It's Parenting

5 Ways to throw an epic small party for kids

June 12, 2017

I don’t celebrate every birthday with a huge party. I cant’ afford that! I think the milestones are 1, maybe 5 (huge maybe) 10, if I don’t celebrate 10 then we will do 12 (not doing both). Sixteen is a good number and then 21. After 21…..don’t call me, don’t come looking for me, don’t ask me nada, you are grown and I will be there for any other parties that you celebrate that YOU pay for. I had my son a 1yr old party and then one at 4. Let’s talk about that party at 4 shall we. I spent over $500 invited about 20 people…..I wanted it to be the first party at the house you know with a theme all the good stuff. About 60 people showed up at my house and we had to go out and buy more food never ever again will I do that….ever! My house was a mess afterwards and I was tired. I vowed that I will not have a party at my house again. That 4 yr old party scarred me for a few years so my son came to me a few months ago to ask if he can have a small get together with a few friends for his 11th birthday. I said sure why not small meaning no more than 5 boys (which ended up being about 7) and if their parents allowed them they could spend the night. I thought this can be a small gathering I don’t have to do much just get him a cake throw some hot dogs on the grill and call it a day..or so I thought. I told him he can have his friends spend a night on Friday night going into Saturday the first weekend of June….here is what happened

On Thursday we went to Six Flags here in GA. I invited some of his friends to come with us that way we could get the party started off right! So they spent the night on Wed and we were off to Six Flags on Thursday. Those friends ended up spending the night on Thursday night also and into Friday….Friday comes and I get about 4 more boys that night spending the night. From there it was a revolving door of boys, some came Friday night, some came Saturday night. Six Flags was a great way to kick off his party because he got to ride rides that he couldn’t ride before…my son is short for his age so he was happy! He also got to premiere the Justice League: Battle of Metropolis!

Engaging in a full-sensory journey on JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis, guests will battle alongside BATMAN™, SUPERMAN™, WONDER WOMAN, THE FLASH and GREEN LANTERN against Lex Luthor, The Joker and his henchmen. The interactive attraction features:

·         A 22,000 square foot HALL OF JUSTICE to house this full-sensory thrill ride;

·         A 4D ride experience with wind, fire, mist and fog effects, plus life-like animatronic characters;

·         Non-stop action, as the JUSTICE LEAGUE Reserve Team travels through laughing gas and flames in 11 high-intensity scenes;

·         One of the first-ever virtual loops, giving riders the feeling of going head-over-heels;

·         High definition 3D animation that fully immerses riders inside the city of Metropolis;

·         All-new, Unreal 4 Gaming engine; and

·         6-passenger vehicles with multi-degrees-of-freedom to transport riders through all the exciting twists and turns

Smaller parties for kids are a great way to celebrate those in between times where you want your child to have a special day without all the hoopla. Here are some ways to throw a small party for kids……

  1. Have a backyard movie night If you can find a projector (I am sure you can rent one also) find a spot in your backyard and set up a movie or two. Pop some popcorn that evening, blow up some air mattresses, get a fire pit going, and set up a movie night. The kids can also “camp” right in the backyard. Make sure you get stuff for bugs but ideally this doesn’t cost you anything but popcorn and juice. No need to buy food since it’s late in the evening and the kids should have already eaten. You can have your kid invite maybe 5 or 6 of their closest friends and set up a tent. This is quick and easy and doesn’t cost a whole lot.
  2. Go to the beach This is very small and we did this for my sons 9th birthday. The hubs and I along with one of his closest friends and their kids packed up a truck and hit the beach for my sons birthday. It was a spur of the moment thing but we had a blast and it was only 9 of us all together. We split everything down the middle and only had to buy some cupcakes to sing happy birthday to my son on the beach. Simple and easy! Plan a quick trip somewhere around town (don’t go far) and have a blast. You can also do this with just your family no need to invite a bunch of people
  3. Invite some friends over to spend the night – Keep the number small. If your child has a lot of friends then maybe just keep it to the parents that you know personally. My son has a lot of friends but I don’t even know the parents first name so I don’t know them personally. I told my son to only invite boys where I knew the parents.
  4. Dinner with friends – Everyone pays their own way….so you can tell a few people, hey my family and I are going out to dinner at such and such place you are welcome to join us. Most people won’t want to pay for their own meal so only a few will come and most parents will just send their kids with you. This is a great way to celebrate a non milestone party without a lot of spending (the parents send their kids money or so I hope they do *side eye*)
  5. A day at a theme park – My son was excited to go to six flags and he was so happy I made that a part of his small party. This doesn’t have to cost a lot either. Only invite a few kids for this and find out if your local theme park has discounts or special passes for kids under a certain age. Also, my kids school gives out free tickets for Six Flags as a part of a reading program that they did so my kids had free passes already and most schools in my county and those nearby have the program

If you are cheap like me here are a few more ideas to save money on parties that aren’t milestones

  • Invite through Facebook and don’t send out paper invitations (saves you a lot of money and this is a new generation….hardly anyone still sends out paper invitations)
  • Skip the goody bag and instead do an epic photobooth and send that photo as a thank you note to the parent or the child
  • Party decor can be homemade and doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Look for deals online and find an someone crafty in your family to help you save on decor
  • Kids come to party not to eat. Don’t spend so much money on food…find a way to have the party after mealtime (backyard movie night example) that way you cut down on the cost of food. If you have food have something small like hotdogs. The cake or cupcake should be the only expensive food you buy
  • My son only wanted to play video game and play basketball for his party so they played a little then went outside and teamed up for a game of basketball…..I didn’t have to plan any games or bother my nerves with them
  • Keep it simple with just the people in your home. Kids don’t need a lot of gifts just a fun day with the ones that they love makes all the difference in the world

Overall I think non milestone parties should be small and unique. Don’t spend a lot of money! How do you celebrate non milestone parties? Do you have a party for every birthday?

