27 answers

4 Year Old's Birthday Party

I'm trying to figure out what to do differently for our soon-to-be 4-yr-old son. The last two years we had a smimple party at our house with food, fun and I added games last year. I'm looking to do something outside the home - but that doesn't cost a complete forture. We'd have about 10 kids and a bunch of adults. Any great ideas ? We're in upper Westchester.

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Thanks to all of you for so many great suggestions. It was a huge help and gave me lots of inspiration. My son so far is still saying he wants his party at home - but we are leaning towards the suggestion of the party at Teatown and looked at the party room today. Our son loves hiking there - so we may end up doing it there in a couple weeks. Thanks again - I'll file away all these ideas for the future years.

Featured Answers

McDonald's (the ones with the play centers) are usually a big hit with kids! They are very inexpensive and include happy meals and there is food for adults (salads, etc). I've never had a bad experience at a McD's party.

Hi P.!

You can try the local YMCA. Usually the rental is not very expensive and I hear they do theme parties. Also, community centers usually don't charge a fortune and the kids can run around and play. Another option is a park with an outdoor pavillion so that if it does rain you won't get drenched although, what can a bunch of kids do while it is raining or cold? So it all depends on when exactly and what you have in mind.

S.

How about a craft at a hobby store like Michael's or AC Moore. It's only a couple of dollars a child and you can bring in cake or cupcakes.

Hope this helps

More Answers

Hi P., What month is your party? A picnic is fun for all ages. My grandaughter will be 4 on May 24 this year. We have her party at a campground where her family goes for the weekend. Everyone brings a dish to pass and the children play games outside. Hope you enjoy what ever you do. Just being together will make it special for the family. God bless, K.

How about a party at a local firehouse. My kids just attended one this weekend and they got to ride on the firetruck,etc. and it was alot of fun.

P., When my daughter turned 4 (almost 17 years ago - it goes really fast!), we had just moved from upper Westchester Co.,NY to Dutchess Co. So that she could see her pre-school friends one more time, we had her party at the Jewish Center in Yorktown Heights. It was a "gymboree" type of party. The center supplied the adult leader for all the activities and set up tables and chairs. We supplied the cake, juice and paper goods. It was great. The kids and parents loved it. And the only clean-up we had was the wrapping paper and the tables. Don't know if they still do that. I don't remember it being too expensive - because we invited her entire class!
-R. P

My son just turned 4 in january and I had a b-day party for him at our local bowling alley. We did bumper bowling and he loved it! It cost a certain amount for each kid and included pizza, paper products,soda,and clean up. I'm sure different alleys may do it differently but it was affordable and I have been pretty tight with money since Christmas. I also had to pay extra for pizza for the adults. Another suggestion is Mcdonalds. I did that last year for him and that turned out pretty good too.I have 5 kids and dont do birthday parties at home anymore once they are old enough to enjoy something like bowling.For one-- no clean up! lol and I found I dont spend much more out then I do at home with food, snacks,ect..Oh and chuck-e-cheese is another idea if there is one in your area only here I found it to be a little pricy.

There are so many cool places check the local parent paper... try the Little Gym. However, family is most important .. so I like the sound of home,simple, family, friends...

Take the party to Mac Donalds, have your party there.

A trip to a Zoo or farm is a great idea for 4 year olds. Also a gymnastics place might have a party program that you could use. This way kids are exposed to other forms of recreation and it's a great marketing tool for the establishment. We also have a Children's museum near us in Poughkeepsie that has facilities for parties.

Good luck and limit the sugary snacks, think healthy.

L. S.

Try bumper bowling. I have done it in the past and the kids have a great time. The place usually provides pizza and soda. no set up or clean up for you and the adults can bowl too! One thing I learned is to make sure you have enough lanes so the kids keep moving, they tend to get bored if they have to wait long.

I agree with the bowling! Young children LOVE it!

A.

Hi P., I just went to a party for a 4 yr old at Pump It Up . It is a place that has those blow up slides and climbing things and stuff. The one I went to is on Long Island but I am sure there is one in Westchester. It is a two hour party....pizza and cake are built in to the time period. YOu even have the option of getting the party favors from them at a decent price. I don't know the prices of the party though. Bowling is also a good one. I also heard that Build a Bear has a nice and inexpensive party however they do not have any time built in for cake and food. Good luck

I hope this help...I can't recall where I read it, but for kids around this age there was a suggestion of a big-top birthday party. You could do it at a local community center. It wouldn't have to be expensive or huge if you had a little help. You could make soft pretzles from breadstick dough, do face painting, maybe hire a clown or juggler (talented Dad), rent a popcorn machine or jump castle. You could tailor it to be however big or small you wanted it to be. You could probably find ideas online. T. D.

my nieces and nephews have done karate parties where all the kids are taught different moves, the little gym, and bowling parties. they get a few lanes and put up the bumpers. hope this helps, we have a 2 month old so no birthday parties yet!

Hi P.,
One year we invited everyone to meet at the school playground on a weekend, and they all got to play together with the parents. Then we sat down and had a picnic on some blankets. It was inexpensive and fun.

I sense your complete energy loss that doesn't match your inner drive to do things. I remember those days. I wish I had known then what I know now.

Enjoy the party!
M.

