If you’ve got a birthday coming up, or simply want to celebrate the summer vacation by throwing a soiree, this doesn’t need to break the bank. You can have a fabulous time outside together with plenty of budget-friendly party favors. Prepare your own spread and show off your cake-baking skills. Kids also have a great imagination so you don’t need to go all out on toys and expensive entertainment. Plan a few games and activities that all the family can enjoy for free. There’s no reason why you can’t throw an awesome kids party on a budget this summer. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

Take it outside

Summer is the perfect time of year to take the party outside. Rather than renting a venue, if you’ve got the space why not host a party in your very own backyard? This way you’ll save plenty of money that you can put to a better use. Alternatively, you could go to a local park or green space. You could even hire one or two Party Rentals instead of an entire place, such as mobile photo booths or oversized novelty games. These whimsical features will go down very well with kids and adults alike.

Keep guests to a minimum

Due to recent restrictions, big parties aren’t really a thing right now, and this could actually be better for your budget. Rather than inviting everyone you know, keep your guestlist to a minimum. Invite your kids’ best friends and plan something a little more intimate. This will be much cheaper and easier to cater for and you can still have a proper celebration. Always consider your children’s needs and invite who’s most important to them at the present moment.

Provide the entertainment

Instead of hiring a clown, singer, or other form of entertainment you can have a go yourself. If you have any talented members of the family, neighbors, or family friends that are willing to get up and perform this could be a more cost-effective option as well. There are plenty of simple ways to keep children entertained even if you don’t feel confident in your clowning talents. Check out these easy face paint ideas for kids, for instance. 

Have a costume party

If you’re going to do face painting why not go all out and have a costume party? Kids can make their own or dress up in second-hand clothes. You could even check online for some deals on used costumes ahead of time. It may be worth looking for off-season discounts.

Prepare food at home

You’ll save a lot of money by preparing your own food rather than hiring catering services. Schedule in some time a day or two before the party to get the food ready. Plan a few staple items that are simple to prepare but that the kids will love. You can even throw a few healthier snacks in the mix. Here are some healthy party food ideas

Don’t go overboard on the spread

There are almost always leftovers at parties so don’t go overboard on the spread. There’s no need to spend more money on food that’s unlikely to get eaten. Be mindful when you’re planning the snacks and think twice about whether all the items are necessary. You might be better off simplifying your menu. If you’d rather not put on a large spread you could deliberately host the party outside of meal times. In any case, a light buffet will go a long way and you don’t need to spend as much as you think.

Eco-friendly decorations

If you’re looking for a cheaper way to decorate your home that’s better for the environment as well check out these eco-friendly party ideas. You can make your own decorations using recycled materials and old household items. Why not even get the kids involved? Try upcycling your own creations by repurposing things you find in the house. You could even make banners from old clothes, sheets, or recycled paper. If you’re not the creative type or simply don’t have the time there are plenty of brands that offer eco-friendly decorations. Shop around for the best deal and be a bit more minimal this year if you’d prefer to save money.


Make the cake yourself

A homemade birthday cake is much more personal, and not to mention delicious. You can show off your baking skills this summer by designing a recipe your children will love. They can even pitch in with the decorating. You could turn it into a fun project for the whole family and this will make it even more special. If you’re not a confident baker, don’t worry, try one of these easy birthday cake ideas. Another option is to make individual cupcakes instead, or even brownies. These are pretty fool-proof, especially if you have a shorter guest list this year.

Plan a few fun games

There are plenty of fun outdoor games you can play that are either very cheap, or won’t cost a thing. You could just throw a frisbee around or play hide and seek. This is a good way to inject some physical activity. Set tables and chairs up in a circle and play musical chairs or duck duck goose. If you have the time you could prepare a scavenger hunt. A scavenger hunt is great if you have a large backyard that’s fun to explore, if not you could always include household items to look for on the list. Put children into pairs and get them to see who can find all the items on the list the fastest and the winners get a prize. 

Organize craft activities

If you are willing for things to get a little messy you could organize craft activities. These could be anything from making friendship bracelets to decorating mugs. Look for a few old household items you can use or some recycled materials. The summer is a great time of year for garden-themed craft projects. The kids could have a go at making upcycled planters from unused objects around the house. Something as simple as an old tin can or mason jar can be turned into a plant pot. You could then have them decorate these with their own designs.

Relax screen time rules

If you’re stuck for game ideas then it might be an appropriate moment to relax the screen time rules. Kids can be entertained for hours playing singing and dancing interactive video games, so if you’ve got any other these it could be a good time to break them out. Alternatively, you could have a karaoke or dancing competition if your kids enjoy music and singing. Find the activity that best suits the crowd. 

Digital invitations

Nowadays, there’s really no need for printed invitations. Send all the guests a text or organize a group chat for the party and you’re done. You can collate the digital RSVPs and not bother spending money on fancy invitations that will just end up in the trash. Send out your invites ahead of time to ensure you can set a realistic budget for the number of guests.

Simple goody bags

There’s also no real need to overspend on goody bags and party favors. Most kids will appreciate any surprise gift they get, so just a few token items and a piece of cake will do. Typical loot bag items that won’t break the bank include bubbles, stationery, and candy. If you’d rather include an educational item you could throw in seed packets they can plant. You can buy these in bulk. Here are a few more cheap ideas for goody bags

Repurpose goody bag fillers

If your children have been to a lot of parties over the years you could collect up all the loot from their gift bags and repurpose it. Rather than giving out individual bags you could fill a piñata with the repurposed gift bag items instead. Bulk it out with extra candy and you can let the kids each take a go at it near the end of the party. This way they’ll all end up with something but they’ll still have fun at the same time, and you can spend less time and money on preparing the goody bags.

Share ideas with local parents

For the best kids party ideas try sharing tips and advice with the other parents you know. They might have had a successful budget-friendly party recently and will let you know how they managed to keep costs down. You could also ask them for activity or recipe suggestions. This way you can help each other save money this summer. 

There’s no reason why your next party needs to cost the earth. If you’re creative enough, you can find plenty of ways to have fun this summer on any budget. It’s the perfect time of year to send time together outdoors simply enjoying the sunny weather with a homemade cake and a few games. What more do you need for an awesome summer party?

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