Kids Birthday Party Ideas

16 Best Kids Birthday Party Ideas – Budget-Friendly

Birthday parties for kids can be stressful, time-consuming, and extremely expensive. Every parent wants their child to have the best birthday party ever and they can throw one without breaking the bank. There are many inexpensive Kids Birthday Party Ideas. If you are on a budget and want to figure out some cheaper ways to create an amazing and fun-filled party for your kids, we have you covered!

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

1. Make A Budget

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Before picking a theme, ordering supplies, or generating a guest list ask yourself: what am I willing and able to spend on this party? Once you have created a budget that suits your financial needs, try your very best to stick to that budget and only make exceptions if something is necessary. It is helpful to keep an itemized list of each item you buy and record your spending. If you can save a few dollars on one item, write it down, and use that money on decorations or food.

2. Price Out Different Venues

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

If you are set on having your party at a venue, make sure to price out different locations. It may be tempting to go with the first bowling alley you visit but, other venues may have lower prices or different deals. Also, take into consideration the time that you book your party. While Saturday may seem like the perfect day for your party, a Thursday or Friday party date may be significantly cheaper due to those dates being less popular and having less traffic.

3. Hunt For Supplies As Early As Possible

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

It may seem odd to hunt for party supplies in April when your child’s birthday is in August but, you may save a ton of money in the process. The most popular birthday months are August and September, meaning, party supplies will be the most expensive and sought-after during these months. Beat the rush and buy supplies early or when you see things on clearance. If you are passing by a party supply store on the way to work, stop in, and see what decorations are on sale.

4. Optimize Your Location

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Personally, some of the most exciting and entertaining parties were in the backyards of my friends and family. If you have an accessible backyard opt to have your party there instead of a venue. If you do not have a backyard, look to have your party at a nearby park. At a park, there are free picnic tables, places to run around, and even working grills. Take advantage of what is around you and create an amazing outdoor space for all your guests. 

5. Buy Things Online Or From The Dollar Store

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Party stores inflate their prices tremendously because they know people will pay for their products. However, places like Amazon or The Dollar Tree charge much less for the same products and usually come with free delivery. Save the extra penny and order your decorations, supplies, and goody-bag filling at your local dollar store or Amazon. 

6. Make A Homemade Cake

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

The average 8-inch, two-layer cake can cost anywhere between $25 and $50 depending on icing, flavor, filling, and decorations. This is an extremely large expense considering most children only care about one thing: how the cake tastes. Instead, buy a boxed cake mix or use household ingredients to create this tasty treat. As a bonus, make the cake with your child the night before and allow them to present the cake themselves; they will most definitely feel pride in their creation. 

7. Cook Your Own Food

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Similarly to buying a cake, catering food can be extremely expensive. The average tray of pasta is around $45 and usually only feeds 4 to 6 people. If you have an extensive guest list, this expense could really break the bank. Instead, cook a tray of baked ziti at home or put burgers on the grill. This is far less expensive and you can cater to the menu based on who is attending, the allergies a child might have, or the picky eaters at the event.  

8. Limit Your Guest List

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

It may be tempting to invite your entire family to your next birthday bash, but this is not always necessary. Before sending out invitations consider what people your child would prefer to have at the party. Make sure you are inviting the people that mean the most to you or your child. It is okay to limit your guest list to those people.

9. Send Online Invitations

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

While sending invitations is nice, it can be costly. Not only do you have to pay for the invitations to be made, but you also have to pay for stamps and envelopes in order to mail them. Instead, opt for the electronic version and save time and money. Most parents will be checking their emails regularly, so this might make it easier for them. Plus, you can choose a service that provides an RSVP option and get a more accurate headcount for the party. 

10. Pick And Choose

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

While a birthday party with all the bells and whistles is great, it is okay to pick and choose what you have at your child’s birthday party. For example, if it is too expensive to have both a bouncy castle and a water slide, pick which one you think your child would like more or deduct your spending from other areas in order to pay for those extra costs. Your child will have fun no matter what is or is not there if they are with their friends and family. 

11. Embrace No-Cost Activities

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Hiring entertainment is an amazing experience but is not always necessary for children to have fun. Instead, encourage party-goers to play games such as:

  • Dress-Up 
  • Freeze Tag 
  • Musical Chairs 
  • Red Rover
  • Red Light Green Light 
  • Charades 
  • Board Games
  • Duck Duck Goose
  • “Simon Says” 
  • Pictionary 
  • Draw
  • Paint 

12. Pick Party Themes That Are Fun And Cost-Effective

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Most parents pick places such as Chuck-E-Cheese and bowling alleys for their children’s birthday parties but this can be expensive and sometimes out of the way. So why not decorate your home to emulate these places or create brand new at-home party ideas! Some ideas are: 

  • Tea Party
  • Movie Night 
  • Carnival 
  • Pool Party
  • Dance Party
  • Dress Up Party
  • Sleep Overs
  • Barbecues
  • Picnic

13. Get Crafty

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Every child likes to go home with something exciting after a party. Buying swag bags and elaborate goody bags is time-consuming and expensive; instead, buy crafts that double up as party favors. Maybe the guests make slime or decorate their own aprons, these are two activities that can be cost-effective and fun for every party-goer. 

14. Rent Instead Of Buy 

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

A lot of outdoor parties and events need tents, tables, and chairs. Buying all of these can cost a fortune, the average tent costing around $200 and that amount can get more expensive with size. Conversely, see if there are any party rental shops around you that would allow you to rent these things for a fraction of the cost.

15. Make Your Own Decorations

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Children (and adults) love making crafts and feeling like they are a part of something. Take this opportunity to save a little money and spend time with your children making some of the decorations at home. A little glue and construction paper can go a long way!

16. Do Not Schedule Parties Around Meal Times

Top 16 Budget-Friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Food can easily become the most expensive aspect of any party, skyrocketing the price of a budget-friendly party into the hundreds. If you schedule a party around 1 PM rather than noon or later in the evening most patrons will have already eaten and you could provide snacks (ex. Chips, pretzels, ice cream) rather than full meals. This would save you a decent amount of money and you could even create a DIY snack for your party-goers (Ex. Popcorn balls, candy bar, caramel apples). 


Planning kids birthday party ideas can be a fun and exciting experience for everyone involved. Next time you plan a party, try these tips and tricks to keep your expenses low, spirits up, and budget reasonable!

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