50 Best Birthday Activities for a 13 Year Old (2024)

12 year old birthday party Twister game.
Twister is a fun game for a teenager’s birthday party.

13 year olds are officially teenagers, and it can be intimidating to plan a party for this age group!

By choosing classic games and activities with a modern, fun twist, you can ensure a great time for everyone.

So, what do older kids love to do at birthday parties? You’re in the right place to find some great ideas for the teen years.

Here are 50 fun games and activities for your 13 year old’s next birthday celebration:

13th Birthday Party Ideas

1. Twister

Twister is a fun game for this age group, and it’s a sure hit for a birthday party. The game caller shouts out the body part and what color it needs to be placed on. The last person standing wins!

You can order the classic game or create a giant outdoor Twister game on your lawn using paint. See it on sheknows.com.

2. Murder Mystery Party

This age is old enough to handle a Murder Mystery Party, and there are many scripts online that you can print out for free (just google it!).

3. Hotel Party

Is there a hotel near your house with a water park or near a fun attraction?

Reserve a hotel room for your birthday teen and a few of their closest friends to make it a party they’ll remember forever.

4. Beach Party

If you live near a beach, consider a beach party complete with grilling out, beach volleyball, swimming, and ice cream.

If you don’t live near a beach, search for swimming ponds near you, or an indoor water park.

For party favors you can give out a beach ball or a hula hoop.

5. Arcade Party

Head to your local arcade for an afternoon or evening of interactive video games. Often these types of places will offer birthday packages that make the party especially easy to plan.

6. Rent out the Movie Theater

Did you know that many theaters allow you to rent out the entire theater, just for your party? You can enjoy snacks and a private viewing of the birthday teen’s favorite movie.

7. Pizza Party

Keep it simple and order in! Invite your teen’s friends over for pizza and a movie.

Better yet, let them make their own pizzas with pre-made crust and a variety of toppings.

8. Nerf War or Laser Tag

Having a Nerf War is one of the most fun birthday party games you can plan! Gather up all of your Nerf or water blasters that you have around the house, and ask your kid’s friends to bring their own, too.

Then organize a Nerf war in the backyard or local park. You can even get a Nerf-themed birthday cake, and giveaway small water blasters as a party favor.

If you’re up for it, research party packages at a local laser tag venue. Often you can rent a party room and make a whole day of it, black lights and all!

12 year old birthday party water gun fight.
Round up the NERF guns and organize a backyard battle.

9. Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare is a great way to get to break the ice at a party and help everyone get to know each other better. One player asks another player if they want a “Truth” or a “Dare.” If they say “Truth”, you can ask them anything and they have to answer truthfully. You can come up with a question on your own or find a list online.

Examples of Truth Questions:

1. “When is the last time you lied?

2. “What is the most embarrassing music you listen to?

3. “What is your biggest regret?”

If they choose Dare, you get to dare them to do something silly or embarrassing!

Examples of Dares:

1. Do a free-style rap for the next minute.

2. Act like a chicken until your next turn.

3. Talk in a British accent until your next turn.

4. Do 20 pushups.

5. Dump out your purse, backpack, or pockets and do a show and tell of what’s inside.

Important Note:

It’s important to stay safe both emotionally and physically. Set clear expectation for your party guests.

10. Roller Skating

12 years old roller skate at a birthday party.

The nineties are cool again, and roller skating is making a comeback. Head to your local roller skating rinks for your 13 year old’s next party, and ask if they’ll play your child’s playlist to make it an extra special day.

11. “Name That Tune”

Name that tune is a great game for kids who love music. Put together a playlist of your child and their friend’s favorite songs. Then divide the kids into two teams and play quick snippets of each song. 

Have the kids write down their answers and see who gets the most points. Plan a fun music-themed prize for the winner, and perhaps a consolation prize for the other team.

You can also play “Hum That Tune” where party guests try to hum a song for their teammates to guess.

12. “Would You Rather”

Playing “Would You Rather” is a great way to spark discussion and laughter, and get to know each other better. It’s fun to pose questions that require the other person to choose between two great options, but sometimes it’s even more fun to make them choose between two terrible options.

Use your imagination or google the term “Would You Rather Questions”, and choose a few that appeal to you.

Here are some examples:

Would you rather live in a house shaped like a circle, or a house shaped like a triangle?

Would you rather only be able to walk backwards or only be able to walk on all fours?

