Q&A: Birthday Parties on a Budget?

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Every time I've looked into an entertainment venue for birthday parties, I was just appalled at the prices! For that reason we too have stuck to parties at home. What I suggest though is to jazz them up a bit! Hire a face painter or balloon artist! A quick look at some of the daily deal sites shows several options for $20-$50. Pair that with a simpler overall approach to the birthday party and you're still under $100 for the entire event.

Two years ago I purchased a Spiderman costume off E-bay and coerced a family member into wearing it and pretending to be Spiderman for the party. What a hit! The neat thing is, we still have the costume, so we'll be able to use it again in the future! We also made our own pinata that year, which was waaay too much work but worth it, I think!

This past year I cut vests from paper grocery bags and we painted Transformer costumes. I printed out Transformer pictures from the internet which they then glued to their vests. They loved them!

My best advice is to be creative. Search the internet for ideas and use coupons to purchase the items you need! Some resources:

If you have any inexpensive options for birthday parties, leave a comment, we'd love to hear them!

I would love your advice on this and to see what other readers ideas are. I usually spend about $20-$50 on my kids birthday parties for about 6 guests including food, decorations, and goody bags. We do the parties at our home but this year I am looking for affordable alternatives. It's still cold out during our birthday season, so no outdoor parties here. Are there any places you know of that are in that price range? Most places I have found are at least $100 and don't even seem worth that price. I'd love new ideas to host an affordable birthday party outside our home.

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15 thoughts on “Q&A: Birthday Parties on a Budget?

  1. Heather says:

    We did my son's birthday party at Nickel City in Orem and it was a hit with everyone. It was $9 per child and that included admission, 40 nickels, pizza, soda, and 50 tickets and use of a party room for 1.5 hours. We had 6 kids so it was only $54. I didn't even do party favors because I figured they would get something with their tickets. We went early afternoon on a Friday so it wasn't too busy and there was hardly any clean up for me. My husband was even more than willing to come help with the party and play a few games. I would recommend it to anyone. Plus it's great for all ages.

  2. Jamie says:

    We had my daughter's ninth birthday party at Classic Skating in Layton. You don't have to actually book a party to be able to bring in your own cake and ice cream, table cloth, balloons, etc. SO what we did was buy the Moms club pack of 10 passes (that is $50, you have to purchase ten to get the $5 price but you could always save the extra passes for another time). For each child that includes skate rental, skating, bouncing on the bounce stuff and playing in the Pirates Cove and ten tokens. We brought our own cupcakes and ice cream. You don't get your own "Party Professional" but really I don't need the seventeen year old to set up a table for me, I can do that myself! I personally think that for a party like that you don't need favors either, I think playing there is favor enough. We sent each girl home with just a balloon tied to some bubbles and the prizes they got from using their tokens. It was soooo much easier then doing a party at home.

  3. Jamie says:

    so I just checked the classic web site and don't see anything about the $5 Mom club's deal it looks like they might have changed it too a pay your age deal. I'm not sure. Also, I forgot to mention that I did call the # listed for party reservations and told them when we were coming and they reserved a table for us to use free of charge. I don't know if they always are willing to do this or not. I just know that when I called the girl I talked to was very helpful and willing to help me out any way she could even though I wasn't booking one of their party packages.


  4. Nicole W. says:

    I always think it is easier to LEAVE THE HOUSE! No clean-up! Less stress! I watch CityDeals for 50% off certificates, and then I am able to do a great party somewhere for a reasonable price!

  5. Sakura says:

    I would like some suggestions. My son will be 7 in March, and he would like to have a Lego party. I live in a smaller home, and it's usually too cold to have it outside. I would love some ideas to help make his party a hit without draining the bank account.

  6. Carrie Groneman says:

    While my children were growing up, I wanted to teach them that they could have great fun on a budget; a crucial life skill.
    A few weeks before the occasion, I sat down with the birthday child and talked about the specific amount of money I had set aside for them to spend on the party – which was not much on our budget. He, or she, could use anything (that I approved of) from the house; ie: cake mix, icing, crepe paper, game supplies, invitations on the computer, etc. that would not be included in the cost.
    We planned together the way to incorporate the theme he, or she, had chosen through the party for decorations, games, treats, etc. One rule – a ‘thank you’ for each guest for coming to the party was a must.
    Now that my children are grown, I can see the benefits of teaching money management, how to look for ‘deals’, to use things on hand when possible and that FUN can be had on any budget with a little imagination and creativity.

    Carrie Groneman cgroneman@hotmail.com

  7. Anonymous says:

    We lived in the Middle East in a country where we had to do everything at home or on the compound. When my daughter had a party I decided to jazz it up by doing a Western themed party. I taped a long strip of butcher paper on the wall and let the kids decorate it. I then took the paper off the wall and placed it over poles, creating a teepee. The kids loved that. I also wanted to make something my daughter could keep forever so weeks before the party I gave each of her friends a piece of material and fabric paint and asked them to paint a picture of something they liked about the country they were living in and sign the picture. When I got all the squares back I made it into a friendship quilt and had the quilt on display at the birthday party. The kids were excited to see what happened to the picture they each made.

  8. Heather and Dave says:

    I think you can have fun w/o letting anyone know you're not spending a lot. We had a Pinkalicious party for my daughter who just turned 3. All the guests wore pink and we read the book Pinkalicious, colored a pinkalicious paper I printed from the pinkalicious website (also has cute party ideas) we had fun frosting pink cupcakes (with cherries on top of course) and got cute pink party crowns/headbands at dollar tree. That's where the paper goods came from too, cute pink heart shaped plates and party bags that we filled with large diamond rings, birthday tooting horns, circus cookies and little expandable washcloths and pink dum dum suckers. They really enjoyed playing musical chairs and dancing to music in their pink outfits. I also had 2 unicorns on a stick made by: Melissa and Doug from a furniture store in SLC that we were going to have pony races with, but didn't have time.
    A totally fun girls birthday party idea for not a lot of ca$h.

  9. Heidi Fletcher says:

    I have always liked the idea of having the party at my home. I just feel like with 12 wild and crazy kids that I am more in control that way. 🙂 Plus, a lot of those party venues scare me because they seem like havens for germs and sickness. We hired a company called Imagination Parties and I was beyond impressed with their entertainers and the overall experience and it was Mom friendly with the price, too. I was pleasantly surprised at the different options they had for almost any budget. We booked a Princess, but I think they had Pirates, Superheroes, and more. Great article. Thanks for sharing. Imagination Parties is http://www.ImaginationParties.com Good luck, all!

  10. Tammy says:

    Schowsranchette.com in pleasant grove does 2hr horseback riding birthday parties for $150 for 8 kids. They have a party room for food and games and an indoor arena for riding so its great for even bad weather parties.

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