Birthday parties for kids used to include cake and ice-cream and maybe a kid’s meal at a local fast food restaurant (remember those fast-food parties?). Parties were simple, fun and relatively inexpensive. At some point, the celebration of a child’s birthday evolved from simple and streamlined to…well…EPIC.
Welcome to the world of Instagram and Facebook and the social media frenzy that captures the insanity and over-the-top shenanigans of the new way to celebrate turning another year older in childhood. Forget kid’s meals. And simple games. Nope. That’s old. And much too sedate and quaint.
Today’s parties usher in a new level of childhood memories. Parents host parties at trampoline complexes, skating rinks, recreation complexes…and, yes, some even rent out a movie theater. There is nothing simple about birthdays anymore, and some years it feels like parents are trying to come up with ways to make this year’s event better and bigger.
Even first birthdays are huge events. In a Babycenter.com poll, 27 percent of parents said they spent $500 or more on their child’s first birthday. And seven percent of parents said that their child’s first birthday was “a blow out bash with an extensive guest list.”
Of course, cake is still a staple. And pizza, too!
When parents are planning for their first big birthday party, they don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to create a memorable event. However, the birthday game is all about fun in the most creative and hands-on ways possible. The party has to keep kids busy and involved, and, in this e-centric age, that is no easy feat!
Take your child’s next birthday to the Epic level with a few cost-conscious creative suggestions and insane ideas:
You can create a memorable birthday event at home. Many companies offer small bounce structures for at-home parties. Prices vary, but it may be a less expensive option than paying for 20 kids to bounce at an indoor bounce complex. You can also host fun obstacle games outdoors and even rent a bubble machine (or bring in a bubble bus!). At-home parties can be just as wild and crazy as a professional venue.
If your son or daughter loves sports, check into hosting their party at the batting cages. Some batting complexes offer birthday packages that include a team member who helps to run the event. You can even theme the cake with a baseball/softball theme and give out bags of sports-centric goodies! Order pizzas for a cost-efficient lunch!
Oh sweet goodness! Kids and sugar equals craziness. Whether you’re hosting the party at home or at a venue, give guests a sweet thrill with a candy table. Give each child a bag and let them create their own candy treasure trove. Offer bowls with lots of different candies (make sure candies are nut-free!). To make the table pop with super sweetness, use giant lollipops as your centerpiece. Let kids pack their bag full of lollipops, sour gummies and other sweet treats!
Include a fun original activity to personalize your child’s party. For children who love art, host a tie-dye station where guests can create colorful pillowcases or t-shirts. Paint parties also are so much fun for kids and include a professional artist to walk kids through their own painting. If your child is photo crazy, offer a DIY party photo-booth to capture the memories. Game-crazy kids might want a mobile game van to bring the video system fun to guests.
While birthday parties have changed dramatically over the decades, parents can still find budget-friendly options and unique ways to create the perfect party for their child. A birthday party should be about the guest of honor…not today’s fads. Ask children how they define an Epic party…and then start planning to make their vision come to life!