It might be hard to believe, but before you know it, you’re planning a 12th birthday for your son or daughter. It seems like you were just figuring out what to do for their first birthday, and here you are 12 years later. The biggest difference now is your once little baby now has a lot of opinions about what they like and don’t like.

In some ways, this can make party planning easier. Your kid can tell you what they’d like to do, and you know for sure that they’re getting a birthday celebration they’ll enjoy. But, 12-year-old expectations and desires aren’t always feasible (or within your budget). Or, if you have a fickle pre-teen, they might only give you vague suggestions or “I don’t know” when you ask them what they want to do for their birthday.

No matter the reason, if you find yourself trying to come up with some party plans, you’ve come to the right place. We have tons of activities and ideas for how your son or daughter can spend their 12th birthday.

Top 50 Activity & Experience-Based Birthday Party Ideas For 12 Year Olds

Is your kid’s 12th birthday in the summer? Then a water park, swim party, or backyard barbecue might be a great way to celebrate. If it’s chilly outside, stay indoors for a painting party, sleepover or a movie night. If you don’t want to host the party at home, look into possible venues like a laser tag arena or adventure playground. Here are some top picks to get your party-planning wheels turning.

1. Play Paintball

Play Paintball

Image source: JackF

By 12, kids can start to delve into the world of paintball a bit more safely. Find a local paintball venue that caters to younger players and make sure everyone has the proper safety gear. As an alternative, you can make or buy paintballs that kids can throw instead of using paint guns. It can get pretty intense, so make sure all the parents are on board and aware of what you will be doing.

2. Roblox Party

Roblox Party

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One of the latest online game crazes is Roblox, and odds are your kids already know plenty about it. It’s the ultimate for kids into programming and coding since players can design games and play games designed by others. Let party guests get together and build a game or play as long as they want. Have plenty of snacks and drinks, so kids remember to take a break and refuel.

3. Hip-Hop Class

Hip-Hop Class

Image source: Robert Nieznanski

Get kids moving and grooving with some hip-hop dance lessons. They’ll feel like they’re making a music video, or at the very least, feel better prepared for their next Tik Tok. You can find one at a local dance studio or look into hiring a pro to come to you and teach the party guests. Make sure to snag a video of the final dance to share with all the kids.

4. Play Laser Tag

Play Laser Tag

Image source: JackF

Send out invites for kids to join the celebration at a local laser tag facility for some birthday target practice. They can choose teams or go at random and see who gets the highest score. The venue likely has several packages you can choose from with various session times and maximum guest counts. You also should get a designated room or party table to serve food, drinks, and cake to everyone in your group.

5. Rent A Boat

Rent A Boat

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If your son or daughter loves to be out on the water, consider renting a boat for their birthday. Of course, this assumes that you yourself know how to operate one. Otherwise, rent a boat that already has its own captain. You can make this more of an intimate birthday activity, perhaps where they get to invite one or two close friends. Make sure everyone wears a life jacket, and plan some activities that go along with the experience, like tubing, swimming, or fishing.

6. Go Camping

Go Camping

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Pack up the tent, sleeping bags, and other camping gear, and head out for a night or two in nature. Bring plenty of games, marshmallows for roasting, and scary stories to tell around the campfire. Let your kid invite some friends along for the ultimate birthday in the woods. Not up for tent camping? Rent a cabin, and you can still do all the fun outdoorsy stuff like hiking, fishing, riding a canoe, etc.

7. Tiny House Experience

Tiny House Experience

Image source: The Digital Architect

Another fun getaway idea for a birthday celebration is to stay in a tiny house for a couple of nights. You can find a bunch of options on places like VRBO or Airbnb. It’s a really neat experience that most kids would find really cool. Plus, depending on the house you select, most of them have a lot of outdoor space so that you can plan quite a few activities. There are even tiny houses on working farms, adding a whole extra layer of fun to the equation.

8. Have A Cake War

Have A Cake War

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No, we don’t mean let kids start throwing cake at each other (unless you really want to — but do that outside). We mean, let kids have a bake-off to see who can make the best-tasting or the best-decorated cake. Designate some unbiased judges and have prizes for the winners. Then the best part is you get tons of cakes to eat afterward. If time is short, put kids in teams and supply each with a pre-baked plain cake and make it more of a decorating contest.

