10+ Inexpensive & Easy Birthday Party Ideas
10+ Cheap Birthday Party Ideas Under $50!
As my kids have gotten older they still love to celebrate their birthday with their friends, but it can get very expensive going somewhere to celebrate or having big events planned. Typically I aim for BIG fun on a LOW budget, so I asked a few kids I know what they thought would be fun to do on a budget and I was impressed with their list of ideas!
If you’re on the lookout for Frugal Birthday Ideas for Older kids, we’ve got you covered! (ps, you might also like my post about 25 frugal and cheap birthday party theme ideas. AND check out our birthday freebies post! And here are some fun birthday gift ideas.)
1. Disk Golf at the Park
Many local parks have Disc Golf baskets set up for public use. Grab a disc for each of the birthday guests (these run from $6-$10 a piece, and could also make an awesome party favor), and head to the park and play 18 holes then celebrate with dessert afterward.
Depending on your number of guests (and if you already have discs that can be shared) this makes a great outdoor activity to do on a budget that they’ll love!
This Starter Set is a great one because it has the driver, mid-range, putter, as well as a marker so you could share the discs as needed if you have enough markers (you could also use beanbags as markers so you could share the sets).
2. Backyard Bonfire
Roast hot dogs & S’mores around a backyard fire! Pull out the camp chairs and get the marshmallows ready. Before you start the fire you can play games in the backyard or even make these Marshmallow Shooters and have an epic marshmallow battle!
3. Pool Party
I have a summer birthday, so a pool party was always my favorite way to celebrate. If you have access to a pool, a day splashing around can be a great way to celebrate! If the pool is not an option, grab a deal on a slip n’ slide, and have a great time in your own backyard!
Or you can make your own CARPOOL aka REDNECK POOL. We did this for the 4th of July when temperatures were over 100°! The kids loved it! We simply lined the bed of the truck with a tarp and secured it with some tie downs, then filled it with water. We also set up buckets full of water all over the yard and gave them water guns for the ultimate water gun fight.
4. Spa Day
When I asked the girls what they like to do, a Spa Day was the #1 thing on the list. Wouldn’t it be a lot of fun to do manicures and pedicures with the girls? You could put together a small gift bag with polish, cute nail files, and fun accessories for each of the girls while they share colors and giggles during the party.
5. Red Carpet Movie/Theater Night
Is there a new movie out that your kiddo wants to see? Buy or rent the movie, grab some popcorn & candy, and make root beer floats for all of the guests. Set up a concessions stand where the kids can grab snacks as they want. A fun idea to do before the movie is put together a DVD of pictures of your birthday kid for everyone to watch!
You can take the Movie Night idea a step further and have a Red Carpet Movie night. Allow the kids to dress up in their finest, take pictures upon their arrival, serve dinner (optional), and watch a movie together or even put on a theatre show that the kids can do.
Give them some ideas, and watch their creativity bring to life amazing presentations! This backdrop is a fun place to have the kids stop to take pictures with friends. You could also set out photo props for the kids to play with and designate one of your friends or grandparents to take pictures throughout the party!
6. Glow in the Dark Volleyball/Tag
Snag a great deal on all things that Glow and have a party in the Dark. I’ve seen kids have a blast playing glow in the dark volleyball or tag, and even having a great time at a glow in the dark dance party.
This could be a lot of fun if you’re up for hosting a later party for your kiddos. If you have a black light, the dance party is awesome for an indoor birthday party idea!
7. Wii or Xbox Games
8. Nerf Gun Party/War
Almost every kid my son’s age has a nerf gun that they love battling with…so have the kids all bring their own gun, but provide the ammo for an epic Nerf Battle. Set up obstacle courses in your backyard with scrap wood, old tires, lawn chairs, and more! Get the kids involved in making the course too! You can make shelters with old boxes from Costco or Amazon.
If you want to make sure everyone is covered, these small but mighty nerf guns are GREAT! Grab a few to have on hand, or order them for each of the guests as a party gift to take home that they’ll have a blast playing with at the party.
9. Homemade Pinata
Last year we made our own pinata. I just used an Amazon box and filled it with party toys and candy. To make it we just put a small hole in the top of the box, tied a rope to it, spray painted it, and hung it from a tree. It worked great!
I would have preferred the solid blue color, but my husband had to add the silver face. haha. We did not have a blindfold so we just put the hoodie on the kids’ heads backwards.
This is one of my families favorite games. My son got it as a gift from his grandparents last year and then we used it as a fun game at the birthday party. This is the one we have. I love it because it is portable and easily stored in the bag.
11. Art Day
Have a creative kiddo? Set up an “An Artist for the Day” party and let the birthday kid and guests get creative. You can set up paint stations, clay tables, coloring centers, and more! Hang a wire across the wall and display the creations as they are completed.
If you have a child that loves astronomy and stargazing, it would be fun to get friends together to check out the stars! Have friends bring blankets and pillows to lay back and check out the sky together. This book is filled with activities that would also be fun to do during the party.
13. Scavenger Hunt
Send the kids on a scavenger hunt around your yard or at a park to find things on a list. A lot of kids have cameras handy, so have them snap photos of the things on the list and make it a virtual scavenger hunt.
14. Picnic & Bike Ride
Here in Boise, Idaho we have a fantastic greenbelt that runs along the river and is wonderful for riding bikes! When my son mentioned this idea he got more and more excited about it, so this is what we’ll be doing to celebrate his birthday this year!
Have friends meet at a local park for a picnic lunch together and then a bike ride afterward. Ask guests to bring their bikes & helmets. **Please note: This birthday party idea will require adults to help supervise and ride along with the kids. You may also consider having the parents fill out a permission slip/waiver such as one they may sign to send their kids on a field trip at school.
Birthday Cake Ideas
A birthday party isn’t complete without a cake! However, don’t get hung up on getting a fancy cake. I have found that many times my kids are just as happy having any one of their favorite desserts.
One thing that drives me crazy is that most kids eat two bites of cake at a party and leave the rest to go to waste. So do not stress about the fancy cake just focus on a favorite treat. Here are some of our favorite cake recipes.
Do you have other inexpensive & easy birthday party ideas? We’d love to hear about it, so leave a comment below! Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for Birthday Freebies!
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