A 13-year-old girl's birthday is a big milestone as she officially becomes a teenager. Focus on her, and let her make as many party planning choices as are reasonable. You can plan a great 13th birthday even on a shoestring budget.
Planning your 13-year-old girl's party around a theme may simplify things and give you a goal for which to shoot. A salon day, an arts-and-crafts party, a costume party, a murder mystery, a movie night, a barbecue, or a soccer-, basketball- or volleyball-themed party all are possibilities depending on your 13-year-old's interests.
Hold the party outside your home for an unforgettable day. Treat guests to an all-day movie pass, plan a scavenger hunt at the mall, book a hair salon for the morning, or take the girls to a nearby farm or ranch to ride horses. Or book the local community centre for a dance party.
Thirteen-year-old girls have definite opinions on decorating their birthday party. Have the birthday girl help you shop within a budget for decorations. Use glitz, sparkle and elegance for a grown-up feel but a low-budget impact. Drape furniture in theme-based fabrics to help the house feel special, and add accessories such as foil curtains and black lights.
Give each guest a disposable camera for party pictures, and present them with themed gift bags filled with items such as craft supplies, magazines or sports water bottles. For general goody bags, add in stylish jewellery, nail polish, candy bars, bubbles, pens, photo frames or sunglasses.
Keep food casual and simple with fruits and vegetables cut in theme shapes, but serve more adult main dishes such as pita wraps, chicken salad, or Chinese or Mexican takeout. Finger foods should abound to fill up hungry teenage stomachs, such as cheese, crackers, chocolates and petit fours.
Have guests make some crafts based on your theme, such a bookmark, room sign, hair accessory or beaded jewellery. Provide activities such as karaoke, dancing and movies, but give the teens some space as to what they choose to do.