Are you constantly getting those invitations? You know, the ones in those fun places with great activities and lots of people to help create excitement? No, I’m not talking about some A-lister thing, or a high society party, or even a super-cool event like an opening party. Nope. I’m talking about those invitations to kids birthday parties that all seem to take place in spaces where you can ice skate, play in a ball pit, paint pottery, or even build a robot! And now your child’s birthday is coming up and you want to do something special- because that’s the kind of parent you are- but you don’t want to cash in your life’s savings to pay for it! Those party spaces can be expensive, and when you invite the whole class, plus all the cousins and other relatives, it really adds up, so what can you do? Do not cave to the pressure!!! I repeat: do not cave! You can throw your kids a fabulous and fun party and keep it all within a very reasonable budget, and I’m going to tell you how to do it:
1. Make it at home:
Home is free, and if you have a big backyard you can even avoid messing up the house! If your house or yard are too small to handle the crowd, see if you can host the party at a relative’s house. Just remember that you’re still responsible for cleanup.
2. Send digital invites:
No need to spend money on paper invitations or postage. Emailing invitations is perfectly acceptable, and even preferable for most people.
3. Call the party for the right time of day:
The ideal time for keeping it all low-budget is to set the party for the afternoon, any time between 2 and 5 PM. This way you don’t have to serve a meal, just some snacks, and, of course, birthday cake.
4. Make your own cake:
Speaking of cake, you can keep the price down on that, too, by making and decorating your own. And if you’re not a baker you can make a pretty decent cake using a boxed mix, or ask a more experienced friend to help you pull it off. Kids like cupcakes, too, and they are cheaper than a big, fancy cake. You might even put out plain cupcakes with sprinkles, icing, and other cake decorating goodies and let the kids have fun decorating their own!
5. Don’t splurge on fancy favors:
In my experience, kids just like getting stuff at a party, and you don’t need to spend too much to make them happy. Check out the dollar bin at Target for some surprisingly good party favors. Better yet, incorporate the party activity into the favor-giving and you kill two birds with one stone. Have the kids decorate bags or paint t-shirts that they can take home.
6. Keep the activities low cost:
Why can’t a home party compete with a gym or skating party? Plan fun activities and the kids will have a great time! Ideas to try are dance party competitions, scavenger hunts, races, and even old fashioned games like musical chairs. Check out this post for some fun activities that are totally free!
7. Plan all year:
You know that a birthday comes up once every year, so prepare all year long. Stock up when you see a bargain that you can use- like favors, paper goods, and even gifts for your kids to give their friends for their birthdays.
8. Do a joint party:
To be honest, I’m not sure how I really feel about this one, but it is a way to keep costs down. Partnering up with a friend whose birthday is around the same time means that each family pays half as much. Make sure your child is okay with sharing the birthday festivities before you go ahead.
Splashy is splashy, but that doesn’t mean low-key can’t be fun!