I was invited to attend this media event at Six Flags. All opinions are my own!

  • Reply
    Robin Rue
    June 12, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    We love our local Six Flags here in New England. What a fun way to celebrate with a small party!!

  • Reply
    Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle
    June 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    That looks like so much fun! I love that Six Flags offers things other than just rides that make your stomach come out of your throat.

  • Reply
    Bill Sweeney
    June 12, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    That’s awesome! DC has some of my kids’ favorite superhero characters, so I know they’d love this.

  • Reply
    June 12, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    This sounds like an amazing place to have a party. I bet my kids would have a blast.

  • Reply
    Pam Wattenbarger
    June 12, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Six Flags is a lot of fun for kids. For my daughter’s friend’s birthday one year they all went to ride rollercoasters.

  • Reply
    June 12, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Wow that is really a great way to through an epic small party for kids. Glad you all were able to enjoy Six Flags, looks like a blast!

  • Reply
    Shannon Gurnee
    June 13, 2017 at 12:06 am

    We love our Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor in California. In fact, we have year round passes for our family of 8. These are some great party ideas too!

  • Reply
    Liz Mays
    June 13, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Checking out the new Justice League experience was such a good idea! I really need to see it for myself! I like your party ideas!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2017 at 12:53 am

    I’ve done small dinner at a favorite restaurant. Usually keep it to immediate family. I would definitely do an amusement park with a few friends when my daughter gets older.

  • Reply
    Lisa Favre
    June 13, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Smaller parties are so fun and a great way to save on a few bucks. I also love how intimate they are and how you can enjoy some good time with your guests.

  • Reply
    Veronica Solomon
    June 13, 2017 at 3:09 am

    What kid wouldn’t want an epic party.? I remember when my kids were little, each year I would try to top the last year’s party

  • Reply
    Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place
    June 13, 2017 at 4:57 am

    These are all awesome ideas, I can just imagine how happy they will be when you celebrate their birthday at a theme park! That’s so cool and I’m sure they’ll remember it for the rest of their lives.

  • Reply
    Our Family World
    June 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

    I gave my kids birthday parties every year but the milestone birthdays were more grand than the others. We also had small parties to celebrate academic achievements. It was a good way to motivate the kids to do well in school.

  • Reply
    Rose Alexis
    June 13, 2017 at 9:59 am

    I like the photo booth idea in lieu of the goody bag. You really don’t have to spend a lot to have an awesome time!

  • Reply
    Janell Poulette
    June 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I wish there was a Six Flags near me, or at least close enough for a birthday party! My kids would go nuts for a party like this!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    This looks like such a fun idea! I wish that we had something like this when I was younger to be able to celebrate birthdays.

  • Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    June 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I love all these tips! We’re going to try all these this summer! SO fun!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Wow this sounds like the perfect party! My kids would flip to do this!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    This is awesome. I wish we had a six flags or something like it near us. I think we’d have all our kids small parties there! What fun.

  • Reply
    June 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    The kids looked like they had a great time! I remember having sleepovers as a kid but I haven’t done that yet with my boys. I love our local Six Flags!!

  • Reply
    Kelly Hutchinson
    June 13, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    We have had a few parties at Six Flags when we lived in Atlanta. I know my son would love this new area of the park!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    I grew up in Atlanta and man kids who had summer bdays would have it at Six Flags over GA. Glad your kids are having fun and enjoy the new Justice League additions.

  • Reply
    Evelyn Reese
    June 14, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Six Flags over GA was a great idea. We had the milestones parties in the backyard and others times were just family gatherings.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2017 at 11:01 am

    No ma’am. I hate birthday parties. I did one. No actually two. My oldest was 5 and it was in school. She also had one at 3, at home costume themed. My youngest poor thing never had one. I buy cakes yearly and presents. Last year I took them both to some amusement place for their birthdays. I can’t take a whole bunch of small folks running around. No ma’am The kids look like they had. Blast tho!

  • Reply
    K. Elizabeth
    June 14, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    My kids have yet to have a big milestone party. Neither of them have wanted a party yet. We usually take them out for a special meal at their favorite restaurant, make them a cake and then let them pick out a few toys from the store of their choice. Kids definitely appreciate simple birthdays as long as they are with the people they love and doing something fun. I remind my kids that birthdays for our family are about celebrating our gratitude of being another year older above anything else.

    Glad your son enjoyed his birthday week and had a blast with his friends!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Marvelous Mommy
    June 14, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Birthday parties at home are really tiring for me too! Six Flags was a great idea! We still need to go check out Hurricane Harbor this summer!

  • Reply
    Chelsea Williams
    June 14, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Ahh, the sleepover never fails. The backyard movie night is one I had not thought of. Great suggestions!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    My step daughter just went to Miami for her 21st birthday. It was nice to just give her $100 and she can be on her merry way.

  • Reply
    Joyce Brewer
    June 15, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    I’m glad your son had a blast with all of his friends. We enjoyed the ride too. I had to sit down and catch my breath when it was over!

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