31 Best 13th Birthday Party Ideas for 2024

Published on Jun 20th 2024
13th birthday party ideas

Looking for great 13th birthday party ideas? Wondering how to make a 13th birthday special for your newly minted teen?  Turning 13 can be one of the most memorable birthdays that ushers in a new era.

That means fun new opportunities and interests in abundance, as well as some classic teen pastimes like hanging out with friends, exploring your environment and enjoying favorite foods.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite birthday party ideas for teens, including ideas that cater to a variety of interests and obsessions, as well as budgets, locations and number of guests.

Use them to help guide your birthday decoration ideas, food and other party elements. Whether your teen is an outdoor lover, a bookworm or a movie buff, we have the perfect way to usher in the teen years. 

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Creative 13th Birthday Party Ideas

1. Art Classes

A great way to kick off the teen years is to learn some valuable new skills. Art classes are a perfect 13th birthday party idea for all involved, allowing you to explore mediums and techniques that will set you up for a lifetime of creative learning.

Take a class in acrylics, watercolor, oil painting or pottery for a fun and educational way to celebrate turning 13. You can find art classes near you, including art classes in NYC, art classes in Chicago or art classes in Los Angeles.

Check out pottery classes near you, including pottery classes in Boston, pottery classes in Columbus or pottery classes in Portland

art and pottery classes 13th birthday party idea
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2. Improv Classes

A great 13th birthday party idea and way to build speaking skills and learn creative communication is to celebrate by taking a single or regularly meeting improv class.

Some classes are designed specifically for teens and are great opportunities for beginners interested in comedy or performance.

3. Dance Lessons

A fun and energetic 13th birthday party idea, dance classes can be a fun way to work off all that adolescent energy. Learn folk dancing, jazz, hip hop or ballet under the guidance of coaches and professional dancers. 

4. Journaling or Zine Making 

For more introspective teens, have a journaling night devoted to making and filling handmade journals. Get some luxe paper, binding materials, ephemera, stamps and other supplies and set everyone loose to create their own bound journal. 

Or host a zine night where everyone contributes to a single hand-bound collection. 

5. Photo Booth

For a lively 13th birthday party idea and birthday photo shoot idea, set up a personalized photo booth. All you need is a backdrop, some fun props and a phone or tablet or camera tripod (a ring light is optional but useful.)

For extra fun, follow a theme to guide your backdrop and props like fairy tales, films or their favorite book. This is a great birthday party idea to pair with a slumber party or outdoor BBQ party. 

teen girls posing for photo booth
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6. Painting Party

A less formal 13th birthday party idea than a traditional art class, this more laid back gathering allows socialization, snacks and creating, be it easy paint-by-numbers sets, reproducing a classic work of art or everyone painting a single scene in their own unique way.

All you need are some inexpensive canvases, acrylic paints and brushes. 

7. Writing Workshops

The teen years are perfect for instilling a love of writing and reading, with many community groups, libraries and other organizations offering workshops for teens to learn skills in poetry, short fiction, playwriting and beginning screenwriting.

What teens learn there can set them on the path to becoming passionate writers and readings down the line and are a great way to learn self-expression, problem-solving and discipline as young creatives.  

Extravagant 13th Birthday Party Ideas

8. Cooking Classes

If you’re looking for a 13th birthday party idea that is a little more luxe, why not enroll your birthday teen and guests in a cooking class to learn new skills in the kitchen?

Many focus on kitchen basics that can help immensely if your birthday celebrant loves spending time in the kitchen. You can find cooking classes near you, including cooking classes in Philadelphia, cooking classes in Los Angeles and cooking classes in Boston

9. Amusement or Water Park 

Another great idea for an extravagant 13th birthday party is to take a group to the nearest amusement or water park for a day of raucous fun that includes riding rides, swimming, enjoying carnival snacks and various shows and entertainments.

