We all want our children’s birthdays to be magical and happy memories for years to come, but making your little girl’s birthday truly special doesn’t have to break your budget. With proper planning and some ingenuity, you can host a party that she’ll never forget.
The cheapest and most readily available venue would be to have the party at home, but if you don’t have sufficient space or it’s at an inconvenient location, there’s still possibilities for low cost venues. Options do vary throughout the year, however. For warmer weather, don’t underestimate the value of local venues such as parks or school playgrounds. Usually they’re available with enough notice and low or no cost. For cooler weather, you can check your local community for spaces in churches or centers.
Themed parties are always a hit, but you don’t have to spend a ton on decorations to get the desired effect. Buy decorations in basic colors that match your design, instead of trademarked designs (Disney Princesses). There are many stores that sell party supplies at a lower cost, think Dollar General, Family Dollar, and even the Dollar Tree. The color selection may not always be as vast, but you can find great deals on tablecloths, napkins, and plates year round.
If your daughter is dying to have yet another Disney Princess party, you can still use a coordinating basic color theme for most of the decorations and purchase a select few caricature pieces. The previously mentioned stores usually have wands and tiaras for around $1, which will make great party favors.
DIY: If you have access to the right programs (many are available free online, and a little time you can design and print your own invitations, signs, and banners for the party.
Have other children? Help them make a Happy Birthday banner, it will not only be cost effective, but also helps siblings to feel involved and makes it extra special.
Entertainment is a large part of any party, and even if you’re lucky enough to have an artistic family member to do face painting, you should look into scheduling a couple of activities. Classic games like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” are always fun, but inventive activities like a treasure hunt can really get kids excited. For outdoors, don’t forget the fun of a giant game of tag or hide and seek. If you’re limited to indoors, think about a movie, or if they might not sit still, a short video . Karaoke machines (or a stereo and a toy microphone) are always entertaining, for kids as well as the adults.
I love having a craft at parties, supplies are usually easy to find and very inexpensive. They can serve dual purpose as entertainment and party favors, as kids get to keep their projects to take home.
Choosing the right date and time for your party can help with costs as well. Hosting the event later in the evening (even on a weekday) can help limit the length and cost of a party. How? Evening events usually run shorter, everyone has to get home at a reasonable hour, and most visitors have already eaten so you would only need to provide a snack, such as chips and of course cake .
Besides entertainment, food is probably the most important part of a good party. Instead of loading up on expensive (and unhealthy) sodas or sports drinks, stock your arsenal with kid friendly options like Kool-Aid or a great tasting punch.
Probably the most expensive item on the food list is the cake. Homemade cakes are a blast at parties, I made a cake for my nephew one year with Tonka trucks, by buying toys and putting them on the cake myself. It looked incredibly similar to the store version and the toppers were actual toys as a bonus. Most of the time, I prefer to make cupcakes, they are easier to portion and fun to decorate. Add some sprinkles and candy and ask kids to decorate their own!
Just remember to plan your event around the resources that are readily available and the most stress free. This is a fun day after all, you want to enjoy it too!