Twelve- to 13-year-old girls are at that difficult age when they do not feel like kids, but they are certainly not yet adults. Girls this age want to feel loved and special, but they also want to feel like a typical "tween" or young adult. What their peers think of them is crucial. The best bet for a birthday party is to find activities that might appeal to teenagers and young women but that can be carefully supervised.
Feeling Like a Lady
Many "tween" girls want to do the activities that they see twenty-somethings in their town or city doing. Try taking them to a fancy restaurant with a group of their friends, or buying the birthday girl and her friends tickets to a concert they really want to see. You could also sponsor a day at a spa, or manicures and pedicures for the birthday girl and a few friends.
If your birthday girl wants to invite boys to her party, aim to strike a balance between careful supervision and letting your child feel like she has some independence. The birthday girl might want to have a dance party or a costume party, for which you can help her prepare. Just remember that kids this age are fascinated by and often obsessed with sexual exploration, so be sure to set the boundaries with your child before all of her friends arrive. The goal is for you to be present and aware of what is going on but to seem like you are invisible, so your child does not end up resenting you.
Outdoor Activities and Sports
Many 12- and 13-year-old girls enjoy active parties that get them out into the world. The birthday girl and her friends might enjoy a day at an amusement park or a night at a sporting event. If they're outdoorsy and ambitious, you could take them to a rock gym or another indoor adventure park. They might even enjoy a simple hike and a picnic in a nearby forest or park--and you could surprise the kids by bringing along a birthday cake and some sparkling apple cider.
Nothing flatters a girl more than the realisation that her friends cared enough to plan a surprise party for her. If her friends are not taking the initiative, you might broach the topic with a close friend or two, offering to help them plan a surprise party. You can be as involved as necessary in the process, but again, when party time comes, try to stay in the background. This day is about the birthday girl and her friends celebrating their emerging independence.