Who says your baby’s 1st birthday party can’t be simple and have the “WOW!” factor at the same time? With my first daughter, I felt so pressured and guilted by my family (and not to mention the media, oh boy..) to throw her a GRAND 1st birthday party.. and I almost fell for it!
But thankfully, I was able to throw together a birthday party that turned out to be both simple AND memorable! So naturally, I felt the need to hold myself to the same standards for my second daughter’s 1st birthday party.
So.. I don’t need to rent a hall?
So, let’s talk about some other “pocket friendly” venue options to host your party at:
- Home- this is an all time favorite of mine. This option costs NOTHING, well maybe just your sanity after you clean up but other than that, this is the way to go! Especially for those birthdays that land in the rainy/winter season, it makes it so easy to plan without getting wet!
- Parks– for those babies that are lucky enough to be born in the warm season, this option is great! Parks are big enough to hold a good amount of guests, has free entertainment and comes with tables and chairs! What more can you ask for?! Most picnic areas in parks are free & are first come first serve; while others ask for a small payment with a reservation.. make sure you check with your local park for details.
- Community center– for my first daughter’s birthday, we used our apartment’s community center. The great part about it was that our community center was FREE, we just needed to make sure we reserved it! I know there are other community centers that ask for a deposit but will give it right back after the party, but overall it’s another great option!
OK, what about decorations & entertainment?
- Dessert table– Oh the desert table.. you can use your imagination with this one! Cupcakes, a cake, candy, snacks! Try to get fun colored items for this table so the food can shine & be your “decoration”. A good looking desert table is always a hit at a party!
- Bubbles– This is my FAVORITE decoration! A bubble machine is such a hit at a 1st birthday, nonetheless at any party. We had 2 bubble makers at my 2nd daughter’s birthday party at the park, and not only did she love it but everyone including the adults loved it too! It’s like it takes you back to a carefree magical world when bubbles are all other the place.
- Music– You can’t have a party without music, at least not with my family! It always sets the party mood, gives people something to dance or be silly to and it brings an inviting atmosphere to the party as well. Just make sure you pick music that has a good beat to it; I like to open Spotify and play Vance Joy, Alt-J or Musiq Soulchild to name a few.
- Balloons– Just like with bubbles, balloons bring out the happiness in everyone! Now, I know that some balloons are expensive so hear me out…
You can go 2 ways:
1) If you’re having your party at home or community center, you can purchase a pack of deflated balloons at Walmart or the Dollar store and blow them up yourself.. distribute it all over the ground & kids will go crazy over them!
2) If you’re having the party at the park, just 5 or so balloons to put near the park entrance to help guests find you. Afterwards, keep the balloons near the baby’s pack-n-play so he/she can have some fun looking/playing with it.
Let’s talk food..
- Pizza– Costco’s pizza is priced at $9/large pizza. I ended up ordering 2 Pepperonis, 2 Cheese, and 2 Combo.. Good enough to please everyone’s tastebuds!
- Chicken Bake– I found a box of Costco’s Chicken Bake in their freezer isle and made it the morning of the party, I ended up cutting each Chicken Bake into 3’s and was able to fill a while tray full of them!
- Water bottles– Don’t forget to grab a case or 2 of mini water bottles while you’re at costco.
- Juice boxes– Oh, and don’t forget to grab a case of Juice boxes for the kiddos too!
- Krispy Kreme Donuts– I ordered 3 dozen original glazed donuts that were $8/dozen.. and they were a HIT! Needless to say, they were all gone by the end of the party.
- Mini cake– The mini cake was only for the birthday girl and her cake smash! Since everyone was filling up on the donuts, there was no need to buy a bigger cake for desert! Score!
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