Learn How Ditching Kids Birthday Parties will Change Your Life

I recently had an epiphany, I am SO done with throwing birthday parties.  We spend so much time, and money prepping for them, buying trinkets that get thrown away, making things that last for two hours, for WHAT?!  We have decided that we are going to give experiences, not parties. *this post contains affiliate links*

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I only remember one birthday party from my childhood, but I can certainly tell you every vacation that we took, every cousin sleepover, and the special fun. Why did I remember that birthday?  Because McDonalds had FINALLY opened in our area, and I was the first kid I knew to have a party there!  We are really hoping to make lasting memories that stick with our kids (and us) forever. We let the kids help with planning (unless it is a BIG surprise), so it can be an ongoing conversation.  We ask them: Do you want a short party with lots of friends?  Or do you want to pick a fun experience with a few friends?  So far, they have picked experiences.

This year, we let my son pick.  Do you know what he chose?  He chose going to Hershey Park for the weekend.  Off we went, we invited a couple of friends and had a blast!  Do you know what else?  It costs about the same as one of those franchise parties. For example, with the Stay and Play Package, you get two nights at the Hershey Lodge, and park tickets starting at $360.  (That includes water park admission and a host of other amenities).  We spent one night at the Hershey Lodge (and the indoor pool), went to the park (it was Halloween so they had lots of fun special activities), and ate all of the things.  At our local jump place, it costs $400 for an hour of jumping with 15 kids.  

One benefit of planning birthday experiences rather than parties is that the world of points becomes available! Have some extra points on Southwest? Maybe go visit Grandma and Grandpa for the weekend! A free hotel stay from your (link) Marriott Credit Card? Stay at a local hotel and visit all those attractions you plan on visiting...but NEVER do!

Belle had a birthday recently, and as she is pretty little, we stayed local.  The family, including her two cousins, stayed at a hotel in Baltimore.  It was right by the aquarium, and we had a blast!  The kids swam in the pool, ate dessert at every meal, and had a grand old time!

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For my oldest daughter, Clara's, birthday this year, we took the train to NYC.  She has been dying to see the Statue of Liberty, and we are certain it will be a birthday to remember.  I was so excited to surprise her with a letter (wrapped in a box) on her birthday!  We also saw Aladdin on Broadway (which was a disappointment). I know, I know, this one was expensive.  Way more expensive than a party.  We have lived near NYC for a few years, and I have never taken the kids.  I figured let's go crazy and have fun!  For a quick overnight getaway, efficient and light packing is a MUST! Here is a link to my favorite packing cubes that made it possible.

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This is the printout that was in her birthday present!

 Would you try it?  Does it sound interesting?

birthday party ideas, kids birthday party ideas, birthday celebration ideas, birthday party themes

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  1. Thanks for the sharing the wonderful post , keep share more post
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  2. My sis needs to attend a debut party and your looks fits her. Our friend got a nice price for hotel debut packages and we're all excited.