5 Reasons to Skip Your Child’s Birthday Party and Save Your Sanity

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Kids birthday parties are a lot of fun…for the kids. But not necessarily for the parents. Planning a birthday party can be fun; searching through Pinterest, finding the perfect theme, and filling a birthday board with things you think could be easy to do.

Skip your child's birthday party and celebrate in other ways. #birthdaypartyideas #partyideas #birthdayparty #birthdaygifts

I’ve done my share of scouring Pinterest for the perfect birthday theme. Picking out cute DIY decor for the theme, themed food, and cute party invitations.

My son’s first birthday party, I had planned for a Dr. Seuss theme, but decided to switch it because a football game was on. Since I like things themed, I wanted what was on TV to go with the theme of the party. It was a wonderful football themed birthday party for the adults, because let’s face it, my son won’t remember it.

The first few birthday parties I threw quickly became expensive and stressful. By the time my second child’s first birthday came around, my husband was going to be away for military training, so we decided to spend a weekend away to celebrate. This was the best decision. It was a perfect way to celebrate and it wasn’t as much stress but we still made memories together.

That weekend was the beginning of our decision to skip birthday parties all together and we haven’t regretted it. (We went to Niagara Falls for my son’s birthday and he absolutely loved it.)

Here are the 5 reasons to skip your child’s birthday party, save your sanity, and make memories as a family.

1. Added Stress

What food are you going to serve? When do you need to make it? Are you making the cake? What other desserts are you serving? What’s the theme going to be? Are you going to make all the decorations?

There are so many questions to consider when planning for a party! I know we all have Pinterest now to search through to find the perfect party ideas, but Pinterest doesn’t hand deliver all of these ideas done and ready on the day of the party! Save the stress and skip the birthday party.


2. The cost adds up!

After planning all the decor and food in your Pinterest board, you figure it’s not going to cost too much since you’ll hand make the decorations and make the food yourself. Great! But now you need to get all the items to make all of this stuff!

Groceries are expensive! I stopped tracking my spending during my son’s first birthday because everything was adding up so quickly. I never accounted for all the extra serving bowls and spoons I needed if I were going to host a party! Plus, you add in the expense for all the crafting things you need to make the DIY decorations.

Don’t forget about the cost of your time that all of this takes up too!


3. Is there ever enough space for everyone?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have comfortable seating for 20+ people in my house. We borrowed folding chairs and tables to set up in our home for my son’s first and second birthday, which worked out, and luckily, we had an open floor plan so all the tables were able to be near each other.

Quite honestly, I don’t know how comfortable everyone was though and all those tables and chairs didn’t leave much room for the kids to run around.

And if you don’t have the space, then you would need to invite less people, or spend money to rent out a space to have a party. This adds to your cost!


4. Kids left out

This isn’t a problem until your children get to be school aged. Then all of a sudden, your child has to pick which friends s/he wants to invite to the birthday party and who to leave out.

This always seems to be an issue and you never want to leave anybody out. I know not everyone will attend the party who is invited, but even half the class attending gets to be a big party.

Also, at what age do you begin to drop off your child and pick them up later? If you’re not to that age yet, then expect the parents and siblings to attend also! Leading to the space issues again!


5. Entertaining the kids

So not only do you have to provide the food and decor, but you also need to provide the entertainment. Or you could send them all to the toy room/child’s room to play and expect to clean up a disaster of a room after everyone goes home.

Unfortunately, a child’s birthday isn’t like an adult get-together. The kids need some structure and entertainment…so now you need to plan and execute the crafts, games, or show for children of a certain age range. Eventually, kids do out grow the needing to be entertained phase and are able to entertain themselves somewhat!


6. Bonus! No more disappointed look on your child’s face when s/he opens a gift they don’t want, which in turn, disappoints the gift giver!


So if no birthday party, then what?

Even though we don’t have a birthday party, doesn’t mean our children don’t get gifts. They still get to open presents on their birthday. They still have cake with candles. We just skip the friends coming over to celebrate.

Here are some ideas to do instead of a birthday party…

  • Family getaway
    • Take a long weekend to some place close but far enough away that you don’t go to often.
  • Scavenger hunt
    • To get his presents, my son has to complete a scavenger hunt that I set up for him. He loves this! You can find great scavenger hunt ideas on Pinterest!
  • Simple decorations around the house
    • We decorate our children’s doors with balloons and have a reusable “Happy Birthday” sign we hang up every birthday. We put up streamers and Christmas lights in the living room to make the house look festive.
    • We also bought this cool candle on Amazon. (I suggest ordering it early since it comes from overseas and takes awhile to get here!)


Final Thoughts…

Skipping the birthday parties have been the best decision for our family and it could be for yours too. My son wasn’t up for it at first, but then he warmed up to it after our first weekend trip away. If you want to alleviate some stress that is brought on by planning a birthday party, try skipping the party, and plan a weekend getaway instead.


Skip your child's birthday party and celebrate in other ways. #birthdaypartyideas #partyideas #birthdayparty #birthdaygifts




  1. I am all for this plan! Going to hold out on the birthday parties for as long as I can! Love the suggestions for what to do instead 🙂

  2. Michelle

    I think this is worth a try, especially when the kids are young. When they get older, they may feel a bit left out of the whole birthday party scene and would love to have a party or special sleep over event. I know I didn’t get to have my own “friends birthday party” until I was in 5th or 6th grade (It was a slumber party). And that’s the only one I really remember having for my birthday. But there was always a celebration with my family and that always made it special. On my golden birthday we traveled to my birthplace.

    I don’t think my parents could have paid for all the activities and rental places that happen with birthday parties today. It’s fun to decorate with the things you have and make it an extra special day with your family! It’s not the amount you spend, but the time you take to make your child feel extra special on their day!

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