Inexpensive Ways to Make Any Child’s Birthday Special

by Crystal Carder
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My three children were all born in April. So, April is an extremely busy and expensive month for Michael and I. Between buying three children a birthday gift and filling up an Easter basket for them, there’s usually only a little money left to find ways to make their actual ‘birth’ day special. That’s why throughout the years, Michael and I have been pretty creative coming up to make our children’s birthdays special without them knowing we were spending little to no money doing it.

Whether you are a single parent, or on a limited income, these inexpensive birthday ideas can be a gamechanger for your child’s next birthday. Costing less than $50 for the whole family, or free, these ideas will work for almost any child – no matter what age.

Making Your Child’s Birthday Special

Inexpensive Birthday ideas for kids

Head to a Local Park

There are so many times our kids just want us to be there with them. That’s why a trip to a local park can be loads of fun for your child on his special day. No matter what age, kids still love throwing a ball with their dad and little ones love playing in the swings with their mom and dad.

A visit to a local park can be fun all day. Add a picnic lunch and bring some balls to make the birthday extra special.

Visit a Carnival/Fair

Depending on the time of the year that your child’s birthday is, heading to a local carnival or fair can be a really fun and expensive way to spend your child’s birthday.

Most carnivals and fairs are fairly inexpensive and are a whole day of fun. Be sure to let your child choose what you do while you’re there and take lots of pictures.

Spend the Day at Chuck E. Cheese

While Chuck E Cheese isn’t the most affordable place to spend your little guy (or girl’s) birthday, it is a fun option for the whole family. It may only last for a few hours, but kids of all ages love the fun arcade-style games that Chuck E. Cheese offers.

See a Ballgame Together

If your child is old enough to sit still for a while, a ballgame is a perfect way to spend your child’s birthday. While Major League Baseball games can have a higher price tag, tickets to local baseball team’s games can be cheaper.

Go Fishing Together

Fishing is one of those ideas that are great for all ages on their birthday. Fishing is so relaxing, that you can easily lose track of time, so be sure to bring a picnic lunch and so you can enjoy a fun-filled day of fishing together.

Go on a Date Together

How long has it been since you and your child spent some one-on-one time together? If you can’t remember, then a mother-father-child date is a great way to make your child’s birthday special. Just be sure to let your birthday child pick where to eat and then enjoy the evening together, focusing on your child.

Let Him Go Jumping at a Trampoline Park

Trampoline parks are on every child’s birthday wish list for things to do. Trampoline parks are usually for all ages, so you can enjoy a trampoline park together as a family, or alone with just you and your child. Most trampoline parks even have birthday party options that give discounts depending on how many people are going.

Play Games

Whether its board games or outside games, games are a great way for your child to have an inexpensive, special birthday. Some games that can be fun for the whole family is outside games like; baseball, volleyball, and basketball. If you decide you want to play indoor board games, check out Goliath games for a vast selection of games the whole family will love. 

Decorate Room & Plan a Special Breakfast

On your child’s birthday, he/she should feel like the most important person in the world. Before your child wakes up, decorate the house with some cheap banners and balloons and yell “surprise” as your child wakes up. Then treat your child to their favorite breakfast. 

Visit a Local Monument or Museum

If you’re fortunate to live in an area with a ton of monuments or museums, your child’s birthday is a great day to visit them. Most museums and monuments can be fun, educational, and some even have hands-on activities for your children.

Invite a Friend Over

If you’re not really sure what to do for your child’s big day, just let your child invite a friend over. Since it’s just one friend, it won’t be as expensive as planning a big birthday party.

Go to the Movies

I love going to movies with my kids and most of the time, there’s a movie showing in theaters that is aimed toward children. Since movie theaters are generally a little pricer, aim to watch a movie during matinee hours when most people are at work and ticket prices are cheaper.

Throw a Picnic-Style Birthday Party

No one is going to hate you for throwing a picnic style birthday party for your kids. Throw a picnic, ask family and friends to bring a covered dish, and bring a cake to celebrate your child’s birthday.

This is a very inexpensive and easy way to make your child’s birthday special and throw them a low-cost birthday party.

Visit a Farm/ Petting Zoo

This option may be more for younger children, but kids love visiting farms and petting zoos. Since most farms are free to visit and you just need permission, try asking a local farmer if your children can see the animals on their birthday. Most of the time, farmers will let you visit and give you a tour without any hesitation. If a farm isn’t an option, petting zoos are always a great option. Although petting zoos can sometimes cost, some are free.

Go Skating

A lot of children have birthday parties at the skating rink, but if you can’t afford something big and extravagant, skating rinks are still great options for just you and your child on their birthday. Normally, skating rinks only cost a few bucks, a person, but you can cut the cost even more if you and your child already have roller skates

Hit the Woods for a Hike

Hiking may not be the first thing you think whenever you think about a birthday, but hiking can be extremely fun. As long as you pick trails and distances that aren’t bad for your child’s age, hiking has so much to offer and it’s free to do. In the past, my family created fun little scavenger hunts to take with us on our hikes. Our kids loved it and we actually found a lot of cool things in the woods.

Go Camping

If you are an outdoorsy family, camping is a fun way to spend your child’s birthday. Pack up a tent, or a camper, head outdoors and enjoy making memories camping. Kids love making smores around the campfire and camping is a great way to instill a great tradition on your child.

McDonald’s Play Area

For the cost of a happy meal and a hamburger, or two, you can literally let your child play at McDonald’s play areas for less than $20. Young children love these play areas more than anything, just be sure to find a clean McDonald’s or Burger King to let your child play in. (most Chick-fil-a’s also have clean play areas)

I hope these inexpensive birthday ideas are as special for your children as they have been for mine.

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Inexpensive Ideas to Make Any Child's Birthday Special

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