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Hosting a birthday party can become expensive. Find ways to save money and make a party affordable come in handy with staying on budget. One of the most expensive parts of having a birthday party is the location. Finding a cheap venue for a kids birthday party is difficult!
You can find free birthday things for kids and birthday freebies for adults with a simple Google search, but if you looked up cheap venue ideas, you end up with ads and unhelpful companies promoting their expensive venues.
Seriously, searching the terms “affordable places to host a birthday party,” “places to rent for a birthday party near me” or “cheap birthday party places near me” gives you 4-6 ads for places that are no doubt out of budget or costly.
It’s annoying and insane, but you have to give props to the marketing team for scoring the placement spot because it did its job- you looked and saw it.
So to help you out, I’m going to share some great locations and ways to save money on finding the perfect location to host your child’s birthday and hopefully save you to the search.
The cheapest location to host a party is in your own home.
But this isn’t always the best choice depending on your living situation and the number of people you need to accommodate. So we will cover a large number of other frugal options including:
- The park
- Indoor pool party
- Movie theaters
- Bowling alley
While these may not seem like a frugal option, keep reading for the best collection of tips and tricks to make them affordable party venues for kids!
Two ways to save money on party venue locations are:
1.) Naturally, have connections
This is tricky for people out there like me. An introvert without social connections. However, you could still be lucky enough to find a community center or church willing to let you use a room for a few hours if you clean up afterward.
When I hosted my cousins winter themed baby shower, the party venue charged $200 but gave it all back because we cleaned up when we were done. This included sweeping, mopping and emptying the trash.
Look around for places near you and let them know you’re on a tight budget and would like to work something out in return for using the location for 2-4 hours. You never know what you might find!
2.) Check on discount websites like Groupon for vouchers
Looking on Groupon can help you buy discounted price vouchers for different locations. These can be redeemed for your party and save you money! Sign up with my link and get a $10 promotional credit to save you even more money!
Having a birthday party at the park
My daughter’s 6th birthday is a picnic in the park. So I feel like I’ve researched this one quite a bit.
Local parks can be found all over the city, sometimes, they charge money for admission, but if you look hard enough, you can find the free ones. To make it easier for you, you can find your local parks here.
The closest park to my house charges $4 for parking about 6 months of the year. Whereas, a few miles down the road and there’s a park with a better toy area, picnic spots and it’s free all year-round.
[Bonus tip] If you’re having a summertime birthday party, aim for a free local Splash park so you can have entertainment and a venue for free!
If you find yourself not having enough tables and chairs available, consider throwing blankets on the ground for a picnic style party. Just mention on the invitations for guests to bring their own lawn chairs if desired.
Another cost to consider is that sometimes parks will charge to rent a pavilion or reserve tables for you. You can do this, or you can simply take part in the “first come, first serve” rule that applies and show up early enough to claim a spot for your party.
A party at the campgrounds
A camping spot is usually pretty cheap, and if you buy one or two you can invite guests to come and stay, whether they camp overnight or not
This could be a great way to have an outdoor party, without the crowded craziness of a park during the summer.
Some camping locations may even let you and your guests hang out for free if you choose not to stay overnight, and simply clean up after yourselves!
Ways to save money on having an indoor pool party
Hotels, community centers, and fitness centers will often rent pool areas for parties. Prices vary per location, so definitely shop around and get some price estimates before settling on one spot.
A frugal tip to help you save money on this is to book a hotel room.
Some hotels will allow you to invite guests to come and swim with you if you have a room booked for the night. So if this option is cheaper than your local community center, do it!
You just scored yourself a fun pool party and an overnight family adventure in the hotel room. Kid’s love hotels (they think they’re magical.) Or invite some of the party guests to stay over for a sleepover. Now you’ve turned a single party into a weekend packed full of fun, without costing a fortune!
Why a hotel room could be a frugal party venue
Hotel rooms can be pretty cheap, especially if you book them through the right websites. Getting a suite for your kid and party guests to have a sleepover can be much cheaper than renting out some official party hall.
If your hotel room comes with a microwave, you can enjoy popcorn and movies. The kids will have fun and you can add to it by having some cheap pizzas and drinks available.
How to make a movie theater budget-friendly
A movie theater, on its own- is expensive. This blogger has been to the movies so few times in the past 10 years that I can count them all on one hand. The price of concessions is highway robbery, and even with the free refill option-it still doesn’t help the matter. No one wants to leave a movie they’ve never seen before to go get a refill of popcorn.
But movie theaters have a few hacks to make this a budget-friendly party venue.
1.) Ask about party discounts.
Some theaters will have discounts on tickets when you “buy in bulk” or offer a special group price including popcorn and drinks.
2.) Plan your party during early morning matinees.
It’s no secret that movie ticket prices change price throughout the day. Early morning tickets can cost a lot less than a ticket to the same movie in the evening when the crowd is larger.
Aim your party around the cheaper ticket prices, and not only do you save money, but you’ll also have a less crowded movie theater. Meaning, fewer adults to complain about children being noisy and fewer strangers to worry about.
3.) Look for a discount movie theater near you.
If you’re really lucky, you may find a local discount movie theater near you. These places normally show older movies, but for great prices. This can help you cut costs significantly.
We have a $2 movie theater about an hour north of us, and it’s pretty awesome. It’s actually one of the first dates my husband took me on, even though I fell asleep during the film. I blame the comfy chairs.
Bowling alleys can also be a cheap party venue. Some offer party packs where they include food and drinks in with the shoe rentals and lanes.
Different nights of the month have different themes and you can find some times/days to be cheaper than others. Planning a party around these time frames could save you even more money.
Did none of these locations work for your situation? Check out how you can thow a birthday party online and carry the party location in your hands (literally).
Where do you enjoy hosting your budget-friendly kid’s parties?
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