You might think it’s tricky planning a party for tweens; however, they’re still young enough to be excited about having a birthday party and haven’t hit the angsty teenage years yet. As long as you pick something they’re interested in and invite their best friends; they will have a blast.
To help you find the perfect party for your tween, I’ve listed a few of our favorite birthday party ideas for 11 year olds that our kids have enjoyed over the years.
I’ve grouped some party ideas for boys and girls, however, many girls love a good soccer game, and boys love a sleepover as well. So don’t feel limited concerning gender. Choose whatever birthday party idea your child will enjoy most.
In my experience, it’s always best to go through the list on your own first, choose a few that you think you can plan and afford, and discuss these options with them.
When your child feels like they have a say in planning their party, they’ll be much more excited and eager to help.
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Fun Birthday Party Ideas For 11 & 12 Year Olds
1. Video Game Truck Birthday Party
Video games are very popular with tweens and teens, making a video game birthday party our top birthday suggestion. You can have a LAN game at home, go to a gaming arcade or rent a video game truck to turn your driveway into a mobile gaming theater. There is a wide selection of games available. They can usually accommodate up to 20 children playing for 90-120 minutes at a time.
2. Sports Party
We arranged a sports party where kids got to play Spikeball, Foosball and Table Tennis. They had pizza and ramped their bikes afterward. It was definitely one of the best low-cost parties we hosted at home. A simple football party is often as much fun.
3. Nerf Battle Birthday Party
If your child enjoys Nerf guns, a Nerf battle party is the ultimate party theme. Adding spray-painted forts, obstacle course, and barriers in orange and blue will add more fun to the theme.
Related: Nerf Gun Party Ideas
Going to a concert is a great birthday idea for a fun night out with one or two friends. Since you cannot control concert dates, you might have to schedule the birthday party quite a while before/after the actual birthday.
5. Theme park
No matter how old your child is, they’ll enjoy a day trip to a theme park with some friends. Birthday packages often include more than just rides, such as buffets, goody bags, and unlimited photos from the park’s rides.
6. Trampoline Dodgeball (Trampoline Park)
Dodgeball is a fun sport for boys and girls. Having an indoor trampoline party should be on top of your list. Kids have so much fun playing dodgeball and other trampoline activities that they keep asking to go back and do it again. Many trampoline parks also offer private party rooms to relax and enjoy birthday cake afterward.
7. Laser Tag Party
Keeping kids active is a good birthday party idea for 11- and 12-year-olds. Party guests will be kept on their toes while playing laser tag. Almost every laser tag company offers a party room. Pizza or cake and presents can be served before or after the tag.
8. Glow In The Dark Mini Golf
If you’re lucky enough to have a Glow in the Dark Minigolf arena nearby, you should definitely consider this for your tween’s next birthday. Ask the kids to dress in white or neon t-shirts and add some fun glow-in-the-dark party props. Our kids really enjoyed this unique 11th birthday party.
Birthday Ideas For 11 & 12 Year Old Girls
9. Coachella Picnic Birthday Party
A Coachella picnic birthday party brings the festival theme home for your little rock star. Mix flower crowns, teepees, colorful throws, pillows, feathers galore, and a photo backdrop together for a festival-like party for a girl’s 12th birthday.
10. Onesies Birthday Party
As guests are expected to dress in cute animal or cartoon-inspired onesies, it’s like attending a party with a little extra entertainment while anticipating their costumes.
- Plush fleece material
- 100% Polyester
- Button closure
11. Spa Birthday Party
The spa party theme is sure to be a hit with girls. Make sure there are facial masks and various products for the tweens at the party. Set up different stations for hairstyling, facials, pedicures, and manicures.
12. Tea Party Theme
A tea party is a great choice for girls. Decorations in the shade of pink are often used to match this theme. The foods served at tea parties are generally light and consist primarily of sweets, pastries, and the party cake. This can also be combined with some fun games to play after they’ve eaten.
13. Skating Birthday Party
Most locations where you can host a birthday party require you to put a lot of time and effort into setting it up, which is no secret to us parents. Why not consider a party at a roller-skating center? It takes most of the hassle out of planning a birthday party. This theme will also be popular since it is resurfacing as a trend, so everyone will enjoy it. Ice skating is also a fun alternative if you have a skating rink nearby.
It might be fun to get everyone some exciting, colorful socks to use and then take home.