9. Movies And The Mall

Movies And The Mall

Image source: SDI Productions

As kids get older, they want more independence. And pre-teens think it’s so cool when they get to do some things solo. Movies and the mall can be a fun time, but it’s important to realize that many states have laws about how old kids need to be before they can do these things unsupervised. You also need to consider the maturity level of the kids. A good option is to accompany your child and a few of their close friends to the theater, but let them sit in their own row, and you hang back a few. Then, in the mall, go with them but let them direct what store to go to and when etc.

10. Spend Time At The Arcade

Spend Time At The Arcade

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Take kids to a local arcade to play games, grab some pizza, and try to score some fun prizes. As long as you’re there with them, you can likely grab a seat and let them explore the arcade and play solo. Also, depending on the establishment, they may serve food and have the option to rent a room or table for you to set up party supplies and a cake. If not, ask if you’re allowed to bring some food in and if they have a table you can set up at.

11. Recording Studio Session

Recording Studio Session

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Is your kid an aspiring singer? Surprise them with a session at an actual, professional recording studio. Do some research to see where some local ones are or possibly some nearby. There are also companies that have people come in and record songs and music videos strictly as a commercial entertainment venue. If your budget allows, let a friend come along so they can also record a duet. As part of the package, you should receive copies of all the recordings.

12. Go To A Water Park

Go To A Water Park

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Kids love water parks with big slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, tube slides, and more. You can do everything at the park, swim, eat, have cake, etc. It’s great for summer birthdays. But if your kid’s party is in the winter and they adore water parks, check to see if any indoor ones happen to be within driving distance of you. It could be a cool birthday getaway in place of a party.

13. See A Favorite Band Play

See A Favorite Band Play

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Ask your daughter or son if they’d enjoy checking out their favorite band instead of having a big birthday party. You might be able to have a couple of friends tag along. You don’t necessarily have to buy the friends’ tickets, you can arrange with their parents ahead of time. You can check out performers’ schedules on their websites to see if they have any shows coming up around your kid’s birthday that are near to you.

14. All You Can Eat Pizza

All You Can Eat Pizza

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It’s not uncommon to find pizza at a kid’s party. It’s easy, affordable, and pretty much adored by all kids everywhere. But why not take things to a whole new level and have the whole party at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet? Kids can eat as much pizza as they can stomach and maybe even have an eating contest. Also, many of these types of eateries have some arcade games that kids can play too.

15. Skating Rink

Skating Rink

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Tell kids to strap on their skates or rollerblades for a party at the skating rink. They actually won’t need their own, though, since roller rinks will include skate rentals with their birthday packages. But you could also go to an ice skating rink, or even a skate park, especially if your kid is more into skateboards. Make sure kids wear the proper safety gear, like knee pads and helmets. If you’re in a roller rink, the party packages likely provide a designated table or room for your party crew.

16. Bike Ride And Picnic

Bike Ride And Picnic

Image source: Sergey Novikov

Pack up some picnic baskets and guide kids on a bike ride excursion on a local trail or neighborhood park. Set up a picnic lunch with lots of goodies, and have some items for kids to play outdoor games. Bring along things like a frisbee, jump rope, football, etc. This is a fun birthday option for kids who love to be outdoors. Don’t forget to pack some birthday cake for the picnic.

17. Birthday Boot Camp

Birthday Boot Camp

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If your kid and their friends are into fitness, athletics, or just love a challenge, then consider a boot camp birthday activity. Hire a trainer to come to lead everyone through a series of exercises that pushes them to test their limits and get active. They can have a blast while getting in some always-important physical fitness. Serve some hydration drinks and lots of healthy snacks (with a few sweet and salty party favorites thrown into the mix).

18. Pampering Party

Pampering Party

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Everyone could use a little pampering, no matter what their age. You can book manis/pedis at a salon or hire a pro to come to your home. You could also do your own thing with homemade face masks, let kids do makeovers, or soak their feet in a foot tub. Let kids do a crazy hair contest or nail art. There are lots of options for this one, so ask your kids what their preferences would be for the top activities.