Would you rather eat a slug or take a bath with a spider?

Need some help coming up with questions? This book on Amazon has some ideas for you.

13. Pictionary

Pictionary is one of those great party games that will get any age laughing. You’ll need a large piece of paper or whiteboard, and it may help to pre-write some good clues. One person on each team tries to draw the person, place, or thing without saying a word, and their teammates have to guess what it is!

14. Movie Night & Popcorn

There’s nothing better than a classic movie night at your birthday party. This can be part of a sleepover or an “undernight” (when the kids get picked up before bedtime).

12 year old birthday party movie night.
Pop some popcorn and snuggle up with your closest friends for a movie night.

To make it memorable, have everyone lay out their sleeping bags or blankets, pop some popcorn (you can add candy like gummy bears or sprinkles to make it even more special), and turn out all the lights!

This is a great option for a small group of your child’s closest friends.

15. Outdoor Movie Night!

Make a movie nigh even more memorable by hosting it outside. Snuggle up on an outdoor blanket and watch a movie outside. There’s something special about watching a movie under the stars!

16. Fortnite Fort Night

Like it or not, most 13-year-old boys and girls love video games. Why not encourage it for a night? Create a fort using pillows, chairs, and blankets and let the children play the Fortnite video game to their heart’s delight.

17. Piñata (With a Twist!!)

You can buy a piñata at any party store, or even Walmart. The kids will love putting blindfolds on and trying to break it open so that all the candy will fall out! Depending on the number of guests you have attending your party, you may want to get more than one piñata.

For some extra fun, add something other than candy to the piñata. It could be fidgets, pop-its, hair ties, baseball cards, etc.

18. Board Game Marathon

12 year olds playing board games, Monopoly
Board games like Monopoly can be really fun for tweens.

Bust out the board games from the cabinet and make a night of it! Kids this age love games like Monopoly, Taboo, Trivial Pursuit, and more. Just serve up some snacks, put on some music, and let them have some fun together.

19. Paint & Sip

Provide a canvas, paint, and sparkling fruit juices or fancy soda so your party guests can paint and sip to their hearts content. They’ll have so much fun, and you can provide a new paintbrush or watercolor set for party favors. The great thing about this activity is that they’ll always have a personalized memento from your party.

15. Plein Air Painting

Grab some paper and different colors of paint, and paint in the great outdoors! Your backyard or a local park is the perfect spot for this simple activity. Paint the trees, grass, and flowers that you see around you.

16. Backyard Campout

Who says your child’s birthday party has to be complicated? Take it back to simpler times with a backyard campout. Have everyone bring their tent and sleeping bag and campout in the backyard. Bonus points for a campfire, flashlight tag, and s’mores. Some children who haven’t slept outside before may get spooked, so chat with parents beforehand.

17. Charades

Charades is one of those classic party games that will help break the ice and get everyone laughing. To prepare, review the basic instructions with the kids, do an example for them, and write down some of things they could act out.

18. Flag Football Game

Football party! Order some flags to go around each party guests’s waist and start up a game of flag football in the backyard.

If your party falls during football season and your kids are fans, it might be fun to have a football watch party before or after your game with wings, chips and dip, and soda.

19. Escape Room

A 12th birthday party at an escape room is sure to be epic! Kids this age love escape rooms. They are given a time limit and have to work together to crack clues and escape whatever imaginary situation they’ve been put in.

20. Spa Day

A spa party is easy to plan, and you don’t need to go to the beauty salon to host it. Just bust out the face masks and nail polish, and put on some relaxing music. It’s the perfect party for a 12 year old.

21. Tug of War

All you need is a large rope and a clear marker on the ground to mark the center. Then split the kids up into two teams and place them on either side of the rope. The goal is to pull the other team over the center line.

Variation: Sprinkler Tug Of War

Put one person on either side of the sprinkler, grab a rope, and tug! The losing team will get soaked!

22. Capture the Flag

Capture the flag is a classic backyard game that older children in this age group will love. Split the kids into two teams and give them each a flag to protect. The flag can be a bandana, a ball, or any small object. The goal is to steal the other teams flag and bring it back to your side without getting tagged. This game is perfect for a big party with lots of kids.

23. Karaoke Party

Fire up the karaoke machine and let the kids be silly! This pairs well with a glow stick dance party, movie night, and sleepover party or undernight.

