Remember when you had just one child and “the sky was the limit” as far as birthday parties were concerned? You probably didn’t even bother to add up the costs of all of those trips to the party store, the last-minute goodie bags, and the specialty cake from a fancy bakery. Your child’s party was a special event that you looked forward to and had time to plan months in advance.
Many years and many more additions to your family later, you may feel very differently about your kids' parties. With three or more birthdays spread throughout the year, suddenly you are constantly trying to keep up with the gift buying and party planning all while staying on a budget. There is also a new level of stress with party planning and making sure you are treating all of your kids equally.
So what do you do if you have three or more kids who all want to invite their whole class to a theme party at a climbing gym, bowling alley, or swim club? When you start to add up the cost of the event, plus food, cake, crafts or goodie bags, and other miscellaneous costs, you may be looking at paying over $350 for one party.
For many families, having a large birthday party is just not an option. With a large family and many expenses, small gatherings or a celebration with family members may be the routine.
One family I know with three kids who gets the big, themed party each year. The other two children do something special, but small and with a few close friends. This has worked out well for them and the children are more appreciative of their “big parties” when it is their turn.
With my own family, I have been trying a variation of this method. I usually let my two children have a larger, themed party every other year, during the same year. It has worked out that they usually want to do the same event. Since their birthdays are less than two months apart, I book the same place for two dates. This has made the researching and booking part a lot easier. The next year, my kids may take a couple of friends to a movie or have a pizza party at home.
Trying to stay within a budget for the larger parties is always hard. Make a list of the bare necessities, estimate what it will cost and add it all up before making many trips back and forth to the store. If you decide to have a large (or small) party at home or at a park, consider many great online party options like birthday craft sites that also include other activities and tableware, balloons, invitations etc. This way you will know all of your costs up front.