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Low-Cost Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Contrary to popular belief, your child’s next birthday party can be both inexpensive and fun. In fact, you can throw a pretty awesome party without breaking the bank. Here are some of the best tips for throwing a birthday party on a budget.

Get the Timing Right

Try to avoid hosting the party in the morning or evening when guests expect a full meal. Having the party between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. is the perfect budget-friendly time as party-goers will be satisfied with appetizers.

Waiting until the last minute can mean forgoing your budget to purchase matching plates and cups. Next time you’re at Target or the dollar store, hit up the bargain bin and grab some cheap party items you’ll need for future birthdays.

Paper invitations can be a time – and money – sucker. Send guests free e-vites instead to save time and money.

Pick a Low-Cost Theme

Some of the simplest, and cheapest party theme ideas are often them most enjoyable:

Arts & Craft Party

An arts and crafts party can be the ultimate in budget friendly fun. You don’t even need to include advanced crafts – some simple jewelry-making or customizing t-shirts will do the trick. Try having different options so guests can choose which crafts they’d like to do. Serve easy finger foods and simple drinks so partygoers can focus on their crafts!

Movie Night

Movie nights can mean cheap nights! Pick a classic kids movie you already own, but haven’t watched in a long time, and make new memories with your friends. For an added bonus, borrow a projector from a family member or friend, and show the movie on a blank wall or outdoors if the weather permits. Get out the popcorn, toss some pillows and blankets on the floor and enjoy the movies!

Sports Party

Have a sports enthusiast on your hands? Try throwing a sports-themed party. The best part about having this kind of party is that you don’t have to pick just one sport. Try having a few stations with different sports – like football, soccer, baseball, and basketball. And don’t think you need a huge backyard to pull this off! You can try marshmallow soccer or “kicking” field goals through popsicle sticks. Take it one step further by having a football, soccer, basketball, or soccer cake! This is probably our most fun and active kids birthday party on a budget.

Scavenger Hunt

Kids love to explore – and what better way to indulge that by having a scavenger hunt party. The scavenger hunt can be done indoors or outdoors – try hiding specific objects around the house or yard and seeing who can find them first. It can be themed – like pirates or sports – and is a fairly easy, cheap party to put together! You can offer rewards such as the winner receives a special prize to make a bit more competitive.

Use Your Network

If your child’s birthday is around the same day as their friends, think about throwing a dual party. You and the other parents can split the cost and responsibilities – and the stress - making for a truly inexpensive kids birthday! Just be sure not to get the same cake for both, which might result in some serious jealousy.

Rather than hire entertainers, consider reaching out to your social network to see if anyone can help. Ask a family member or friend to be on clown duty in exchange for some adult beverages. Or, if you’re thinking of having the party at a bowling alley, try the local college bowling lanes which are often cheaper than the commercial bowling alley.

Consider Hosting it at a Local Spot

Sometimes having it at your home isn’t the cheapest kids birthday party idea. Hosting the birthday party at a local spot could be both time- and cost-effective – just be sure you’ve done enough research to ensure it’s actually cost-effective.

You certainly don’t need to spend a lot of money to throw an amazing birthday party. Use some – or all – of these tips to throw your child the best birthday party ever, all while sticking to your budget.