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6 Ways to Throw a Great Children’s Birthday Party on a Budget

Updated on August 5, 2018
Alia Parisi profile image

Alia is a first-time stay-at-home mom of a beautiful baby girl, and she enjoys writing about all things family-related.

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Children’s birthdays are an exciting time for the whole family. But throwing big birthday parties every year can become quite expensive. Especially if you have several kids. Here are my 6 favorite ways to save some money and still make your kids feel special.

1. Make It Public

Have your party in a public place like a local park or playground instead of renting out an indoor venue. Look for a park with a covered pavilion with picnic tables and ideally a grill. While your first inkling might be to have the party in your backyard at home to save money, cleanup would be much easier at the park. It also saves you from meticulously straightening up your house before everyone gets there. Besides, what’s better than a bbq in the park for your birthday?

2. Send An Email

Don’t bother with fancy paper invites that will probably get lost anyway. Send an email invite instead. There are many sites you can use to find the perfect one that fits your needs. The evites are easy to personalize and most sites allow you to easily keep track of RSVPs as well. All you need are the kids’ parents’ email addresses and you are good to go.

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3. Decorate Right

Whatever your kid is currently obsessed with, there’s always a way to incorporate it into your party. Keep most of the decorations solid colors that make sense for your theme. If your little boy or girl loves fire trucks, get red plates and cups. Or if its the movie Frozen they can’t live without, get blue tablecloths and balloons. Just make sure to have a couple specific accents so your theme is clear - like a couple balloons with the characters on them or use toys that your kids may already have to go with the theme. You can even print images online to match. If you get creative, a little goes a long way.

4. Make The Activities Count

Activities can become very expensive if you’re not careful. Make them serve multiple purposes. If outside, do something similar to an Easter egg hunt. Go to the venue ahead of time and hide inexpensive items in easy to find places so kids can find lots of small prizes. Make sure there’s enough little prizes for everyone and they can double as party favors. If having cupcakes or cookies, set up a decorating station and your dessert can double as an activity. For younger kids, get some good old-fashioned bottles of bubbles from the dollar store and there will be lots of giggles. If there are enough for everyone, they could be party favors as well. The options are endless.

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5. Make Your Own Cake

It probably already occurred to you to make your own cake to save money. But there are some other options to make your kids birthday cake extra special and still not break the bank. If you’re a little more artistically inclined, think about a pull apart cupcake cake. Or you can even make a cookie cake. You can even think outside of the box and skip the cake altogether and make something like cake pops instead. Handheld treats are less messy and easier for little ones to eat.

6. Skip The Party Favors

Lastly, skip the separate party favors. If you have found some way to incorporate the favors into your party through games or activities, great. But if not, they aren’t necessary to have a great party and create lasting memories. Most party favors never get played with anyway.

A Couple More Tips...

  • Have children or nieces and nephews with birthdays close together? Have a joint birthday.
  • Have the party during afternoon hours after lunch and before dinner so you don’t need to provide a full meal.


Expensive parties don’t necessarily equal good ones. Following these tips will help you make your children’s birthday extra special without going over your budget.

© 2018 Alia Parisi

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    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 

      10 months ago from Ireland

      I think the plan to have it outside is very smart. I know some people who rent venues and go over the top. This is really good practical advise.

    • Alia Parisi profile imageAUTHOR

      Alia Parisi 

      2 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      totally! thanks for reading!

    • dredcuan profile image

      Travel Chef 

      2 years ago from Manila

      I absolutely like the idea of joint birthday celebration. Not only this can lower the budget, but at least the whole family won't simply settle for a day celebration for a month for example. Personally, we used to do this in our family, most especially for my mom and dad. Since their birthdays are may 29 and june 3, respectively. They will just decided if the party will be held on my mom's bday or my dad's bday.

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