19. Top Golf

Top Golf

Image source: San Antonio Things to Do

Your kid doesn’t have to be a golfer to enjoy playing some golf on their birthday. Places like Top Golf are great places to host birthday parties, like San Antonio Things to Do shows. They can try out their swing, hang out with friends, order yummy food, and have a great time. You can search around near your area for a Top Golf or similar facility and ask about group rates or booking a party package.

20. Birthday By The Dozen

Birthday By The Dozen

Image source: Photography By Tonelson

This party idea is somewhat of a theme idea, but it’s lots of fun if you plan to have a party at your house. Since your kid is turning 12, celebrate by the dozen. In other words, 12 of everything — 12 balloons, 12 flavors of soda, 12 games, etc. You can go as big as you want with the idea or keep it simple. Think of things like a dozen donuts or going on a scavenger hunt for 12 items.

21. Mystery Dinner Party

Mystery Dinner Party

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Don’t be fooled by this birthday idea — it’s not a murder mystery dinner (although that’s a fun idea, too). The dinner is the actual mystery. Create interesting recipes that look like something else, or let kids wear blindfolds. Have them try to guess what they’re wearing. The person with the most correct guesses will win. This idea is lots of fun and can even push some kids to step out of their comfort zones a bit.

22. Building Party

Building Party

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You can do all sorts of things with a building party idea. It could be a DIY workshop where kids build something out of wood. You can do it with prefab kits at home or sign up for a class at a local hardware shop or rec center. Or, for the budding engineer in your life, do a robotics-based building party. You can go to a location specializing in hosting parties or do it at home with kits or an outside company.

23. Get Adventurous

Get Adventurous

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Popular places for older kids’ birthday parties are often places that present lots of opportunities for adventure, challenging obstacles, and physical activity. You can go to an outdoor adventure park with a climbing ropes course, zipline, rock-climbing walls, and more. There are also indoor adventure parks that have similar experiences. The indoor venues likely have rooms you can rent as part of party packages. The outdoor parks likely have picnic areas you can plan to use for some food and cake.

24. Out On The Town

Out On The Town

Image source: Rita Aragão

Let kids feel like they’re hot stuff with a day or night out on the town in real style. Rent a limo like this party idea from Rita Aragão and take your kid’s friends to a fancy restaurant and a show. Or go to a concert or anywhere the birthday kid wants to go for their birthday. Tell kids to dress up and let them live it up for a few hours. Serve sparkling cider and other snacks in the limo.

25. The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt

The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt

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Scavenger hunts are a classic when it comes to older kids’ parties. You can make them more involved by the time your kid is 12. Instead of having to stick to the house or neighborhood, let them go on a citywide adventure. Split them into groups and let each group have an adult chaperone to drive and keep things safe, etc. The first group to return to the starting point with all their items wins a special prize.

26. Play Their Favorite Sport

Play Their Favorite Sport

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Does your kid have a favorite sport they want to play all day or maybe already play on a team? You can center their whole birthday around playing a game of baseball, soccer, football, or any other sport. Meet at a local park, split kids into teams, and let the game begin. Have drinks, snacks, and pizza ready at the sidelines. Have a couple of party guests that aren’t fans of playing? No problem, let them be mascots, cheerleaders, spectators, photographers, announcers, etc.

27. Go To A Community Pool

Go To A Community Pool

Image source: Sergey Novikov

Swim parties are tons of fun, especially if your kid’s party is in summer when it’s hot and sunny. But you don’t have to have a pool at home to have a swimming party. Even if you have a pool, many people don’t want to deal with the liability. So rent an hour or two at a local community pool. Many will provide options for a birthday or party rentals. Your guests can swim for a designated time, then enjoy food and cake in a specific room or area.

28. Barbecue And Backyard Games

Barbecue And Backyard Games

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Hold the birthday party in your own backyard and set up a bunch of game stations. Get the grill going for burgers, hot dogs, and other tasty barbecue fare. For the games, go with yard versions of Connect Four, Jenga, Yahtzee, and Tic-Tac-Toe, along with popular backyard classics. You can have horseshoes, ring toss, cornhole, ladder golf, and also play things like tag or tug-of-war. Kids can go through and play the games they want or rotate through.