- 4 x pairs
- 65% Polyester, 20% cotton, 15% spandex
- US shoe size 6-11
- Perfect for skating parties
14. Karaoke Party
Getting dressed up makes kids happy, and decorating the karaoke venue to match your chosen theme allows the guests to immerse themselves in an exciting atmosphere.
15. Baking Party
One of my friends organized a baking party for her tween daughter, and they all had so much fun. Based on the TV show, The Great American Bake Off, the girls each received ingredients to make a huge cupcake and decorate it any way they wished. They all came up with creative ideas and enjoyed the fruits of their labor afterward.
Birthday Ideas For 11 & 12-Year-Old Boy
Here are our top pics for your 11-year old boy birthday party ideas.
16. Paint Ball Party
Consider 12-year-old birthday party ideas acknowledging that older boys can handle bigger challenges – including paintballing.
17. Backyard Campout
It doesn’t have to be complicated to throw your child an 11th birthday party. There is nothing better than a backyard campout to bring back memories of the good old days. Everyone should bring a tent and sleeping bag and camp out in the backyard. Set up a campfire, play flashlight tag, and make s’mores for more fun and excitement.
18. Go Karting Party
We love go-karting parties for 11-year-olds, regardless of whether they are into cars or not, as it delivers an adrenaline rush and is also one of the best unisex options. The party is also an excellent opportunity for kids to get their gear on, stand on the podium, and race their friends in a safe and controlled environment.
Remember that all drivers need to be at least 48 inches tall, at least six years of age, and be able to operate the karts safely. Racers under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign a minor release liability form.
In many cities, arcade bars are becoming popular. Besides being a great party idea, it was also inexpensive. You can play arcade games, foosball, ping pong, patio pong, duckpin bowling, and bocce in arcade bars. Parents sit back and enjoy a drink while their children play.
Often bowling alleys have some arcade games as well, so you could combine arcade games with bowling parties for double the fun.
Outdoor Birthday Party Ideas For 11 & 12 Year Olds
20. Scavenger Hunt
You can plan something simple and fun or something more labor-intensive and elaborate with a scavenger hunt birthday party. There is something fun about following clues and finding some treasure for kids. When two teams compete, the fun quest becomes even more exciting.
21. Slip & Slide Party
Water slides can be rented for outdoor birthday parties during the summer. You can set up a slide of any size depending on the space where you want it installed. It doesn’t matter how big or small the slide is; it will surely be a big hit with 11-year old boys and girls!
22. Pool Party
When your child’s birthday falls during the summer, you’re best off having a pool party for their birthday. There are plenty of fun swimming pool games for teens to play this Summer at their next birthday party to keep them entertained. Be sure to get some floaties, beach balls, and pool noodles. You can have fun lounging by the pool with your friends and family while keeping an eye on your party guests.
Sleepover Ideas For 11 & 12 Year Olds
23. VSCO Aesthetic Trampoline Sleepover
The VSCO backyard sleepover is an upscale version of a teenage sleepover. It features girls camping out in the backyard, building trampoline forts, eating snacks, and having a great time. The VSCO-specific sleepover activities are similar to typical teenage girl activities, which are documented using the photo editing and sharing app VSCO.
24. Blanket Fort
No matter how old you are, building a blanket fort is a lot of fun! It doesn’t matter how old you are! You can watch movies, have conversations, and do art activities with your friends. Get your birthday girls and boys ready for their next slumber party-themed birthday by helping them build the ultimate blanket fort!
Related: What To Pack For a Sleepover
Backyard glamping is a great way to give your children a taste of the great outdoors on their birthday. This is where they can have fun, discuss their favorite movies, and play games together! In the evening, smores around the campfire would be great.
26. Movie Night Sleepover
Create an amazing makeshift movie room, comfortable enough for everyone to fall asleep after watching the film. Getting comfy and watching a few movies with your friends is a great way to relax after a long day of fun.
Related: Best Teen Movie Night Snacks
27. Spa Sleepover
This pampering sleepover theme is perfect for tween girls who love make-up, spa treatments, manicures, and pedicures. Prepare spa essentials like sleep masks, lotions, lip balms, and nail stickers to get the pampering spirit going.