Many parks offer group discounts for larger parties, with some offering special birthday packages for families and larger groups. 

amusement party 13th birthday party idea
via Canva

10. Bowling

Renting out a few lanes at a bowling alley can be a fun and retro way of celebrating and a great birthday party idea. Many alleys allow afternoon venue rental for larger parties that include bowling, food and beverages in a single package.

The games allow a bit of spirited competition and teamwork in a fun and lively environment.

11. Escape Room

Take your teen and their friends to a local escape room for a fun extravagant 13th birthday party idea. You can find rooms and venues themed around all sorts of fun concepts, including zombies and popular books and movies.

Most escape rooms allow participants to work together and put their problem solving skills to good use, offering puzzles, storytelling and lots of laughs. 

12. Hotel Pool Party

If you don’t have access to a pool at home for a full pool party, small groups can always opt to spend a day or weekend enjoying a little luxury in a hotel.

Even if you don’t do a sleepover, you can rent a room during the day for snacks and relaxation while teens take advantage of the pool. It’s especially fun if your local hotels have waterpark features like wave pools and slides.

This makes a great extravagant 13th birthday party idea if you plan to celebrate out of town as well.

13. Beach Party 

This one may involve a little traveling depending on location. Gather up rafts, floaties and swimsuits and head off for a fun birthday at the beach. For larger groups, bring along fun activities like volleyball nets, beach balls and frisbees, as well as lots of snacks.

Or, host a beach bonfire if allowed, toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories and enjoying time under the stars. This is also a fun outing to combine with a luau party idea.

teens playing games on the beach
via Canva

14. Mini Golf 

Like bowling, mini golf is a little bit of old school fun that teens will enjoy. Many are quite elaborate in their courses, with attached arcades, go karts or other fun outdoor activities.

Some courses even invite larger groups for birthday parties with private rooms, catering and free arcade tokens and rounds of mini-golf included. 

15. Ghost Tour

Most cities and regions have their own unique ghostly legends and lore, offering tours and info sessions on important stories and sites in local folklore.

Join a walking or bus tour or do your research and plan your own expedition visiting haunted public locales armed with fun ghost hunting apps on your phone. 

13th Birthday Party Ideas for Girls

16. Make Candles

A fun 13th birthday party idea for girls is creating custom candles, whether it’s in an organized workshop offered by a craft store or candle shop or simply gathering up supplies and hosting an at-home candle party.

All you need are some glass containers or silicone molds, a few pounds of soy wax, wicks and scented oils designed for candles. The candles you make are a great party keepsake to take home for participants. 

17. Spa Day

A great idea for celebrating a 13th birthday party.for girls Is to spend a day getting pampered and prettified. Try some fun hair colors, manicures, pedicures or facials at a favorite spa or set up at an at-home spa day or slumber party with nail polish and accessories, temporary hair dye and fun cosmetics.  

spa day 13th birthday party idea for girls
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18. Jewelry Party

A fun way to create wearable keepsakes is to host a jewelry making session at any party. Many craft stores and online retailers sell ready-made jewelry making kits, including earrings, resin pendants and beaded baubles.

Or go simple with some beads, charms and embroidery thread to make friendship bracelets. This is a great activity to combine with sleepover parties and other teen gatherings, making it a memorable 13th birthday party idea for girls at home. 

19. Vintage Shopping

A fun activity is to spend a day scouring vintage shops for fun outfits and accessories from decades past for a retro fashion show.

Set your shopping list around a theme like a certain decade or style choice. Thrift stores can be a great place to pick up retro clothes at a steep discount.

RELATED: The Best Barbie Theme Party Guide for 2024

20. 13 Going on 30 Vision Board Making

For a fun 13th birthday party idea for girls that references the modern movie classic 13 Going on 30, gather supplies like poster board, scissors, glue and magazines for clipping and invite teen guests to imagine their future life at 30.

Watch the film with some snacks, then settle in for a session of collaging. Encourage them to preserve or take a photo of their imagined future board for prosperity.    

21. Tea Party

Whether you are going to high tea offered at a restaurant or creating one in your own backyard, this little dose of charming fun is a great 13th birthday party idea.

