Birthday on a Budget

Updated on April 06, 2010
M.P. asks from Alpine, TX
12 answers

My daughter is turning 10 and I need ideas for a fun birthday party (on a budget). I liked the ideas for the boy parties, but some ideas more girly. Thank you!

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answers from Austin on

In door slumber party and have the parents pick the girls up by 10:00 am and in the morn serve doughnuts and juice/milk/soy. Great fun and the girls willnever forget it.

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answers from Seattle on

Some great ideas here. If you are looking for even more, check out It is a site that does nothing but kids parties, and they have TONS of party plans. I used it to plan my daughter's eighth birthday, and found a plan, then used their PM to locate a facepainter in my price range close to my home.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

M., birthdays are GREAT, but for some reason we have gone away from the "celebration of the birthday girl/boy" to "entertaining the entire neighbourhood." What a silly thing we have done.

A sleep over with a few close friends, do their hair, nails and toes!
Make home made pizza - the kids will LOVE building their own creation.
Rent a movie or 2 - let them stay up late and have popcorn.
Do a craft that they could take home with them. My FAV? If you have a digital camera and colour printer) Take pictures of the party action. Print them about 2 or 3 each and let them make a scrap book page of the event. They can either take it home or leave it for the birthday girl to remember what her friends thought of her special day.

NO LOOT BAGS - no junk needed. I never understood why kids got a gift for coming to a party. When I host a party I do not send all my guests home with a "treat bag" why do we teach kids such a silly thing????
My girls are 14 and 10, we have NEVER done the “loot bag” thing. We do take pictures at the party of each guest with the birthday girl and then send them a hand written thank you IN THE MAIL addressed to them. Kids LOVE getting mail and it is a far better thank you than a bag full of candy.

NO JUNK FOOD - that is just my simple rule for everything.

NO PRESENTS - as the girls got older they of course wanted "more action" swimming, rock climbing, etc. So the invitations simply read this:
"Taylor Rae is 10 today, and she would LOVE for you to come rock climbing with her. The only present that she wants is your presence. Cost is $15 per climber." Parents have called me to tell me what a fabulous idea it was and said they are going to do this next year! Two things happen here. 1. The kids that want to come do, there are no limits on the numbers. And 2 - I could get my daughter something extra special for her day because I wasn't spending $100s on her "party". BTW - if you are thinking there might be parents out there who think this is"tacky", who cares! They don't have to send their kids then! Parties are for the kids. Trust me, parents would rather send $15 or $20 with their kid to pay for their activity for the day than try to find a present for a kid they don't know!

Hope this helps!

Family Success Coach

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My daughter just turned nine and we did a sleepover pizza party. We got the pizza at Little Ceasures for $5.00 each. She got to pick out a movie to watch at the Red Box. We also did create your own sundae. Another idea would be to do hair, nails, and pedicures (at the sleepover not a salone). All girls like doing this type stuff.

Hope this helps, and have fun with whatever you decide! My daughter said it was her best B-Day ever:-)




answers from New York on

Have her invite a few girls over for a sleepover. Get a pizza for dinner, do a small craft project or other activity, and let them watch a movie. Don't forget the popcorn.


answers from Raleigh on

I say do a make-over slumber party. Let the girls do their hair, nails and make-up at your house (maybe you even have one of those foot tubs that would make it feel more "real"). You can probably find a few "hair dyes" or sparkles that wash out in a wash or two, and you could use your make-up and nail polish or go buy some $1 from the dollar store or K-Mart (I've heard they have really cheap make-up). I LOVE the Little Caesar's idea and Redbox ideas that other moms have suggested. Maybe you could also do something special like a chocolate fondu bar. It is so cheap (you just melt chocolate with some cream), and it would be super special! In the morning, have something nice for breakfast (eggs, cinnamon rolls, whatever) and send the girls home! Hope this helps and have fun!



answers from Las Vegas on

Can't you just send an invitation that says, "join us for cake and ice cream" and skip the food and hoopla?

