Birthday Parties for Every Budget
Plus: Food, favors, decorations and invites on a budget
Have you priced out a kid’s birthday party lately? Between invitations, the site, the food, the cake, the entertainment, the decorations, the favors . . . costs can mount higher than expected. No worries. The Delaware Valley’s the perfect place to plan a party, whatever your budget.
$50 or less
One way to make the most of a smaller budget is to celebrate at home with a crafting party. Keep the guest list manageable, no more than five to eight kids, and buy plain, inexpensive T-shirts or canvas bags from the dollar or crafts store. Have the kids decorate with paint, markers, glue, fabrics, buttons, glitter, ribbon and other art supplies all parents have around the house. Or ask guests to bring their own Rainbow Looms, then provide a heap of the colorful bands for a bracelet-making bash.
For foodie kids, a chocolate-making party’s a sweet (and sweetly cost-effective) alternative. Pick up a variety of inexpensive molds and multicolored candy discs at a crafts store. Melt the discs, then have the partygoers pour their favorite flavors into the molds and decorate. The candy will solidify quickly in the fridge and do double-duty as favors.
$50 to $100
Want to host away from home? The Camden Children’s Garden on the scenic Camden Waterfront offers a pair of low-cost garden-party options. Parties with up to 30 attendees can rent the Butterfly House tent, next to CCG’s indoor butterfly garden (butterflies are a popular party of late), for $70 to $80. The Garden Tent, which can hold up to 150 guests, is yours for $85 to $95. For either option, guests can explore the five Story Gardens, dig up fossils in the Dinosaur Garden and, for additional fees, ride the carousel or train (pictured at left). Bring your own cake; the CCG can supply goodie bags.
$100 to $200
Looking for something a bit more creepy-crawly? At Philadelphia’s Insectarium museum, party guests hold, pet or even eat bugs. The 90-minute party, $120 for 10 guests, includes a tour and time spent in the party room enjoying cake and pizza. Buggy crafts, such as decorate-your-own (real) beetle or butterfly magnet or make-your-own insect fossils, are available for extra fees.
$200 & up
Pampering parties are always in vogue with young fashionistas. For $225 for five guests, Little Miss Spa Parties augments a home sleepover with mini manis and pedis, a fruity chocolate facial and a build-your-own makeup or bracelet station. Spa robes, fashion magazines, music, custom invites and thank-you cards are included.
If you don’t want kids climbing the walls at your home, take the party to the Doylestown Rock Gym and Adventure Center in Doylestown, PA. Climbing parties here start at $215 for 10 guests, who have access to unlimited rock climbing, no experience necessary. For $255, kids in 4th grade and older can tackle the venue’s indoor challenge courses.
Cheyenne Shaffer is a MetroKids intern and journalism student at Temple University.