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Ideas for 12 year old birthday

21 replies

meatpie22 · 28/02/2024 10:16

Ds turns 12 in March and I'm at a loss of what to do for his birthday this year. 12 is such an odd age, too old for parties but a but young to organise anything for himself.

Had thought about a day out and taking a couple of his friends but I've a toddler too and will struggle to get them all in the car. I don't drive so dh and toddler would have to come too (nobody else to look after toddler).

Perhaps a sleepover.

Or maybe just a family day out somewhere nice but again it is hard to think of something that suits both kids and I feel like he'd probably enjoy time with his friends more.

Never thought I'd be missing the days when you'd just pay someone to turn up and entertain them all in a church hall!

Any advice? I always get so worked up about doing something special for birthdays.

OP posts:
SingaporeSlinky · 28/02/2024 10:19

Have you asked him what he’d like to do? Mine wanted to go bowling with a few friends, you can ask parents to drop off and collect from the venue if you don’t have car space. Don’t need to book the party package, if there’s a McDonalds or something close by for afterwards?

meatpie22 · 28/02/2024 10:21

I've asked him a few times and just get shrugs but yeah bowling and lunch might be a nice idea.

OP posts:
laughinglovingliving · 28/02/2024 10:23

What does he want to do?
How about a trip to the cinema or bowling with a couple of Mates? If he's trustworthy you could drop them off and pick them up afterwards?

meatpie22 · 28/02/2024 10:25

Cinema would be ideal but there has been absolutely nothing good on for ages! And can't see anything he'd like coming up next month either.

OP posts:
bigageap · 28/02/2024 10:25

You don't need to find something that suits them both. The toddler will jus have to tag along.

Midnlghtrain · 28/02/2024 10:26

Could your DH not take DS and some friends to an activity and you stay home with the toddler? Then do something separate as a family like a meal somewhere DS likes?

Is he into any particular sport? Gaming? Outdoor pursuits?

Ukholidaysaregreat · 28/02/2024 10:29

At that age my lot enjoyed laser tag, jump zones, swimming pools and we just got a new Ninja warrior assault course near us. I would take 2 or 3 mates. If my child was invited to something like this I would be happy to drive them to the venue. Ignore the toddler! It's not their birthday. Maccie Ds usually has something everyone will eat. Good Luck. Birthdays are stressful.

xILikeJamx · 28/02/2024 10:31

My DS is turning 12 this year. He and his friends are really into football and the various families often go to the local stadium to support the team. I've suggested we could do an away trip with 2 or 3 friends where I'll take them all to another town to watch the team - he went absolutely crazy for the idea and it's now all they're talking about.

mindutopia · 28/02/2024 10:33

At that age, it's much more about them and their friends than a family party. I would organise something like bowling or a film night at home with a sleepover. If bowling, parents will drop off at the venue and collect. Your dh can either drive him there and supervise or drive you there and drop you off. It shouldn't be a toddler friendly activity really. The age gap is too great for something suitable for both. Or if something at home/sleepover, one of you supervises and the other does toddler.

Tempnamechng · 28/02/2024 10:33

Get your dh to take him and his friends bowling / cinema / paintballing / lazertag. A 12yo isn't going to want to go anywhere with his friends that involves a toddler tagging along.

FunLurker · 28/02/2024 10:34

A gaming party, they sort everything and then the kids come in fir pizza or whatever. The van had loads of different consoles, ps,xbox, pc, vr.
Sports party, hire a sports pitch and play multiple games
Swimming party
Ice skating

SilverSimca · 28/02/2024 10:35

DS did Ultimate Ninja for his 12th birthday with four or five friends.

CoffeeAndEnnui · 28/02/2024 10:37

How about an escape room, if you have anywhere accessible to you? DD had her 12th birthday at an escape room with a mixed group of boys and girls and it went down well with all. Seemed just mature enough for a secondary school birthday. They did it 'alone' and then I took them all to a dessert place afterwards. Booked a booth for them and sat separately with a coffee.

Phillippeflop · 28/02/2024 10:39

My ds is 12 this summer. I’ve told him he’s not having an actual party now he’s in high school but I’m happy to take him and a couple of mates to bowling/cinema/Trampoline place/ swimming pool with slides etc and then I’ll pick up later. He can have a couple to sleep over too if he likes

can hour dh take your son and his friends and you stay with toddler?

CoffeeAndEnnui · 28/02/2024 10:40

(Sorry meant to add that you could sit separately with toddler or, more practically, let DH take them all out and have pizza or takeaway of some sort waiting when he brings them back)

TadpolesInPool · 28/02/2024 10:42

Mine didn't want to celebrate his 12th as we d recently moved overseas and although he had friends, it wasn't his friends from when he was tiny.

In the end we invited 3 boys over to play video games which worked nicely.

Other parties he's been to recently have been things like lasergame and the cinema followed by arcades.

Definitely don't take the toddler. Just 1 adult to supervise from a distance.

I always liked to have nice parties for my DC but I decided to follow his lead and honestly he was really happy with a quiet party. He's going to a 13th birthday party this weekend at someone's house which has at least 30 kids invited...not sure how that'll turn out!

MabelMaybe · 28/02/2024 10:44

We have a similar age gap so, like you, had toddler along to a 12th birthday. We did bowling and pizza hut, the 12 year olds got their own lane and cash for the air hockey machine in the foyer to spend time alone, without the toddler.

Teaandcrumpets86 · 28/02/2024 11:04

Like everyone else I’d suggest doing a family tea at home with the toddler (and possibly grandparents etc).
Then just have DH take your son and his friends out while you stay home with the toddler. Activities that are suitable for a 12 year old (bowling, cinema, lazer tag, escape room, arcade, football match etc and lunch/dinner) are unlikely to be particularly enjoyable for a toddler (or the person supervising the toddler!)

BobbyBiscuits · 28/02/2024 11:06

It might be best if he and his pals can go somewhere alone, bowling or escape room definitely good ones. If there is sufficient public transport?
Or you could ask if he wants a church hall type party, minus clowns etc obviously. Maybe a DJ/ Karaoke or something so it's more like a 'disco' so a bit more grown up? The hall would mean some younger kids could be there too. The other options means they could be independent and you wouldn't need to worry about your smaller one.

Birch101 · 28/02/2024 11:12

We just did bowling parties. Your DH and toddler can be present but apart.
Or a climb and climb activity with lunch, swimming party?

BeakyBlinders · 28/02/2024 11:57

DH could look after toddler, and you take 12 year old and friends bowling or something or go karting.

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