Ultimate 12 Year Olds Parties Guide(Budget,Themes,Games)

Children are growing so fast, aren’t they? It seems like just yesterday you were choosing which kindergarten to send them to, and now they are almost old enough to go to high school.  It is a very important transition in your kid’s life to turn from a carefree child into a tween, and they are heading to that dreadful for many parents time called teenagehood. But you, dear parent, have nothing to worry about as of right now since your kid is just turning 12 and you still have ample time to enjoy the time spent with your child before they start to value the company of their friends more. When it comes to party ideas for 12-year-olds, you should create a unique blend in between kid’s and teenager’s part, and today I am going to help you with that.

In this article we are going to talk about:

  1. Budget for your party
  2. Places to have a tween birthday party
  3. Things kids can do for a birthday party
  4. Cool game ideas


I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word ‘party’, word ‘bills’ immediately springs to my mind. But through the years of helping my friends to organize their events, I realized that it is not as scary as it appears to be. Throwing a party is a highly flexible business, you can set your budget and build your party around it. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration: your party theme, number of guests, location, food option, ect., but here I will try to give you an estimation based on my experience. I will try to give you an idea of how much people spend on birthday parties for 12-year-olds, budget variant. Let’s consider a Disney style birthday party costs calculated for 10 kids:

Decorations It is the centerpiece of the party. Luckily, there is a Dollar Tree, Wallmart and other online shops filled with cheap yet cool decoration ideas. Must-have items:

Banner $2.99*5= 14.95$

Balloons $0.74*10=7.40$

Table decorating kit $5.99*5=29.95$

Napkins, Tableware $5.99$

Hanging decorations $2.99*5= 14.95$

Food Nothing will be more satisfactory for kids like fast food. Not very healthy, but a great budget option. You can even make your fast food healthy by making it at home. I suggest you serve  hummus dip with veggies and chips for starter, and burgers for the main course:

Assorted veggies 8.99$

Chips, party bag 12,14$

Hummus 4.99$*4=19.96$

Burger patties 19.99$

Burger buns 6.99$

Condiments 4.00$

Entertainment Here prices can range. If you are celebrating at home, you can organize all the activities by yourself, so they will be completely free or require a few dollars investment for a few props. Or, alternatively, you can hire some animation or even a birthday party agency. Then your costs will significantly go up, starting with a minimum of 100$.
Drinks That is usually more than enough to get some fizzy drinks and juices.

Drinks 20.00$.

Dessert This amount of money will get you a decent cake, or you always have an option to make it yourself, or even involve the kids in the process.

Birthday cake 30.00$


So we got ourselves a pretty fun party for under 200$, isn’t it great? You can always make it cheaper by getting decorations at a dollar store and play with your food options. As a variant, you can just order a bunch of different pizzas for your kids, believe me, I did it before and it went fantastically well.


  • Your house. It is obviously the cheapest and easiest variant. The only disadvantage here is that the guests will leave, and you will stay with the ruins of your house after the party needing to clean all of that. But apart from that, the party at your own house will give the freedom of action and the possibility to plan the whole event fully by yourself.
  • Mall. Another great not very pricey variant. We all know that you can do a Mall Scavenger Hunt there, there is a lot of info about it, so I am not going to go into too many details on that one. Another great idea for a birthday party is to throw it right at the food court of the mall. You can grab some board games, order some inexpensive food, and you are all set. Kids love spending time together playing board party games and eating their favorite fast food. I did this for a party of 5, and it only cost me around 50 bucks, considering that we were not holding ourselves back on the food options. Here are some cool board games to play.
  • Restaurant/ banquet room. This is the least messy, but pretty pricey variant, I recommend you hold this type of event if you have a party of 10 or less. Apart from food, you can come up with some ideas of easy party games to play, and organize a kind of competition between the kids. Whoever wins, gets little prizes.
  • Community center. This is a cheaper alternative to a previous point. It can cost you as low as 10-15$ an hour, and you have the advantage of buying your own food and drinks, which is so much cheaper than ordering stuff at the cafe or a restaurant. It also provides enough space to play games and is normally already equipped with tables and chairs.
  • Gym/dance studio. This variant is great if your kids are all into a particular kind of dance or sport, or, alternatively, they are very energetic and require some active tasks. The gym or dance studio rooms are usually not that expensive to rent, and it’s perfect for a Saturday or Sunday party since the gym is usually not that busy at all at the weekends, works out well! Additionally, gym rooms are usually already equipped with some fun stuff like balls and mats, so it gives you a lot of room to think about the activities.
  • Limo. Last, but not least, the limo party is unconventional and cool. It is not the cheapest option I warn you, it costs around 100$ per four to rent it, but believe me, it is worth it! The only extra expenses you will have is food and drinks. Limo variants can sometimes turn out cheaper than the restaurant party, so think about this one. Plus, you won’t have to come up with a lot of entertainment ideas since kids already will be thrilled to drive around in the limo with their best friends by their side.