Theme your tea party around favorite books, fairy tales and concepts. Thrift stores are a great place to pick up some old china and teacups for the party, where you can serve up tea party foods like finger sandwiches, cookies and cakes while enjoying various teas and punches.

A platter of cupcakes is a great alternative birthday cake idea

tea party
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13th Birthday Party Ideas for Boys

22. Game Tournament

A fun 13th birthday party idea is hosting a game tournament, be it favorite video game systems, role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons or classic board games like Monopoly or Scrabble.

Keep track of wins and challenges and offer prizes at the end of the tournament to the day’s winners. 

23. Laser Tag or Paintball

A classic fun entertainment and 13th birthday party idea for boys, find your local laser tag establishment or outdoor paintball course, which allows teens to work out energy and engage their competitive spirit.

Many venues offer package deals for groups that include food, beverages,  or other kinds of entertainment while playing.

24. Sports Outing

While professional team venues can be expensive for a larger group, many local teams offer group passes or discounted tickets for larger parties, making them a perfect 13th birthday party idea for boys or any sports lovers.

Check out your local basketball or hockey team or take in a fun little league game under a sunny sky.

Simple 13th Birthday Party Ideas at Home

25. Movie Night

Choose a selection of movies around a central theme like horror, sci-fi, animated classics or a multi-part franchise to theme this fun 13th birthday party idea at home.

You can even rent a popcorn machine for a more cinematic experience or offer finger foods in line with your film selections. For an outdoor version, project your films on a sheet or side of the house and spread out picnic blankets and cushions.  

movie night 13th birthday party idea at home
via Canva

26. Cooking Party

Wondering what to do for a 13 year old birthday party at home? A perfect 13th birthday idea is to gather to create a meal together under the guidance of a trained chef by taking an online cooking class from the comfort of your own kitchen.

Learn sushi rolling or how to make pasta or delicious pastries. Or, learn how to bake your own decadent birthday cake you can decorate any way you like. 

27. Backyard Camping

A great inexpensive and at-home idea for a 13th birthday party is to host a backyard camping expedition. Set up tents, a fire pit and invite guests to bring a sleeping bag.

Make s’mores, hot dogs and other outdoor-friendly foods. This is a great theme for a sleepover party for teens. 

28. Scavenger Hunt 

A great activity for a daytime party or sleepaway is to create a scavenger hunt that uses physical locations, puzzles or information available online to win prizes for participants.

Theme your scavenger hunt around a favorite book or movie or make it location-specific in a park, museum or zoo. For a fun twist,  theme your party as a murder mystery that must be solved by guests by gathering glues.

29. Karaoke

While many adult karaoke venues happen in bars teens are way too young to get into, you can bring this fun activity home by setting up your own speakers and microphones and allow teens to perform their favorites.

Many retailers sell ready made systems for home karaoke or use a simple set up of a laptop, Bluetooth speakers and on-screen lyrics to perform. 

girls singing karaoke at home
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30. Glow-in-the-Dark Party

A great theme and 13th birthday party idea at home or anywhere is to create a neon landscape with decorations, fun party accessories, t-shirts and other elements for a glow in the dark party.

Get a couple of black lights to illuminate vivid colors. You can also create fun activities like glow-in-the-dark target games or dance-offs. 

You can even buy glow-in-the-dark decorations for the birthday cake or make your own glow-in-the-dark frosting. Or combine this idea with a foam party with an otherwordly glow. 

31. Book Club Themed Party 

For a great 13th birthday party at home for avid readers, theme your party around the celebrant's favorite book, be it the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games or other favorite novels.

Offer food and drink centered around the books, screen movie adaptations and create other games and activities with reading and books in mind. 

Is 13 a milestone birthday? Absolutely, and it's one that your kid will remember forever, giving you a great opportunity to celebrate in style and usher in the teen years.

Whether you are celebrating with a couple of guests or a larger group, many of these ideas can be scaled accordingly to make the day memorable and fun.

For even more fun birthday ideas, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!