29. Stay At A Local Hotel

Stay At A Local Hotel

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Want to let kids hang out all night, just not in your house? Rent a night at a local hotel for kids to watch movies, play games, and just be kids. You’ll probably want to rent two connecting rooms so that you can hang in one with them in the other (just leave the connecting doors open). Kids can also swim in the hotel pool, which adds a whole extra activity to the night.

30. Volunteer Together

Volunteer Together

Image source: FatCamera

Here’s a birthday that enables your kid to give back a little. Set up an opportunity for them to volunteer with you at a local animal shelter. If your kid is an animal lover, this might be the perfect way to spend the day. As an extra special surprise, consider letting your kid adopt a pet from the shelter at the end of the day. Obviously, only do this if you are prepared and willing to welcome a pet into the home. Also, check with the shelter ahead of time as to what you would need to do so the adoption could take place on that day.

31. Escape Artists

Escape Artists

Image source: JackF

Escape rooms are popping up in cities all over the country, with many towns having multiple locations. They’re a super fun way to spend some time testing your puzzle-solving skills and wits. Rooms usually have different themes and storylines, and you can have a certain number of people in the room at one time. Book one for your kid’s party and let them try to find their way out before time is up.

32. Karaoke Competition

Karaoke Competition

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You don’t have to be a singer to enjoy a good karaoke session. Go to a karaoke party place and let kids sing and channel their inner rock stars, country singers, or rap artists. You can also use your own karaoke machine and do it at home or rent a party room somewhere. Let your kid select the songs and decide if you want to have a contest or just let everyone perform for fun.

33. Fondue Fun

Fondue Fun

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Take kids to a fondue place to enjoy a cool eating experience. They can do all sorts of fun meats and pieces of bread to dip into hot, melty cheese. Then, follow up with a dessert course with different treats they can dip in melted chocolate. You can also get some fondue pots and host the party at home. Make sure to provide lots of unique, tasty items for dipping. Examples are marshmallows, fresh fruit, cookies, veggies, mini sausages, and more.

34. Go To A Haunted House

Go To A Haunted House

Image source: Andrew Poplavsky

If your kid’s birthday is anywhere near Halloween, consider taking everyone to a haunted house. It’s super fun and the perfect fit for kids that like things on the spooky side. Check your town for potential options but look in nearby areas too. You can likely find several different styles and levels of intensity, so you can pick one that would be a good fit for your age group. Let the staff know you have a group going through so they know to keep your party together.

35. Old-Fashioned Sleepover

Old-Fashioned Sleepover

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There’s nothing wrong with keeping things traditional and simple for your kid’s birthday. Nothing says a 12-year-old birthday like a sleepover. Let your kid invite a few friends to stay the night. They can stay as long as they want, eat munchies, play video games, watch movies, and do similar activities. Other options are makeovers, a fashion show, or combining the sleepover with another activity like a building party or art party.

36. Horseback Ride

Horseback Ride

Image source: FamVeld

Go to some local stables or a nearby farm and book a horse riding excursion. Base the session and trail on the experience level of the riders. If you’re riding at a farm, you could also arrange some other activities like feeding animals, brushing goats, or riding a tractor or hayride. Ask the staff what the options are. You might also be able to bring a picnic lunch along to enjoy while you’re at the location.

37. All About Science

All About Science

Image source: Marilyn Nieves

Book a science-based education company to come to your house and host an experiment with the kids. You could also go to a business that offers the same service at its own establishment. If your kid is into science, then this would be the party of their dreams. As an extra fun twist, look into doing food-based experiments, perhaps with some edible results that can add to the party menu.

38. Tour A Museum

Tour A Museum

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Check out a local museum that features something your kid is into, like a train museum or art gallery. Maybe it’s an automotive museum or a natural history museum. Look around in nearby towns in case there’s a location that you know would really excite your child. Booking a special tour is a great way to give the birthday kid a unique experience and personalize the visit. After you go through the museum, go to lunch or dinner or grab a fun dessert somewhere.

39. Art And Creation Party

Art And Creation Party

Image source: Claudiad

Set up tables with easels and canvases and lots of paint and brushes. Let kids create their own masterpieces or give them a template to try and recreate. You can also spread some drop cloths out on the ground to let them show off their skills on a bigger canvas. If you don’t want to get messy at your house, book a painting party at a local gallery or a sip-and-paint style venue.

