A fun birthday doesn’t have to decimate your budget. This article suggests simple and fun birthday ideas that can work with skimpy budgets.
Have the party at a park or other public venue
Renting out a venue for birthday celebrations can be a budget-buster. A park or other public place that’s free to use can be a great alternative to renting space. If you want to be sure your venue of choice can accommodate your party, you may still find that renting space at public parks is much cheaper than restaurants or other traditional venues.
Hold a potluck
Rather than being responsible for all the food costs yourself, a potluck is a great way to try new foods for your birthday. You and your guests will have fun trying new foods, and you won’t be on the hook for food prep and costs (or catering, which is even more expensive).
To ensure you’ll have a good distribution of different foods, guests can sign up for different types of food in advance. For example, people with last names A-M can be responsible for savory foods, and those with last names N-Z can be responsible for sweet foods.
Use accessories from previous events for photo props
For a fun activity that guests will enjoy, you can reuse props from other events to put together a photo prop table. Kooky sunglasses, novelty headwear and more can all be great accessories for this.
Have a BYOB party
Since alcohol can be one of the biggest expenses for an adult birthday celebration, making your birthday BYOB can really help keep costs down. To add some fun to this, you can ask your friends to each bring their favorite drink.
Or, if you want to make it a bit more interesting, you could ask everyone to bring the weirdest drink they’ve ever run across. There are some interesting alcohols out there — this could be your chance to try a few!
Host your friends to cook together as a group
Inviting your friends to cook together at your place, rather than going out to eat at a restaurant, is another fun birthday idea. Eating in can be much cheaper than going out — especially with big groups.
While it can be a lot of work to prep all the food for a party on your own, making the cooking part of the party itself can be lots of fun. You can even enlist your foodie friends to help you plan the menu in advance!
Make it a color theme party
A fun theme makes any party more fun. This includes birthdays! Picking a color theme for your party will instantly make it more interesting. Black and white is a classic — and classy — color combo.
You could also personalize this by asking guests to dress according to your own favorite colors. Or, you could ask them to each wear their own favorite colors, so guests have an instant conversation topic.
Have a talent show at the party
A talent show can really liven up a fun birthday party. This easy theme can take a few formats. It can be open format (like America’s Got Talent), so anything goes. Or, it can be specific to a specific talent, such as comedy or singing (like Last Comic Standing).
A pub trivia-inspired trivia theme party is another fun birthday idea that doesn’t require much cash. You can write questions yourself or find trivia questions (and associated answers) online. Silly, inexpensive prizes such as gag gifts are great prizes for winners.
A board game theme is another great birthday party idea. In addition to supplying your own board games, you can also ask guests to each bring their own favorite board games.
This is a great theme that’ll give everyone something to do at the party. For more party game ideas, check out these seven ideas.
Video game tournament
If board games aren’t your friends’ thing, perhaps a video game tournament is a better idea. Once you have the guest list finalized, you can put together a tournament roster and everyone can enjoy some friendly competition.