a variety of different colored powders available and then let the kids go wild tossing the powder into the air and at each other – it’ll create an unforgettable memory!

Remember to snag some before and after photos of the party.

Escape Room Parties

Put your team’s problem-solving skills to the test at an Escape Room for the ultimate 13th birthday party.

As a group, decipher puzzles and clues to escape the room. It’s a great challenge of camaraderie, communication, and patience that will make for some unforgettable memories.

See who can make it out first.

Group of happy boys and girls pretending to sing at a party

Karaoke Night

Sing your heart out at a karaoke-themed 13th birthday party!

Set up a karaoke machine with all your favorite songs and challenge your friends to some friendly duets or fun solos. Or get creative by creating your own music video using props, costumes, and backdrops.

Finish the night with a talent show where everyone can perform their best karaoke rendition of their favorite tunes!


Turn up your sports enthusiast’s birthday party with a custom celebration. Choose their sport of choice and create a themed party around it.

Set up a mini basketball court, baseball field, or tennis court in the backyard and have games like freeze tag or three-legged races. Provide snacks and drinks to complete the experience! Remember to give out special sports-themed party favors such as water bottles, Frisbees, or stickers!

Or, if they don’t play, pick their favorite professional sports team and design the decorations accordingly. Either way, it’ll be an unforgettable event.

Arcade Party

Make your 13-year-old’s birthday unforgettable with an arcade party!

Head to a local arcade and let them rack up on tickets, get competitive with their friends, and have tons of fun. Many arcades have party packages that include decorations, food, and a host.

All you have to do is bring the cake and enjoy the celebration, so this is an ideal way to throw a stress-free party.

Game Night

Gather your friends for a “Game Night” 13th birthday party!

Set up different gaming stations with all the classic favorites like Twister, Pictionary, Charades, and Cards.

Or you can have everyone bring their own game or two so you can create a real-life version of your favorite online or console games.

For more competitive teens, organize team competitions such as dodgeball tournaments or game show-style activities. And don’t forget the prizes for the winners!

group of happy young people dancing and spraying at the beach on  beautiful summer sunset

Outdoor 13th Birthday Party Ideas for Summer & Spring

Pool Party

Celebrate your warm-weather birthday with a pool party. Gather all your friends, make sure they bring their swimsuits and towels, and lounge in the sun or splash around in the pool.

Stock up on fun pool floats and refreshing drinks, have some delicious frozen treats ready to go, and remember the sunscreen! It’ll be party folks will remember.

Go Kart Racing

Rev up the engines at your 13th birthday party with a thrilling go-kart racing party!

Enjoy the exhilarating experience of driving a go-kart around the track and competing against family and friends.

Take advantage of the birthday packages many centers offer, including food, drink, and invitations, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Prepare to make unforgettable memories as you race through the finish line.

Beach Party & Picnic

Grab your Bluetooth speakers and favorite playlist and head to the beach!

Have a friendly frisbee or beach volleyball competition, and then cool off with some ice cream afterward.

Pack some sandwiches and snacks, throw in some popsicles, and enjoy the sand and sun with your friends. It’ll be an unforgettable party with great views and plenty of fun.

Two boys kayaking on the river. Active happy friends, teenage schoolboys, having fun together enjoying adventurous experience with kayak on a sunny day during summer vacation

Boat Trip

If you or someone you know has a boat or kayak, spending time out on the water is sure to be a fun and memorable birthday idea.

Obviously, the size of the boat will limit the number of guests that can participate, but whether you cruise up and down the river, tubing, or water skiing, or decide to fish–a day out in the sun is sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

Laser Tag Party

Challenge friends to a thrilling laser tag battle at their 13th birthday party.

Enjoy an action-packed afternoon as you battle it in the laser tag arena. Most arenas offer birthday packages with designated play times, food, drinks, and invitations, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Have an unforgettable day with your closest comrades as you strategize and compete against each other.

Spring Garden Backyard Picnic

Celebrate the start of spring with a floral backyard picnic.

Invite your friends to join and set up a beautiful garden with real flowers and pastel colors.

Create a Flower Bar where guests can make their own bouquets in small vases and take them home as a party favor.

Serve up some light pastries and refreshments, play some fun games, and enjoy the lovely views of nature.

Scavenger Hunt

Throw an unforgettable 13th birthday celebration with a creative scavenger hunt.

Make a list of items to find, either around the house or in the backyard, and challenge your guests to complete it.

Create fun rules and prizes for whoever solves the hunt first, and add some other games to the mix for more excitement. It’ll be a memorable day filled with adventure.

Water Park

Grab your swimsuits and head to your closest water park. Take a trip around the lazy river or zoom down with breath-stealing slides. Invite your friends to spend a day with you swimming and playing in the water. Just don’t forget your towels and sunscreen!

Amusement Park – Theme Park Fun

Take a trip to your closest amusement park or theme park. Load up the car and enjoy a day filled with thrills and fun for your child and their closest friends.

Between the rides, games, and yummy food, it is sure to be an action-packed day. 

Portrait of smiling girl in sunglasses drinking refreshing beverage, having fun during pool party in summer

The Best 13th Birthday Party Ideas

13th birthday celebrations are a time to make memories, and there are plenty of fun ideas for the perfect party! A pool party is a great way to cool off with friends on hot days, or go-kart racing can provide an exhilarating experience. Beach picnics bring out the nostalgia, while laser tag parties encourage friendly competition.

These ideas are just the starting point for the best possible teenage birthday party for your son or daughter. What will you plan? What would be the perfect idea for a 13th birthday party for your soon-to-be teenager?

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Kristen is the founder and content creator at Mom Managing Chaos where she teaches busy moms how to simplify and organize their life and finances. She writes about frugal living, budgeting, productivity and organization.