Invitations, decorations and venue, oh my! Planning a child's birthday party can cost you plenty. Avoid overspending on licensed themes, catering and other associated costs. Your child won't care or remember how much the party costs as long as he and his guests enjoy themselves.
Save money on the food for your party by hosting a pot luck. When inviting the family over for your child's birthday, request everyone bring a dish to serve the guests at the party. Further save on costs by hosting the party in your home or a friend's home rather than dishing out hundreds of dollars for a room rental. Keep the children occupied with simple games like bingo, Simon Says, board games or a dance competition. With some of the money you saved on food, buy items like gum, candy and cards to fill loot bags for the children to take home as favors.
Invite the kids over for a camp out in your own backyard. Allow the children to spend the night if you wish or ask the parents to pick up the kids right before bedtime, after the festivities. Set out tents or allow the kids to build a fort with blankets, towels, clothespins and other items. Organize outdoor games like a scavenger hunt to find party favors and a three-legged race. Start a bonfire at dusk to roast marshmallows and make s'mores. Give your guests a little spook and share a few ghost stories around the fire. Serve cheap and traditional barbecue food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, veggies and fruit.
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Put a creative twist on an old favorite while celebrating your kid's birthday at a local bowling alley. The alley provides the entertainment, venue and sometimes the snacks and beverages, leaving less planning and costs for you. Play one game normally and the next game take turns making silly throws. Award the child with the silliest throw with a grab bag full of candy and gum. Spend the evening before the party creating bowling pins and balls out of construction paper to decorate the party room at the alley. Incorporate the bowling theme into a homemade cake by drawing three finger holes with icing on a circular-shaped cake.
Reserve a room at a community center in your area for your child's next birthday party. Rentals usually include access to facility equipment and a private party room. The facility typically includes a swimming pool, gymnasium and a playground. Save on party favors by planning a craft-making session during the party. Stock up on pipe cleaners, stickers, markers, glitter, paper and other craft supplies from your local dollar store. Plan the party between lunch and dinner to avoid serving guests a meal. Instead, serve cake, cookies and other finger foods to save on cash. Keep the decorations simple with a just a few balloons and streamers in the colors of your child's favorite sports team.