24. Two Truths & A Lie

Two Truth & A Lie is a tried-and-true ice-breaker, but it’s surprisingly fun to play even with close friends and family. Even the closest of friends don’t know everything about each other, and learning something new about the other person is what keeps a relationship new and exciting.

How to play:

Take 1-2 minutes to write down three facts about yourself. Two things should be completely true, and one should b e should be completely false. Try to choose a lie that is not obviously false, and try to choose true facts that might surprise the other person. You want it to be difficult for the other person to know which items are true, and which are false.

25. Kickball Game

Set up four large objects for your bases, and have a pitcher roll the ball to the kicker. Just like baseball, try to get around the bases. It’s a playground favorite!

26. Dodgeball

Dodgeball is an easy game to set up because all you need is are soft balls for the kids to throw and a center line separating the teams. This is a great activity for a large group.

27. Blindfolded Makeup

Split the party guests into groups of two. One person puts on a blindfold. The blindfolded person applies makeup to their partner’s face trying to follow the instructions of their partner.

28. Soccer Shootout

Set up two goals and start up a soccer game. Or do a soccer shootout! To do a shootout, set up two cones for your goal, and mark a ten foot distance, or any distance you choose. Dribble the ball up, and shoot! See how many you can make in a set amount of time.

29. Water Balloon Games

On a hot summer day, all you need are some water balloons for an epic party. And a classic water balloon fight is just the beginning!

Water balloons are filled up at an 12 year old birthday party.
Water balloon games can keep your party guests entertained for hours.

Here are 21 fun water balloon games you’ll all love. Afterwards, serve some ice cream sundaes.

30. Ninja Bootcamp Obstacle Course

This age group loves a good challenge. Give everyone a bandana to tie around their head. Grab some cones, hula hoops, outdoor blankets, small stools, and any other equipment you could use for outdoor obstacle courses and relay races. You can set it up for them or let them set up their own obstacle course. Time each other running through. Who can pass the finish line fastest? This is a simple, fun way to get active.

A great party favor for this activity? Water bottles!

31. Balloon Bulls Eye

One of the best party activities is balloon bulls eye. Affix several balloons to a vertical surface that you are okay with getting damaged. Provide darts to each child and see if they can pop the balloons.

32. Glow Stick Dance Party

An 12 year old puts on glow sticks for a dance party at their birthday party.
Glow sticks make a dance party even more fun!

One of the best things about being a kid is letting loose and dancing up a storm. Give everyone a set glow sticks, turn out the lights, and put on their favorite music!

33. Hide & Seek

This is one of the best games of all time, and it’s not just for little kids. In fact, it gets more fun as you get older! One player covers their eyes and gives the other players 30 seconds to hide. After 30 seconds, they’re coming for you! Set clear boundaries and rules for the game to keep everyone safe.

34. Cornhold Tournament

Host a cornhole tournament in your backyard! Have the kids split into teams and create a large poster with brackets to keep track of the winner. You can also have a loser’s bracket so that people can still play even if their team lost.

35. Slip n’ Slide n’ Grab

Kids go down the slip n' slide at an 11 year old birthday party.
Even an angsty 13 year old can’t complain about a slip n’ slide party.

When you can’t have a pool party, a slip n’ slide is the best way to get wet and wild! Better yet, place random objects along the slip n slide. Try to grab them as you slide down! Any 13-year-old boy or girl would love to have a slip n’ slide birthday party.

36. Frisbee Golf

Find a nearby Frisbee Golf course and enjoy a beautiful afternoon.

37. Climb The Ladder

Go grab the ladder from the garage and place a bottle on the bottom rung. Fill a bucket or laundry basket up with sock balls and take turns trying to knock it down. When you knock it off one level, move it one rung higher. How many throws does it take each party guest?

38. Bowl Buckets

Bring some bowls outside and put a piece of paper in each one indicating how many points they are worth. Mark where each player should throw from and see how many points you can get in a set amount of time.

39. Horseshoes Competition

Horseshoes is a simple game that all ages can play. Just toss the horseshoe to try to get a ringer around the stake!

40. Flashlight Tag

A really easy birthday party game to play is flashlight tag. All you need is a flashlight for everyone and an open space! If the flashlight shines on your, you’re out!

You can also play shadow charades, catch the light, flashlight limbo, or have a flashlight disco party!

