3rd birthday party cost: Share your spending experience?

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  • #95311 Reply

      Those that are OK sharing, how much did you spend for your child’s third birthday party (or other age)?

      Did you go all out or did you do a small celebration at the park or at home with just a few friends and family?

      We spent about $650 last year.

      That included a soft play equipment rental, snacks, food and drinks, cake, fruit, decorations, goodie bags.

      #95312 Reply

        We spend $500-1000. We are in prime birthday party years (grade school) where they will remember these things and we want them to have those amazing core memories.

        There are also social issues that come with birthday parties, and we want to make sure they can invite who they want and do what they want.

        I guess we are very pro- birthday at our house!

        #95313 Reply

          Go to a local park with a splash pad and call it a day. Lol.

          Cake and swim. Who’s with me?!

          #95314 Reply

            I am in LA and here some places charge at least $400 just for the venue, nothing included.

            #95315 Reply

              Probably under $50. I think we grilled out at home with friends and family- had a homemade cake and called it a day. That was 15 years ago.

              #95316 Reply

                We don’t do birthday parties until they start asking for them. So far that hasn’t happened, and the kids are 2, 6, and 7 though it’s probably coming.

                What we do instead is a special day or mini vacation…. So for the big two we went to great wolf lodge last year and jellystone. Both were under $300 for the two nights with the vacation as a perk for all of us. For the little one, we went to the zoo and a water park.

                Related: Frugal birthday party foods for a 7 yr old? Is grilled hot dogs too cheap?

                #95317 Reply

                  $650 sounds about right for all that you rented and the food and everything you mention. It actually sounds like a good budget. We have gone to Disneyland to celebrate birthdays and that’s even more expensive.

                  But then other years just go out to dinner and no party. Everything adds up fast these days. It depends on where you live too, if it’s HCOL area. Even a cake store bought can be $20 but custom orders can be $200-300. So just depends!

                  #95318 Reply

                    We did family only parties until her 5th birthday. I rented a pavilion for $25 and ordered pizza, brought other food and cupcakes.

                    #95319 Reply

                      Our daughter turned 2 in February, and I spent about $200 on food (Chickfila nugget tray, Costco pizzas and a cookie cake) and $10 on balloons. That was it. The people in my due date group are ridiculous and some spend thousands. Having our second in July.

                      I don’t understand why people can’t have parties like we did growing up. Simple. But everything is for show nowadays.

                      #95320 Reply

                        We have never spent more than about $20 for a birthday (cookies, cake, decorations) plus about $30!for a gift, so $50 total. We either go to a park or have it at our house.

                        We have 3 kids only have about $3 million tho… I’m sure if we had more than $10 million (my fire number) I’d be willing to spend a little more, but can’t imagine spending much more than we do now. I know there are a lot of people on here a lot wealthier than us.

                        Useful: Tips to host a birthday party on a tight budget?

                        #95321 Reply

                          The big celebrations were my both sons’ 1st birthdays. We spent $3,000-3,500 each time. The other birthdays were smaller scale and ranged between $750-$1,500.

                          #95322 Reply

                            Costco for the win. We just had my son’s birthday at a park (you can reserve the picnic area for $155, but we risked it and brought our own table in case someone else booked the spot).

                            Pizzas are $10 each, a massive cake is $25. Plus waters, sodas, juices, paper plates, utensils, napkins, lawn games that we already own, and some cheapo party favors.

                            I think the total cost was about $200 for about 20 kids and 20 adults.

                            #95323 Reply

                              Around $30. We went to the zoo and McDonalds. She doesn’t remember any of it.

                              #95324 Reply

                                For comparison’s sake, I just spent $1600 for 4 nights in New Orleans at a 5-star hotel in the French Quarter on Bourbon Street over Memorial Day weekend (5/25 – 5/29/2024) with non-stop roundtrip airfare from Baltimore for 4 birthdays (my husband’s, 60th son’s 24th, daughter’s 21st, and my? st)!

                                That is $400 per person for a bucket list adult 5 day/4 night birthday vacation!!!

                                Suggested: I have to plan a 30th birthday party for our son who is mentally challenged

                                #95325 Reply

                                  I don’t think we ever spent more than a couple hundred on any party.
                                  “Friends” parties were every 5th year. All the others were just family.

                                  #95326 Reply

                                    I have typically spent about that much. But we do birthday trips. And my kids may not remember exactly what we did, but they do remember. They love looking back at pictures of all our adventures.

                                    We were in Europe for the the past 2 years and did Legoland Germany, Legoland England, Disney Paris, and a water park. We did one birthday like OP described and prefer trips.

                                    #95327 Reply

                                      I spent 7500$ last year on my sons 5th birthday and $1000 on my daughters 3rd Sunday

                                      #95328 Reply

                                        About $400-$600. Honestly, I’m not going as hard this year, I didn’t feel like most of it was worth it.

                                        The kids want something to do/cute little goodie bag. Snacks are cool but if you do it slightly off lunch time then most people will graze snacks (most of ours went in the trash).

                                        My best friend is sending me some of her Toy Story decorations from her son’s party bc mine is obsessed & that’ll save me quite a bit.

                                        Buy some silicone molds online & melt some broken crayons and bake them (I wish I did this instead of buying them) then Etsy sells huge table sized coloring pages with happy birthday ____ on them… most of the adults colored while the kids played.

                                        #95329 Reply

                                          I’ve always thrown a birthday party for all 3 of my kids from age 1 up and average about $500ish depending on where they’ve decided they want to have their party’s.

                                          We went from no limit on their party numbers to at age 12 doing more experience type things for their party for example my daughters 12th birthday she invited her best friend for a weekend get away but my son is about to have his 12 and wanting to invite some friends to a local place called urban air that has a lot of things for kids their age to do.

                                          I try to let them pick what we do within reason

                                          #95330 Reply

                                            I spend about $400 per kid per birthday once they are old enough to notice. This year that was age 8 (arcade rental for $200, arcade passes for $100, and about $100 in snacks drinks and cake) and age 5 (at home party with snacks, decorations, piñata, drinks and fancier cake). My toddler will only get a family dinner ($100) until he’s old enough to notice. I’m in northern California for reference.

                                            We’re firmly on the FIRE train but I still remember my birthday parties as a kid and I don’t want to skimp on that stuff too much.

                                            #95331 Reply

                                              For the first 4 bdays we spent about $300 on a combined party for my twins. That included food and rental fee at a park. 5th birthday we went to Disney world so I don’t count that as there was no party lol. 6th bday I probably spent about $800 on a combined bday party at a trampoline park and presents.

                                              I’ve prob got another 4 years of expensive bdays before I cut the cord and we do something different.

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