How to Plan a Great Children’s Party on a Budget
April 27, 2018
Bio image for Harper Reid, freelance writer

Hello all! I'd like to introduce you all Harper Reid to the blog today! {Hello Harper!} She's my very first guest author and I couldn't be more thrilled. As I listen to YOUR party planning concerns I'm seeing a trend. The first is TIME. The second is MONEY. Ahhh, if only we could have an unlimited supply of each! Today Harper takes us through some great ways to plan a children's party on a budget! Take it away Harper! 

Pinterest collage for Planning a children's party on a budget without sacrificing style

How to Plan a Great Children’s Party on a Budget

Many parents feel the pressure to plan the perfect kids birthday party for their children. It’s easy to get carried away with unique party themes, over the top decorations and extravagant cakes. This can add up to a very expensive kids party.

It doesn’t actually take much to impress little ones, so there is no need to overspend on all the little details. Keeping your kid's party simple and small can be just as entertaining and memorable. Planning a children’s party on a budget is easier than you’d think. Follow these tips to make your kid's party more affordable, fun and stress-free.

Host a Garden Party 

Outdoor party food buffet on Plan a children's party on a budget

A garden party is a perfect way to spend a kids birthday. It’s also much less expensive than hiring out a children’s party venue. From jumping on a trampoline to playing classic games like duck duck goose and musical chairs, there are so many ways to keep the kids entertained outside. One of the best outdoor party ideas is a garden scavenger hunt. All you need to do is create a list of nature items for the kids to find in the garden. Give them a plastic bag and a picture list to follow, then send them off to explore.

Time the Party Well

Timing is key when planning your kid’s birthday party. The time you choose to host the party can make a difference to the overall cost. The cheapest kids birthday parties are those that don’t serve full meals to guests. It’s therefore wise to plan your kids party between the hours of 2pm and 5pm when guests don’t expect lunch or dinner. This will take the pressure off you to cook meals for a group of hungry children, and you can get away with providing simple snacks and treats.

Keep the Food Simple

Party food table set for an under the sea party with simple but fun treats. For a children's party on a budget

Lori at Giggle Living is the Queen of low cost themed foods. Store bought and embellished to fit the theme.

Kids birthday party food doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Instead of overspending on fancy birthday cakes and treats, opt for homemade party treats like fairy bread and cupcakes. Look for yummy budget birthday party food that you know the kids will love, like sausage rolls, marshmallows and lollies. Enlist some family and friends to help out with the food preparation to save time and keep things stress free.

Find Affordable Party Decor

Topsy turvy centerpiece, Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

Alice in Wonderland Centerpiece created using pieces all found second hand. 

When it comes to party supplies and decorations, try to spend as little as you can. Themed decorations from specialist shops tend to be overpriced. Instead, head to the nearest dollar store to look for any cheap kids party supplies you can find, or shop online to find any discounted party decorations. Make sure to start supply hunting early on so that you can compare prices properly, and avoid overspending at the last minute. Second hand shops also provide a wealth of party treasures if you're willing to dig a little.

If you don’t want to spend any money on party supplies, check with your local library to see if there are any toys you can borrow. Many libraries have outdoor games like slides, mini trampolines and ramps available for borrowing. Another option is to create your own party decorations from scratch. Collect some cool craft supplies and get your kids to make their own personalized items in line with the party theme. For example, at a princess themed birthday party, you could create tiaras out of colorful paper and glue-able items.

A Manageable Guest List

 Hand about to write on blank piece of paper with floral accents on white table

A kids birthday party with too many hyperactive children can become overwhelming very quickly. Plus, the more kids you invite, the more money you will have to spend. Try to keep the guest list short, inviting your child’s closest friends instead of their entire class. A kids party can be just as fun with a smaller group.

Bio image for Harper Reid, freelance writer

Thank you Harper!! You can find more about Miss Harper Reid here. Wasn't that just so fun to hear from someone else for a change!? All these points are so great and ones that I use on the daily. Especially planning ahead and finding party goods on sale. I bet you've never heard me say that before…oh wait, you have? Only about a million times! Happy planning party people, I hope you came away with a few new ideas on how to host your next children's party on a budget, without sacrificing the party design.  

Until next time my friend,

Halfpint Design, personal headshot, Bri Adams

Image Sources:

Garden Party via under CC0 license

List By Neven Krcmarek via under license




  1. Eli Mcmullen

    Thank you for explaining how you should start shopping for decorations as soon as possible in order to find the most affordable supplies. I remember my sister explaining that she has been having trouble planning her son’s birthday party this year since their new house’s living room is too narrow for her to effectively decorate. I wonder if hosting the party at a venue would help make the party more decorative.

    • Brianna Adams

      You are so welcome! It can be tricky in smaller spaces but if she chooses a couple of key areas I think she’ll still be able to get the “wow” factor she’s looking for. Make the entrance fun to greet people. Use the food table as a focal point. If she doesn’t have a wall she can create a backdrop by hanging a tablecloth over her kitchen island. I’ve done that for several parties. I’ve also covered up an entertainment center with fabric to create a backdrop when there wasn’t a wall. If the weather is good hosting outside is a great alternative and gives you a little extra room to move around. Best of luck to you both!!

  2. Derek Swain

    I think it’s great that you mentioned how you should limit the party’s guest list to close friends in order to avoid making the party too overwhelming. My son is interested in playing video games with some of his cousins for his birthday this summer, but he wants to make sure that nobody feels excluded and has to wait their turn in order to play with him. We’ll plan out the party in advance in order to ensure that everyone has a good time.

    • Brianna Adams

      I’m so glad you found that helpful. It’s hard to make kids wait for sure and your son is super sweet for thinking about everyone’s feelings. What if you did it kind of like a playoff bracket (but don’t worry about who wins) and let everyone have a chance to play against each other while you have another activity for those not playing? Just a thought. Unless they all want to watch – which I will never understand – but I have an 8yo boy and he’s starting to get into video games so I’m learning!

  3. Darrien Hansen

    I like that you mentioned how you should plan a birthday party to be between 2 pm and 5 pm to avoid having to cook meals for guests. My son’s 6th birthday is coming up, and I want to prioritize activities over meals since we have a limited budget until my next paycheck. I think that hosting the party at the perfect time will allow me to schedule activities without having to worry about meal preparation.

    • Brianna Adams

      I’m so glad you found it helpful! That’s what this is all about. Have such a great time for your party and the kids rarely sit to enjoy the food anyway. I’m sure your activities will keep them busy and be memorable.

  4. Misha

    Great tips Bri!! I always give the kids a guest limit!! My cut off is 12!?

  5. Beth

    Great ideas! Love the tip to keep the food simple for a children’s party. So smart!

  6. Carolina

    Love all the tips you shared!! Thanks Bri!!

  7. Nathalie - Press Print Party

    Those are some great suggestions! My biggest problem is the manageable guest list….. My kids have too many friends! I need to cut it off at 25!! Who ever said homeschoolers are not socialized doesn’t know what they’re talking about. 🙂

  8. Lori

    Such fabulous ideas as always Bri!! And I’m so honored you shared my little party!! Thank you! Xoxo


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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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