Cut down on children’s birthday party expenses by finding a place to hold that party that doesn’t charge an entrance or event fee. New places may suggest fun themes and activities beyond the usual party games. Even if you do the usual games and cake, going to a new and exciting place can be an adventure that makes the party memorable.
1. Fire station
I arranged a party with a local fire company. The kids all got Jr Firefighter hats and safety lessons, though I’m sure all they really remember is crawling around the fire truck. The drawback is: if there is a fire, the party is over.
2. Local history visitors’ center
Depending on your local history, a birthday part at a local history site could include hearing from volunteers, seeing demonstrations, drawing maps, treasure hunts, or re-enactments.
3. Farmer’s market
If your farmer’s market has picnic tables and your party is small, you can join in the fun. Send the kids on a treasure hunt to find honey or fruit. If the market isn’t too busy, ask a farmer to talk to the children about what they do on their farm.
If you are considering talking to a farmer, how about going all of the way to the farm. Children are curious where their food comes from and they like meeting animals. They may not even realize it’s an educational trip.
5. You-pick farm
If your child has a mid- to late-summer birthday, you can look into pick-your-own farms. Raspberries are ripe around my daughter’s birthday, so we spent her first several years with friends having a picnic at a raspberry patch.
6. Park or playground
Though you could always go to a local park, it mixes things up to go to a park or playground that you don’t usually go to. The year we went to a park with a rock climbing wall, the climbing wall-shaped cake was the hit of the party.
7. Day camping
Take the kids for an outdoor adventure at a nearby campground or state park. Melissa celebrated at the lake and gave all of the kids a pail and a shovel. Be sure you have enough adults present to keep track of wanderers.
8. Your own backyard
You can’t get any cheaper than your own backyard. Your birthday party venue doesn’t have to be new to be exciting. Dress up your backyard. Draping play cloths across wash lines can create a whole new landscape to explore.