2 year birthday party on a budget

Betsy - posted on 12/20/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )




HI I was loking for some help as to what I should do for my son's 2nd brithday. We orginally planned for a Chuck E Cheese Party but we have about 40-50 guests and only about 20 of them are children. Most of the kids are about 2 years old, some are about 16 and some are about 8 years old. we thought this would be a good idea to keep all the kids entertained. But it would cost us about $500 for the party it's self that includes food/beverage and place. Still need cake and goody bags and gifts. My home is under remodel and too small for kids right now. My kids are confined to there room and our living room but not ebough for 40 peopl to be in. I was looking at a hall to rent and thought maybe I could rent a hall which includes tables and chairs for about $70/per an hour it would be no longer than 3 hours prefer 2 hours long but I'm sure I would to rent it for 3 hours with clean up and set up time. It is next month on 1/24/2010. It should be about 11am or noon when it starts. I would get a cake, but how much decor do I really need and what should I do for the kids? Just bring some toys from home and maybe crayons and coloring books and playdoh and such? I thought about renting a ball pit- moon bounce is too much risk wiht the kids being invited(most are ADHD). And food I was going to do soda and juice then pizza and chips but can anyone help me with another "menu plan" or should this be fine. I'm not trying to spen the day prior cooking or the day of cooking. I want something smooth and easy but I don't know what to do...please help I want to keep my budget under $500 I think that is way too much to spend on a kids 2nd party.


Rhonda - posted on 12/29/2009




Important tips from an expert!

First of all: Have you party at 10:30 - 11:30am or from 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Naps are always inbetween and you also will not have to provide lunch. The worst thing you can do is have a party for more than an hour. Family can hang out with you somewhere after but as far as the party 1 hour is enough for kids 5 and under. You do not want crabby kids crying at the party and that is what will happen with a 3 hour party.
Location: Check with local recreation centers. You can rent a room at a rec center pretty in expensive. We rented one from a city for $15.00 an hour. I also am a dance teacher so I host b-day parties. You can rent it for 3 hours say 9:30am - 12:30pm

You can do a couple of things:
Entertainment: hire a professional dance teacher to teach then dances and they bring in props and things to do. We are hiring a clown who makes balloon animals for my daughters 2nd bday. It is $150 but you can negotiate with them too.
Also, you can just bring chairs and play muscial chairs for the older kids and parnets to help the youngers and make it in 2 circles. You can play freeze dance. You can do the chicken dance. The hokey pokey and bop until you drop. Download off internet to your ipod. Get a teenager to help you with the games. Also, go to Gymboree and get the bubbles they have there. They are awesome. Blow bubbles and have the kids pop them to music. They are always entertained with that and will do that for 10 minutes at least. Playdoh is a liability and kids break crayons and may get distracted. You need to keep the party moving constantly to keep them going.
Going with a balloon theme. 50 guests is alot and many will bring presents. I ma assuming right after christmas does not need that many toys etc. Ask everone to bring a mylar balloon and a canned good as opposed to a present. You can still open family presents after the party. Also 2 year olds cannot open more than maybe 3 presents. THey want to play with them and they get MAD if you take them away. Balloons take care of the decorations, all the kids can take home a different balloon as a favor and you have cans to tie them too and donate after the party to start teaching charity to the kids.
As far as a cake. Look online or at the store for Cakesicles. THey are pans that you bake a regular $2.00 cake mix in and then insert a popsicle stick in. You use that as the b-day cake and you buy or make frosting and bring sprinkles and they can decorate them as part of the party. That is a $20 solution max! You do not need to provide food to everyone, that is too much time. I see parents all the time buy $60 cakes and go home with most of it.
After the cake decorating, bubbles, dancing, easy games and the balloon exchange you are done. Take the next hour of the rental and open presents from family, clean up and then relax.
Hope that helps!

Alyssa - posted on 12/25/2009




Another cheap food item is Chili! Its cheap to make and it goes a long way..and since its the winter season its great! You can get oyster crackers and shredded cheese to serve with it..or even fritos which is what my family prefers. You could add cornbread as a side also. The best thing about chili is you can let it simmer for a long time in crockpots or whatever and you dont have to constantly look after it. Just a stir now and then! If you would like the recipe I would be more than happy to give it to you! I'm not sure where you live but also the dollar tree, if there are any around you have big table cloths that can just be thrown away when done. coloring books and crayons and all that kind of stuff, and everythings a dollar!!


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We had my son's 2nd birthday in May, and had the same number of people. We did a bounce house outside, but I know your party is during the cold months. My daughter's is in December so I know the challenge with the cold. For my son's party, we did pizza and capri sun juices (clear so they don't stain little one's clothes). We had some goldfish and cheetos for the kiddos to snack on until pizza time. As far as the inside party goes, what is your child's favorite character? Make that the theme. Get color pages off the internet with that character and have them color those. You can also have that character come to the party. My son loved it when Elmo showed up at his party. You can rent the suit from local party places which is less expensive that having someone else do it. Let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to help. Good luck and have fun with it, he IS ONLY 2!!!

Tara - posted on 12/31/2009




I know we had our three year old's party at my church. They have a huge room that we used and set up some camping tents. And threw a whole bunch of toys in them and a few sleeping bags. They all had a blast. I don't know if it is something you ca look into or not.

Michelle - posted on 12/30/2009




You could check into a shelterhouse to have the party.I don't know how much but u could always ask.Call around town to pizza places that u can use coupons or special rates on birthday parties.It all depends where u go. Are u makin the cake? Sam's Club got a pretty good size cake that cost about $23to $25 dollars that should be enough. But u can look into. I'm sure that pizza and juice will be fine.Chips are good. See if some of your friends aren't too busy to maybe help u decorate the hall. I 'm just givin u some ideas and suggestions. I hope I have helped u Betsy!

Stephanie - posted on 12/29/2009




I was totally going to say the Dollar Tree or any dollar store for that matter. They have great things for parties. My daughter just turned 1 and I was able to get all the decorations and favors and a game 'pin the gem on the tiara' for under $40.

If you could find another restaraunt to rent out a room that would be good. What about Mcdonalds or even like an olive garden. It shouldnt cost any thing to use their party rooms.

I would worry about having food per say. What about just little snacks. Like those cracker and meat trays, or the fruit ones. Buys some chips and call it a day. They are 2 the only thing they care about is the cake.

Also I made my daughters cake...I made a small one for her and then made cup cakes for the rest. Instead of using traditional cup cake holders...I put them in ice cream cones...less clean up! It rocked.

I hope this helps you. Best of luck.


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