Author Topic: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?  (Read 15864 times)

iamadummy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #50 on: March 23, 2015, 05:36:56 PM »
nothing wrong with a kids party.  guess they could afford it

Frugalite

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2015, 09:13:03 PM »
wtf... there are "trampoline parks"?

It is just a fancy name for a building with a bunch of trampolines hooked together with padding. Lots of times they have basketball hoops and ball pits to jump into. And sometimes fitness classes. There are various chains around the country. The one in my city is locally owned and run and it is connected to a beautiful park with Frisbee golf and mini golf. it is great! They have lower rates for the smaller kids and also certain times when they can go and not get run over by the bigger kids trying to pull off a double front flip, haha!

 I think Skyzone is the name of the chain that may be in other cities.

What's the difference between you going to this 'locally' owned trampoline park and your relative's bounce house?  I'll bet it was rented from a 'locally' owned company.

The party you've described sounds far from 'opulent' to me.
Not really a huge difference. 

We have a new trampoline park (I've never been, but my son has been a few times for parties).  It's $14 for one hour on the weekend.  (Though you can become a member and get it for cheaper.)  So if you had a party for 8 kids plus your kid, that would be $126.  Plus cake.

A bounce house rental would be about similar, but of course you'd need to rent the spot to put it in (local park).  That type of party would run you more like $200-250 for the bounce house and park rental.

Like I had stated in an earlier part of the thread, the cost per kid is $5 for the trampoline park so it will be $45. (This has to do with the fact that the kids are young and the rates are cheaper. There is no way we would go for $14 a kid holy cow) My daughter and I will have fun making something together to share with her friends at snacktime back at the preschool later in lieu of a cake. We are not throwing a party. There will be no presents. (She will get some from us later.) All we are doing is sponsoring the field trip. I understand that some places like this rent party rooms for a lot of money. And people on this thread keep thinking we are doing this because perhaps they didn't read the whole thing. We are not. It will cost $45, not hundreds. And there is the added benefit that the parents of the children who go don't have to spend their weekend and money coming to a party.

And as I also said before, a $250,000+ home is reasonable some places and for some families. I live in a very low cost of living area. I can tell you that their home is much larger than they need and they could have spent about $100,000 less and still had a very nice home. BUT, how much home you need is a different thread.

All in all, my point is that I think spending $700 on a 4 year old's birthday party is extravagant. Again, others may disagree based on where they live. To me that is a lot of money to blow. (I mean, has anyone on here thrown themselves a $700 party lately)? But perhaps it is easy to do, people get pretty soft when it comes to their kids. They want to give them the world, I get it. But it sounds like some people on this thread have thrown awesome parties for around $100. When I add up the cost of the field trip ($45) and her presents from us (maybe $50, I shop all year for the best bargains) it is going to come in at about the same. I just don't think a bounce house and a $350 power wheels should be standard. (Again, my opinion...settle down....) Is this really the new "normal"?

I had no idea this was going to hit such a nerve.  I appreciate those who threw out some ideas for some low-cost yet fun parties. I am taking notes and I think I need to double down on my Pinterest skills for next year!

Frugalite

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2015, 09:16:56 PM »

Have you ever thought of doing this as a side gig? I imagine there is a market for impressive looking home parties, especially the party favors. People get tired of the parties in the usual places but probably don't feel like they have the know how to throw a home party that is any fun.

I wonder how much money you could make if you charged $5 a party favor bag or something like that. I bet there are people who would pay that if it were unique or impressive enough.

I actually have it on my list of post-RE ideas. I probably wouldn't do it locally, but sell packages via Etsy or some other online venue. The idea of working one-on-one with Party Mom-zillas is more drama than I can deal with in person ;)

Haha! Smart! And if you really enjoy making them then it isn't even "work."

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #53 on: March 23, 2015, 09:17:24 PM »
I think you're being kind of misleading by lumping in the cost of the kid's most obviously expensive present with the cost of the party.  Unless you know for sure that the parents actually paid for it, and it didn't come from another family member, and it wasn't bought on sale or with a gift card or a coupon or at a yard sale, you really shouldn't be including that to make your "$700 party" claim sound more anti-mustachian.  A $350 party is already pretty anti-mustachian. 

And if you're going to count gifts as part of party costs, then yes, I have thrown myself several $700 parties in my relatively short adult life. 

Frugalite

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2015, 09:20:08 PM »
Good. I'm glad I'm not alone. If I ever have a yard, I'll buy my own fucking bouncy castle, and use it for... things... fun activities of all sorts.

You will be happy to know that there are ones that have waterslides on them. Wahoo!

r3dt4rget

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 182
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2015, 09:24:27 PM »
I can relate to this post. I have several nieces/nephews that always have a large party for their birthdays. The parents invite a lot of people so when it comes time to open gifts there is a huge assortment. In a way I feel that the adults compete for the best present. This leads to ridiculous spending. Each child has at least 15-30 gifts between a value of $10-$50. These are young children who are treated this way from age 1 and on.

Then a few years later the parents of these kids have the nerve to complain they have too many toys and junk filling their house.

1. Designate the party gift-free. Anybody wanting to give gifts (grandparents won't take no for an answer) can add to a college savings plan.
2. Have the party at a public park for free. The kids (the entire point of the party) have more fun playing outdoors with each other than they do getting fancy gifts
 

Frugalite

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #56 on: March 23, 2015, 09:27:43 PM »
I think you're being kind of misleading by lumping in the cost of the kid's most obviously expensive present with the cost of the party.  Unless you know for sure that the parents actually paid for it, and it didn't come from another family member, and it wasn't bought on sale or with a gift card or a coupon or at a yard sale, you really shouldn't be including that to make your "$700 party" claim sound more anti-mustachian.  A $350 party is already pretty anti-mustachian. 

And if you're going to count gifts as part of party costs, then yes, I have thrown myself several $700 parties in my relatively short adult life.

I see your point but I know it was bought new by his father. I overheard him talking about what store he got it from and how annoying it was to put together. (You would think they came put together?) I mean, the kid loved it, of course! I am just saying a present that large is unmustashian. I just can't imagine giving my daughter a gift that cost that much.

It appears my level of thriftiness is pretty high even when compared with other mustashians....I admit it, I am a cheapskate! LOL!

theonethatgotaway

  • Guest
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #57 on: March 23, 2015, 09:54:36 PM »
I think you're being kind of misleading by lumping in the cost of the kid's most obviously expensive present with the cost of the party.  Unless you know for sure that the parents actually paid for it, and it didn't come from another family member, and it wasn't bought on sale or with a gift card or a coupon or at a yard sale, you really shouldn't be including that to make your "$700 party" claim sound more anti-mustachian.  A $350 party is already pretty anti-mustachian. 

And if you're going to count gifts as part of party costs, then yes, I have thrown myself several $700 parties in my relatively short adult life.

I see your point but I know it was bought new by his father. I overheard him talking about what store he got it from and how annoying it was to put together. (You would think they came put together?) I mean, the kid loved it, of course! I am just saying a present that large is unmustashian. I just can't imagine giving my daughter a gift that cost that much.

It appears my level of thriftiness is pretty high even when compared with other mustashians....I admit it, I am a cheapskate! LOL!

There is a big difference between being cheap and being frugal. MMM talks about it frequently. I.e. will spend at a spendy dinner because he wants to join his friends, will buy nice clothes to attend a graduation, etc.
It's rare to see a family not have a birthday party for their kid (except for Jehovah's Witnesses). I don't think most people have bad intentions with them.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7877
  • Location: United States
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #58 on: March 24, 2015, 06:44:20 AM »
In my circle of friends, we're known to have bounce houses at adult-only parties...

Also, they cost around $100-150 to rent, so not dirt cheap, but certainly not an overly extravagant cost to pay for a birthday party. And cake?! At a birthday party?! That's just crazy talk!

But it had a lot of icing.


(We have bouncy houses at pretty much EVERY neighborhood party, and there is always adult bounce time.  But one of the neighbors owns a rental company- so they bring home whichever one wasn't rented out that weekend. Along with tents, tables and chairs...)


RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10147
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2015, 07:26:58 AM »
OK, historical perspective here.  I went to lots of birthday parties in the 50's - yes the 50's, when I was a little girl.  Birthday cakes from the bakery (with lots of sugary icing and icing roses, and the cake was cut so everyone got an outside piece and therefore more icing) and ice cream were standard.  I am sure there were lots of sugar highs.  And little baskets with goodies (candies mostly) as table favours.

Differences?  Parties were at people's houses - time of year was irrelevant, lots of winter birthdays were done at people's houses.  And those bakery birthday cakes?  They were special, people didn't pick up cakes at the grocery store on a regular basis, they made their own.  And of course back then most moms of the children who were having the parties were SAHM's, but I don't think the workload was that high.  They were usually on a weekend and the Dad was there too, so the workload was shared.  They weren't crazy parties, we played a few games, the birthday girl opened her presents, we ate, we went home.  Two hours when we were little, 3 hours max as we got older.  Invitations showed the start and finish time, so they did not drag on.  Once we were old enough (say 8 and up) we walked to the parties.  No-one expected parents to stay once the kids were 5 or so, and before that it would only be kids who lived really close who were invited to the party.  I held similar parties for DD in the 90's, and yes they took some planning, but they were not killers.  Kids' parties are like everything else, they have escalated. 

My area would be considered LOC for Ontario, and $250,000 would be a nice, nothing special, house.  Condos in Ottawa go for more than that.  If we want to discuss how fancy-pants a house is, maybe a quick description would be more appropriate?  Like "25000 sq. ft., 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, plus family room, plus 3 car garage, house for 2 adults and 1 child" type description?.

Frugalite

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2015, 09:06:58 AM »
I can relate to this post. I have several nieces/nephews that always have a large party for their birthdays. The parents invite a lot of people so when it comes time to open gifts there is a huge assortment. In a way I feel that the adults compete for the best present. This leads to ridiculous spending. Each child has at least 15-30 gifts between a value of $10-$50. These are young children who are treated this way from age 1 and on.

Then a few years later the parents of these kids have the nerve to complain they have too many toys and junk filling their house.

1. Designate the party gift-free. Anybody wanting to give gifts (grandparents won't take no for an answer) can add to a college savings plan.
2. Have the party at a public park for free. The kids (the entire point of the party) have more fun playing outdoors with each other than they do getting fancy gifts
 

I have seen some gift-free parties. I think the thought is that they have enough from their relatives already, presents from all the guests would be overkill. I think it is a great idea.

I also had another thought....what about having a party where instead of bringing presents, people bring donations for a worthy cause? Not money donations, but, for example, we are fostering a cat through a rescue organization that relies on donations of food, cat litter, toys and treats to keep it running. People could bring pet food instead of the insane amount of toys! The birthday kid would still get presents from close family like Mom and Dad, Grandpa, etc...but any friends who came would bring donations instead of presents. Then the child would get to ride along to the shelter with all the donations and give it to the organization and see the good they did.

Forcing this idea on a kid would be counterproductive, but if they are up for it I bet that doing some good in the world would make them happier than more presents. YMMV of course because all kids are different, but it is an idea.

OK, historical perspective here.  I went to lots of birthday parties in the 50's - yes the 50's, when I was a little girl.  Birthday cakes from the bakery (with lots of sugary icing and icing roses, and the cake was cut so everyone got an outside piece and therefore more icing) and ice cream were standard.  I am sure there were lots of sugar highs.  And little baskets with goodies (candies mostly) as table favours.

Differences?  Parties were at people's houses - time of year was irrelevant, lots of winter birthdays were done at people's houses.  And those bakery birthday cakes?  They were special, people didn't pick up cakes at the grocery store on a regular basis, they made their own.  And of course back then most moms of the children who were having the parties were SAHM's, but I don't think the workload was that high.  They were usually on a weekend and the Dad was there too, so the workload was shared.  They weren't crazy parties, we played a few games, the birthday girl opened her presents, we ate, we went home.  Two hours when we were little, 3 hours max as we got older.  Invitations showed the start and finish time, so they did not drag on.  Once we were old enough (say 8 and up) we walked to the parties.  No-one expected parents to stay once the kids were 5 or so, and before that it would only be kids who lived really close who were invited to the party.  I held similar parties for DD in the 90's, and yes they took some planning, but they were not killers.  Kids' parties are like everything else, they have escalated. 

My area would be considered LOC for Ontario, and $250,000 would be a nice, nothing special, house.  Condos in Ottawa go for more than that.  If we want to discuss how fancy-pants a house is, maybe a quick description would be more appropriate?  Like "25000 sq. ft., 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, plus family room, plus 3 car garage, house for 2 adults and 1 child" type description?.

These are the kind of parties I remember as a child of the 80's and 90's. I agree with you that like most things stuff has escalated. No one had a bouncy house or power wheels at the parties I was at, and there were usually around 10 presents. But, again, I grew up in a very non-flashy, small town kind of neighborhood.

And I am not against cake! The frosting is a bit out of control (it is so colorful these days I think my kid is going to poop rainbows!) I think, though. And at this particular party the kids were already offered soda and a big "dirt" cup (you know, pudding plus oreos plus gummy worms) before they even got to the cake. The cake was huge and custom and had dump trucks on it hauling around piles of frosting, LOL.

The house is a whole different thread topic I think, probably shouldn't have mentioned it, but since you asked here is what I know: It is brand new. 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 family rooms, a study, a walk in pantry, a dirt room, a laundry room, standard large kitchen with island and granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, a 3 stall garage, decent lawn. I don't know the square footage. They have just the one child. There is a good chance that it cost more than $250,000, this is just a guesstimate from what I know about real estate in this area from having bought a house very recently myself and the values of the houses that look exactly the same around it....the cheapest one was that amount so I am assuming it was at least that much, most were more around the $300,000 range.

I am fully acknowledging that it could have been worse. Much worse, from reading the comment about someone here going to a kid's party with freaking fire-eaters!?! LOL! And at least this time the mother didn't start a fight with her dad about the present that he got his grandson.....it was one of those child-sized Laz-E-Boy rockers and I guess it was not as fancy or expensive as the Laz-E-Boy the he got the other grandchild, and so she openly accused him of not liking her child as much. That was last year. Less drama this year, lol.

All in all, here is my message: America, can we take it down a notch? Let's band together against piles and piles of plastic toys. Especially the really loud ones. I won't give them to your kid and you don't have to give them to my kid! Huzzah!




justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #61 on: March 24, 2015, 02:03:34 PM »
I am fully acknowledging that it could have been worse. Much worse, from reading the comment about someone here going to a kid's party with freaking fire-eaters!?! LOL!

I attended the fire-eaters party, and I have to say it was an awesome party! I'm glad we were invited. I kind of agree with theonethatgotaway on this. You are invited to the party, and you are not paying for it. I know it rankles your Mustachian soul, but why not enjoy it? Or conversely, don't attend parties you feel are over the top? I personally didn't feel like I needed to one-up them at my kid's party or that they were upping the ante at all. A fun time was had by all. No regrets, especially since I wasn't paying for it :).

But, yes, watching kids tear through an orgy of presents is not my idea of fun and does not reflect my values either.

FWIW, we've attend a party for a 13 year old girl who asked people to donate to Heifer in her name. We plan to do that same in a few months when our third kid turns one.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6338
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #62 on: March 24, 2015, 03:17:24 PM »

A bounce house rental would be about similar, but of course you'd need to rent the spot to put it in (local park). 

Most parks won't let you bring a bounce house (insurance reasons). The people who have them usually have a backyard they put them in. I know a few people with a lot of kids who just bought them- they cost less than a nice trampoline, and if you used to rent them it pays off fairly quickly.
Our local parks will.  Well, some of them will.  The city website will tell you which ones.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6338
Re: Overblown Kids' Birthday Parties.....Why, God, Why?
« Reply #63 on: March 24, 2015, 03:41:56 PM »
And while I didn't plan my son's party (my husband did), I did buy the food/ ice/ drinks and know how much the pizza cost, so I'd say his party was $350 (not including gift).