41. Limbo

The classic game of Limbo is one of the most fun party games there is. Put some limbo music on the speaker, and grab a pole, stick, or shower rod. Let the limbo games begin! The entire party will love this activity. Want to level up? Get some island-themed party decorations, since the game of limbo originated in Caribbean island of Trinidad.

42. Lawn Bowling

Set up some bottles and use any ball for a DIY version of lawn bowling, or get an official set.

43. Backyard Baseball

Place four large objects in the yard as the bases and play some good old-fashioned baseball.

44. Giant Jenga

Kids play giant Jenga at an 11 year old birthday party.
Giant Jenga is a fun yard game for all ages.

Stack up the wooden blocks and remove the one by one. Don’t let the tower fall! We like this set from Hey! Play! on Overstock.com because the pieces are large, but they aren’t so giant that they would hurt someone when they all come crashing down.

Alternative: If you don’t have a giant Jenga game, or want a budget friendly game option, you can opt for a giant Memory Game. Use a Sharpie to write two of each letter or number on large pieces of cardboard. Then lay all the cardboard facedown in your yard and play a giant game of Memory!

45. Amusement Park

Take a trip to the nearest amusement park and ride the roller coasters for a thrilling birthday party! Set some ground rules for the kids for safety and make sure they are walking around together.

46. Ring Toss

Toss each ring to get it around a peg, worth different amounts of point. This classic game will be fun all summer long! We like the Triumph Wooden Ring Toss Game from Blain’s Farm & Fleet because it’s super compact and disassembles easily.

47. Water Blob

Get a clear plastic tarp and fold it in half. Duct tape the three open sides so that they are completely shut. Leave a small opening to fill up the blob with water. Once it’s filled, close it up with duct tape. Everyone will love sliding, jumping, and laying on your new water blob.

48. Ice Skating or Sledding

In a cold weather climate, ice skating and sledding can be the perfect birthday party activities. Just add hot cocoa!

49. Capture the Flag

Capture the flag is a classic backyard game that older children in this age group will love. Split the kids into two teams and give them each a flag to protect. The flag can be a bandana, a ball, or any small object. The goal is to steal the other teams flag and bring it back to your side without getting tagged. This game is perfect for a big party with lots of kids.

50. Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt can be adapted for all ages, even the teenage years. If you’re feeling motivated, organize a simple treasure hunt or neighborhood scavenger hunt for your birthday party guests.

If you have a theme for your party, it’s a good idea to have the scavenger hunt go along with it. For example, if it’s a Harry Potter party, it could be a Marauder’s Map theme.

51. Pool Party

Head to the local pool or water park for a classic pool party. Bring inflatable, grill out hot dogs, and play games like water volleyball and basketball.

52. Surprise Party

Can you keep a secret from your teenager? Choose an party idea from this list, but make it a surprise! Your teenager will never forget it.

53. High Tea

Search for a tea cafe or other tea service near you, and invite a few of your teenager’s closest friends to sip warm drinks and enjoy delicious treats.

54. Cooking Class

Find a local cooking class that is geared towards young people and see if they cater to birthday parties. Everyone can enjoy this kind of hands-on party, and they’ll each go home with something tasty to eat.

55. Bowling Party

Bowling is a game that never goes out of style, and it can be played and enjoyed by all ages. Some bowling alleys also have an arcade.

56. Ice Cream Social

Get ice cream from your favorite local spot and gather up all the toppings you can thing of – hot fudge, caramel, cherries, bananas, nuts, and sprinkles. Let everyone build their own sundae to celebrate the birthday teen!

57. Silent Disco

Have you ever heard of a silent disco? Everyone wears headphones and listens to the same song at the same time, but when you take your headphones off, it’s completely silent. This is a great option if you want to have you dance party in a public place like a state park where there are noise restrictions.

58. Professional Sports Game

Treat your teenager and their friends to a live professional sports game to cheer on their favorite team. You could arrange ahead of time to try to get their name on the jumbotron!

59. Photo Booth

Rent or visit a custom photo booth and let everyone pose for some fun snapshots. They’ll all have built-in keepsake at the end of the party! You could also set up creative selfie stations.

60. Mocktails

Set up a mocktail station or hot cocoa bar so everyone has something unique and yummy to sip on during the party.

Happy birthday to your 13 year old!

We hope you loved these fun ideas and that your party is a huge success.

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