Milestone Birthday Traditions - 13, 16, and 18


Do you remember your 16th birthday?  I know I do cuz it's the only birthday my mom threw me a surprise party!   Chances are your 16th felt a bit more special than previous birthdays... there is a reason society calls it the "sweet 16."  For most of us, it's a milestone, a tad more special than your everyday birthday because it marks new territory, new opportunities, new privileges that come with age!   

 Start with treasured traditions...

Of course we start all birthdays with our treasured traditions of birthday breakfast with the special Birthday Plate and birthday goblet.  These are special traditions our family looks forward to every year and we wouldn't miss them. 

However, there are a few birthdays, like 16, that come with even more significance because the age brings a "rite of passage" of sorts.  At our house those birthdays are 13, 16 and 18.  We like to mark these birthdays with a few special traditions of their own.   


13 - The Milestone of moving into your teen years!

13th birthday milestone breakfast

Happy Birthday Tradition Plate, Goblet & Confetti Napkins in the Shoppe!


13 , you are no longer a kid, not a tween, but a teen!  You can full on claim being older and more mature now!  It's generally (as long as they are ready for it) when we allow them to get a cell phone too... one of the rites of passage into the teen years (at least at our house). 

We also like to mark this birthday with a 13 or official teen t-shirt as one of the birthday gifts to shout out to the world that this kid is a teen now!  Small traditions, but something that gets the kids excited and reminds them they are special and noticed.

 Here are some fun finds from Etsy makers...

16 - Might be the most fun milestone yet!

16th birthday

Birthday Plate and Runner  - Check out our Birthday Collection


16, of course comes with the privileges of getting a driver's license! At our house it means they can start dating too!  That's a huge event in itself.  We like to mark this birthday with a little more pizazz! 

When the kids were young, we did friend parties every other year.  16 was meant to be the biggest and best friend party yet, but as my kids have become teens, they tend to like smaller, simpler parties.  

When I started talking big parties to my oldest (who is quite an introvert), she wanted nothing of the sort.  So, we did something else.  Instead of a big party, I took her and her best friend on a fun overnight trip.  Thus a 16th birthday tradition was born...  big party or an out of town overnight with your best friend (and mom or dad of course!)!

 Another fun idea is if it is the year you let your child start dating, why not have their first date kicked off with mom or dad!  It's a great way to practice etiquette and a whole lot of birthday fun!


18 - Into adulthood!


18.  Well, I've only had one 18 year old so far... two more coming up before I know it though!  I'll be honest, due to circumstances at the time, my oldest daughter's 18th milestone wasn't as grand as I hoped, but she seemed content.  I've got some fun ideas in mind for my younger two as they reach this one though...

A lot of our friends take their 18 year old on a special trip to somewhere of their choosing with just the parents.  I love this idea!  What a fun milestone and memory just as your child is getting ready to leave the nest!

If that's too much, how about just doing something special like having a new adventure together?  Maybe this is the time to try indoor skydiving or ride that crazy roller coaster!  I'm sure your 18 year old will have plenty of ideas of fun (and maybe crazy) things they would like to do!


How have you celebrated special milestone birthdays?  The best ideas come from our community! Leave us a comment and share your family's milestone birthday ideas!






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