Do you have a Little Caesar in your area? Can you pick up a few $5 pizzas?



answers from San Francisco on

How about a make your own Pizza party. The girls could design their own aprons first with fabric paint or pens and iron patches etc. If you have enough time you can shop around and find aprons cheap at sales etc.
You can then buy the dough cheap at a pizza place or at Trader joe's then you just get the ingrediants. All can be acquired for under $20. Then girls make their own pizza's (you divide the dough into smaller rounds) this is interactive and handles the food portion of the evening. You can also get free pizza boxes from local pizza places to use for left over pizza or to put in favors/aprons in for when they go home. You can play fun itailian music to get them into the spirit of things while they are making the pizza.....when the pizza is ready you pop in a favorite movie and they are good to go.
Dessert can be ice cream sundaes, chocolate dipped pretzels, anything that again can be interactive ............Don't forget your local 99 cent /$1 stores. They have tons of stuff their that can help with birthdays on a budget Have fun!



answers from Chicago on

the salon at home parties or "chickie day" parties as my granddaughter and I call them. Are always hits. You can set the girls up at a table or kitchen floor space. give them stuff to "do" each others faces creams and lotions cucumbers for the eyes etc. let them paint each others fingernails and toenails. give them goodie bags with stuff to take home that they are using. at the dollar store you can get fingernail polish, those little toe separators and emery boards. polish with glitter in it is especially gaudy and loved by little girls everywhere lol. as for food the little ceasers thing is good but so is a frozen pizza or just grilled cheese and grapes or bananas. food they like. cupcakes are easier than a big cake. and koolaid. get them a movie to watch while the toes are drying. good luck. there are lots of cheap stuff to do. if you want i can email you some other ideas we have done with my daughter thru the years



answers from Corpus Christi on

When my daughter turned 10 we were not able to do much because of the money and timing (thanksgiving and christmas). Instead we made one of her favorite dinners, along with a cake and let her invite 6 special friends. The kicker is that I dressed up as a cook and my husband as a waited in a tux complete with a towel over the arm, bell on the table. They thought that it was great because they had someone waiting on them when they needed something. The cake was a tier cake with a topper on it with the most popular thing at the moment. The dinner was one that took almost half a day to fix, the tux my husband had already;. Slumber parties where they get to make their own pizza's and movies .is always a hit also, along with pop corn all night, could also be something that would be a thought.



answers from Houston on

No matter which gender they are, kids (especially this age) LOVE scavenger hunts. The hunt can be at your house, in your neighborhood, or if you have enough responsible drivers, in a relatively short distance around town. For my son's 10th birthday, we arranged a scavenger hunt around town. We split the children in to three teams (each team in their designated vehicle) and gave them hints that would lead them from destination to destination. Each team was given their directions in a different order so all teams would not be at the same place as the others at the same time. When a team reached a destination they would get their new clue AND pick up canned goods we had placed at the destination. The object was to finish and get back to the house first and learn about reaching out to those in need. Each team came home raving about how much fun they had. The canned goods they collected at each location were then donated to a local food pantry. The most fun was not who came in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd -- but the hunt itself.


answers from Houston on

You have gotten some great ideas. We have done the make over/sleep over. We also did invite 2 very close friends, have them bring a dress, do hair and make up and go to dinner all dressed up. It was a lot cheaper than a whole party with food and party supplies.
We are doing a scavenger hunt this year at the mall using digital cameras.
The girls like crafty stuff, Hobby Lobby has a great section on cheap crafts. Pick one or two that they can sit around a table and do together. This is fun and this is also something they can take home.
You can make cupcakes inside ice cream cones and have the girls decorate their own cone. Just follow the recipe for cup cakes. It is fun!! They come out looking like ice cream cones, just dont over fill. Put different toppings on the table, icing in a can, sprinkles, gummy bears.
Good luck and HAVE FUN!!

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