40. Fashion Swap

Fashion Swap

Image source: pixelshot

This is a fun idea for the young clothes horse who loves fashion and the latest trends. Have a few clothes racks and invite everyone to bring a few clothing pieces they’re ready to pass along to someone else. Kids can have a blast shopping through the items and choosing new pieces. People get to choose as many pieces as they bring. You can also do the same thing with jewelry and shoes and other accessories.

41. Kid-Guided Road Trip

Kid-Guided Road Trip

Image source: Geber86

Ask your kid if they’d like to take a trip instead of having a party. Opt for a road trip and give your kid several options of cities so they can pick the destination. Then, on the way there, let your kid be the guide. So if they see a cool roadside attraction they want to stop at, like the world’s largest peanut, you have to stop. If they want to go to an ice cream shop for banana splits, you have to stop, etc.

42. Go To A Local Fair Or Carnival

Go To A Local Fair Or Carnival

Image source: SDI Productions

Check out an amusement park, fair, or carnival that’s near your area. Let kids roam around and ride rides, play fair games, eat junk food, and more. Another option is if there’s a circus in town or a similar event. Kids will also have fun being able to do these things with their friends. If the nearest option is a little too far, consider making it an overnight adventure. Let your kid bring a friend along. Drive to the carnival and play, stay over at a hotel, then head home after breakfast.

43. Fishing Trip

Fishing Trip

Image source: Sergey Nivens

If your kid is into the outdoors, and loves to fish, boat, etc., take them on a top-notch fishing excursion. A fishing charter is one option if you prefer some deep-sea sport. Or, you can keep it a bit more laid back and go out on the lake for the day. You can mesh this with a camping trip if you want to extend the celebration a bit.

44. Bowling Birthday

Bowling Birthday

Image source: Kzenon

A classic bowling birthday party is always a lot of fun for older kids. You can also likely play other games as many bowling alleys feature an arcade or even a laser tag arena. Ask about the different party packages they have available or if you can build your own. You’ll also have access to a designated table for your group and can order pizza, nachos, and other typical bowling alley fare. You can ask to make sure, but they’ll likely allow you to bring in your own cake.

45. Indoor Trampoline Park

Indoor Trampoline Park

Image source: Mariakray

Let kids bounce and play the day away without having to worry about the weather at an indoor trampoline park. These places feature massive and plentiful built-in trampolines all over the floor, warrior courses, climbing walls, and more. Party packages typically include grip socks for each guest, a party room, one to two hours of jump time, and usually pizza and drinks. You can ask about options you can add on or if you can design a package setup that works for you.

46. Virtual Reality Experience

Virtual Reality Experience

Image source: Andrew Poplavsky

Virtual reality experiences are becoming more and more popular and accessible these days. You can even get VR glasses that you can use at home. But finding local VR attractions can be a unique and cool way to spend your kid’s birthday. Depending on where you live, there might be a place near you that is always in operation. But, there are many VR experiences that are touring. So keep your eyes and ears open a few months before the birthday to see if one is coming to your city.

47. Party Train

Party Train

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This is a cool idea for a birthday party on the go. Take a train ride that lasts about 30 to 45 minutes. Enjoy some snacks and games on the train and plan a fun activity at the destination town, then ride the train back. The train adds to the experience and makes a fun addition to the celebration. Another option is if you have a train near your town that does round-trip excursions. You could book a two to three-hour excursion and look into hosting the whole party on the train.

48. King Or Queen For A Day

King Or Queen For A Day

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Give your kid a crown or tiara and let them be king or queen for a day. They get to rule the roost and whatever they say goes. You can set a few stipulations and guidelines first, like a budget, no new pets, now going anywhere farther than 50 miles, etc. But within your preset parameters, you need to do what they say for the day. It might be going to a certain place, eating a particular meal, or buying a new video game.

49. Dance Off

Dance Off

Image source: FatCamera

Crank up the music, dim the lights, and spin the mirror ball for an ultimate dance contest. Let kids take turns having a fun dance-off until there’s one final dancer left standing. Your kid can select the music, and if you’re able, look into renting a party room or studio to have more space. After the dance-off, you can take the competition aspect away and just let kids dance the night away.

