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How Much to Spend on a Birthday Party
I am trying to gather some information regarding children's birthday parties. On average, how much (from start to finish) are mom's spending on their childs birthday party? (ages 4-9). This would include invitations, games, favors.....basically everything except food. Are people renting jumpers? Entertainment? Trying to get a realistic idea of how much I should put into my child's birthday party for it to be a success. I would appreciate any information you could share Thanks a bunch!
My son had a great time BUT, I am sure if I had had a small party at home with three kids, he would have had just as much fun and it would have been just as special. My issue was who to invite. He had been invited to so many parties, I felt I needed to invite all those people to reciprocate.
So, if you are really wealthy with lots of energy, go for it. Otherwise, go small and simple. anon
The most expensive party we've been to was at a park, full BBQ, siblings invited, and for entertainment pinata and the Vivarium reptile guy (around $200).
The best one we attended - where the parents put in a lot of homemade effort with a Pirate treasure hunt - enlisted a friend to dress up as their Pirate guide, handmade invites, and they got to divide the ''booty'' to take home in hand-decorated paper bags in lieu of goodie bags. Timed it so that there was no lunch - just cake and juice. Short, sweet and a ton of fun. But the most successful party I threw for my son? Handmade invites for 8 kids, carrot sticks, apple slices, pretzels, cupcakes and juice at a park where we grabbed the first table we saw (didn't pay to reserve a spot). They played at the park, had a few organized games to change the pace a bit. Goodie bags - went to the 99c store for stickers, fancy pencils and token amount of candy.
Personally, I hate jumpers - you need to enlist a responsible parent to control the kids, and somebody always, always ends up in tears.
Matching tablecloths, plates, invites do not impress me. Waste of $$. Entertainment is nice... but all depends. I did hire a low-key clown/storyteller when I held the party at my child's preschool - the teachers appreciated the treat as well. But I didn't spend money on anything else that year. If you don't compete, then there's no competition. Do want YOU want. Mom of Two
In virtually every case the children come to our home, we do the outing, we return and have simple lunch and cake. We don't usually do goodie bags with lots of stuff but rather one thing that goes with theme of party. If I do goodie bags I put them in brown lunch bags my child has decorated and tie a balloon to it - kids love them. I would be surprised if we have spent more than $100 on any party, including admission to outing, probably more like $50-75. We haven't purposely tried to be cheap but we believe in involving the child in producing the party rather than producing it for him - this lends itself to things that kids can do themselves. And they love being involved! Less is more
If you simply have a ''playdate with cake'' at your house for a handful of children, you could easily have a nice party for a hundred bucks or less -- possibly a lot less.
If you do a rental deal at a place like Habitot, the Y's kiddie gym or the Lawrence Hall of Science, it's likely to cost you $100 to $300 depending what's included (you may still have to buy invitations, food, party favors and/or some decorations). You're generally limited to a maximum of 10 or 15 kids and there may be rules about what food and decorations you can or cannot bring in. If you're lucky enough to be doing this in good- weather months, reserving a spot at a public park is cheaper (or even free if you plan to just stake out a spot early in the day) and doesn't involve as many restrictions, but doesn't come with any special activities or other ''package deal'' benefits, so you may spend more on supplies. This is the type of party to which my children have most often been invited.
Bottom line: All told, I'd expect to spend $15 to $20 per invited child, but that budget can easily be adjusted up or down depending on what sort of party you choose to give, and on how carefully you shop for the things you do buy or rent. Holly
My daughter helps plan the party, since she was 3 turning 4 and we must stay within the budget. We've had a lot of fun. First birthday, Jungle Party in our house, just a couple of kids and family. Decorated jungle theme, brought out ''wild animals'' stuffed. Second birthday was a ''fish'' them. Had a small swimming pool we made into a ''lake'' and had fishing poles with magnets and foam fish with paperclips. Take home goodies were fish squirters for the bathtub. Maybe 4 - 5 kids. Third birthday was a ladybug theme held at the preschool (rented for nominal amount) red and black theme brought our own jump-o-lene and a friend brought there's - take home goodies were the ladybug hats we made and the ladybug necklaces. Four year old party was a butterfly theme held at the Lawrence Hall of Science - great deal under $150 kids learned about and held animals then could spend the rest of the day there if they wanted to - about 12 kids and their parents - butterfly wings / dragon fly wings as take home. Fifth party was Blue's Clues at the preschool again. Kids worked together on a clue hunt to find dog bone cookies which they decorated. Lots of fun, little money, lots of work. Goodies were the cookies chair notebook and green crayon and blue yo-yo. Sixth birthday was a bowling party in Alameda. T- shirts with the kids names were the Goodie. Lots of fun - whole party under $150 for 12 kids. 7th birthday was MOCHA. A little more expensive, kids had a great time making fairy and dragon art and decorating cupcakes. Goodie was Art Kit and pad of paper.
These were very fun in the planning. If you can have a party at home as we did in the early years, you can have a GREAT party for $75. Kid's Birthdays are Great!
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