13th birthday party ideas: group of teenagers at a party

Your child isn’t a tween anymore — they’re about to be a full-on teenager! Whether you have an adventurous child who wants to celebrate outdoors or one who prefers a movie night or sleepover, there’s no shortage of options. To help you sift through it all, we’re sharing some of our favorite 13th birthday party ideas to mark this milestone moment.

13th Birthday Party Ideas Your Teen Will Love

13th birthday party ideas: Candles on cute cupcakes

These 13th birthday party ideas include fun party themes, activities, and decor suggestions to create a memorable celebration. From pool parties and dance-a-thons to campouts and glow-in-the-dark adventure, there’s a party option your teen will surely love.

1. Host a Movie Night

If your child is a cinephile, plan a movie night celebration. Invite their besties to catch a new release at a movie theater or binge-watch your 13-year-old’s favorite trilogy at home. Make it extra special by asking guests to dress up as their favorite movie characters and play themed party games like trivia.

No movie night is complete without snacks, so serve theater fare like popcorn, candies, and other finger foods. For something more substantial, make it a pizza party—just be sure to have lots of options for teenagers who may be picky eaters.

2. Throw a Pool Party

13th birthday party ideas: Polka Dot Inner Tube Invitation

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

Invitation inspiration: Polka Dot Inner Tube Invitation

Make a splash for your 13-year-old’s birthday with a fabulous pool party. Host the event at home (or a friend’s home), head to the beach, or book a local pool for a few hours. Grab inflatables, pool toys, and beach games to entertain the kids. 

Let them cool off during the sunny celebration with birthday cake and ice cream. Say thanks to your guests by sending them home with themed party favors like beach tote bags, water bottles, or sunglasses.

3. Visit an Escape Room

Make this birthday celebration a challenging and fun event with a group trip to an escape room. Most of these businesses have different themed rooms, so choose one that suits your kid’s interests. Once inside, they’ll have one hour to crack codes and solve puzzles to get out. It’s the perfect way for the birthday honoree and their friends to work together. When they’re done, they’ll have worked up an appetite, so follow it up with savory snacks and a birthday cake.

4. Plan a Sleepover

13th birthday party ideas: Sleepy Mask Invitation

Design: Bonjour Berry

Invitation inspiration: Sleepy Mask Invitation

Celebrate the start of your child’s teenage years with a sensational slumber party — one of our favorite 13th-birthday party ideas! Host the sleepover in your living room, backyard, or at a nearby campground. 

You can also turn it into a sleepover spa party with at-home manicures, facials, and pedicures. Set up a “salon” with different nail polishes, nail stickers, and sheet masks — and don’t forget the aromatherapy candles and cucumber water for a truly spa-tastic experience.

5. Make It a Dance Party

To get grooving with this teen birthday idea, set up a dance floor in your living room or rent out a larger event space with an actual dance floor to host an all-night dance party. Take things up a notch by adding blacklights in the event space. When the kids arrive, hand out glow sticks. Hire a professional photographer to capture fun images of the kids dancing with their colorful lights.

Another idea: Make it an afternoon celebration by signing the group up for a dance class where they can learn choreography to one of their favorite songs. A group dance class is ideal if you have a small guest list.

6. Host a Bowling Alley Bash

Hosting your teen’s birthday party at a local bowling alley offers a built-in fun activity to celebrate the special day. You can hand out prizes to the guest with the most strikes or the one with the silliest roll. Indulge in pizza, hot dogs, and other snacks before singing “Happy Birthday” and cutting the cake.

7. Enjoy a Campout 

13th birthday party ideas: Fireside Camp Invitation

Design: Mint Parcel

Invitation inspiration: Fireside Camp Invitation

Take your sleepover party into the great outdoors with a special camping party to celebrate your child entering their teenage years. Ask guests to bring their sleeping bags and tents and get ready to grill up fare like hot dogs and smores. Don’t forget to plan fun games like nature-inspired scavenger hunts or tell scary stories by the campfire. For something extra, order custom trip T-shirts to commemorate the big event.

