Preteens have outgrown cartoon character parties, but they still want to have a good time with their friends doing something age appropriate. Options for boys are varied, depending on your son's interests and your budget, so plan the party with him and let him make decisions as well. It will be fun for both of you and make him feel older and more included.
Put up a couple of tents in the backyard and have a camping party for your son and some of his friends. Give the boys some flashlights, snacks, sleeping bags and pillows for an outdoor party they will love. They can tell scary stories, and tell secrets while hanging around with nature. Give them some old-fashioned fun games such as board games to play, and if you're feeling brave light a campfire for the boys to sit and roast marshmallows around. Birthday cake can be served on a picnic table or inside the house before the boys head to the campsite.
There are several options for a sports-themed party. Take kids to a gym or YMCA and let them hold a basketball game. Buy cheap seats for a local sports event and let kids eat nachos and watch a live game. Or, let kids hit some balls at a park or batting cage. Check and see what's available in your area for a sports-minded kid, and plan a party around that. Preteen boys with lots of energy may even enjoy indoor rock climbing or rollerblading.
Video Game Party
Get boys involved in playing some games for lots of birthday fun. Hook up game systems in your living room if you have them, and let boys have an all day gaming tournament. If that isn't possible, head to an arcade with the boys and load everyone up on quarters. Order pizza or snacks and have birthday cake there at the arcade. If the party is at home, have every guest bring a favorite video game to share with the other partygoers.
A bowling party is appropriate for everyone. Plan a birthday at your local bowling alley. Many bowling alleys can rent you a table for a few hours so you can have your cake and open presents before you hit the lanes. Some bowling alleys even offer arcade games so boys can play in between hitting the pins. Parents may even want to get in on the act. It's a good activity to keep everyone moving and engaged. Offer a silly prize for the winning team.