23 answers

Birthday Party Ideas

Hi ladies...I'm asking this for a friend. She has a little girl that is turning 4 in March and wants to throw her a special birthday party but not spend an arm and a leg!! Her husband is overseas and she is managing with 2 small little ones at home. She'd prefer NOT to have the party at home - she does not want the extra stress of cleaning house, etc. She is inviting one friend for the little girl - a 3 year old boy and then her neices will be there (ages 10,13) plus a few family members...aunt, uncle, grandpa.

So, any ideas for cheaper, away from home parties - and preferably not outside since she and both of her girls are very fair skinned and can't stay outside for long periods of time?

Thanks so much!!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Have a princes party. Let everyone come dressed for a royal ball. Make or buy inexpensive crowns. Or let the older kids help with making the crowns once they get there. Just an idea.

2 moms found this helpful

I have always done my own parties I know how stressful it is with a deployed HUBBY! Here we have a Community Center with a GREAT play room that you can reserve just add cake & balloons and you got a party! Look up Family Fun Magizine thay always have GREAT ideas.

Good Luck & Have Fun!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

If she goes to church somewhere, most churches let you reserve a room (usually the gym or fellowship hall) for free if it's your own church. If they don't belong to a church or one they'd want to use, most churches only cost around $50 to reserve their gym or room for a couple of hours.
I am a HUGE party with a tight budget planner. I'm the one all of my friends and family go to for party planning. Instead of using themed plates, napkins, etc... I usually find decorations for the theme (table pieces, wall hangings, balloons, etc) and things for the goody bags with the themes and keep the throw away paper things cheap. I usually pick 2 colors from the theme (Hello Kitty would be pink and white, rainbow brite might be red and yellow), and mix and match those colors with plates, forks, napkins and table cloths. It saves a LOT of money that way (You can get a stack of colored plates at the Dollar Tree for $1 opposed to a stack of 8 themed plates for $3, at least, anywhere else).

The Dollar tree also has a lot of really great $1 items for decorations,games and goody bag items. PM me with the theme your friend wants to do, and I'll help her out. Oriental trading is also an AWESOME place to go to for things when you have plenty of time.

Also, if it's pretty much just family, bowling can be REALLY great. She can pay around $50-60 per lane for 2hrs of bowling time (6 per lane), or she can just go and pay for a couple rounds of bowling for everyone (which ever she'd rather do). The little Banquet meals and pot pies have a free game of bowling on the back of them, and we use those for birthdays. We have a family party when we go bowling, go to Chuck E cheese, or skating on the kids' birthdays, then they have a big party with friends on weekends. The bowling alleys will put up bumpers for the kids in one lane and let them use a ramp to roll the ball down on, or they'll just give them the ramp if the adults want to use that lane too. My 2 year old has been bowling that way since he was 1, and all of my kids love it. If she goes on a sat or sun afternoon inbetween meal times, she doesn't even have to buy any food.

HTH!
K.
SAHM of 4 (3 boys and a girl)

2 moms found this helpful

My son turned 4 in December and we had a great party at Chuck E. Cheese. It was very reasonably priced and everyone had a great time. Best of all there was NO cleanup. Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful

I have been to parties at Burger King in the play room part, Mcdonalds and if she knows how the local skating ring. My daughter loved hers at the skating ring. I know Mcdonalds if pretty cheap and most of them have play areas now for the kids inside. Good Luck! I have 3 b-day parties coming up with a deployed husband, I feel your pain!!

2 moms found this helpful

The Chattanooga Zoo does a great party and it is not too expensive. They even include the goodie bags! You provide the cake. The kids go on a tour of the zoo. Then they go indoors for a talk about animals and even get to pet some. Then they go on a scavenger hunt to find clues that lead to the treasure (goodie bags)

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream does bday parties. I have not done one there but checked into it a couple of years ago. I had too many kids to include. If I remember right, the kids make tye dye shirts and makle their own sundaes. The bday child gets to put their handprint on the wall. I don't recall the cost.

Playworld Down Under is great. You provide the cake but they provide pizza and drinks.

2 moms found this helpful

sometimes if i'm strapped for cash, i take the party to chuckie cheese, i don't do thier paid party just my own cake and i buy drinks for everyone, if i have the money after getting the kids some tokens then i will buy pizza. but this way the adults and kids of all ages can have fun there!!!

2 moms found this helpful

Our best birthday parties were when our boys were preschoolers. We would get permission to use the church gazebo and playground for the fall birthday and the church fellowship hall and gym for the January birthday. We would mail out birthday invitations instructing parents to bring their child's favorite riding toy. We would bring a few extra riding toys for anyone who forgot. We had pizza, cake, ice cream, and a cooler full of juice boxes and little bottles of water. One year we even had a magician at both boys parties. Fun, easy, and cheap birthday party.

2 moms found this helpful

Have a princes party. Let everyone come dressed for a royal ball. Make or buy inexpensive crowns. Or let the older kids help with making the crowns once they get there. Just an idea.

