Plan a special party for your son’s 13th birthday to emphasize the new stage of life he’s entering–becoming a teenager. Include some of his favorite childhood delights, as long as they won’t embarrass him, and add a new grown-up twist. Give your son and his friends a little more freedom and privacy than what you might have done for past birthday parties, if possible.
Choose a theme that your son won’t find embarrassing, such as a sports theme. Make it all about his favorite sport or team if he has a clear favorite. Use an activity theme, such as hiking, camping or conquering the wilderness. Paint splatters or lasers can serve as the theme if the main activity will be laser tag or paintball guns. Your son’s favorite video game can serve as the theme as well–if it’s age-appropriate. A carnival theme can work for a coed party.
Host the party at home if you have enough space for a group of 13-year-old boys to run around. Overnight parties, such as video game marathons or backyard camp-outs, or coed parties can also be held at your home. Rent out a hall, go to the beach, an amusement park or camping site. The bowling alley, local arcade or skating rink can also work. Rent a skate park or racing venue if skateboarding, BMX bikes or go-kart racing is more your son’s style.
Most 13-year-old boys have an unlimited supply of energy. Tap into that by creating an activity-based party that might wear them out, if only for a little while. Paintball, laser tag or any variation of capture-the-flag are physical games the boys can play for hours. Set up a small sports tournament or game for a sports-themed party. Host a video game marathon if your son and his friends are always playing video games. Music and racing games are ideal and can typically accommodate more players than some other types of games. Go on a fishing or hiking expedition. Carnival games, such as pie-eating contests and a dunking booth, work for a carnival party.
Childhood favorites, such as hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza, are typically easy and well-liked by 13-year-old boys. Add soft drinks, nachos, chips, pretzels, snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn and other snacks. Get creative with the food by using the party theme to dictate what you serve and how you serve it. For example, set up concession stands for a sports or carnival party or have a barbecue for a camping party.
Any activities that could cause harm or be dangerous should include more supervision, such as hiking, skating or paintball guns. These activities should be clearly explained to your guests’ parents, so they can make an informed decision whether to allow their child to participate. Ask trusted adults to help you supervise large parties or parties that include potentially dangerous activities. Invite professionals to instruct the boys on hiking, fishing, extreme sports or similar activities.