With our first child, we had a birthday party every year. We held birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese, Trampoline Parks, and at our home with all of my daughter’s friends. Every year was different and special. Then my second child came along, and twice a year, we were having birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese, Trampoline Parks, and at our home with friends. It started getting pretty expensive (between $300 and $500 per party) and after the arrival of my third baby, I realized that 3 birthday parties a year wasn’t something that we could do… every single year.
We definitely want to celebrate our children’s birthdays and have each one be different and special, but we don’t want to go broke doing it. Rules at school, like having to invite either ALL of the children or ALL of one gender (so between 10-25 kids per party) and social faux pas like having enough food for all of your guests (because a few of them brought extra people) make it hard to have a cost efficient kids birthday.
Since we knew that annual birthday parties for all three wasn’t going to be possible, we sat our children down and told them that going forward, they would only have big birthday parties with friends sometimes. We’re shooting for milestone ages like 5, 10, 13, & 16- but for the ones in between, we’ll be having having cake at home with immediate family and smaller birthday celebrations.
So what are smaller birthday celebrations? Well, they are cheaper ways to celebrate birthdays that are still different and special. Check it out below.
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10 Cheap Kids Birthday Celebration Ideas
- Dinner at their favorite restaurant.
- Theme Park or Carnival Day with immediate family.
- Day Trip (to a close location of their choice) with immediate family.
- A sleepover with 3 friends at home including pizza, cake and ice cream.
- Movie and ice cream outing with 2 friends.
- Rollerskating and ice cream with 2 friends.
- Bowling and pizza with 2 friends.
- Trampoline Park and ice cream with 2 friends.
- Paint place with 2 friends.
- A live event- musical, show, concert, or sports game with 1 friend (or 2- depending on ticket prices).
Kids Birthday Budget
The objective is to stay below $60 per celebration with friends and $100 for trips and/or celebrations with family. It’s amazing how quickly birthday parties can add up between decor, goodie bags, gifts, and food. Even when you are having a party at the movie theater or Chuck E. Cheese, the cheaper packages leave you having to supply the cake, food, or decor- and next thing you know, your bill is between $300-$500. (It adds up for house parties, too!)
More Ways to Save on Kids Birthday Celebrations
There are plenty of ways to keep costs down on the outings with friends, too.
Groupon is filled with deep discounts for group activities. You only need a handful of people to enjoy an outing!
Credit Card Rewards
Depending on the type of credit card you have, it’s also worth looking into the discounts you can get on entertainment (to include concerts and theatrical performances).
Tons of places offer free birthday rewards on the day of your birthday. If you are planning an ice cream outing, be sure to ask about the birthday benefit (and save some cash!).
Why You Don’t Need to Party Every Year
In the end, expensive birthday parties don’t work for our family of 5 and I would rather my kids really enjoy their birthday with their closest friends and family, rather than spend hundreds on kids we won’t see or know in a year.
Also, it turns out that my daughter doesn’t remember every single birthday party she had and would have been just as happy going out somewhere different with close friends or family. If you’re having a grand party to impress others, you’re wasting your time, money, and causing yourself more stress than anything else.Here are 10 Cheap #Kids Birthday Ideas that are still #fun!! Click To Tweet
If you enjoyed this post, don’t forgetto check out my posts How to Save Money on Kids Clothes and Why Kids and Parents Love Junie B Jones (& a Junie B Jones The Musical ticket giveaway!!)
What do you do to celebrate your child’s birthday? What kind of cheap party celebrations have you had?