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Unique Birthday Party Ideas for Older Children

If your children are starting to reach their teenage years, or if they are already there, then it is likely you have heard the words "I'm not a kid anymore" at least once or twice in the last few months. As children get older, they are no longer happy with being seen as little, and want to be treated as the 'grown-up' that they perceive themselves to be. While it is lovely to see your children begin to develop and mature into young adults, it can also make life slightly more complicated.

For one thing, your kids are no longer going to be happy with such ideas as a princess-themed tea party or superhero dress up celebration for their birthdays. No, they are now way too cool for such things! This means that as parents it becomes more difficult to pull something out of the bag, and give your children a fun birthday party which they will be able to talk about with their friends until... well, until their next birthday when you have to go through it all again! If you are struggling to think of what to do for your child's upcoming birthday this year, then don't panic: here are a few original and entertaining birthday party ideas which would be suitable for older children.

Sleepover party

Figuring out what sort of birthday party to have for your children can be difficult, especially when you are trying to stick to a tight budget, so try and keep it simple. Sleepover parties are a nice and easy way to gather your child's peers around for a party, and require a minimal amount of effort.

Set a maximum number of people that can be invited for the night, taking into account the size of your house, how many mouths you're willing to feed, and if you have enough bathrooms to service all those midnight trips to the toilet! Choose date and time for everyone to come round in the evening, and then all you really have to do is set up the house for their arrival.

Figure out in advance where you are going to let everyone sleep overnight, and then pull out all of your spare blankets and pillows to make the area comfortable. Save yourself some hassle, and get all of the guests to bring a sleeping bag and pillow with them! Supply some easy food options, such as pizza and popcorn, and set them out on a table nearby which will be easy for them all to access without having to traipse through your home.

Finally, set a few ground rules, such as no drinking when sitting on the sofa, and reminding them that the liquor cabinet is out of bounds on pain of death. Then all you have to do is sit back, relax, and let them all entertain themselves. They will most likely just watch movies and chat amongst themselves, so you will only have to check in on them once or twice throughout the evening. Easy, simple and effective.

Escape rooms

Escape games are a fun and exciting activity for up to 8 people, and provide unique entertainment which would be perfect for a birthday party. Escape rooms provide a real-life adventure experience which involves cracking codes, figuring out puzzles and riddles, and locating clues within a space, to break out of a room in an hour or less. This would be a thrill for people of any age, and children under the age of 14 are able to participate if accompanied by a guardian.

Pittsburgh Escape Room has lots of different scenarios of rooms available. 'The Kidnapping' sees you having to search for hidden clues within the room to escape before your kidnapper returns; 'Museum Heist' allows children to role-play in the role of retired art thieves who have been hired to break into a thief's home and reclaim a rare collection of stolen artwork, and 'Operation: Casino' allows people to get into the persona of a spy and to track down the agency responsible for a fellow spy going missing. These are just a few of the rooms available, so it will be easy to find one which appeals to your child's interests, and is a great way to keep a group of children occupied for an hour. Alternatively, you could always participate in the escape games as a family.

Outdoor activities

So many children don't spend enough time outdoors these days, which gives you the perfect excuse to use the novelty of outdoor activities as an exciting way to spend a birthday. However, not many children are going to be excited by the prospect of a walk in nature, or a picnic outside, so try and think outside the box to come up with some unisex activities that children would enjoy. Go Karting is a great one for thrill-seeking children, especially one who enjoys cars. Go karting tracks can be found indoors and outdoors, so there is also the alternative of staying dry if bad weather appears.

Another great activity for a group to participate in on a birthday would be wall climbing and abseiling courses. Harnessed activities led by experienced and well-trained leaders provide a safe environment for children to try something which seems dangerous at first glance. This is something out of the ordinary, so would be a great solution for an exciting and unusual birthday party. Activities such as archery provide children with the opportunity to take on the hunter role and let out that urge to play with dangerous toys, in a minimal risk setting. An instructor would be on hand to lead the children through how to use a bow and arrow properly, and all arrows would be aimed at a target board. However, you might want to keep party sizes for this sort of activity as small as possible, just incase the children start pointing their bows in directions that they shouldn't. If you feel archery might be a bit too ambitious and accident friendly for your tastes, then laser tag is a great child-friendly alternative to activities such as paintballing, as this is a non-contact sport.

While the days of dress up parties might be gone for now, there are still plenty of fun ways to celebrate your child's birthday, so don't be disheartened!

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