Ideas for a Fun and Frugal Children’s Party



Ideas for a Fun and Frugal Children’s Party

Doesn’t it seem as though children’s birthday parties have been on steroids lately? It seems as though each parent tries to put together a birthday party bigger and more extravagant than the last, often stressing themselves out and breaking the bank in the process. In the end, you have the picture perfect party, but do you really feel like celebrating? Instead, let’s take it down a notch and focus on fun and frugality. Below, you will find seven helpful ideas for a fun and frugal children’s party!

There is no need to lose sleep or your savings over a children’s party. Not when there are plenty of ways to still have fun and save some dough. Take a look at how truly simple it is.

7 Ideas for a Fun and Frugal Children’s Party:

1. Pick a color theme.
It seems as though planning is easiest when you pick a theme. A color theme is the best way to stay in control of your budget, so first ask your child what they want the color scheme of the party to be. Once you know this, you can tie in other ideas. For example, finding balloons and streamers for a pink and purple party will be a lot easier and cheaper than finding balloon and streamers for a unicorn themed party.

2. Make your own decorations.
A few poster boards, markers, self blown balloons, and streamers will only cost you a few dollars. Why not make your own signs and bunting banners? Kids will love being able to create the décor for their party. Sure it won’t look like the expensive pre packaged décor, but this will have a personal touch and give them a hands on experience in the planning process. Cover entry ways with balloons to create an arch effect, drape streamers from wall to wall, and just have fun!

3. Choose simple finger foods.
Let’s face it. Kids don’t go to parties for the food, just the fun. Set a simple spread of pretzel sticks, popcorn, cut fresh veggies, corn chips and salsa, and other inexpensive finger foods. These will be easy to grab and go, and you won’t have to invest in silverware. Most of these snacks aside from the fresh produce you can find at your local dollar store! Or if you wish, make your own personal pizzas. Give each child a piece of refrigerated biscuit dough, spread some sauce, sprinkle some cheese, and add some pepperoni slices. Not only will they have fun making their own pizza, but supplies for eight children to do this only costs around $6.00.

4. Skip the bottled drinks.
Offering bottled drinks or drink boxes can be costly. Kids open them up, set them down, and lose them. Instead, mix up a powdered drink mix for just pennies. You can always tint it with food coloring to match the party theme, add chopped fruit, and give it a cool name to make it more interesting! “Birthday Brew” for example would be a fun one.

5. Use dollar store door prizes.
Hit up the dollar store for door prizes for each child to take home. Find something practical you know they will use, such as bubbles or a pail and shovel set. You can attach an index card with a simple thank you on it, written by the birthday child. This makes it personal and cost you just pennies.

6. Be your own baker.
Suddenly, it has become quite common to spend $50.00 or more on a custom child’s cake. Again, bring the kiddos in on the action and planning and bake your own. You can visit your local Walmart or discount retail store and grab cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, and even a fun shaped pan for under $10.00. Then, start baking as a family. Think how proud your child will be and what a fun and frugal family experience you will enjoy.

7. Look for entertainment freebies.
There are tons of ways to now entertain your party guests for free. Download kid friendly songs for free on your iPod. Amazon is always offering freebies so keep an eye out for these. You can also go to for kid friendly printables such as coloring sheets, bingo cards, and printable crafts. Ask a local, older neighborhood child to present a magic show or musical performance, or rent a children’s movie for free at your local library.

Are you ready to start planning your next children’s party? Now you know how to do so for less! Besides saving money, you will be enjoying enriching activities with your family and getting the children in on the action too. In the end you will have a party you can be proud of!

If you would like to check out some of my recent party themes, then head over to my Pinterest board to see those! Last year we did an outdoor party (in our backyard) for Zayd’n’s 7th birthday filled with Afro Circus related ideas (based off Madgascar 2)

For my Local Fans, here are some recommendations you can check out thanks to Mid-Mitten Kids and Capital Area Kids!


