Hosting a Kid Birthday Party That Actually Celebrates Your Kid


Our family is putting an end to the “kidult” birthday party.

Kidult birthday party (kid-ult): a child’s birthday party that turns out to be a socializing scene for adults to drink and hang out without realizing they are at a child’s birthday party.

Whatever happened to old-fashioned birthday parties?

You know, the ones where the party actually focused on the child whose birthday it was? The kind where décor consisted of balloons and streamers, and the cake was homemade?  The kind where you only invited kids that your child actually knew? Where you played pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs and didn’t bring a dang zoo to your house for entertainment with margarita machines? Where you could actually drop your kid off for the party and pick them up later?

I’ll tell you . . . the “kidult” birthday party happened . . . and I am guilty as charged.

      (My hubby spent Lewie’s 2nd party making margaritas)


I recently had a first birthday party for my third son, and at the end, I literally sat down and broke down. Not only was it hard as crap to plan and cost a fortune, but there were 50 people in my home and there was a torrential rainfall.

I sat there looking at my sweet birthday boy, who was teething and miserable, in my muddy, demolished living room and said, “Never again.”

Not once did I take the time to really celebrate him or even enjoy this party. And for what? To socialize with friends and have an excuse to day drink? I am all about going ALL OUT and making memories with my kids, but this was not a memory that I would want him to have of HIS birthday.

The next morning, I walked into a kitchen of at least 20 wrapped presents, because no one really reads the part of the invite that states “no gifts.” Since we have had three boys in three years, there isn’t a single toy on the market we need, so I packed them all up in my car before the boys woke up and called The Birthday Party Project.

Now, if you haven’t heard of this non-profit organization, you need to. Paige and her amazing team throw unbelievable, over-the-top birthday parties for underprivileged children around the country. They are always in need of new toys (in original packages), and I had a ton to bring them.

A few weeks have passed, and I am now planning my oldest son’s 4th birthday party, and here is what’s about to go down at our house for his party and every party after. If you are invited, please don’t be offended.

My Birthday Party “Rules”

  1. Parents aren’t invited. Now that he is 4, a drop-off party is in order. I have plenty of adults that can take care of 5–6 of my 4-year-old’s closest buddies in my gated, pool-free backyard.
  2. Hour and a half. That’s how long the party will last. There will be some snacks and a cake from Society Bakery, because it is my favorite, but other than that, nothing. No lunch, dinner, or entertaining of siblings and parents.
  3. Bring presents. Bring good presents. My child will get to pick one present to keep and the rest we will donate to The Birthday Party Project. When he is 5, he can attend a party with me to see these children having fun and receiving their one present. It’s important to us that our kids understand what it means to give back and understand that the number of Bruder trucks we have is not “normal.”
  4. They will have fun, play games, and be tired as hell when you pick them up. You’re welcome. However, they will not come home telling you that they rode on a pony or flew in spaceship.

Now, I won’t judge you for having that champagne fountain, taco truck, and Cirque Du Soleil acrobats at your kid’s party. In fact, I would love to attend it. It’s just not going to be how my family does it going forward. In my opinion, the kids miss out on the fact that the party is about them, it is hard as freaking hell to plan, and it’s absolutely zero fun for me. The memories we are making from now on are the simple, good ol’ fashioned kind, and I feel really good about that.


  1. AMEN!!! I’m so glad you wrote about this. There is nothing that gives me hives more than having every kids’ parents & siblings in my house destroying the place & demanding Campisis pizza. I’m totally on board with ending the kid-ult birthday parties!

    P.S. I’m so excited you’re one of the DMB contributors now! Congrats! 😉

  2. Thank you for writing this! This has been a topic of conversation in our home recently. I told my husband it’s supposed to be our son’s party, not OURS! So no, we do not need to feel obligated to invite all OUR friends!


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