When did kids’ parties get so expensive?
Since my girls have birthdays in fall and winter, and I don’t have the biggest house, an in-home birthday party isn’t really realistic to invite all the classroom friends. It’s too rainy and cold to have the kids spend their time outside, and it really wouldn’t be too comfortable for all those kids and parents to be cooped up in our house. So we go elsewhere…
But have you seen how much it costs to host a party at the bouncy house place or the trampoline park? It’s easily $250 and up to have a birthday there – and that’s before you feed the kids any pizza, snacks or cake, plus there’s the expectation of goodie bags. When you’re on a budget, it’s just not realistic.
But there’s hope – I’ve gotten creative and I’ve come up with some ways to throw an affordable kids’ birthday party during the fall and winter (or in any month of the year). Read on for the places you can save a few dollars and still have a fun party - one that your little one will love, and that won’t break the bank.
Start with an affordable kids' party location
- Does your city have any indoor community rooms or even park shelters, if it’s not too cold yet? You’ll get to use the playground, or you can set up some fun backyard party games to keep them occupied.
- Check out your local YMCA. If you’re a member you get a better rate, but it still doesn’t cost much when you compare it to other venues. If it’s not being used for their child care, you may be able to rent out the daycare room. Ours is like a giant habit trail with tunnels, ladders and slide, portholes and lots of padding.
- Community clubhouses can be an affordable option. Many times apartments will have event spaces available to residents for free or very low cost. My sister’s house is in a gorgeous neighborhood, and we rented out their community clubhouse on the lake for a song for our wedding reception. Ask around.
- Does your local craft store host parties in their classroom? The beauty here is that the kids have set activities to keep them busy and they make their own goodie bag materials during the party. They’re pretty good at having activities that appeal to both boys and girls. While it does cost something to hold the party at the craft store, if you limit the number of kids that come, this can actually be cheaper in the end. (Plus, no cleanup at home!)
Get Cute but Inexpensive Decorations
- Get inexpensive but cute mylar balloons from the dollar store.
- The dollar store has lots of streamers, table decorations and bunting too, so if you don’t get a handful of balloons, you can decorate a whole room for $10.
- Don’t buy all themed plates, cups, napkins and tablecloths. Buy a set of plates that have the superheroes or cartoon characters they want for the party, and then get all the coordinating items in a solid color. They’re half the cost, and you still get the impact of the theme.
- Pinterest parties with all those cute printables are great, but perfectly matching paper straws in identical glass bottles aren’t really necessary.
Affordable Invitations & Party Guest List
- There are some super cute Evites out there, and they don’t cost a thing. (Bonus, if time gets away from you, they get there fast. Not that I know….)
- Don’t invite the entire class, if you can possibly avoid it. Your child’s teacher may be able to help pass on your evites to the selected parents for a smaller guest list.
Save on Party Food
- Time your party so you don’t need to feed the kids a full meal.
- An hour and a half is plenty of time to play some party games, sing happy birthday and do cake and ice cream. No need for more.
- Cut up some fruit for snacks and put out pretzels, popcorn or chips to snack on.
- Make a big pitcher of juice – don’t buy individual juice boxes or drinks.
There you have it, fourteen ways you can throw an affordable kids' birthday party.