Make us your home page

Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Wanted: Cheap kid's birthday party ideas



Forget swine flu. This momma has just been stricken with sticker shock.

Mom_balloons  The reason? My little buddy turns 3 in June. Recently he went to a classmate's birthday party. When I mentioned that he would have a birthday in a couple of months, he said he wanted a party.

Easy enough, I thought. But when I started calling all the usual party venues, I was in for a rude awakening. They all cost in the hundreds, some nearly $500 for a 90-minute party. If you really want to see a lavish kid's party, read this story about a New Tampa momma who shelled out $3,000 for her son's first birthday bash.

To me that seems outrageous, especially in this economy. I want my son to be happy, but I can think of better ways to spend $400 or so, like paying a bill or putting it in the emergency fund. Plus I love my son enough to teach him about the value of money, and that the world doesn't necessarily revolve around him.

When I was a kid, birthday parties were simple. You had watermelon and cake and ice cream at a picnic table in the back yard and played homemade games like fishing with an old bed sheet and Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Today, such homespun fare would probably draw snickers. And I'm not talking just about from the other parents, but the kids, too.

My husband says we are not having a house party because he doesn't want that many kids tearing up the place. And we don't have a playroom or a neat back yard with a gym set anyway.

What's a fiscally responsible Momma to do? I'm eager to hear from my cost-conscious fellow Mommas who had a nice party on a small budget.

-- Lisa Buie, Times mom

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:00am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours