Planning a birthday party can be stressful. Picking a location, deciding on a theme, creating an invite list, gathering the decor, hosting the event…the list goes on and on. Add all this to the expense that comes with it and what should be a celebration for your child can turn into a nightmare for you!
But I believe that a birthday party doesn’t have to be that hard. I can promise you that as long as your child is surrounded by their loved ones and friends, and there’s cake involved, they will be happy. Between my two boys, I’ve put on 12 birthday parties and have done everything from the over-the-top celebration straight off a Pinterest board, to a simple one at home planned at the last minute. I have learned that they feel special no matter what, and even more so when I listen to them and give them the party that they want, and not the one that I want them to want. Here are my tips on the best
Budget-Friendly Birthday Party Venues in Collin County
Weather permitting, the park is a wonderful place to throw your bash. Bring some balls and chalk for games and let the children enjoy the fresh air, open spaces, and playground for fun. You can choose the time that works best for you and bring your own food and cake. What’s more, it’s free! There may be a nominal charge if you’d like to reserve a pavilion, or you can do what I’ve done and just show up with your decorations and claim a spot.
This is where I threw the most recent party for my 5-year-old, and let me tell you, it was his dream come true. I have to be honest, when he first told me he wanted his party at Mickey D’s, my stomach tightened and I tried to convince him otherwise. But then I looked into it and realized it is actually a really awesome experience for a super great price! For $80, the party included invitations, decorations, Happy Meals, dessert, party favors, and our own area in the play space for 1.5 hours for 10 children! Yes, all that for $80! I did provide my own party favors in addition to theirs and brought a few of my own decorations, but it wasn’t needed. The kids all had the best time and my son was so happy!
The Village at Allen Caboose
Right smack in the middle of the Village at Allen is The Village Depot, a unique, fully-fenced play area for kids featuring a Texas-shaped hedge maze, four playhouses, and an authentic red caboose that can be rented for birthday parties! For 2.5 hours, the climate-controlled caboose can be yours for a private party. You can bring your own food and decorations, and also let the children play in the maze and playhouses (those areas cannot be reserved for private use). The cost is $100, or you can enroll in the Village Kids program for $5 and receive the caboose rental for half off, so $50! No-brainer!
Local Fire Station
Have your child celebrate their special day with their local heroes. If you live in Wylie or Frisco, your fire departments allow you to host a party at the actual fire station. They provide a room for your celebration, a tour of the station, an up-close look at the equipment, and education on fire prevention and safety tips. Not to fear Allen, McKinney, Plano, and Prosper residents (and most, if not all, other Collin County cities)! While your fire departments do not allow parties at the station due to the chance of emergency calls, they all offer station tours that you can set up in conjunction with your party, or can possibly arrange to make an appearance at your child’s party. There is no charge for the parties or tours, but I’m sure a donation would be appreciated!
California Pizza Kitchen
With two Collin County locations in Stonebriar Centre and The Shops at Willow Bend, California Pizza Kitchen offers a unique spin on parties. Guests arrive to the restaurant before regular operating hours (read: before the mall crowd hits), for a party from 9:30-11am on a Saturday. Party goers receive a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour, interactive pizza-making experience, a meal, drink, and dessert from the kids’ menu, and a chef coat for the birthday kid (additional coats can be purchased for guests). Cost is $12/person for a minimum of six children.
Final note: The parties that have been the biggest hit for us have cost the least. Keeping your child AND pocketbook happy IS possible when planning a birthday party!