How to Plan Kids' Parties on a Budget

There’s a new wave for children’s birthday parties, and it is not your normal quick Chuck E. Cheese party or breaking a piñata in the backyard. No, children are having an extravaganza these days! There are balloon fixtures, sweets tables, photo booths, thrones, performing acts, and even live animals. You have to have an extensive guest list, VIP section, and please don’t forget your plus ones! As if there weren’t enough pressures that come with being a parent, you now have to provide an over-the-top birthday every year just to “show” your children you love them.

Well, I don’t know about everyone else, but this mom is on a budget. As a mother, of course I want to provide my children with the best, and I love the décor and enjoy the finer things just as much as the next gal. If you can afford to do this type of event for your child every year, by all means, more power to you! But for those of us who need to spend more carefully, here are some helpful tips for a budget friendly birthday party. I’ve been able to give my children big parties on a smaller budget, and with this list you’ll find helpful ways to give your child the birthday party they imagined for a much lower price.

5. Know your Budget

 Photo by Mathieu Turle

Photo by Mathieu Turle

Before you go on Pinterest and find all the amazing inspiration, know your budget! Let’s be honest, a lot of what you see took a lot of time and money to create — and rightfully so! So make sure to know how much you’re willing to spend before you hire help. There are plenty of party planners available in your area that you can find through social media that may be able to help you get the look you are going for. But party planners do deserve to be paid, and will need to be accounted for in that budget.

4. Create a Checklist

 Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

You can print our sample checklist, or create one based off things you want at the party. You’ll need to know how many guests to expect, food options, party favors and games and likely much more. Will there be entertainment? Once you know all the things you want and can fit into your budget, you can write a checklist of all the items you need. It’s also good to have a schedule for the day of and the time each activity will be done.

3. Pick a Venue

 Photo by Bruno Nascimento

Photo by Bruno Nascimento

Know where you’ll host the party early. Most local community centers and recreational parks have great prices for rentals. You can even look into getting a permit for having the party at your favorite neighborhood park, but be mindful of certain people that might call the police if they see too many of us enjoying life. If you’re a member of your local YMCA, they often offer members discounts to have parties there. If a venue isn’t in the budget, don’t be afraid to do a cookout in the backyard. Children love to be outside and with the right decorations, the backyard can make a great kid’s party.

2. Throw a BBQ

 Photo by Fábio Alves

Photo by Fábio Alves

BBQ’s will always be a great time with tasty food, good music, family and friends. Children are sure to enjoy themselves, especially when they have new games to try out like Rollors, the outdoor game of skill and luck for the whole family. A backyard BBQ helps you save money by not having to order food from a restaurant, and you can even do a potluck, where other family members pitch in to cook items to bring. It takes a village, and nothing is wrong with family coming together to support and celebrate one another.

1. Do-It-Yourself

If you’re crafty or good with your hands, make it yourself! YouTube tutorials and other places — like Black Texas pretty soon — can help you if you don’t know where to start. Most decoration essentials are balloons, the sweets, tablecloths, silverware, centerpieces, and a backdrop. Figure out how much the material will cost to make it and how much of the decorations you will need. Then get a couple friends or family to come over and help you. Make a crafting party out of it! You’ll have a fun activity to do with friends, and get your child’s party decorations done for free!

With children growing each and every day, I hope you found some of these tips useful for planning your child’s next birthday party. You don’t have to break the bank to have a good time, and your child will appreciate the effort over the price tag any day. As long as people who love them surround them, they will feel special no matter what!

Rebekah Lynn is a Chicago native bringing her Windy City flair to Austin. She's a freelance writer, licensed cosmetologist, and mompreneur. When she isn't following the latest trends in fashion and beauty, she is being a devoted mother to her children and exploring new ways to decorate and organize her home. You can follow her on Instagram at @xo_rebekahlynn.