By the time a boy reaches his 13th birthday, a celebration adorned with balloons, streamers and other silly party games feels far too childish to him. Instead, choose an age-appropriate party theme that appeals to the birthday boy's changing interests as a new teenager and his growing feelings of maturity. Plan party activities that give the boy a feeling of independence, but still allow for a safe level of adult supervision.
Plan a party centred around the birthday boy's favourite outdoor activity. Invite guests to partake in such activities as hiking, backyard camping, rock climbing or swimming at a lake or beach. Serve trail mix and other high-protein snacks to keep the kids active and energised for the day. After the day's activities, serve a birthday cake or build a campfire and roast s'mores. Send guests home with compasses, flashlights, goggles or other outdoor activity gear as party favours.
If the birthday boy enjoys sports, plan a party where he can play a favourite sport with his friends. Host the party at a local park and allow the kids to expend their energy playing various games like soccer, baseball or flag football. For less traditional sports, opt for paintball, laser tag or broomball. Provide the young teens with water, fruit and granola bars to munch on during game breaks. After the games are over, serve a sports-themed birthday cake to the hungry kids.
If playing games is the boy's hobby of choice, use games as the party theme. Set up a variety of board games or video games with age-appropriate ratings for the young teens. Serve plenty of snacks, such as popcorn, chips and dip, chicken wings and candy. The party should last for at least three to four hours so the young teens have time to play a few different games. Extend game night by hosting a sleepover party, allowing the boys plenty of time to bond with each other. For party favours, give each guest a bag of cookies decorated to look like game boards or video game controllers.
If the boy has just a few close friends he wants to celebrate with, take them to a water park, theme park, zoo, sporting event or concert. Although tickets can be expensive, if the group is kept small, the cost can be roughly equivalent to an at-home party for a large group. Make sure there is at least one adult supervising the trip. After the event, serve cake at home or stop at a restaurant for a dessert celebration.