50. Corn Maze

Corn Maze

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If it’s fall for your kid’s birthday, find a nearby corn maze for kids to travel through and explore. Corn mazes also sometimes have other activities accompanying them, like hayrides, scarecrow building, and games. If your kid’s birthday isn’t in the fall, you can set up a maze of your own using wooden palettes, caution tape, or anything else that can create walls or hallways. You could also look into any local parks that might have hedge mazes or similar activities.

Top 20 Food & Drink Ideas For 12th Birthday Party

One thing is for sure when it comes to 12-year-olds; they can eat nonstop and choose to raid your pantry as their favorite pastime. Party food is no exception, and a lot of kids can’t wait to see what’s out on the menu. Fill the food table with these tasty and popular kid-approved options.

1. Flavored Popcorn

Flavored Popcorn

Image source: Terence Miles

Serve a variety of flavored popcorn for guests to enjoy and mix and match. Options are standbys like caramel corn, cheddar cheese, and butter. But you can also try some unique flavors like peanut butter, strawberry cheesecake, and cotton candy. You can make your own or order gourmet flavored popcorn online or from specialty shops.

2. Hot Dogs

Hot Dogs

Image source: Jovanmandic

Hot dogs are a super easy and affordable addition to your party menu. Whether cooking them inside on the stove (or in the microwave) or outside on the grill, they’re a kid’s favorite. Make sure to have condiments and other toppings available, including shredded cheese, relish, mustard, and ketchup.

3. Pizza Rolls

Pizza Rolls

Image source: Shane K. Asman

There’s something about the cheesy, hot goodness of pizza rolls that make them irresistible. You can’t beat being able to pop a few bite-sized pizzas in your mouth without having to stop the fun. You can buy them in large bags and heat up a bunch in the oven at one time.

4. Chips And Queso

Chips And Queso

Image source: Eyecrave

Want to serve a snack that everybody loves? A big bowl of chips and one full of melty queso will have kids coming back for more. You’ll probably need to have some extra chips on hand to refill because guests will want every last drop of the melted cheese.

5. Fudgy Brownies

Fudgy Brownies

Image source: Rubi84

Ooey, gooey, fudgy brownies, especially warm out of the oven, are a favorite treat for adults and kids. You can buy premade brownies and warm them in your oven, or make some homemade goodies. If possible, serve alongside a bowl of hot fudge that guests can drizzle over their tasty desserts.

6. Funfetti Dip

Funfetti Dip

Image source: Princess Pinky Girl

Create a sweet-tasting dip like this Funfetti one from Princess Pinky Girl. Using frosting and just a few simple ingredients, you can have a delicious addition to your dessert table. Serve with a variety of cookies, like animal crackers, vanilla wafers, shortbread, or even graham crackers. Don’t forget to add sprinkles on top for fun pops of color.

7. Tacos And Toppings

Tacos And Toppings

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Add a little Tex-Mex flavor to your party table with a make-your-own taco bar. Provide guests with hard taco shells, soft tortillas, cheese, lettuce, guacamole, diced tomatoes, and sour cream. Have a bowl of taco meat and maybe some shredded chicken for another option. For the non-meat eaters, you could also do some spinach or beans for some veggie tacos.

8. Seven-Layer Dip

Seven-Layer Dip

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Here’s a classic party food that everyone would enjoy, popular for picnics, sporting events, and much more. So, if you put it on your birthday menu, lots of guests will be excited. Serve it with a large bowl of tortilla chips and let everyone dig in and enjoy.

9. Sandwich Kabobs

Sandwich Kabobs

Image source: Mom Endeavors

Put a unique twist on the idea of finger sandwiches or mini sliders with these sandwich kabobs from Mom Endeavors. They’re fun and make it super easy to eat your food on the go, so you don’t have to stop mingling and interacting with friends.

10. Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Image source: Marco Catrrachia

Adding pasta salad to your party spread is an especially good idea for summertime parties and birthday barbecues. Serve it in a large platter or bowl with big serving utensils that guests can use to dish a spoonful or two onto their plates. You can buy premade salad from a caterer or local restaurant or grocery or whip up your own.