Check this article for some more birthday party places to go.


Here I have selected my 3 personal favorites when it comes to organizing a 12-year-old birthday party

  • Blacklight Highlighter party

This one is one of my personal favorites because it is very easy and inexpensive to organize. The only thing you need your guests to do is to ask them to show up wearing a white T-shirt and pants which they are not afraid to ruin. While kids are dancing and having fun, their friends can draw stuff on each other’s T-shirts, so at the end of the party, each kid will leave with the unique party souvenir.

Party tips:

  1. Rent the right amount of blacklights:  6ft blacklight for every 25ft of wall length in a room(make sure you cover windows!).
  2. Get plenty of  highlighters (2 per person)
  3. Bring cleaning supplies to get rid of the stains left after the party
  4. Get some fun upbeat music
  5. Remember, highlighters work great on hair too
  • Harry Potter party

I grew up watching Harry Potter, and it was one of my childhood dreams to get that precious letter from Hogwarts itself. Today modern kids all over the world enjoy watching it too, which makes this party theme unique and special. By organizing it, you will help your kids to feel like real magicians, that is so much fun!

Party tips:

  1. Send out invitations by mail imitating a true Hogwarts invitation
  2. Greet guests with a sorting hat, dividing your group into 4 groups: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Hufflepuff. Simply put candies of 4 colors into the hat, and let each kid take one. Whichever color they pick will be the color of their house.
  3. You can rent or buy a school uniform for each kid, or, as a variant, get an iconic striped scarf for each child with the color matching kid’s house.
  4. Get 4 tables to represent each of the houses
  5. You need to keep everything color coordinated! Hang each house a color banner, use streamers to beautifully connect the spaces with each other.  The food tables for each of the houses should be items in the right color. Serve cupcakes with appropriate colored icing, jars of colored candy, and place pizzas or sandwich platters in the middle of each table. Use punchbowls or cauldrons to serve your own version of butterbeer and add dry ice to create a fog effect.
  • Luau theme

This party is the absolute best for those who celebrate their birthday in spring or summer. The theme of the party brings joy and sunshine to each of your party members! Before the party starts, it will be a great idea to get straw hats for the boys, and hula skirts for the girls, and of course leis for every kid. This simple inexpensive preparation will help to set the sunny mood of the party.

Party tips:

  1. If you celebrate this event somewhere outdoors, make sure your guests know the exact location
  2. The party activities that can be organized with this party theme making it the perfect option for both small and large parties! You can play such fun and easy games as bowling with pineapples, limbo, take a whack at a piñata.
  3. The food at a luau is usually based on something that can be found on islands. You have to make sure that you have different food options for all of your guests so that everyone has something that they like to eat, for example, fish or beef tacos, rice bowls, fried shrimp, chicken fingers.
  4. Get each kid a colorful cocktail with a little umbrella inside, they will love the idea of drinking ‘ adult cocktails’.
  5. You can decorate your party with bamboo elements, it will look fresh and authentic, as well as put a grass skirt to all of the tables, or transform them into a kind of Tiki huts.


Now that we have chosen where to celebrate your party, it is time to decide on fun activities to entertain those energy balls called kids. All of them are illustrated in the video for your convenience.

Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Collect balloons. You will need 2 medium size towels, balloons, any basket where you can put the balloons. A couple of kids go at a time. Each of them sits on a towel holding the balloon, and the objective is to move on a towel towards the basket without standing up. Whoever brings more blood to the basket wins.
  2. Collect straws on a fork. The task speaks for itself. Here the kids have to put straws on a fork using just one hand, no cheating!
  3. Marbles collecting. The objective is to collect as many marbles using your feet only as possible.
  4. Collect balls with knees. It is similar to game number 1. The players have to place a little ball in between their knees and hop forward to put the ball into the basket.
  5. Pass and collect bangles. Each player has a straw, they put it in their mouse and the pass the bangle to each other on a straw, without using hands. Whichever team to collect the most bangles, wins.
  6. Eat a cookie. Here players place a cookie on their forehead and then try to put it in their mouth without using their hand. A kid to eat the biggest amount of cookies wins.
  7. Pop other player’s balloon. Tie 3 balloons to each leg of the 2 players, and then they need to try to pop all 6 balloons of the other kid. Whoever pops all the balloons first is the winner.
  8. Collect coins on a cookie. Here payers have to put a cookie in their mouth, and then try to put as many coins as they can on a cookie in 1 minute.
  9. Floating polo tower. A player has to make a tower using polo rings on a floating plate. The player whose tower is the highest wins.

More party games ideas you can find in my other article, make sure to check it out!


Today we have discussed the budget, some great and easy to organize themes for a 12-year-old birthday party, as well as some cool games,  to keep your guests cheerful and occupied. Hope you enjoyed this article, make sure you have look at my other birthday party related articles to find even more valuable information!