How to Plan Your 13th Birthday Party

Three Parts:Assessing your OptionsMaking the First ArrangementsMake the Final Party Arrangements

You're finally a teenager! Since this is your first birthday as a teenager, you'll want to make it awesome! Thirteenth birthdays can be a bit tricky to plan. Do you go for lots of games, or something a bit more grown-up to herald the start of the teenage years? Everyone will have their own ideas about what makes a good party. But as long as everyone has fun, the possibilities are endless.

Part 1
Assessing your Options

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    Brainstorm some ideas with friends. The first thing you need to do is come up with some ideas for how you might want to celebrate your birthday. It’s a good idea to get together with a couple of your closest friends and try to brainstorm some possibilities. They know you well, and will be able to tell you if you have a really bad idea and offer some suggestions if you’re drawing a blank.[1]
    • Remember you want to do something that you like, but if you going to be with a group of friends, you want everyone to have fun.
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    Run your ideas by your parents. Once you’ve come up with a few ideas, and before you get too excited, run them by your parents. They are going to be doing a fair bit of the organising and will know more than you about the costs and limitations. They might disappoint you by not seeming too enthusiastic about an enormous expensive party, but be understanding and work together with them. They really do want you to have fun!
    • Don’t be rude and demanding to your parents, that definitely won’t help with the party organization.
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    Decide if you are going to party at home or go somewhere else. After getting some ideas with friends and talking to you parents, the first big decision is whether you are going to do something at home, or go out somewhere for the day. Each of these have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s really about what you think would be fun and what you can organise with friends and family.
    • If the party is at your house, decide where is going to be off limits. Your parents won't want a bunch of teens trekking through their bedroom.
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    Decide how many people you want to come. The next step is to decide how many people you want to come to celebrate your birthday. You might want to keep it small with just close friends and family, or have a big party with your whole class. What works best will depend on what kind of party you are going to have, but it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of numbers before you get too far ahead in the planning.
    • If you are keeping it small, be aware that word will travel around your class.[2]
    • Try not to get into an awkward situation where you are inviting everyone from your class apart from one or two people.[3]
    • Do you want it to be co-ed (girls and boys), all girls, or all boys? Talk it over with your parents and make sure that they approve your final decision.
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    Choose a date. You'll want to pick a perfect date to have your 13th birthday party on. Ideally, it should be around your real birthday, but it doesn’t have to be. Try to have your birthday party on a weekend, or at least on a Friday night. You could also hold it on a day where you don't have school. Be careful if your birthday is during summer, spring, or winter break, as some of your friends may be on vacation.
    • It’s a good idea to check if another friend is having a party around the same time as you. You don't want to have your friends torn between going to your birthday or another person's birthday if they're on the same night.
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    Pick a theme or activity. Now you have a good idea of the size, the date, and whether you are having your party at home or out, you can think about what theme you would like. There are almost endless possibilities here, so talk it over with friends and family and try to come up with something that will be really fun and is a bit special. A theme is a good way to tie the party together.[4] Here are just a few ideas:
    • Rollerskating party
    • Sleepover
    • Pool party (at your home pool or a community pool)
    • Retro party (from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, etc.)
    • Theme party (Hawaiian, Hollywood, etc.)
    • Murder Mystery party
    • Spa party (at home or at a professional spa)
    • Makeover party
    • A movie party (watch a movie at the theatre or at your house)
    • A camp-out (in the wilderness or your backyard)
    • Game show theme (American Idol, Survivor, Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, etc.)
    • Go to an amusement park
    • Go horseback riding with friends
    • Have a dance party (at your house or a community center)
    • Have a beach party
    • Go to a concert

