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View Full Version : Budget birthday party ideas - girl(10) & boys (8 & 5)


aprilfoolwed
03-07-2011, 10:25 PM
Since we are doing a Disney trip this year (that was a little unplanned), we are trying to scale back on some other things.

No big $300 Bounce U birthday parties this year (price isn't the only reason - I am kind of tired of that sort of thing!).

My boys will turn 8 & 5 in April; my daughter will turn 10 in May.

They've been given the option to do something special with one friend (like a trip to a ball game, or a special restaurant or movie), or a sleepover with 2-3 friends, or a small party at home with a handful of friends.

But what to do at home?

Honestly, I don't think the 5-year-old is going to have an actual "friend" party - we'll do a party with family, and let him do something special with just the 5 of us too. But he doesn't really have any good friends yet, so I don't think it will be missed. He'll have a big old party with his cousins (who are his best friends anyway).

But the other two kids want to celebrate with friends.

My DS likes music, video games, GI Joe, etc - boy stuff. I've thought about some sort of karaoke party, or Rock Band/Guitar Hero on the Wii. Or I've thought about a Game Show type party - we'd play games and have prizes.

My DD is NOT girly at all. She likes horses, dogs and reading. No spa parties or jewelry making for her! We tossed around the idea of a cooking party - decorate cupcakes and ice cream...

Anyone have some budget-friendly, creative ideas?

sscassel
03-07-2011, 11:07 PM
A few years ago my daughter did a ColdStone Creamery party. It was a blast. This is and idea easily done at home. If you can make mini icecream cakes and freeze ahead of time. the girls had a BLAST decorating them with candies, cookie dough, icing etc. This cake was what they took home from the party instead of the junky gift bags.
My daughter also had a pajama party one yr. (We didn't have a sleep over) Everyone had to arrive in there PJ's and slippers. The make personal pizzas to eat for dinner, had cake and hung out in the living rooms with there pillows and watched movies.
This Friday my daughter turns 12. She didn't want a party. She just asked for $100 to go shopping at the mall with. Worked for me! Cheaper then a party anyway!
A lot depends on when there b-day is and what kind of specials you can look for. For instance, we live in PA about 30 minutes from Allentown. We have season tix to Dorney Park. Crtain times of the yr we can get specials on park tix. My son took 3 of his friends to Dorney for the day and it cost my $12 a ticket. I also got food specials. Be creative, talk to the kids. What about an Easter Egg Hunt party/ scavenger hunt? Well, Good Luck! Loved to hear what you ended up doing. Maybe not have a party for them all, just a family party and take them to the MK in DW and do the Disney Family Magic tour. They would love it!

aprilfoolwed
03-07-2011, 11:15 PM
Small world after all! We live in Allentown! :)

Love the ice cream cake idea! Food is one thing my DD won't turn down!

We did Dorney one year for DD's bday, since it's usually one of the first weekends it's open. Nice to have that option.

I love the idea of not having a big party for any of them! LOL Not that I don't want to celebrate their days - we always have a big family party for them, and usually take them out for dinner (their choice) on their actual bday. I wouldn't be opposed to having a friend join us for dinner and a sleepover, and then do something extra special at Disney with the whole group!

sscassel
03-08-2011, 06:49 AM
I bet if you sat them down and talked with them they wouldn't mind skipping a party for Disney. Maybe invite their best friend to the family party. Good luck with whatever you do! Maybe we will see you in Dorney some time! LOL We have season passes. We are in Harleysville.

java
03-08-2011, 08:03 AM
What about Minute to Win it type of games? The website gives you all the ideas!

http://www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/how-to/


I am loving the ice cream cake idea!! I am stealing that for tonite as a suprise for the kids!

On the cooking party.

