Birthday parties are always fun and exciting, what with all the decorations, food, and games. The preparation involved, however, can also be stressful, especially when ideas are limited. Here are some creative tips you can try for your child’s next birthday party:
If you’re on a strict budget, determine first what your maximum expenditure should be. However, you can save this step of planning for last, and then trim down your spending list as you see fit. After all, money needed is completely dependent on every other factor. It’s much easier to determine what you can and want to spend before you give yourself a limit.
What activity makes your child happy, especially if it involves other children? This will determine how much your child and his peers really enjoy your party. If you can theme a party off of something your child and his friends love and make it truly active, you’ve done something incredible.
Take this example, for instance. Video gaming has become so huge that it’s perfectly common for anyone to play on a network these days. Families can bring their computers and console systems over to your house and you can have a LAN party networked via WiFi, with kids (and adults) pitted against each other in team games like Starcraft, League of Legends, or Medal of Honor. Not only would this be incredibly cheap, but the competition would make the party unforgettable.
Are you having a party oriented mainly for children where other parents or guardians won’t be staying, or where all the children will be chaperoned? A child’s birthday party can be fun for adults, too! It gives them a rare opportunity to socialize with other adults while still obliging their parental responsibilities.
If you’re inviting adults, consider having food available that they will enjoy. Hamburgers, hotdogs, and potato chips might do well, but it’s nice to enjoy food suited for an adult palette if there will be enough of you to eat it.
It’s much cheaper to make ordinary food — everyone likes mashed potatoes and gravy with a good pot roast. If you can cook well, buying a nice ice cream cake could cost about as much as all the food you need to feed your guests! And never forget how great potlucks can be.
With a child’s interests and probable guests considered, you can pick a good place to have the party. Will it be better held in a business? Investigate the costs of holding the party in a business versus the time you’ll spend cooking, organizing a potluck, decorating, cleaning, and throwing away garbage.
It might be well worth it to you to reserve a place that you know your child likes. Not only will they handle all the dirty work, but they may have attractions guaranteed to satisfy the kids, such as go-carts and batting cages. The extra money a business will require will spare you a lot of headache.
You may even be able to rent a space and still supply your own food, thus cutting out the high food costs. Even if you can’t find a business willing to do that, there are parks where you can rent a roof and then bring your own food; or order catering to simplify things.
If you’ve done good research, you will have a comprehensive list of your choices — not only what they cost in money, but in convenience. It’s much better to have every option laid before you at one time than trying to perfect just one idea.
Look at what you can’t afford and see if any part of it is worth keeping, and if there is a way to reduce its cost or substitute it somehow. Maybe you can’t afford to invite your child’s friends to the raceway where they can ride mini-boats: but maybe you can afford to rent a private boat for a few hours at a local lake, where the cost it will be to picnic your food will be nominal.
Imagine not considering all the possibilities for a party, and unlike in the former example, not even realizing there was such a great and simple solution. Try not to rule out anything until you’ve got a comprehensive working of what you want, before you assume you can or can’t afford it. You may be surprised just how powerful your dollar is, if you keep everything relative.
The key to a successful gathering is in the planning stage. With creativity, imagination, and patience, you’re guaranteed to have a happy celebrant and equally happy guests.
About Our Guest Blogger:
Jessica Phan is a designer for Balsamhill.com a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping.
**Photos provided by Balsam Hill**