12th birthday party ideas

12th Birthday Party Ideas – The Best Party Ideas for a 12 year old

Sometimes planning a birthday party can be challenging, especially as your child gets older.  They may have stronger opinions or think it is “uncool” for Mom or Dad to plan. On the other hand, they may be excited to plan a party with you.  So if you are looking for ways to celebrate your soon to be 12 year old’s birthday, have no fear. We have some amazing 12th birthday party ideas that everyone will love!

12th Birthday Party Ideas

At the age of 12 you are teetering on the edge of becoming a teenager.  Your child will soon (if not already) be entering a physical and emotional transition, making some days perhaps more challenging as a parent.  It is yet still an exciting age.  Enjoy planning for their birthday!

Glow In The Dark Party

A glow in the dark party would be a super cool way to celebrate turning 12 years old!  Set up black lights and purchase neon colored tableware, glow sticks and glow in the dark body paint for your guests to have fun with.  For added excitement, have a dance party while the kids enjoy colorful snacks.  Lastly, ask your guests to wear bright colors that will really pop.  Don’t forget to take some photos to show off the glow in the dark fun!

Click here to read the Best Tween Party Themes!

Movie Night

movie night party

If your tween is a movie lover, than consider throwing them a movie night.  In short, there are several ways this can be done.  Your child and their friends may want to go to a movie theatre to experience the big sound and big screen.  Another idea is to hold a movie night from the comfort of your own home.  Not only could you do this inside but you could also do it outside by setting up a screen in your backyard.  No matter what theatre option your tween choses to enjoy, remember the popcorn!

Escape Room

escape room diy for kids

An escape room party is a great way to celebrate a birthday as it is fun and a fantastic way to work as a team for a common goal.  You could host your child’s birthday at a local Escape Room business or create one at home with this awesome Egyptian themed Escape Room Kit.  This kit will allow you to transform your living room into ancient Egypt easily.  All you have to do is follow the instructions and download the game kit, print out the clue cards and place them around your home.  It will surely be a memorable birthday party!

Beach Day

party ideas for 12 year olds

If you are lucky enough to live by a beach, then this could be a great option for a birthday party!  Have your guests meet there for a day of fun in the sun.  Pack lunch, beverages and sunscreen for the party goers. In between cooling off in the water, have a sand castle competition or work together to build something grand.  Beach volleyball or frisbee may be enjoyable options too! Or play some fun water games.

For safety, ensure guests can swim and chose a beach with a lifeguard on duty.  Have a splashing good time!

Birthday Hike

birthday hike

Another one of our 12th birthday party ideas is a birthday hike!  This is an awesome idea for any tween who loves the outdoors.  Find a local trail and ask guests to dress for the weather.  Prepare snacks and meals needed for the trek too.  For added fun, create a scavenger hunt or have the group participate in Geocaching.  Bring along a camera to capture wildlife and fun moments of the hikers. It will be a bonding experience!


Is your child and friends into video games?  If so, consider hosting their 12th birthday party at an arcade.  They will have a blast playing classic games like Pac-Man as well as new ones.  Look at local indoor amusement parks too like Timezone that are not only arcades, but offer birthday party packages as well as other activities like bowling, laser tag and more!  There will be so many exciting things to do, everyone will have a blast!

Spa Party

spa party for teens

No matter your age, self-care and some pampering is always nice to enjoy!  A at home spa party is a wonderful option to celebrate any birthday. Firstly, chose your color scheme.  Soft pastels of pink, purple and blue offer a calm vibe while yellow and oranges are more for an energetic feel. Secondly, decide on your spa menu.  From pedicures to facials, there are so many options! Thirdly, decide on any DYI stations like make your own lip balm or face mask. Finally, add some lovely spa music while the birthday boy or girl and their pals enjoy some rest and relaxation!

Plan a Scavenger Hunt

If you want to take a 12th birthday party to the next level then include a scavenger hunt in your party games. Kids work in teams to find the items on your scavenger hunt list and the first to find them all wins.

Star Wars Party

star wars party activities

A Star Wars party is a surefire hit for kids who love thrilling adventures and imaginative play. With iconic characters, epic lightsaber battles, and journeys to far-off galaxies, it’s a chance for young minds to step into a world of heroes and villains, where anything is possible. Whether they dream of being a brave Jedi, a cunning Sith, or a clever droid, a Star Wars party lets them live out those fantasies surrounded by like-minded friends.

Game Night

A game night is always a winner for any occasion!  Whether your child choses to play board games, video games, party games, or a combination of all three, it will surely be a good time.  At this age the kids have more critical thinking skills so they are able to play more strategic games. Ensure the gamers have some snacks to enjoy as they take part in the games together. Let the games begin!

TikTok Party

tiktok party sleepover ideas
Photo credit Sleepyheads Party

Hosting a TikTok party would not only be trendy, but also super awesome! Chose TikTok colors like black and white with a splash of pink and turquoise when choosing balloons and other decorations.  You can also buy TikTok merchandise to add to your space or give as a favor.  Some activities could include “Guess the TikToker,” sing along to top TikTok viral hits and enjoy TikTok shaped cookies.  Of course, the main thing party goers can do is make TikToks!  Learn the latest dances or perhaps they will create their own viral hit!  It will surely be a party for the times!

Video Game Party

ideas for gaming party

Gaming parties have become a wildly popular way to celebrate special occasions, captivating the hearts of both kids and adults alike. These high-energy gatherings transform living rooms into virtual playgrounds, offering an interactive experience that transcends the boundaries of traditional celebrations. From competitive races in Mario Kart to epic battles in Super Smash Bros., the selection of games is as diverse as the guests themselves. A gaming party not only fosters friendly competition but also encourage teamwork and camaraderie, creating memories that last a lifetime.

12th Birthday Party Ideas Conclusion

In essence, there are so many cool ideas out there to celebrate your child’s last year before becoming a teenager.  We hope our 12th birthday party ideas have helped spark some ways you can mark such an occasion.  For more party ideas, check out our other posts here.  Have fun planning the party with your child as planning can also make some great memories together!

For more birthday party ideas by age, check out our age-related birthday party themes below.

1st Birthday Party Ideas

2nd Birthday Party Ideas

3rd Birthday Party Ideas

4th Birthday Party Ideas

5th Birthday Party Ideas

6th Birthday Party Ideas

7th Birthday Party Ideas

8th Birthday Party Ideas

9th Birthday Party Ideas

10th Birthday Party Ideas

11th Birthday Party Ideas

12th Birthday Party Ideas

13th Birthday Party Ideas

14th Birthday Party Ideas


About Author

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Jane Sheriff is the founder, creative director, party planner and mom of three. She started Darling Celebrations back in 2012 to share easy and beautiful ideas for celebrating the special events in life.

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