Make your own pizza
Decorate your own cupcake
are all fun but if your daughter loves something specific - say like guacamole you could have them make that too! Any appetizers that she loves??
Or have you checked into local horse farms? We have one across the street and they don't advertise parties but they have allowed some sleep over girls from our neighborhood to come over and play with the horses(brush them, quick ride kind of thing) We live just over the PA border in NJ.
Debating the whole Dorney park thing. I wasted tickets last year.

Boys- scavenger hunts are always a hit. Follow clues to find the treasure kind of thing.
Water gun fights.

zoemurr
03-08-2011, 08:40 AM
We had an awesome MTWI party for my 9yr old and I think we're going to do it again this year w/different games. It was a bit to set up, but not too crazy.. and I got most everything at the Dollar Tree.

I have a video of the whole thing on youtube if you would like the link. It really went well.

mom2travel
03-08-2011, 08:42 AM
DD(11) has had several parties at home - Halloween, birthday, etc. She usually picks out a theme and has crafts to go with it (e.g., one year was American Girl so they decorated AG t-shirts and made paper purses).

It seems like the simpler things are the ones the kids have enjoyed the most - crafts, decorating cookies/cupcakes, making sundaes, freeze dance, limbo, charades.

We have done a few parties where the girls decorate some form of bag that they later use to collect prizes from games. DD buys inexpensive (mostly $1), fun items (chapstick, hair stuff, socks, crafts) and then wraps them individually in tissue paper. As each girl wins various games she can pick a prize from the basket, but they all must wait until the end and upwrap together. They all love this!

When DS was younger, we had a pool party at home, and one where we rented giant (4') soccer and basketballs and a goal/hoop and the kids ran around. Also did a pinata. Starting when he was about 10, he opted for smaller parties w/ just a couple of friends that involved some combination of dinner (out or in), sports & movies.

kayrosek
03-08-2011, 09:21 AM
I love the idea of a cooking party for your daughter, another thought if she loves to read would be a party based on her favorite book. Food could be nicknamed after things from the book and crafts could be themed to fit the story.I'm thinking kind of similar to the Disney family movie nights alot of people do, where they theme everything to the movie just do it to the book instead. Depending on the price of the book and how many kids you invite maybe the kids could get a copy of the book for a favor.

For your son, you said boy stuff and I thought Lego's. Decorate the cake or cupcakes with Lego candies, challenges with Lego's like build the tallest tower without it falling down, and maybe a scavenger hunt where the prize at the end is a small Lego kit to take home (or to build first and then take home if you want it to be part of the activities). At that age my son's best freind liked the Lego's cartoon movies and they both still love the Lego video games if you've got a system and one of those games and could work out how they could take turns.

aprilfoolwed
03-08-2011, 12:10 PM
So many good ideas!

This morning at breakfast, DS announced he wanted to go the movies for his birthday. We had a little chat about what that would cost for the number of friends he wanted, and decided itw as unrealistic. Then we talked about what we could do instead, and he is THRILLED about having a "movie theatre" party at home!

We had a brainstorming session, and came up with the following ideas:


Movie ticket invitations
Photos on the "red carpet" as guests enter
Showing a Blu-Ray basement theatre
Turning the dining room into a "concession stand" with popcorn, hot dogs, soft pretzels, movie theatre candy and frozen lemonade
Decorating their own "Hollywood Stars" as a craft (wooden stars that I will spray paint gold and let them decorate with rub ons and glitter etc)


We're just hoping that something good will be released on Blu-Ray before his party (April 9th)! If not, we'll show a classic or something.

I loved that I got to sneak in a budget lesson with this - we totalled up how much admission and snacks would be for him and guests at the theater, and compared it to how much it would cost to have the party at home. He loves that we can BUY a new movie (and keep it) for less than just the cost of tickets! And we can have more snacks for less money!

He asked if we could buy additional movies with the "leftover" money, but I suggested we use it at Disney - he agreed!

DD got into this planning as well, and starting talking about a food party. She loved the idea of mini-pizzas and decorating cupcakes and ice cream sundaes, so I assume we'll be doing that for her in May!