How We Had an Inexpensive Stress-Free Birthday Party


My little boy just had his fourth birthday this past Friday, and I knew we needed to celebrate him with friends, family, and fun. I’m pretty good at making my kids feel celebrated and special, but I’ll be honest: birthday parties stress me out! I know I’m not alone in this!

However, when we attended a birthday at the park a couple of months ago, I fell in love with the idea. I saw how relaxed my friends were as they hosted this easy party, and I knew I needed to recreate the same thing for my little boy. I really had no idea just how awesome it would be for him . . . and ME!

How We Kept Our Party Inexpensive

I love Pinterest, I really do. But it makes me feel like I have to go over the top for every birthday party. Let’s be serious: I have five kids. That means we celebrate five birthdays every year. If I lived on Pinterest to plan every one of those parties, it would make me crazy.

Our park was free, and all we had to do was get there a little early to stake out our place and add a bit of decor. Having a party in the morning made it pretty easy to get there before anyone else. I kept the decor minimal because at four, you don’t really care about that, right? He just wanted to have fun.

Even the fun was free. The kids took the playground by storm, soaring high in the swings, and even grabbed some of the bubbles we provided to chase those soapy balls of air all over the place.

I did something a little crazy, too. I didn’t hire someone to make cupcakes and I didn’t call in a special order for a cake; I went to my local grocery store and purchased a dozen cupcakes for less than $10. The kids LOVED them!

How I Managed to Stay Stress Free

First thing in the morning, I hit up the donut shop and grabbed enough donuts and kolaches to feed everyone. I didn’t have to make anything in my kitchen, and the bill from the donut shop was one that made me smile!

Not only was I able to keep things stress free for myself, but I wanted our guests to stay stress free, as well. That’s why I asked for everyone NOT to bring gifts. I just wanted them to come play with us without having to worry about wandering the toy aisle at Target trying to figure out what my child might like to receive for a birthday gift. This may be the last year I can get away with that, but he didn’t miss out on anything!

With the flowers in full bloom around our neighborhood, we were even able to get a fun photo with all of our friends in the flowers. Now, corralling a group of kids into a small area of flowers can be a little like herding cats. And getting them to all look in the same general vicinity at the same time can almost seem impossible. Just point out that imaginary airplane in the sky and click away. You’re sure to get at least one picture you like. πŸ™‚

party kids

Instead of spending hours putting my house back together after having a birthday party at our house, we threw things away and packed up to leave the park in less than 5 minutes. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!!

After this inexpensive and stress-free party at the park, just the thought of having another birthday party in my house makes me twitch. Big props to the moms who love to plan parties down to the littlest of details; I’m just not one of them. Thankfully, there are options like this out there for moms like me!

What about you?? What’s the most inexpensive and stress-free party you’ve ever thrown??


  1. that is such a great idea! we went to one of my son’s friends 4th bday party and it was setup at their neighborhood park. it was really very simple. they have older kids too; but they brought all their toys from home (soccer, rocket ship launcher, plush basketball with a blow up basketball hoop, beach ball to toss around, baseball/teeball, bubbles). they served snacks and juice boxes and she had a store-bought quarter sheet cake; there were tattoos/stickers, etc. i mean the kids had a blast and it was a very relaxed setting. πŸ™‚ way to go mama πŸ™‚

  2. Bravo! I love your approach to birthday parties! I, too, get stressed. I also think that the whole commercial birthday party industry is a money pit for parents and skews the kids expectations. Thanks for this. You’ve inspired me! πŸ™‚


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here