Turner-Dodge House  100 East North Street, Lansing, MI 48906

Tour the house, play old-fashioned party games, and make a party favor. Select from eight themes: American Girl, Civil War, Princess Tea Party, Dr. Seuss, Super Hero, Games, Zookeeper, and Harry Potter. We will supply the punch, you bring the cake. Cost is $60 for 1 1/2 hours (maximum of 12 children and 12 adults. Any additional person is $5 each)

*We did the Harry Potter for my twins and it was a BIG hit! For the cost of $60 bucks and they do everything (except bring the cake), this is a great steal!

Rolling Video Games of Michigan:

They come to YOU! This is a great birthday party idea where the party comes to you. We just recently celebrated the Twins 12th Birthday and had RVG come to our home. With the twins having a Winter Birthday, this was a FAB idea. Tons of kids were able to have fun right in our driveway. They run specials quite often and have teamed up with other local Lansing shops to bring you a complete package. Book your Party today!

Impression 5 Science Center (517) 485-8116 Ext. 32    200 Museum Drive, Lansing, MI 48933

When you spend your birthday at Impression 5, you can explore the exhibits, create your own slime to take home, investigate what makes your hair stand up and more!   All packages include admission to the Science Center for you and all your guests. Party size may be limited by available space, and include a private room, and one science workshop of your choice. For more information, click here.

*we have also hosted several parties at Impression 5 and love everything they have to offer! This is great if you have a lot of kids– they have plenty of space to run around! Plus you are given enough space and time for your party. The staff is always supportive and there to help with any questions or concerns.

Preuss Pets

Want the WILDEST party this year? Have your party at Preuss Pets! Party packages range from $75 & up! For more information, click here.

*Another place we we had a HIT party. I mean…. it’s animals! You can’t go wrong with having cool pets at a party!

Extreme Fun- Meridian Mall (517) 349-7777

All party packages include free return pass for Birthday child. Ages 1-12 require socks, signed waiver and wrist band. You can bring in your own food and cake. Non-alcoholic drinks permitted.

Goldfish Swim School (517) 458-5555  5135 Times Square Drive, Suite B, Okemos, MI 48864

No matter what the occasion, parties at Goldfish mean fun for the kids and no hassles for parents. Party-goers enjoy exclusive use of our facility. Let our staff members greet your child and take them to our pool and viewing area, which is all ready for their special day. We’ll guide your guests through games, races and wet water fun or simply lifeguard and maintain control as the group discovers the fun of swimming!

*This is one on our radar to try. They have been dishing out quite a few Groupon deals for Party packages. So if this one is on your list, then I would wait for a Groupon deal!

Potter Park Zoo (517)483-4222  1301 S. Pennsylvania Avenue Lansing, MI 48912

With hundreds of wild animals from around the world, Potter Park Zoo is the perfect place to hold your child’s next birthday party. With lots of different options available, no matter what you choose, your birthday celebration at the Zoo will be one to remember!  For more information or to book a party, please click here or contact Potter Park Zoological Society, at (517) 342-2717. Minimum two weeks advance reservation required

*another popular place to host a birthday party!

Fenner Nature Center- (517) 483-4224  2020 East Mt. Hope Ave, Lansing, MI 48910

Check out Fenner Nature Center for your child’s birthday party and let the plants animals, and a staff naturalist engage the children in a fun and educational program that is sure to please! For more information, click here, or call (517) 483-4224

* this is another one on our radar for a place to have a birthday party!

Zapzone  (Mall Dr by the Lansing Mall) is another place to hold a party with packages that include pizza and laser tags. This is another one that I see GREAT groupon deals for.. so waiting until you can find a groupon deal would be ideal!

The Lansing Mall and NCG theaters also have Birthday packages. We have personally used the Lansing Mall. For the price of the room (about $25 dollar) and the price of the movie admission and combo  packs for the kids, it is not a bad price!

There are quite a few more places and ideas where you can host a party locally. Check out Mid-Mitten Kids and Capital Area Kids for more great venues and themes!

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1 Comment

  1. November 11, 2016

    I’d definitely agree with the simple foods, it’s one less thing to worry about then! We had a fantastic party for my daughter in July, with the help of Dazzle and Fizz (another thing I would recommend is the support of a party planner!). It was princess themed and the memories are just priceless 🙂

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