My daughter turned 12 in June this year, she had the best birthday celebrations so far. We went with idea number one below and I'm excited to share it with you. I know the age 12 isn't exactly 'grown up' just yet but it's also not a young age either. In my experience, a little bit of freedom and responsibility given in little steps is how I deal with this.
1. Hire a hot tub
These are actually quite a popular idea now but booking in advance would be recommended. We hired one for 3 days and it was quickly set up and ready to use the same day.
My daughter's friends enjoyed their time in it too and I got some relaxation done myself. The price was good for the 3 days, we will be doing this again.
Her birthday fell on a Saturday so we hired a hot tub from Thursday afternoon to Sunday. It was perfect.
While this does sound appealing I would think through the number of invites your child is giving out for this. How many can you realistically have to stay and where would they sleep, comfortably. Enough of the by quashing, let's partayy! This is probably the only one time your child tidies their room up, wahoo!
What to do:
There's music to dance too, getting hyper on the fizzy drinks and games to play to name a few things. Midnight feasts, scary stories and watching classic films to also entertain the party goers.
Photo from Pexels.com
Always great fun no matter the weather too. Some places have birthday offers on so it's worth checking out their website first. The down side is there's always one person who is competitive beyond belief and at least one who loses and spends a while in a grump.
4. Afternoon tea
I love the idea of this so much that I wish I could do it for a living. Finger sandwiches, savoury snacks and yummy cakes all play a part in this idea. Now, of course a classic cornish afternoon tea would include scones, Jam and clotted cream but it depends on how this would go down with the children at the party. You could make this as big or as small as you like. The world is your oyster. You could set place name cards and decorate a big table with balloons and some little gift bags waiting for them all. Have some music playing and maybe organise a couple of games to play while seated at the table.
5. Pizza parties
Either making the bases yourselves or purchasing them, have them ready for the children and put out all the usual toppings and some extras too. This will probably be quite messy, no mistake there. Play some Italian music in the background and create a theme with plastic vines and an Italian flag. Once all their beautifully created pizzas are cooked, they can eat them and try others too.
Note: I have heard that our local pizza shop can actually be hired out for creating your very own pizzas. Maybe have a look around locally too?
6. Gaming truck
This is a van that has the latest gaming consoles onboard. It can arrive at your home and you can choose for how long they stay. My daughter went to her first gaming party this year and she doesn't play on consoles at all, but had a really fun time.
7. Mocktail party
You can create a pitcher of mocktails if there are more than a few children coming to the party and make sure a party playlist is fully turned up in the background. Lay out on the table ice, fruit, some juices and maybe some lemonade too. You can buy cocktail umbrellas which will look cute in their glasses. Here are some recipes for ideas:
8. Laser tag
Laser tag is something done inside, normally in dark confined mazes. Guns emitting infrared light are aimed at targets and also each other’s special vest. It has been a party idea for many years now. The experience can include a meal too, put on by some venue holders.
9. Experience days
Driving: You can buy these on any experience day websites. Most hosts will allow children from years 11 onwards to drive the cars. If they did not want to drive the cars themselves, you can always check out a passenger experience in a supercar for them.
Rage Rooms: I know it sounds quite scary doesnt it? But believe it or not these are actually a thing. There are rooms designed to smash up appliances and plates etc to relieve stress. You may have to travel for one but I guess it could be quite fun with a couple of their friends in tow. All done of course with health and safety at the forefront.
Segway experience: this experience can be a 30 or 60 minute ride, for the whole family or a group of friends. You can choose from a countryside terrain or on a controlled circuit.
10. Gazebo and neon lights themed party
If you have one it's easy to set up and you can add twinkly lights, balloons and banners. There is the option of hiring a gazebo or even a marquee. Put in some chairs and let the kids have fun, they can have some music playing and eat their favourite foods. It will make them feel like they're responsible away from the parents, but they're in your back garden and you know they're safe.
11. A cinema trip
Booking tickets for a film in advance they want to see and inviting a couple of their friends along too, now it's time to leave them to it. They can stay together and will no doubt enjoy all the delights of the goodies available at the cinema for devouring and sharing.
12. Rock climbing
Whether in a group or individually, rock climbing has become the party place to gather. It's great for all ages and all abilities. Again, some venues do party packages, which are led by skilled coaches and can include food too.
I hope this helps you to organise your not-quite-teenager child's 12th birthday.
I loved laser tag as a kid. That was so much fun. I have never heard of a gaming truck prior to this post. That looks so interesting!
These are such fun ideas and I love how they could be included for kids but adults as well. I love bowling.
This is such a fun post, I loovee the idea of a gaming truck (you have literally introduced me to it so thank you)
Haha you're very welcome Inna. My daughter loved the gaming truck, she spent a couple of hours playing the latest games with her friends. It's a great idea isnt it.
You don't have to be 12 to enjoy a gaming session with friends or laser quest. We went gaming for my birthday this year, and laser quest a couple of years before that. Good times all around. Surprised karaoke wasn't listed
Haha if that's your thing sounds like a good laugh. Karaoke can be done any day any time, I do haha. Also good to do at Sleepovers in my pyjamas 😁
These are all fab ideas and although I’m far from 12 I’d love to do loads of these!
Haha yes totally agree, I am happy I get to do some too