There seems to be a growing trend among families in our area to plan large birthday parties and have everyone meet at the local arcade, bowling alley, water park, etc. All these places have special birthday packages where you can do a party for $150 or $200. For our family this could easily cost us $1000 over the year - we have chosen simpler, home based parties that still build lots of memories.
It is a little more work on my part, but I have to remind myself of what other things we can use that money for - after all, "A penny saved is a penny earned." If I figure it takes me 2 hours of planning per party times the 5 parties we have in a year, that means that I have earned savings at the rate of $100 an hour - not bad at all!
Here is a homemade hot air balloon cake that the birthday boy helped me frost.
He's one happy 6 year old.
We had a night of minute to win it games perfect for entertaining a group of 9-11 year olds.
Here is another homemade cake- frosted quite simply. It cost me about $3.00 to make.
Another fun activity is a party full of relay races. Here is a photo of one doughnut eating race we had.
Get a little creative and remember that memories don't have to cost a lot.