My son turned 13 this year. He is well past the age where kids have parties, but we wanted to do something to celebrate his day, especially because 13 is a big year! So, we came up with this idea.
First, my wife and I looked to find places specializing in some of his favorite things. For example, he loves video games, so we found on TripAdvisor the best arcade near us. His favorite food is thin crust pizza. TripAdvisor directed us to a place near the arcade that was touted as one of the best pizza places in Chicago.
After we found five different places to go, ranging from a wonderful comic book store to a great ice-cream parlor, we went to the Dollar Store to get a “fancy” birthday box and some party invitations. For each of the five different events, we created an “invitation.”
We then decorated the front of each of the “invitations,” put the “invitations” in envelopes, and then put numbers on the front of each envelope based on where we were going first, second, third, etc.
Then, we put them in the “fancy” birthday box in chronological order, with the first place we were going on top.
On his birthday, we got in the car, without telling him really anything about what we were going to do, and gave him the box. He opened the first “invitation,” and we headed off to where the “invitation” said. We did this throughout the day, returning to our house later that night only after revisiting the arcade.
It was a lot of fun, and I think one of the great things about this idea is that you can make it as elaborate or as simple as you want.
Also, rather than listing where you are going in the “invitations,” you could create riddles for your child to solve, with the answers to the riddles providing more clues to where you are going. (We did this with our 8-year-old daughter for her birthday this year, and she loved trying to figure out where we were headed.)
Hope this idea inspires you!