Birthday Party for a 12-Year Old Girl

“And to think we’re having another party in just 3 days!”

These were my daughter’s words to me as we were cleaning up after our New Year’s Day Open House Party. I almost died, because she was right. I had promised her she could have a belated birthday party in January, since her birthday had fallen on the weekend before Christmas when all her friends’ families were heading out of town for the holidays.

The good news was that she had planned this whole party herself, and it was minimal work for the adults in her life.

Birthday Party for a 12 Year Old Girl

The menu uses homemade chicken, but the rest can be store bought, and the kids will love it all. I must say I felt a bit guilty using bought cupcakes for this party, but it made things so easy….

Kids walk home from school Friday afternoon together to your apartment, where they drop off backpacks and such, make popcorn, then head to movie theater to see “PS I Love You“, or some other perfect chick flick. Bring along popcorn from home and supplement with drinks from the theater. One adult leaves halfway through to go to the store for food for dinner and then home to prepare it.

Walk home to our apartment for snacks and Improv games while adults finish preparing dinner.

Improv Games


  • Cheese, grapes and crackers
  • Clementines
  • Gertie’s Artichoke Dip with crackers
  • Dried cranberries
  • Martinelli’s apple cider


  • Baked Chicken Winglets with Paul’s Barbecue Sauce – Cut chicken wings in half into winglets, then bake as described in this recipe and serve with barbecue sauce.
  • French Fries (Ore Ida frozen fries cook up deliciously, and kids love them)
  • Caesar Salad (We used Dole bagged salad mix. Again, easy and the kids love it.

Open Gifts

Spit Tournament

Every kid gets a pack of cards. (Buy a big box of playing cards at Costco) Line up in two lines of face to face on the floor. Winner of each game plays winner of game next to you, losers play each other. And so on, until there is one winner of the winners. Everyone keeps on playing – the one with the most wins is the winner, the most losses the loser, and all the rest in between. There are no prizes, just the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.


Snaps is the name of the game. The name of the game is Snaps.” This is the game they played in PS I Love you.

Birthday Cupcakes
From Crumbs. Make Cupcake Sandwiches. Here, I’ll let Natalie show you how –

Main Party over.

Sleepover for the inner circle (4 kids + Birthday girl). Watch The Breakfast Club and stay up till 3 am talking. Sleep till 11 am, then get up, have bagels and cream cheese and orange juice. Then all go home.

Except of course, the birthday girl, who declares this was the best birthday party. Ever.

8 Responses to Birthday Party for a 12-Year Old Girl

  1. Yeah! Happy Birthday Nat!! Love the improv games, but no fair if we can’t incorporate into someone’s next family party? Mmmm. A welcome home party LJG Davey? Surprise!! TBA in March…

  2. Happy birthday to your daughter (belatedly)!

    That sounds like a fun party. Even at my age, I’d have enjoyed everything about it.

  3. This makes me want to be 12 yrs. old again! And that is saying a lot. Improv games are the key I think! I used to be able to play them all night. (who are we kidding, I can still play them all night). We minimal preparation, this sounds like a party with a lot of personal touch. I am going to nip some of the ideas!

    For any of you that are looking for party ideas but are not quite as creative as Nat might want to check out the New York Kids Club. It has a variety of themed birthday party ideas that kids love but parents don’t have to clean up. The kids club is also have a special free Friday event on Jan. 18 for bloggers in NYC! Its a great opportunity to check out the facilities (like rock wall/trampoline/music room). for more information.

    Thanks for all the great tips Nat, and never feel bad about the store bought cupcakes, esp. when you turn them into yummy sandwiches.

  4. Happy birthday to your daughter, i think a lot of preparation had been done to make this day special for your daughter.

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