I wrote a blog post the other week talking about some of the troubles I have had with my kids birthday parties over the years. These days we have moved on from them having what felt like half the kids from their school terrorising the local Church hall and we do more low key things.
Today I am sharing with you a few ideas that you can do for your kids birthday party that are not having a million kids at your house.
Not Everyone Can Come
Look let’s just get this out of the way. When you have a large birthday party, you invite the whole class. Even the kids who your child never has anything to do with because that is just the way it is done. Well with the activities I am talking about today unless you are rich like Scrooge McDuck, you will not be able to do that. Some will say that it is not fair to leave kids out and I can see that.
However, this is your child’s birthday and it is up to them who they want to bring. Sometimes my kids will want to just do something with one or two friends other times they have taken more than that. Anyway, the point I am making is that for these birthday alternatives, you cannot really invite the whole class.
This was something my eldest son did a few years back and he and the five friends that he invited had an awesome time. We are lucky in that our local laser tag place (which is in an arcade) will go all out for a kids birthday party and provide a cake. You can book the whole place if you want and while we only had 8 kids (which included my youngest and a friend we let him bring) you can usually have more than this, these were the only kids my son wanted to bring.
Bowling is very similar to laser tag, but in my experience it tends to cost a lot more. Also bowling when you have more than a few kids with you can take what feels like forever. If you do not book more than one lane. Kids will have to wait and when kids have to wait and they are all hopped up on sugar they tend to screw around! If you are taking them bowling, my advice is that you let them bring two friends max, this keeps the waiting time down to a minimum and you can even take them to McDonalds or Pizza Hut after and it will not cost you a fortune.
There are two ways that you can do a gaming party. The first way is if you are lucky enough to have an arcade or a retro gaming place that offers kids birthday parties. We used to have an arcade that did this and you could rent it out and they would put all the games on free play for the kids to play. It was awesome and something my eldest still brings up from time to time.
The other way that you can do a gaming party is to have it at your house. Let your child invite a few of their closest friends around, have some pizza, have some cake and just let them play all the video games that they want. Apart from the pizza and cake is this any different to their friends coming round to hang out?????? Well, in all honesty no it is not, but this was my sons idea of a birthday party last year and he and the other kids said it was one of the best birthday parties ever!
Swimming and McDonalds
This may seem like a very specific pair, but this was what my youngest son wanted to do and they had a great time. We let him pick his closest friends (which was another three kids) and then took them to our local fun pool. They had a great time and then after, he picked McDonalds as the place he wanted to go for his birthday lunch. I know McDonalds is not the best, but McDonalds is actually very cheap so my bank balance was very happy with this.
These are some of the things that we have done on the kids last few birthdays that have gone down pretty well. Sometimes when you add it all up, especially if it is something like laser tag/bowling and then a meal after it is not all that cheaper than renting a hall and letting kids go wild. However, it is nice that they can spend their birthday with their actual friends and not just their whole class. My kids are both at an age now where they would rather do something fun with a select few friends than the whole class and while on one hand that is sad. I probably have a lot more colour in my hair thanks to them no longer wanting a party that has about 40 kids at it!