Inexpensive 13th Birthday Party Ideas

A child’s 13th birthday party shouldn’t require taking out a loan; there are fun options that are inexpensive.

Celebrate a child’s 13th birthday by hosting an inexpensive birthday party. Having a 13th birthday party is an important aspect of celebrating this milestone and can be achieved even on a pared-down budget. The new teenager should be able to express herself through her birthday party, within reason and within budget. Does this Spark an idea?

Boy’s 13th Birthday Activities

Invite a few of the birthday boy’s closest friends to meet at your home or a nearby park. Let the boys play a game or two of their favorite sport together, such as basketball or football. Or set up a water-balloon war using colored water in the balloons (this can replace more-expensive paintball wars).

Take the birthday boy and a couple of his closest friends to watch your local minor-league sports team play—a much cheaper alternative than going to a major-league event.

Invite the other boys to a sleepover, where they can play video games or watch scary movies or comedies all night long.

Girl’s 13th Birthday Activities

Ask a couple of friends to help you give each party attendee a makeover, complete with facials, makeup, hair styling, manicures and pedicures (or let the girls make over each other). Purchase a variety of new makeup, makeup applicators and nail polish at the dollar store in several different colors.

Gather old dressy clothes and high heels that you don’t wear anymore, if available, and encourage the girls put on a fashion show.

Purchase men’s plain-white T-shirts and fabric paint for the girls to create their own shirts or to autograph each other’s shirts.

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Coed 13th Birthday Activities

Purchase or write a murder mystery where each guest is given a specific role to play within the mystery. This allows the children to dress up and play different characters while using their brains to determine who the “killer” is.

Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt where you separate the kids into teams (either coed teams or boys versus girls) and ask them to find specific items from your neighbors. Or ask a few neighbors to participate by issuing clues for the teams to figure out where to go next (much like the show “Amazing Race”).

General 13th Birthday Party Ideas

Put the birthday child in charge of the guest list: This ensures her party will be comfortable and fun for her; anyone who would potentially make her uncomfortable won’t be in attendance.

Make your own invitations by hand or print them from a computer. You can also text or email invitations: While this may not seem suitable for most social situations, it’s widely accepted among teens as an acceptable way to communicate.

Teens like to eat. Stock up on bottled water or sodas and make inexpensive teen favorites such as pizza, hamburgers or hot dogs. Nachos, french fries, popcorn and large pretzels are also popular snacks.

Goodie bags can consist of dollar-store makeup or beauty items for girls, or candy for boys.