Birthday Party Ideas for a 12-Year-Old

by Janece Bass
Invite your tween to help plan her birthday party.

Invite your tween to help plan her birthday party.

Twelve-year-old birthday parties should be planned according to the maturity and personality of your child. Some tweens might want a huge pre-teen bash, while others might want a low-key party with a few close friends. Talk to your 12-year-old about what she'd like and invite her to plan the party with you, within a predetermined budget.


Some 12-year-olds want more freedom as they are one year away from being a teen. Others might want a birthday party similar to the parties they've enjoyed in the past. If your tween wants a more grown-up birthday celebration, consider hosting the party at the movie theater, bowling alley, mall, amusement park or other public place where you can drop the kids off or hang out in a separate area than they do. Parties held at your home should include more privacy for the tweens as well.


Incorporate a theme or basic idea into the party planning to keep the invitations, decorations, activities and favors all related. Popular video games, bands, TV shows or sports can serve as a theme. A wild west theme can include dressing up and show downs. Magic parties can include a performer who can teach the kids a few magic tricks and let them perform for each other. Spa parties work for tween girls who want to be more grown-up. Outer space themed parties can include a trip to a space museum or camping under the stars. Plan a backward party; invite your guests to wear their clothing backward.


Bowling, skating and watching movies are some easy activities for a tween's birthday party. Activities that relate to the theme of the party work as well. Have relay races where the tweens have to go through the course backward for a backward party. Include a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt for a pirate party. Give the tweens manicures and facials for a spa party. Separate the kids into teams and give them each a magic kit for a magic party. Let the tweens perform their tricks for each other.


Give each guest a favor bag filled with goodies related to the theme of the party, if possible. A pencil and notebook with a stars-and-planets design work for a space party. Candy works for any theme. Put nail polish into a small cosmetic bag for a spa party.

Incorporate an activity that doubles as the favor party. Give each guest a model car or plane kit and let them put it together. Have the tweens make jewelry, design T-shirts or paint ceramic figures.


Twelve-year-old birthday parties can last a few hours or an entire weekend, depending on how long you want to be responsible for the group of tweens. Allow your 12-year-old and his friends a relative amount of privacy while still being present to keep things safe and age-appropriate, particularly for coed parties.

About the Author

Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.

Photo Credits