boys playing poker
Lee Harrelson

Boys' Life

What can be harder than planning a birthday party for a boy who’s outgrown the trucks and dinosaurs themes but isn’t old enough for an unsupervised celebration? We’ve come up with a party that’s designed to provide just the right shot of maturity with a chaser that’s all sweets.

poker party invitation
Design by Terri Lahr

Face Card

Customize the invitation to include your son’s image. If you’re not tech-savvy enough to do this yourself, he probably is.

Download the poker party invitation

poker game
Lee Harrelson

Big Brother

Enlist a card-savvy grown-up to lead the game and be the dealer, because 13-year-old boys are likely not to agree on rules of play. A square of green craft felt serves as a tablecloth, and green dealer visors make all the boys feel professional.

Pirate Felt Fabric
$4.10 (per yard)
Available at Online Fabric Store

Universal Size Dealer Visor
Available at Just Poker Supplies

red, green and white M&M's and cards
Lee Harrelson

Place Your Bet

M&M’s -- custom ordered in red, green, white, and black -- serve as both poker chips and snacks. A card shuffler adds a note of authenticity to the game.

Custom Colored M&M's
$7 (7 ounces)
Available at My M&M's

2-Deck Texas Hold 'Em Automatic Card Shuffler
Available at Just Poker Supplies

skull and crossbones plate
Lee Harrelson

Cool Setting

Skull-and-crossbones china not only passes muster with the tween age group, but it also gives the dinner table a note of sophistication. The table can be set right on the green felt, with the M&M "chips" serving as a centerpiece.

steak and potato dinner
Lee Harrelson

High Steaks

A manly menu of steaks, twice-baked potatoes, and broccolini gives boys another taste of grown-up life. Try enlisting your son’s opinion when planning the menu -- you might be surprised at his appetite for sophisticated food.

Chocolate cake and root beer
Lee Harrelson

Sweet Deal

Serve root beer in a wine cooler for a festive touch. An opulent chocolate cake is a step up from the airbrushed Thomas the Tank Engine cakes of previous years.

unwrapping presents
Lee Harrelson

Gift Guys

If this age group is hard to plan a party for, it’s even harder to shop for. Below is our list of five sure-fire gift hits for 13-year-old boys, starting with the thing they all want but which feels a little uninspired in the giving.

iTunes Gift Cards
Available at Apple

Sphere Chair
Available at Target

Plasma Lamp
Available at Target

Pogo Stick
Available at Target

Card Shuffler
Available at Just Poker Supplies

watching a movie
Lee Harrelson

Action Adventure

After dinner, the boys can pile up on the sofa and watch Casino Royale, and hopefully take notes on how to wear a tuxedo from 007. Other good movie ideas include Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Weird Science, Big.

cards and a movie
Lee Harrelson

Favorite Favors

As party favors, send home a deck of cards, a DVD of the movie you watched, a dealer visor, and a grab bag of the M&M poker "chips."

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