Our oldest two are where born in September. Right around a big travel holiday, back to school, and all the other craziness that comes with fall. Finding time to host a party is just as hard as finding a time people have time to attend a party. It did not take long for me to realize that traditional birthday parties may be fun but we can do so much better. Instead of a party, we put that money and time into something fun and it works because let’s face it, the stress is less and there is still so much fun.
Fun Alternatives to Birthday Parties for Kids
Switch up the ordinary
Have a fancy dinner. Either set one up at home with the good dishes, flowers on the table, and maybe even candles or head out to a nice but family friendly restaurant. Everyone dresses up nice and practices those table manners. If cooking at home, make the birthday child’s favorite foods. This is great for families on a budget that don’t get to do stuff like this often because the children get to work on these important skills and feel like royalty for the day.
Head to the beach if you do not get to go often. A cookout at the beach is special and kids love it so much. Drag out the burgers and chips and find the nearest beach. We did this when we first arrived inFlorida during the week both of the older kids birthdays land. We did not have to hunt down something to do locally and the first trip to the beach was all that much more amazing for the kids.
One year we found this bar and grill in Junction City Kansas that served giant ice cream sundaes inside toy dump trucks. Aptly named the dump truck they would dump every sweet treat in the kitchen. Brownies, cookies, grapes, bananas, fudge, sprinkles, ice cream and everything else they can think of. No two are ever alike. While they no longer serve this you can still make it at home. And it is safe to say my son approved of skipping the first birthday smash cake for this.
Spend a night on the town.
Hop out for dinner and a movie. Go for a stroll through the city while the lights are all up. This is a great option on a weekend night because the streets will be packed. Live near something fun like Disney? Skip the tickets and stroll down the free area and let your little one pick out their own birthday gift. Saturdays at Down Town Disney (Now Disney Springs) where always a favorite when we lived in Orlando and cost us no more than time to enjoy the free offerings and the occasional bit of cash we would spend eating while out.
Go somewhere new and exciting
Check out what your area has to offer. This year with everythign going on we took my oldest up to Mackanaw City to see the stars at the Highlands International Dark Sky Park. As a homeschool family, it is a bonus is our alternative to birthday parties counts as a field trip. Last year we took a day at the Detroit Zoo and the kids got to right the train which was something new for them. The possibilities are truly endless.
Hit the local amusement park
Tickets to things like amusement parks are costly so using them as part of your child’s birthday celebration lets you score double points as a fun parent. Many of these have birthday perks so check the web a couple months before and see what treats they offer.
The whole point of celebrating is to enjoy your time as a family and make the day meaningful. If you have a tight budget with no room to go out and have fun a homemade cake made by mom with love and some one on one time can be amazing too. In fact sometimes the homemade cake I make every birthday is the best part. Not every birthday has to be BIG to be special.