My son’s 19th birthday is today, and I started thinking about all the birthday parties, birthday cakes and birthday hoopla we’ve had over the years.
I’m the kind of mom that loves celebrating birthdays, and I go all out to make them special. Of course, “going all out” doesn’t translate into spending their college savings. We make birthdays special with birthday parties at home, homemade birthday cakes, homemade invitations and a few silly birthday traditions.
Frugal Birthday Party Ideas
Here it is, a round-up of our 10 best birthday celebrations according to Christopher (age 21), Andrew (age 19) and Ashley Kate (age 16)…
Best Birthday Party for Ages 10 and Under – Our Carnival Birthday Party was our favorite “little kid” party. It works for most any age and can be done both indoors & out. The key to keeping this a budget birthday party is to use things you have. Take a walk around your house, and I’m sure you’ll come up with all sorts of carnival ideas! Need more ideas, click here for the complete Carnival Birthday Party Plan.
Best Birthday Party for a Pre-Teen/Teen – It’s unanimous, we all agreed that The Amazing Race Birthday Party was the favorite teen party…it was so much fun we’ve done it twice! The party is designed for an outdoor shopping area, and here’s the complete list of Amazing Race Party challenges to get you started. Many of the challenges include popular chain stores, so you can easily adapt it to your shopping area. I’ve also included ideas for an easy homemade invitation, party food and favors.
Best Un-Party – We’ve always told our children that they could choose a gift or choose a party for their birthday. Our daughter still enjoys a party, but our boys began opting for gifts in their teenage years. Their favorite gift? A weekend trip to spend the weekend with their Uncle Leo. Christopher would choose a weekend with a hockey game, and Andrew always preferred a weekend of playing golf with his Uncle.
Best Birthday Cake for a Girl – Every little girl has her “pink” phase of life, and my homemade Strawberry Cake is a pretty pink cake that we’ve served almost every year. It’s the same cake my mom baked for many of my childhood parties. Moist, delicious and PINK!
Best Birthday Cake for a Boy – No questions about this one…Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake is the winner. It’s BIG, yummy and faster than a box cake mix. Are you craving a big slice of chocolate cake? Click here for my Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake Recipe.
Best Birthday Tradition for a Teen – Delivering a special birthday lunch to school.
Best “Stuck in a Rut” Birthday Dinner – Christopher wanting chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese for his birthday dinner every year until he was about 15! Now he’s wised up, and steak is usually on the menu. Hmmm…I’m not sure if steak counts as a frugal birthday party idea!
Best Rendition of Happy Birthday – My uncle faithfully calls everyone year after year, and sings Happy Birthday in his amazing baritone voice.
Best Homemade Invitation – The Beach Ball Invitation for our backyard splash party was a like an invitation and party favor in one! We wrote the invitations on beach balls, put them in envelopes and our guests had to blow-up the beach balls to read the party details. FUN!
Best Way to Give Money – Birthday Balloons of course! Fill balloons with money, trinkets or certificates for fun things to do…blow them up, fill up a box and wrap it. Need ideas to fill your balloons, click here for a festive list. Isn’t that more fun than a check in an envelope?
Don’t miss my Party Index for festive and frugal birthday party ideas for all ages.
Please leave a comment to share your favorite festive and frugal birthday party ideas.