Part 2
Making the First Arrangements

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    Book your venue. Your venue is where you will host the party. If you have decided to have a party away from home you need to book somewhere sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment. Bear in mind how many people you are inviting and make sure you are booking somewhere with enough space. Think about if you need space for dancing, and a space to put your stereo or DJ.
    • Having a party at a specialist place can be easier to organise and handle for your parents than having one at home.[5]
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    If necessary, get the tickets to the event. For some places, like an amusement park or a sports game, you will need to buy tickets. It is easiest and quickest to do this in advance, you don't want to spend ages queueing. It’s best to leave this stuff to the parents to sort out, but make sure you know what is going on and your friends know if they need to get their own tickets separately.
    • Sometimes you can get group tickets at a discount.
    • If you going to a sports game make sure you get seats together.
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    Arrange transport. Once you know where and when you are going, you need to think about how everybody is going to get there and back again. Maybe you will all get a mini-bus from your house, or carpool. Again, this is something your parents will organise with your friends’ parents, but make sure everybody understands what the plans are, including you.
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    Send out the invitations. Once the plans are well-advanced you can go ahead and send out the invitations. This is a chance for you to be a bit creative and show how much you want to share your birthday with your friends, as well as set the scene for your party.[6] You can either write out the invitations by hand, email them out to your guests, or tell them in person or by calling them. You could also use free services on the internet that create invitations, such as Evite.
    • It’s a good idea to ask people on the invitations to let you know if they are allergic to anything. It wouldn't be good if there was an allergic reaction at your party!
    • Don’t forget to ask people to RSVP, and confirm whether or not they can come. This will be helpful in your planning. It will make arranging food, transport, entertainment, and anything, much easier if you know how many people are coming.[7]
    • Give all the information and the venue, date and transport on the invitations.

Part 3
Make the Final Party Arrangements

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    Get the food. Plan what you are going to need food-wise. You don't want a bunch of hungry 13 year old teens turning up to a party with no food. Chips, candy, pretzels, pop, juice, fruit, and chocolate work great for finger food.[8] You can also have little appetizers such as sausage rolls or buffalo wings. If you're going to have your guests stay for a real meal (lunch or dinner), either order in some pizza, sushi, or Chinese food, or go out to a restaurant.
    • Be sure you take into account any dietary needs of your guests.
    • You can tie the food into your theme.
    • Don't forget the cake!
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    Decorate your venue. Decorating your party space isn't essential. It's more important if you're having a theme party, but it's always nice to have some little decorations, even if it's only a couple balloons. You’re decorations will depend on your venue.[9] Decorate as little or as much as you want (and as much as you can take financially).
    • It’s great to have decorations that go with your theme.
    • If you are having your party at an outside venue they will most likely take care of all the decorations before you arrive.
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    Get some entertainment. Games and entertainment can be tricky at a 13th birthday, as you might not want to play the kind of games you liked when you were younger. Be sure to talk to your parents, so you all know what kind of entertainment you and your friends would like.[10] You can keep it simple and provide some music, or maybe a movie, depending on what kind of party you're having. You could also hire some live performers/dancers to really get the party started. You could also have some classic party games such as:


  • Always make sure the guests you invite get along you don't want friends fighting at your party.
  • Bring a camera so that you can take pictures of you and your friends having a blast!
  • Make sure no one is left out at your party. You wouldn't like it if that person was yourself.
  • Remember to make sure you have a great time! Nothing’s worse that going through so much effort and then not having fun.
  • If you are a girl, do not go heavy on the hair and make-up. Try to look natural at your party.
  • Don't over-plan the party; you don't need a hardcore schedule to have fun! Teenagers usually just wing it anyway!
  • Make some home-made trinkets or gift bags for your friends to bring home to remember your special becoming a teen night!
  • Make sure to check with your guests to see if anyone's allergic to anything; allergic reactions will definitely ruin your party.
  • At the end of the party, to let your friends know that you really thank them for coming to your party give them a shout out and dance the rest of the night out with a hip hop soul train line!
  • Make sure to ask your friends to bring there own stuff if you are having a sleep over or pool party. You do not want to lend your bathing suit, pajamas or underpants to your friend.

Things You'll Need

  • Guest invitations
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Decorations
  • Birthday cake
  • Invitations
  • Entertainment
  • A camera
  • Music
  • Theme
  • The right equipment

Article Info

Categories: Event and Party Planning