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Children's Birthday Parties are Pricey

Kiddie Soiree: Birthdays Cost More Than a Couple Bucks

Suri Cruise had a second birthday fete that would break most people's piggy banks, but some parents shell out bucks because there is no other option.

For urban dwellers living in tight spaces, children's birthday parties are a necessary splurge. It's one thing if your lil darling made his or her debut during the warm weather months as you can throw their soiree at the local park or playground. And, it's quite another when you can't rely on the climate forecast. To see what my options are,


My son is a November baby who turns two in a matter of weeks so we'll be inviting twenty of his buddies and their parents to a get together. Our flat cannot accommodate the number of kids, let alone parents, so we looked into other options. The price of park and rec club houses rival those of indoor playgrounds so we've decided on one that allows the kids to play for two hours before they are escorted to a festive room for the lunch hour and cake. Our no frills, but plenty of thrills party for our lil guy will likely set us back twelve hundred dollars. Before becoming a mom, I would have thought the expenditure was insane. Now, having planned six parties between my two kids, I realize it's the economical option. I can't wait until we own a house and throw basic pin-the-tail on the donkey and face paint parties in the backyard and basement.

Join The Conversation
OCmom1234 OCmom1234 8 years
It is $1200++ where I am too. Where is that truck cake from? TIA!
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
Wow! That's a lot of money for a two year old's birthday party! I would bet that my mom had never spent more than $150-$250 for a birthday party for us kids. (There are 4 of us ... my parents can't spend $1200 four times a year). That includes: all food (mom makes our cakes ... and seriously they are absolutely adorable!!), supplies, favors, etc. The only thing not budgeted there are presents. Which she picks up all through out the year so she doesn't have to spend several hundred at one point in time.
katedavis katedavis 8 years
So true, lil! I'm glad I'm not the only one. My son's birthday is in March (still too cold to do a park party) and our apt is too small to accommodate just family, let alone friends too. So, we rented the party room in our building for like $400. I really didn't want to, but I didn't have a choice. I made tons of amazing decorations myself to keep the other costs down, but it was way more than I was anticipated spending for a birthday party.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
I've never paid more than $250 total, including venue, cake, and party favors. Our best one was a bowling alley, where we spent only $150 total. There's no way I could spend $1200. If it was our only option, our children would have to go party-less.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i don't think you need to invite 20 friends for a kid that young you don't sound too worried about the cost, so that's fine, but if you were, you could really pare that down to 5 friends...or you could have a family-only party for kids that little
JAXMOM10 JAXMOM10 8 years
Sadly, that figure ($1200)is just about right :-( My baby just turned 2 on Sept 10th and I had to have 2 parties for her! One for all my friends & one for all of my family. I'm an "older" Mom (44) & PROUD and none of my friends have kids (incredible really!)so my baby is their baby! I had an awesome pool party for her in the City in late August even though she is a Sept baby. Parents with Sept/Oct babies could plan bashes a bit earlier. (UM, babies don't know how old they are for a while, they wont be pissed about a summer party even if their real date is a month later) Mine loved her pool party, kids, cake, water, more than her apt. party last week! xoxo
Gruberr1 Gruberr1 8 years
Lil - I totally hear you! We too live in an apartment where having my son's friends and their parents just won't work, so we have been forced to find play gyms and the like. Even if you go to a space where you bring things in yourself, you end up spending around $1,000. It is crazy, but necessary if you want to have a party.
schnappycat schnappycat 8 years
$1200 for a party at one of those play gym places? WOW! I don't have personal experience yet, but my friend and I were just discussing it and here it would only be about $200 for a party like that. She refused to pay even that and said that she could throw a party for about $50 (which I honestly question). I'm staring down my son's first birthday soon and we will have it at home, but am realizing that I'm in for much more in years to come. But I'm still in shock by the $1200 figure!
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