2 moms found this helpful

I have always done my own parties I know how stressful it is with a deployed HUBBY! Here we have a Community Center with a GREAT play room that you can reserve just add cake & balloons and you got a party! Look up Family Fun Magizine thay always have GREAT ideas.

Good Luck & Have Fun!

2 moms found this helpful

What about a birthday party at the zoo or a park that has a nice playground. I think my 4th birthday party was at McDonalds (that was 30 years ago :)

2 moms found this helpful

Hi C.!
Your friend can have a wonderful library prarty at her local library. If she calls ahead, she can arrange for a librarian to read age-appropriate books, or have the party on a day when the library has a special program. Our library often has storytellers, magicians, children's authors, and craft days.
They can work with her to plan a fun event, and suggest craft ideas to go along with the "theme" of the stories. She could even request that her daughter receive books to build her library at home, in lieu of toys.
Our local YMCA has an indoor pool, and offers "pool parties". This is super easy! No clean-up, and all the fun is in the pool! This is fun for all ages.
Many gymnastics studios have great party packages, even if the kids do not take gymnastics. My daughter recently attended such a party, and the facility had an awesome instructor who played some really fun games with the kids, even on the trampoline.
Add a cake and presents, and it was really fun. Plus, the kids ranged in age from 3 to 13.
Good luck to your friend!
Warmly,
C. S.

1 mom found this helpful

C.,

I have ALWAYS had my girls birthday parties at home. I think it is a huge waste of money to do anything else.

Anyway, when my girls were little, we had a party where all of the little girls wore their favorite "play dress-up" dress and I had a few extras that I had purchased the day after halloween one year.

You can put a little make-up on the girls, teach them the "princess" wave and have them walk down the red carpet while you clap and cheer for them.

My girls loved it. I hope you do to.

K. Barrow
Hoover, AL

1 mom found this helpful

I gave my child a party at Pizza Hut.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey if she has a church home, it's a great place for a party. Most churches have a room which can be reserved for a party. My daughter is 10 and for most of her birthdays we had them in our multipurpose room @ our church.
Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

McDonald's will let you rent their playground area and throw the entire party for you. They supply the food, cake, decorations, goody bags, invitations, etc. It is only like $65 for the entire thing and you can usually stay as long as you want. This seemed pretty affordable since all that stuff adds up anyway. Plus they do all the set up & clean up. Just an idea. Hope it helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C. J,

My name is A. R. and here is a link to a website called Birthdays in Birmingham. It gives over 101 ideas for birthday parties. I have used their ideas for birthday parties for my son, 4 years old, and daughter, 3 years old, and I really have nothing but good things to say. I have friends who use the website as well. It will give you all the information as far as pricing for how many guest, if they allow outside food, if they provide food etc.
http://www.birthdaysinbirmingham.com/pages/default.asp

1 mom found this helpful

I've saw a very informal party at Chickfila recently. No real party set up. The Mom brought a cake and a few balloons.

Also, consider a trip to the mall. Let them get dressed up. Visit the carousel(if you have one), get a cookie, and a slice of pizza. Less than $5 per child.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 3 year old son and one of his favorite things to do is make and decorate cookies. I buy the roll of sugar cookie dough and let him use a rolling pin to spread it. Then I get tons of different cookie cutters for him to use. After they bake, we use icing and sprinkles to create masterpieces! I did this for him and his cousins at Christmas. They are 5,4 and 8. They all had such fun. You'll need a little flour to keep the rolling pin from sticking so it's a little messy. But that's what the kids loved about it.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi. I just went to a party for my little girl's cousin the other day and it was different. She had the party in the gym at her church! It was a large open place and she had stations for activities or games. A very unique idea that I had never thought of. Hope this helps, J.

1 mom found this helpful

http://www.amazingmoms.com/htm/KidsBirthdayParties.htm

This is a great website with tons of ideas!!

1 mom found this helpful

I work for a Boys and Girls Club and suggest that you check with local clubs in your area. Many clubs are willing to rent out the facility, and they are fully equipped to house a party for children. In most clubs, you will find a gym, pool tables, computers, game systems, etc. It's a built in party.
C.

1 mom found this helpful

I work at a hotel and we have birthday parties in our meeting room and the kids get to swim in the indoor pool. It is great for winter/spring birthdays b/c they usually dont get to have pool parties. I actually had my son's party here in December and it worked out really well.

J.

1 mom found this helpful

I had my daughter's 2nd birthday party at Chuck e Cheese. I did not reserve a table we just went kind of early and got a table. I went to the website to get coupons for pizza and tokens. There were a total of 6 kids there and they had a great time. I got her cake from Sams. Even my 15 year old cousin had a good time there.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, C..
A simple, inexpensive way to personalize an away-from-home party is to use a "colors" theme. All the colors can be used, of course, or the Birthday Girl/Boy can pick one or more favorites. This theme lends itself easily to so many ideas for foods, decorations, & activities & enhances almost any other theme idea, as well.
Birthdays for little ones are the ablolute best of times, no matter how big or small the celebration is. Ya'll have fun!

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