Related: Fun Things To Do At A Sleepover
Birthday Themes For 11 & 12-Year-Olds
1. Star Wars Birthday Party
You will have a blast at this out-of-this-world party, whether you are a boy or a girl. Consider investing in some inexpensive light sabers or making DIY props. Many games and menus in the Star Wars universe can be adapted for the party theme.
2. Masquerade Party Theme
Kids this age still love playing dress-up but perhaps make it a bit more exciting by adding masks. Have your kid’s friends come in fun and mysterious masks. You’ll keep them guessing who’s who as they dance to the music once they get to the party!
3. Fashion Show
This birthday party theme always gets great reviews. Hats, necklaces, sunglasses, scarves, and wigs are just some of the accessories they wear to show off their glamourous outfit at the party. You can give prizes for best dressed, best walk, best pose, etc.
4. Hawaiian Party
Hawaiian-themed parties are always colorful and fun in Summer. There are plenty of luau-inspired motifs to choose from, as well as some easy luau-inspired food ideas, too.
5. Starbucks-Themed Birthday Party
In general, kids under the age of 11 or 12 are not allowed to consume coffee. However, let’s not dismiss this popular theme because it’s about coffee. Serve up chocolate drinks, caffeine-free beverages for kids, and coffee for adults with Starbucks-inspired pastries and sweets they will surely enjoy.
6. Neon Birthday Party
Use glow-in-the-dark products, including glow sticks, in a dark room with a UV blacklight, or use neon fluorescent colors in a dark room to create a visually stunning glow-in-the-dark party. In any case, your guests will be blown away, and your event will definitely stand out!
Read our full article on How To Throw A Glow In The Dark Party.
7. Basketball-Themed Party
This fun all-star birthday party theme will have your guests shooting and scoring! You can make his birthday party one to remember by taking a shot to make it truly special. Whether your number one player enjoys watching NBA players on TV or playing basketball, he will be 100% into it.
Combine this with a mini basketball hoop for his room as a gift, and he’ll be one happy birthday boy.
- Foam padded slide-on door mounts
- 5″ diameter basketball
- 9″ diameter steel rim basketball hoop
- 18″ x 12″ clear polycarbonate shatterproof backboard
- Perfect for teen room
Birthday Party Games For 11 & 12 Year Olds
1. Yard Twister
This is a spin on Twister’s classic family game. When the weather is great, or your teens prefer to play outside, this is a great option. Paint the grass with yard paint and create a giant Twister board. Having the opportunity to be near others is always attractive to teens. However, it’s a pretty harmless way for them to do so.
2. Balloon Toss
When it’s hot out, nothing beats this fun with water balloons! Fill up balloons with water and put them in a bucket. All the children should be split into pairs, and each team should get one balloon. Toss water balloons back and forth, stepping back for each toss to increase the distance between partners. A pair with the longest distance in one minute while keeping the balloon intact wins! These parties always end up in a water balloon fight, so have some extra balloons ready to go.
3. Truth, Truth, and Lie
A great party game for sleepover parties is Two Truths and a Lie. Participants take turns making three statements about themselves. There should be two true statements and one lie. It is up to the other members to guess which statement is false. This is a great way to get to know each other better.
4. Blind Makeup Artist
Tweens can demonstrate their make-up skills in this hilarious game. Ensure your tweens have lipstick, eyeshadow, powder, blush, hair accessories, etc. It is best to avoid using mascara and perfume as these could sting the eyes if misapplied. Split them into two teams. Players from each team take turns being make-up artists or models. The make-up artist for each team is blindfolded. Their job is to apply make-up to a player while the others guide them. In the end, the team with the best-looking model wins.
Your guests will love this classic board game! Without using any of the forbidden Taboo words in the clues, players try to guess the Guess word on the card. While giving clues, if the describer says one of the Taboo words on the card, the electronic buzzer will interrupt them and lose a turn. Players keep the correctly guessed cards, and the team with the most cards wins the game.
Related: Best Board Games For Teenagers
- Get your partner/team to say the Guess word without saying Taboo words or get buzzed out
- Includes 400 cards, buzzer, timer and instructions
6. Water Balloon Nose Roll
The objective is for players to roll a water balloon across a yard or a course using only their noses. Using a timer, you can see who gets the balloon across the track the fastest.
7. Water Balloon Yo-Yo
For this game, you’ll need rubber bands and water balloons. The rubber band should be cut in half and tied to the end of the water balloon. In this game, players are required to yo-yo a balloon without popping it, and the person who can yo-yo the balloon the longest wins.
