Thoughts on Children's birthday parties.

Shelby - posted on 06/29/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have two daughters that are 4 1/2 and 3. So far, every year we have a birthday party in a public place with family and friends. Nothing too exciting. Well now that the oldest is going to be 5 this year after Christmas, I was thinking to switch up the birthday parties by eliminating the family aspect and just have some of her friends at it and doing something fun like bowling, swimming, etc. Wondering what other families do for their kids for birthday parties. Do you invite your whole family every year? Invite their whole class? Just a few close friends? Should I also invite family? Or just main people like my child's grandparents?

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We've done it several ways.

When he was small, we usually did a big back yard party for both family and friends together. We would grill food or have it catered, usually hire a bounce house or whatever to entertain the kids and the adults could get in some chatting. I never was one for the games. I like these, they're not so stressful.

When he started school, I decided to do a "Build A Bear" party. We don't have family with kids J's age, and I didn't think the older kids or the childless relatives would enjoy Build A Bear, so I had a separate party for family. This was a pain. Build A Bear was great, but IMO it is NOT cheap. Also, as with many of these places, you still have to supply your own food, cake, and invitations, so it didn't really cut back on as much planning as I would have liked. Then I still had to fork out for dinner with the relatives, and I was tired and didn't want to host, so we went to a restaurant. Maybe I'm just cheap, but that year I spent over $2,000 on a flippin' 5 year old's birthday party. Not worth it.

My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE EVER was his 7th birthday. My husband & I took him to Great Wolf Lodge. It was by far the easiest birthday ever, and we all three had a blast...opposed to J having a blast while dh & I run around stressing over details, RSVP's, and catering. His birthday is in the off season, and we were able to go mid week, so it was really cheap. No one was offended about not being invited because there was no actual party. And best of all, we got to actually enjoy J's birthday with him, which we'd never really gotten to do before because we were so busy with the party planning and hosting. The only downside was not having many gifts for him to open, but J actually didn't care. We got him a couple of things, and his Nana's gave him gifts on their own once we got home.

Sal - posted on 06/29/2013

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To be honest my kids would have less parties if my family was close by, I really do parties as a replacement to cousins etc

Sal - posted on 06/29/2013

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I don't have family around anymore and it's sad, I have seen this question before and don't really understand it, I can't see why a friend party excluded family... If there is a chance of my family turning up they come along too, it's no big deal,
We don't usually have birthday parties on the actual birthday anyway unless it happens to fall on a weekend or during holidays so why not have a family dinner on the actual day and party on weekend if Its a big deal,

Becky - posted on 06/29/2013

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I'll be honest with you, if I was a family member, I would be totally hurt and furious by this. Why not do two parties. Have one party for her friends, and have another one for family. The one for the family doesn't have to be anything big. Heck, most of the time, for us we just do cake and ice cream. Sometimes we'll do pizza. The family party consists of grandparents, the child's immediate aunts and uncles, and their cousins.

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