Birthday Party Ideas for 11 Year Old Boys
If you are planning a birthday party for an 11 year old boy, but need some ideas to help you on your way, then this article will hopefully bring you just that. After all, 11-year-olds are growing up and approaching the teen years - they often have rather fixed ideas about what they like to do and what they do not like to do. Parties in soft play centres will likely be a thing of the past now, and the planning of your 11 year old's birthday celebration might require a little more thought, particularly if he is not sure himself what he wants to do. After all, you want to please your son and ensure that he enjoys his day.
In some ways, planning a birthday party for this age group can actually be easier, especially since they may now be content with inviting just a few special friends, rather than half the class. This gives you the option of making a whole day out of the celebration, rather than just a couple of rushed hours booked at one of the play centres. Taking just enough kids to fit in the car gives you a huge scope of places to go, the trick is simply choosing the right place. Alternatively, structured parties do still have a place in the life of an 11 year old boy, although he is now likely to prefer more 'grown up' activities. Girls might like discos, but to my mind, boys usually enjoy organised action, often (but not always) of a competitive nature.
Read on for some ideas on planning a birthday party for an 11 year old boy:
Let's just face it - boys really do seem to like battles, action and anything that involves shooting. It doesn't much seem to matter whether you allow them to play with toy guns when they are young or not - in the end, they discover them.
For a boy who doesn't mind a little bit of pain (from what I've heard, getting shot can sting somewhat), a paintballing party may well be right at the top of your 11 year old son's dream birthdays. Carried out in a woodland scenario, the setting adds an authentic touch to pretend battles. However, you should take care before promising your 11 year old a paintballing party - a certain amount of investigation is required.
For one thing, paintballing is rather expensive - you will probably need to allow for at least £20 per child, including extra paintballs. At many centres, the initial cost might not seem too bad, but the included paintballs will not be enough. Also, younger paintballers tend to be rather 'trigger happy' - in other words, they like to shoot the gun a lot, just because they can.
Also, not all centres will cater for an 11 year old's birthday party. Often, the minimum age requirement is 12, due to health and safety reasons. However, nationwide, there are many places that will accept children from the age of 10 - they are able to do this because extra protection is provided for the head and face.
There is no doubt that paintballing, with its vast, outdoor battle scenes - almost like a computer game coming to life - will greatly appeal to boys of this age group. There are several organisations that run good parties - for instance, a party at Delta Force is a full day session with a pizza lunch.
Laser parties are like the precursor to a full blown paintball battle. They can be enjoyed by children as young as about 6 or 7, although become more popular around 8 plus. 11 year olds still enjoy laser parties - in fact, even teenagers and grown adults play it.
Laser parties generally take place at an indoor venue, where those taking part shoot each other with laser guns. Points are recorded automatically, and while one team will triumph, there will also be individual winners. Laser parties are extremely popular for boys of this age group - most venues cater for birthday parties, thus providing food and drink. I don't think it really matters how many times boys attend laser parties - they never seem to tire of them and it's a great way to expend some energy and have lots of fun at the same time.
For boys who love organised sport, then a football party might be a good choice for an 11 year old boy's birthday celebration. With an increasing amount of soccer centres popping up, chances are there is one somewhere near you. Basically, all you do is hire out a pitch for an hour or two (it is actually surprisingly cheap: the centre nearest me hires pitches for £12 per hour), take a ball and enough friends to make two teams, and play. Pitches usually tend to be astro turf. Afterwards, you will more than likely have to make your own arrangements regarding food etc. Some sports centres will cater for parties, otherwise you could prepare a picnic or set off elsewhere for a pizza.
Alternative Sport and Activity Parties
Football is extremely popular with 11 year olds, but not all boys enjoy it. There are plenty of alternative sporting parties to choose from when planning a party for an older boy. Although a structured activity might not, at first, seem much like a party, boys do enjoy this kind of thing, and parcipating with their friends will make it all the more fun.