My son will be 4 soon also - I dismissed the idea of a pirate party because he's just not ready yet... But he decided one day last week that he wanted a Toy Story party. I'm all for it! Part outerspace (Buzz) and part cowboy (Woody) - at a playground! We'll use the picnic space for burgers and hotdogs and the kids and parents can get together and play! There is a small section for the littler siblings and plenty of parking, bathrooms and shade. I'm planning the end of May. We'll have oody bags with jumpropes, bubbles, lasers (tiny squeeze flashlights for keychains - a necessity for Buzz Lightyear fans), those little parachute guys (to throw from the top of the equipment) and whetever else inspires us. This will also keep my son from having to share his toys (inside and out) like he did last year at home with the bouncy-bounce-BBQ inspired gathering! Good luck!

when my niece turned 4 we went to chuckie cheeses. the kids loved it n so did the adults. rather cheap compared to most places to. coupons are always in paper n maybe phone books too.

What about bowling. They usually have package deals for Birthday parties and gutter guards
for the little ones. Our local bowl serves pizza and soda and we bring our own cake!

I just moved from Croton (upper Westchester). Here are some inexpensive ideas: Muscoot Farm is cheap and fun. Weather permitting you get a hay ride and the guests wander around and check out the animals. You can then do pizza, cake, whatever on their picnic tables. Teatown Preservation is a little more formal and more expensive, but offers a lodge-type facility for food and fun PLUS a one-hour nature show with several meet n' greet animals. Lastly, Locomotion in Ossining offers a "gymboree"-type deal with lots of running, jumping, singing, etc. They provide everything except food (a little expensive) Hope this helps.

Hi P.!

You can try the local YMCA. Usually the rental is not very expensive and I hear they do theme parties. Also, community centers usually don't charge a fortune and the kids can run around and play. Another option is a park with an outdoor pavillion so that if it does rain you won't get drenched although, what can a bunch of kids do while it is raining or cold? So it all depends on when exactly and what you have in mind.

S.

How about a craft at a hobby store like Michael's or AC Moore. It's only a couple of dollars a child and you can bring in cake or cupcakes.

Hope this helps

I have a almost 4 year old also and a 16 month old. Last year for my sons 3rd birthday we went bowling. You have to have a minimum of 8 kids (at our bowling alley). I believe I spent about $130(actually I think it was a little less). It was a AMF bowling alley. They supplied everything but they cake, balloons and the gifts to go in the gift bags(but they supplied the gift bags). They supplied the invites, thank you cards, place settings, food (chicken strips/fries or pizza or hotdogs/fries). It was so fun. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

This year for his 4th birthday party we are going to a indoor miniture golf place.

Where I live (Mercer County) we have the Mercer County Equestrian center. I had my 4 year olds birthday party there and the kids LOVED it!! See if your County has something like that (county run = less expensive) Oriental trading even has the whole cowboy theme!!
Good luck!!

A. - 36yr old stay at home mom to 3 boys (12, 6, 6) and one girl (4)

Kids that age(especially boys)love those reptile parties.....they come to your home or location and bring reptiles and amphibians for the kids to see and learn about. My son (now 8) has been to 2 of those types of parties...once when he was about 5 and the other time was this winter. He loved it both times. It certainly keeps their attention.

Also, I wanted to mention that I have my own business on mamasource for custom party favors and invitations. If you need those services, please take a look at my website at: www.myspace.com/allinfavorinc

Not all of the items I offer are on the website, so please, contact me if you'd like and I can email you photos of other party favors available. As well as a price list

I am actually in the process of writing a book on kid's parties. When is your son's birthday and what are his interests? Once I know that I may be able to come up with some ideas for you.

I have had the following for my sons now ages 8 and 11:

Spy party
Knights party
Harry Potter (4 of them with different activities at each)
Baseball party
dinosaur party (we actually dug up "dinosaur bones")
Star Wars party
Pirate party

I also am room mom and do the kids parties at school so I have lots of different ideas for all ages.

Get back to me and maybe I can help.

hey! my little guy just turned 4 the end of feb. we had his party at chuck e cheese! not sure if thats around u... i had 8 kids and 16 adults, we paid for pizza and drinks for everyone and w/ party favors an d bring ur own cake it was about 200$

That is great that you can have the party at home, my advise keep it there and ake it small because as they get older the needs change and it becomes costly. I have two boys, 9 and 13. For each birthday we allowed them to invite the number they were turning. So it gae them a chance to really think about what a friend is and who to invite, it also keeps you sane. I come from a big family and there is always someoe that is forgotten, there shouldn't be more adults than children at a 4 yr old birthday party:) lol. This past year we had a breakfast party for 2 hours and all the fixins (bagels, cream cheese, butter, jam, cold cereals, chocolate milk, OJ, coffee for the adults, hoola hoops and a juggler.
There's nothing like a good old house party and now the boys look forward to it,when they get into the teen years it's great because they entertaint easily with a basketball and football with a party at the park. Have fun and enjoy the years.

I don't know if you have this around there, but up here (Albany) we have a few places that do art with kids that age. It only costs $2-$5 per kid, depending on the project. They give you all the supplies and you leave them the mess to clean up!!

McDonald's (the ones with the play centers) are usually a big hit with kids! They are very inexpensive and include happy meals and there is food for adults (salads, etc). I've never had a bad experience at a McD's party.

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