25 Frugal and Cheap Birthday Party Theme Ideas

25 ideas to throw a fun, yet frugal, themed birthday party!

25 Inexpensive Birthday Ideas for Him or Her

It’s time to throw a birthday party that your child will never forget. However, you don’t want your wallet to suffer long after the presents are unwrapped and dishes are done. Check out these 25 cheap birthday party ideas, and bookmark several for your child’s future birthday celebrations.

You might also be interested in my post all about things you can get free on your birthday! And if you don’t necessarily need to have a “themed” birthday party, here are 10 easy birthday party ideas that will cost less than $50!

1. Moana Birthday Party

Moana birthday party idea

One of the most popular Disney movies of the last several years is the perfect birthday party theme with coconut and seashell crafts and tropical food. You’re welcome! – See more at Teresa Reviews

2. Octonauts Birthday Party

Octonaughts birthday party theme

Disney Junior’s underwater explorers are setting the seas with this theme that makes for simple snacks like starfish rice Krispy treats and ocean water punch. -See more at From Play Dates to Parties

3. Trains Birthday Party

Thomas the train themed birthday party

Choo, choo! Throw a train party for your favorite kiddo with ready-to-go free printables. All aboard! -See more at Mom Envy

4. Harry Potter Birthday Party

Harry potter themed birthday party ideas

Muggles and wizards alike are welcome at this Potter-themed soiree. -See more at See Lindsay

5. Mermaids Birthday Party

Cheap birthday party mermaid theme

Go under the sea with a mermaid party any kid would love! You can’t beat easy snacks like dolphin shaped bananas and grapes. -See more at From Play Dates to Parties

6. Movie Star Birthday Party

Oscar cheap birthday party theme

Throw a party fit for the Oscars! Let the kids walk down the red carpet and bring home their own awards. -See more at Theresa’s Reviews

7. Football Birthday Party

Football birthday party theme

Are you ready for some football? Focus your child’s party around their favorite team and serve winning goodies like helmet-shaped rice crispy treats. -See more at See Lindsay

8. Super Mario Birthday Party

Super mario birthday party theme

Save the princess and bond with Luigi at this adorable Nintendo-original inspired birthday party. Our faves are the cute photo props and cheese ball fireballs! -See more at Joy in the Works

9. Slime Birthday Party

Slime birthday party idea

Kids love making slime. It’s affordable, easy, and a great summer party idea. -See more at The Typical Mom

10. Minecraft Birthday Party

Minecraft indoor birthday party idea

What kid wouldn’t love a Minecraft party? The snacks are so simple when you think of them as building materials (pretzels, licorice, and more). Plus, the simple shapes make decorations a breeze! -See more at Mom Luck

11. Rainbow Birthday Party

Rainbow theme birthday party

With a rainbow birthday party theme, there are so many possibilities. Play with multi-colored clay or playdough, and enjoy healthy snacks of every fruit from strawberries to boysenberries. -See more at Meraki Mother

12. Camping Birthday Party

Camp fire birthday party ideas

Take your scout’s favorite activity indoors with a camping themed party. Glam up camp with trail mix and fun! -See more at Hello Nature

13. Beach Birthday Party

Inexpensive teen beach party

Set sail on deviled egg boats and other sophisticated yet affordable snacks inspired by Teen Beach Movie. -See more at Confessions of an Overworked Mom

14. Ice Cream Birthday Party

Ice cream birthday party on a budget

Who said a party has to have a complicated theme? Everyone loves ice cream, and it’s a staple at birthday parties! -See more at Cutefetti

15. Owls Birthday Party

Owl birthday party theme

Focus your party theme around an owl pinata, complete with adorable glasses. All you need is a cereal box, paper, tissue paper, tape, glue, and this free template! -See more at Sustain My Craft Habit

16. Art Studio Birthday Party

Art studio kids birthday party

Get creative with art-themed games including food decorating! -See more at Meraki Mother

17. Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy birthday party idea

Yeehaw! Bandanas and cowboy themed cakes make this the best hoedown for your little cowboy or cowgirl. -See more at The Country Chic Cottage

18. Cheerleader Birthday Party

Cheer birthday party idea

Cheer for your favorite team: your kid! This cheerleader-themed party will have your guests waving their pom poms. -See more at Uncommon Designs

19. Frozen Luau Birthday Party

Frozen luau birthday party theme

Anna and Elsa’s winter world meets Olaf’s dream of summer in this lei and snow-filled shindig! -See more at From Play Date to Parties

20. Baseball Birthday Party

Baseball birthday party idea

Paper plates, plastic tablecloths, and rubber bands are all you need for this frugal and fun baseball party decor. -See more at Fun Money Mom

21. Animal Shelter Birthday Party

Animal shelter donation birthday party

Puppy focused parties are fun, but imagine if instead of gifts you took donations for an animal shelter. What a way to give back! -See more at The Search for Imperfection

22. Elmo Birthday Party

Elmo birthday party ideas

Sing Elmo’s song and throw a party with your favorite Sesame Street character at center stage. We love the Elmo cake pops! -See more at What’s Up Fagans?

23. Unicorn Birthday Party

Unicorn birthday party idea

Your little princess (or prince) will fall in love with this fantasy party with their favorite horned mythical creature. -See more at See Lindsay

24. Construction Birthday Party

Construction themed birthday party

From toy trucks to little hardhats, this frugal party won’t require a lot of heavy lifting, but it will be tons of fun! -See more at The Search For Imperfection

25. Peter Pan Birthday Party

Peter pan birthday party idea

Never grow up! Enjoy your celebration with pirate ship hot dogs, goldfish, and treasure maps to lead the way to the party of the year. -See more at Confessions of an Overworked Mom

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, these cheap birthday ideas have inspired you! Not only can you create a little birthday cheer for your child, but you can also have some fun and save some money. Perfect for the youngest unicorn lover or your teen who loves the beach, all of these themes are ingenious ways to say, “Happy Birthday!”

Let us know which inexpensive birthday party idea on this list is your favorite. Or, if you have your own ideas, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

25 ideas to throw a fun cheap themed birthday party!


  • I like the idea of an art-themed party. I am currently planning my daughter’s birthday party. I’ll keep this theme in mind as I shop for party supplies.

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