Birthday Gifts For 11 & 12 Year Olds
1. DIY Wall Collage Picture Arts and Crafts Kit
Give the gift that will enhance their creativity and self-expression. Let them create art using letters to spell out their name or a word they find inspiring. Designs can be mixed and matched to suit a person’s personal style and be used as a bedroom decoration.
- 154 cutouts
- 66 letter cutouts
- 769 stickers
- 41 quote stickers
- 10 markers
- paint-safe double-sided sticky tape
- 6 yards of string
- 90 foam squares, and instructions.
- Collage measures roughly 5.5 x 3.5 feet
- Create your own collage shape
Related: Craft Kits For Teens & Tweens
2. Spikeball Game Set
The game of spikeball is a combination of volleyball and foursquare that is highly entertaining and active.
The teams alternate possession of the ball and try to spike it away from each other! Instead of hitting the ball over the net, you hit it into the net and let it bounce.
- Spikeball frame
- Play anywhere
3. Basketball Hoop (mini inside)
This is one of the most requested gifts for tween and teen boys who enjoy playing ball. They love that they can practice their skills at home or in their room.
4. Fidget Cube
The calming, therapeutic effect of this shape-shifting puzzle box soothes away stress and nerves with every satisfying click. This fidget magnet cube makes great sensory stimulation puzzle gifts for 11 & 12-year-old boys and girls.
- Award-winning Shashibo fidget box
- Features 36 rare earth magnets
- Transforms into over 70 shapes
- Collect all 12 designs to create vibrantly patterned, spellbinding 3D art!
5. Echo Dot
This smart speaker with Alexa is our 11-year-old son’s best gift he has ever received. It plays music, and Alexa never tires of answering his questions. Be warned that they will be asking Alexa to fart and burp, as this is apparently still the funniest thing for tween boys.
- Smart Speaker
- With Alexa
- Voice control
- Ask questions
6. Gravity Maze Brain Game
A gift idea like this develops critical thinking skills. Gravity Maze Brain Game is a combination of a logic game and marble run that is one of the best gifts you can buy for boys and girls.
- Develops critical skills
- Spatial reasoning and planning skills
- Gravity Maze is a combination logic game, marble run, and STEM toy
- Contains 60 challenges from beginner to expert, a game grid, 9 towers, 1 target piece, and 3 marbles.
- Easy to learn with a clear instruction manual
- Comes with 60 multi-level challenges
7. Space Robot
Your child’s curiosity about space will be stimulated by this gift idea. Children’s problem-solving abilities are improved through the process of building. They will also learn about energy conservation and the importance of protecting the environment.
- 6-in-1 Solar Space Fleet
- The solar space fleet consists of:
- Space station
- Robot dog
- Exploration vehicle
- and Aircraft
- Start with your favorite model and build your own space fleet.
8. Karaoke Microphone
Make listening and singing much more enjoyable for your kids with a microphone for kids that’s equipped with clear audio and vivid sound effects. She can sing a duet with her best friend with this karaoke microphone, whether it is for sleepovers or birthday parties.
- Play & Record Any Song
- Top Sound Quality & Fun Voice Change
- Bluetooth, Auxiliary, USB
- Battery Powered
- 8 hours of continuous use
9. The Teen Girl’s Survival Guide
The book will guide your tween girl through the steps of starting her social life. To get them thinking more deeply about themselves and others, they will participate in fun exercises and quizzes inserted between tips.
- Ten Tips for Making Friends
- Avoiding Drama
- Coping with Social Stress
- Thought-provoking exercises
- Fun quizzes
10. Life Skills for Teens
The transition from tween to teen years brings new learning and experiences, as well as questions about basic life skills. This book is here to help them solve their daily problems as they get older and take on more responsibilities.
Learn how to:
- Manage Money
- Fix Your Car
- Perform First Aid
- Plus so much more
11. Instax Mini
Although cell phone cameras work well, instant cameras are more fun. It’s especially convenient to have a small mirror for taking selfies. Alternatively, you may purchase the camera with film packs, but they are always available separately.
- Polaroid camera
- Lilac Purple
- Dedicated Selfie/Close-Up Shooting Mode
- Automatic exposure
Hopefully, these suggestions have given you some ideas and that your tweens’ birthday party is everything they wished for.