8. Go to an Amusement Park or Water Park

Teenagers driving bumper cars

If the birthday boy or girl loves the adrenaline rush of rollercoasters, you can’t go wrong with taking them and their closest friends to an amusement park for a day of thrills. You could also opt for a water park if the weather permits.

9. Sing Karaoke

Music Enthusiast Invitation

Design: Diasty Hardhikaputri

Invitation inspiration: Music Enthusiast Invitation

This fun idea will surely have the kids showing off their personal style. While you could book a session at a karaoke studio, you can also go the DIY route with a karaoke-themed birthday bash. Simply download a karaoke app and let each kid choose a song they want to sing. Make it an American Idol-style competition and have the kids vote on the singer who did the best rendition of their chosen song.

10. Host a Game Night

Some of the best 13th birthday party ideas are often the simplest. If your newly minted teen is a gamer, why not incorporate that into their celebration? Break out the board games or let them go head-to-head in team video games with their closest friends. Want something more? Rent out a party venue like an arcade where guests can play dozens of different games.

11. Plan a Scavenger Hunt

One of the most popular kids’ party activities is a scavenger hunt. It’s easy to DIY or download printable scavenger hunt sheets to save time. Best of all, you can tailor any scavenger hunt to your birthday party theme. For example, if you’re hosting a nature-themed party, kids can search for things like pine cones or bugs. For a superhero-themed party, guests can track down comic books, action figurines, or photos of famous characters.

12. Play Glow-in-the-Dark Laser Tag

Laser Tag Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation inspiration: Laser Tag Invitation

Tag, you’re it! Step up the standard game of tag with a laser tag soiree. Start by finding a local venue that offers glow-in-the-dark laser tag. In your birthday invitation, ask guests to wear comfortable shoes and dark clothes (which makes them harder to spot in the game). Serve a simple lunch like pizza or hot dogs and don’t forget the birthday cake!

13. Host a Tea Party

Plan an enchanted celebration with a fabulous garden tea party. While you could check with a local botanical garden or tea house about booking a space, you could go the DIY route and host the event in your backyard. Set out a long table covered with a lace tablecloth, and add floral centerpieces and fine tea sets to create a high tea atmosphere.

Serve classic tea party fare like bite-sized pastries and tea sandwiches. When it’s time to sing “Happy Birthday,” you can also offer mini cupcakes.

Make it memorable by choosing an area to designate as a photo booth. Use a green shrub wall as a background, or create a DIY balloon wall for the backdrop. Let the kids take selfies with props, including funny hats, sunglasses, and faux flowers.

14. Go Ice Skating

Arctic Princess Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Invitation inspiration: Arctic Princess Invitation

Break out the ice skates and prepare for a fun birthday celebration that’ll entertain guests for hours. Head to a local ice rink and skate during the public session or arrange to rent out the entire rink for an hour or two. Ask the staff if you can create a custom playlist for the event and see if they offer any catering or food services to make planning easier.

15. Race Go-Karts

This is one of the more action-packed birthday party activities on this list. Perfect for teens who like a little speed, racing go-karts is a fun way to get the adrenaline pumping. Before booking, check with your local go-kart center about age or height requirements. You may also need to have guests sign liability forms, so check with their parents in advance. 

Celebrate Your Teen In Style

These 13th birthday party ideas offer plenty of fun ways to celebrate your tween becoming a teenager. When you’re ready to invite guests, browse Greenvelope’s selection of birthday party invitations to find a design that matches your theme or activity. 

Whether you need a template for a pool party or karaoke night, you can easily customize any design. Change the color scheme and typography, add a photo stamp, or add music before you hit send to everyone on your guest list.

Need more party planning ideas? Continue browsing our Stationers blog. It’s packed with birthday party themes, games to keep kids busy, and decor ideas to set the stage for a memorable celebration.