It is so easy to throw a birthday party for boys when they are younger. Just get a local community/church hall, an entertainer dressed as their favourite character or super hero, who can make them dance to the latest pop songs, and there you have it: a successful party and a very happy boy. You may even just invite all his friends to a soft play area where you literally must do nothing but have an eye on them while chatting away with mummies (or daddies) and nibbling on those biscuits with tea. Again, a successful party and a very happy boy.

However, when your birthday boy starts getting older (8 -12) you’ll need to be a bit more sensitive to what he wants to do on his party day. There’s still a possibility he might still want to get silly with friends, both boys and girls, but from what I have experienced, boys in this age bracket start getting more into the “girly” & “boyish” labels not because they really care but because that’s the norm nowadays. So, there’s a very likely possibility that your child will want a more “boyish party” to appear more sophisticated and break with the ways of the past (disco, soft play, magician, build-a-bear parties).

The good part is, this birthday party thing is a big industry, so you have quite a few options but despite the options, often, you are left with limited choices due to distance, weather and other constraints like someone else in the class already threw the same party (although this one is not a deal breaker). In my case, both me and my son may agree on the same activity but are often left feeling disappointed due to that activity not being ideally suitable for the cold, rainy UK winters (so an important tip here is to have summer babies 😉).

From my personal experience, I have compiled a non-exhaustive list of party ideas for boys aged 8-12 and categorised them based on their location – indoors and outdoors:

Indoors:

  1. Gaming party at home/hired hall (choice of gaming vans parked outside your home, gaming set up in your living room or your very own pop up gaming tent in your back garden – can recommend Pop Up Arcade as hired them for my son’s 9th – based in London but can travel up to 30mins outside the M25 at no extra cost)
  2. Indoor Karting party (Team sport go-karting have locations all over UK, Capital Karts, Kartwheels, Formula Kids Ltd. in and around London)
  3. Tenpin Bowling
  4. Hoverboard/Segway Experience Party (Hire a hall and a company like RidenFly who will literally bring the party to you)
  5. Nerf Gun Party
  6. Trampoline park Party (They can now be found almost everywhere, that’s how popular they are)
  7. Swimming Party at local Leisure Centre
  8. Movie Night followed by a Sleepover (depending on how comfortable you and other parents are with the idea)
  9. Football/Bubble Football Party (can be both indoors in a hired hall or outdoors)
  10. Science Party

Outdoors:

  1. Paintballing / Laser Tag Party
  2. Football/Bubble Football Party
  3. Den Building/Survival Skills Party at Country Parks/Forests (Kent, Surrey, Hertford, Essex, Berkshire- the main counties around London, all offer this)
  4. Tree Top adventure Party (Go-Ape has locations all over the UK and provide a fantastic experience)
  5. Outdoor Karting party (In and around London: Lakeside Karting, Karting Nation, Revolution Karting and Buckmore Kart circuit – where Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button learned their trade)
  6. Barbecue with Water Fight Party (Summer/Warm-Weather Choice)
  7. Theme Park Party (Legoland, Chessington, Diggerland, to name a few around London, all offer kid’s party deals)

FOOD:

Want it simple and hassle free? Go the ‘order Pizza’ or ‘get a happy meal’ route as both these not only mean you won’t have to get groceries to prepare packed lunch boxes but are also a big HIT with boys this (or any) age so win-win!


PARTY FAVORS:

Lots of sweets/chocolates/marshmallows but if you want your party favour to be remembered amongst your son’s friends, add a Whoopi cushion (yes am very much talking about the one that makes a fart sound when you sit on it) or a ‘make your own poo’ kit LOL. It may sound quite gross and offensive but when it comes to boys, trust me being a mum of two, I can assure you they’ll not only love it but your son’s party favour will be a talk of the school ground for some time.

So that’ll be it for this one. Hope this list will help at least one of you reading this 😊Till next time…