11. Candy Bowl

Candy Bowl

Image source: Caio Resende

You can never go wrong when you serve a big bowl of candy at a kid’s party. (Well, it might get them extra hyped-up.) It can be a bowl of M&Ms, lots of assorted miniature chocolates, snack-size bags of popular treats, or any combination you come up with.

12. Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole

Image source: Little Sunny Kitchen

Here’s a menu item that could work for a party any time of day. Little Sunny Kitchen whips up a tater tot casserole with ground meat, cheese, and other goodies. It’s sure to please the kids with the cheese and tater tots, but adults will also love the downhome, comforting flavor.

13. Mini Sausages

Mini Sausages

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You can serve mini sausages in various ways. Either in a crock pot set to warm in a yummy sauce or plain on a platter. Have some toothpicks on hand for people to be able to serve themselves. Another option is to put a few onto skewers for some sausage kabobs.

14. Cookie Assortment

Cookie Assortment

Image source: Felipex

A couple of trays of cookies will be a welcome addition to the dessert table at your kid’s party. Include a variety of options like chocolate chip, oatmeal, shortbread, snickerdoodle, sandwich cookies, and more. Depending on your party activity, you could even have kids make cookies as part of the event.

15. Cake Pops

Cake Pops

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You can opt to serve cake pops instead of a traditional birthday cake or provide them in addition to the main cake. Buy them or make them yourself. You can decorate them in a variety of ways and serve them in unique and creative styles, like a bouquet.

16. Flavored Water

Flavored Water

Image source: Bondarillia

Water is pretty much a must at a party because you want your guests to stay hydrated while they’re having fun. But that doesn’t mean your beverages need to be boring. Serve some bottled water along with flavor packs or squeezable water flavors like Mio.

17. Design Your Own Smoothies

Design Your Own Smoothies

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Let kids choose a variety of fruits and other ingredients to make their own refreshing smoothies. You can even let them order their drinks with prepped menu cards that let them check off their options. They can turn the card in to you so you can toss their choices into a blender and deliver their handcrafted smoothie.

18. Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Image source: LauriPatterson

Ice cream and cookies are popular options for party desserts. But when you put them together into one tasty treat, you make something magical. Rich vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two delicious chocolate chip cookies becomes a showstopper. For bonus points, serve them with a bowl of chocolate syrup for dipping.

19. Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups

Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups

Image source: Damn Delicious

Grilled cheese sandwiches are an all-time staple when it comes to kid-approved meals. Damn Delicious decides to make a party-friendly version of this classic sandwich by turning it into an easy-to-eat roll-up. To make them even more accessible, put a rollup through a skewer to turn it into a grilled cheese lollipop.

20. Cauliflower Nuggets

Cauliflower Nuggets

Image source: Skinny Taste

You won’t have to worry about kids eating their vegetables when you serve these crispy cauliflower nuggets from Skinny Taste. Disguised like chicken nuggets, kids won’t be able to resist gobbling these delicious bite-size nibbles. Include a few types of dips to add some extra flavor.

Birthday Gift Ideas For 12 Year Old Boys & Girls

Now that you’ve figured out the best way to celebrate your 12-year-old’s birthday, it’s time to choose the ultimate gift. But when you start searching, you’ll quickly realize that there are tons of possibilities, which can become overwhelming. Whether shopping for your own kid or someone else’s, deciding on the ideal birthday present can be challenging.


Should you get something educational like a STEM gift? What about clothing, electronics or a music/art-related item? Or maybe some sports gear to encourage kids to be active? Actually, any of these types of gifts can be a big win for a 12-year-old. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend precious time sifting through the endless items that flood the market.


Instead, we’ve done that part for you, rounding up the top 50 toy and gift ideas for 12-year-old boys and girls. Check out our lists to cut your shopping time down significantly, ensuring you find the perfect gift without stressing out.


You can find our 12 year old boy gift list here and our girls version here. Happy shopping!

Dan Wiener
Hey there! I'm Dan, the founder behind Kids Love WHAT. I started this blog as a way to document all of the things that my 4 kids love: crafting, science experiments, good food, fun games and of course lots of toys! When I'm not busy chasing them all around, you can find me scouring the web to find the next best thing to keep them busy and out of my hair!