Rock Climbing (on a climbing wall) can often be experienced at local sports centres - many will do organised rock climbing parties for groups of children, including tuition from a trained instructor. This type of party can also sometimes be held at local scout centres, where an array of activities may be on offer.
Other ideas for activity parties include archery (a little research should tell you if this is available in your area), canoeing or kayaking at a local watersports centre, or a fun athletics party (which is often offered at good sports centres).
Go-Karting is another activity that will often appeal to this older age group - after all, boys and driving is usually a winning combination. There are actually a lot of go-karting centres around, so there is sure to be somewhere within easy reach.
If you are lucky enough to live close to a dry ski slope, then a tubing party has become a fairly recent hit for older children's birthday parties. It is certainly great fun - anyone can do it and there are no special skills involved.
Basically - for anyone who doesn't already know - tubing consists of sliding down a dry ski slope whilst sitting in a large donut-like ring. (This will not be the full main slope, but tends to be a separate slope - at our local slope it is the intermediate slope.) Tubing parties tend to last for one hour - whilst this may not seem long it is fairly standard for an activity party; any longer and the novelty may well wear off. Parties are organised by ski slope staff and children absolutely love them. While some children may find actual skiiing a daunting and perhaps rather nerve-wracking prospect, I have only ever seen positive enthusiam when it comes to tubing. The tubes can travel quite fast, so there is a lot of laughter and adrenaline pumping. It is, however, a very fun and safe activity, and is ideal for an 11 year old boy.
Movie and Pizza
For a fairly informal but fun outing, a trip to the cinema followed by a pizza, burger, etc. at a nearby restaurant is something most 11 year old boys will enjoy. Boys in this age group, although still keen on celebrating their birthday, do not always want a full-blown party. Some cinemas do birthday party packages including food, but if you only want to take along a couple of friends then doing your own thing will be just as good.
Ten Pin Bowling
Most boys enjoy ten pin bowling, and 11 is a good age for a party at a local bowling alley. There is no minimum restriction on the amount of kids you can invite, and although bowling can work out a bit expensive, it is a great treat on a special day.
Many boys are quite competitive, and take games quite seriously. Although younger boys often have bowling parties (I have known 6 year olds to do so), in my opinion it is better suited to older children. 11 year olds can understand and follow the game and scoreboard without assistance; plus they can manage the heavy bowling balls much more easily. Younger children also often get bored and distracted whilst waiting for their turn , especially if there are quite a lot of children participating. 11 year olds will wait and chat, whilst keeping an eye on the game. Younger children might enjoy bowling, but I think that it really works better for the slightly older ones.
Day at a Theme Park
A day at a theme park is a fun way to celebrate an 11 year old boy's birthday. If you live close to a good local park, it can provide the setting for a great day out. You could take along enough kids to fill the car up (which will probably not be very many). Make sure that you do not invite an odd number for the sake of pairing up for the rides - one friend is probably better than two, as is three if you can fit them in the car.
At most theme parks there is something for everyone, whether you like the thrill rides or something more sedate. If you do plan a theme park day out for your 11 year old's birthday, remember that not all children like 'scary' thrill rides, even if yours does. Also, bear in mind that some rides might have height restrictions and, while some 11 year olds will meet the height restriction, others will not yet be tall enough.
A visit to a theme park is always a special treat for a child, and this makes it a great choice for a birthday day out. Theme parks tend to be seasonal, therefore it will not be an option for a child born in January, for example (and anyway, who would really want to go then?!) Of course, theme parks are not immune to rain, so it is probably best to have a back up plan in mind, just in case of a torrential downpour.
Birthdays are Special....
Birthdays are eagerly anticipated by children of all ages, even the older ones! These days there are so many options available when planning a child's birthday party that it can sometimes seem like a difficult decision. If you have been struggling, then I hope you have found some ideas here to help you on your way.