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Budget-Friendly Birthday Celebrations for Kids

Anna Cadwallader



Summer birthday celebrations are a great way for kids to come together during their long vacation for the ultimate play date. Unfortunately, extravagant parties and excessive gifts can add up, but here are some tips to keep it affordable and to take advantage of the beautiful weather.


So the saying goes, unlike real estate, it’s not the location but the company that matters. It’s amazing what a few kids’ imaginations can come up with to keep them entertained for hours. Here are a few party locations that won’t break the bank.

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1. Public Pool: A day pass to a public pool is usually between $4-7, where kids are sure to burn off excess energy playing Marco Polo and gutter ball. An added bonus is if the pool has a diving bay.

2. Public Park: The best part about public parks is that they’re free. Even better, many public parks house sporting fields or courts so all you need to do is provide the equipment.

3. Backyard or House: What better than hosting a bunch of kids in the comfort of your own home? Set up in the basement or outside in the grass for some DIY arts and crafts. Look online for inspiration and tips for finding inexpensive ideas and supplies. Crafts are an especially great idea because they double as a fun activity and a party favor.

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When it comes to games, stick to the classics to avoid long tutorials and confusion. To keep kids entertained, switch games during the party or create different stations to add variety. Here is a list of easy activities, which require minimal setup and money:

1. Group games:

  • Capture the flag
  • Hide and go seek
  • Four square
  • Charades
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Water balloon toss
  • Wheel barrow contest
  • Egg-and-spoon race
  • Piñata (Look online for DIY ideas.)
  • Doughnuts on a string

2. Stations:

  • Bubbles
  • Chalk art
  • Hula hooping
  • Slip ‘n’ slide (You can use heavy duty garbage bags, dish soap, and a hose.)
  • Face painting

3. Decorating Cookies or Cupcakes:

  • This is a great activity because it doubles as food.

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Inherently, even mentioning the word “pizza” in front of kids will cause ears to perk up and the smell of it will cause a stampede resulting in a feeding frenzy. For your kids’ birthday celebrations this year, don’t worry about whether you’re buying enough food for their seemingly insatiable friends. Rather, follow these tips for shedding some pounds off your pre-party grocery list:

1. Timing is Everything: Skip providing an entire spread and schedule the party between meals. This way you can provide light snacks to satisfy any mid-day munchies.

2. Get Domestic: Although beautifully crafted, professional birthday cakes and cupcakes can be expensive, so consider baking the cake. Whether it’s homemade or from a box, it’s the thought that counts. This can also be a fun activity for your family and a great chance to explore new recipes.

With these simple and fun ideas, you can enjoy the celebration rather than become stressed over complicated details and expensive price tags. This way, you’ll spend more quality time with your child on his or her big day.

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