How to Host an EPIC Birthday Party in under 24 hours with $150

The secret to throwing an epic, stress-free, hassle-free and memorable party for your kid is to keep it simple, creative and minimal.

Every parent wants to throw their kid the best birthday party⁠—one which they’ll look back fondly on with nostalgia, reminiscing the simpler times back in the day while flicking through an analogue (or digital) photo album. You can do all the above by following these 6 doable steps. Spend small on big fun!

  1. Digital Invitations

Yes, admittedly a physical invitation sent straight to your mailbox back in the day was exciting and endearing to receive and read, especially if the handwritten, 😭but gone are the days of paper invitations which get lost in school bags and the likes. There is a whole world out there of free (yep, FREE!), colourful, fun digital invitation templates. They’re so quick, fuss-free, and easy to whip up in under 15 minutes.

“Your kid might have a bidding talent of graphic design—you never know until you give them a chance to exercise their creative direction.”

Sydney Periwinkle Parties Kids’ Entertainment

Check out this free template from Evite or this one here from Punchbowl. Another option is to download a free ‘invitation background’ on Pixabay, then upload it on Canva, a free, intuitive and simplified graphic-design tool website. Play around with the fonts, colours and free templates already on there and you and your kid will create an exciting party invitation in no-time.
Cost: $0

Example of a digital invitation. Image by Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids’ entertainment via @periwinkle_parties and Canva

2. Keep the Party Small

This one seems like a no-brainer, but we tend to forget the blaring correlation between expenses and number of guests. Ask your kid if they can keep the guest list to a few close friends. A capacity of 5-6 friends is a good guideline when working within a budget of $150.
Cost: $0

Teaching decision making within boundaries at an early age can enrich your kid’s development and understanding of quality over quantity for later on in life. Image by: Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids entertainment via @periwinkle_parties

3. Venue Hire vs. At Home

You don’t have to go through the conventional route of hiring a hall and paying a bond to host a stunning birthday party. Having the party at home is always a safe-to-fail option, especially if the weather is forecast to be bright and sunny.  If it’s cold and wet so you’re hosting indoors as opposed to the backyard, remember to divide the space up for different activities.

“Keep the chaos at bay and the fun will stay”

Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids’ entertainment

Kids can get messy with their food and paper plates, so creating a designated time, space and context for eating can reduce the mess created. For example, gather the kids around the dining room table to eat lunch together and hire a kids’ party entertainer for some fun activities that can be enjoyed indoors.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to safe-guard your valuables in a separate room before the party gets rollin’. Unless ice cream cake or bubblegum icing Vincent Van Gogh-esque art on your Persian carpet is up your creative alley.

It’s not about the venue of the party, but the quality of activities and entertainment you or your kid’s party entertainer have planned for them. Image by Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids’ entertainment via @periwinkle_parties

4. Affordable Cake Options 

There are so many exquisite cake options for your kid’s birthday which won’t cost an arm and a leg. Coles Rainbow Cake for $16.00 is a great option if the theme is rainbow and magic. If you want to cater to their sweet-tooth, Woolworths’ Chocolate Mud Profiterol Drip Cake is a reasonable $25.00 or the Caramel Sponge Fresh Cream Drip Cake for $20.00 looks promising too. The best things about cakes are you can jazz them up with hand-picked flowers from the garden, rainbow sprinkles, a generous throw of Malteasers or by lining the perimeter of the cake with Timtams and a nice ribbon to tie it together. Even a glitter cake topper like this one from Big W for only $1.00 can give it that extra umph. Top up this affordable and delicious Fresh Cream and Strawberry Sponge Drip Cake that sells at Woolworths for a reasonable $20.00 with some extra strawberries and you’re good to go. #StrawberriesAndCream #Mmmmm

“Let them eat cake!” — Marie Antoinette. Image by Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids entertainment via @periwinkle_parties

There are heaps of affordable candle options on the market, for example, these gold and silver ones ($2.25) from K-mart or this pack of 10 fun, black patterned ones ($1.50) from Big W. You want to buy a bulk of candles you can use for the next five years, I hear you say? This pack of 75 white, pink, blue and yellow candles from Big W ($4.00) are a stellar option.

Cake: $20.00 (Make that two because you deserve a cake all to yourself for planning this one heck of a party)
Extra cake decorations: $5.00
Candles and topper: $2.50
Cost: $27.50

Total Cost So Far Cost: $27.50

5. Food Catering

Simple = better. Don’t feel ashamed about keeping the food simple with a good balance of sweet and savoury. As long as it’s tasty and has some visual appeal, the kids will love it!

Snacks

Some easy but creative food ideas which won’t break the bank are popcorn ($1.00) topped with 100’s and 1000’s ($4.60) in mini popcorn treat boxes ($2.75).
Cost: $8.35

Total Cost So Far: $35.85

kids party snacks ideas
If you want to get a little MasterChef-y spruce your popcorn up with some chicken salt or paprika and garlic powder. Image by Deborah Breen Whiting via Pixabay

Chocolate ($5.00) dipped strawberries are a great option. Just mix the melted chocolate with coconut oil ($4.00) to give it the extra shine.
For fresh strawberries or fruits at affordable prices, try Paddy’s Market Haymarket or Paddy’s Market Flemington which opens on Sundays. Just make sure you have cash on hand. Otherwise, Woolworths or Coles ($1.90 for a punnet or 3 for $4.98) are a great option too!
Cost: $14.00

Total Cost So Far: $49.85

A good ol’ bowl of chips never hurt no one. Are you a Smiths, Thins or a Rock Deli fan? (At Periwinkle, we don’t discriminate…but Rock Deli Sweet Chilli and Sour Cream, hands down.)
Cost: $2.50-$5.00

Total Cost So Far: $54.85

Sydney Periwinkle kids party entertainer dressed up as Sky from PawPatrol having a great time
Food is important, but the activities and entertainment is what makes the party memorable.
Image by Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids entertainment via @periwinkle_parties

Savoury food
Some options include the value range pizza from Dominos which offers simply cheese, margherita, beef and onion, spicy veg trio, cheesy garlic with creme fraiche, pepperoni, and ham and cheese ($5.00 ea, 8 slices in a pizza). A good estimation is 3 slices per head.
Cost: $10.00

Total Cost So Far: $64.85

If you have an oven at home, frozen party foods are another simple, delicious and affordable option, like this 24 pack Coles party pies ($4.80) or this 24 party pack of sausage rolls ($5.00)
Cost: $9.80

Total Cost So Far: $74.65

fairy bread and deorations at a kids party
Rule of Thumb: Keep the food tasty, colourful and simple.
Image by StockSnap via Pixabay

Drinks
A DIY fruit punch is really easy to make. Just mix together cordial ($3.35), mineral sparkling water (3 x $2.70) and give it a zesty kick with some sliced orange ($0.70 ea) and mint leaves.
Cost: $15.15

Total Cost So Far: $89.80

What drink to serve at a kid's party
Voila! You’ve got a drink that’s healthier than soft drinks and tastier than water which you’ll provide lots of anyway. Image by Nicole Klesy via Pixabay

Paper Cups
Paper cups like this 100 pack of 236mL cups from Officeworks are always a good option if you want to keep your precious glassware unharmed whilst being sustainable. These ones work out to be $0.16 per cup. Affordable and sustainable!
Cost: $15.47

Total Cost So Far: $105.27 (Cups are optional)

5. Decorations (And the DJ)
We know you want to be the best parent ever and throw the most memorable party, but truth be told, your kid’s party doesn’t need to resemble the Easter Show or Luna Park for it to be a memorable one.

Remember that planning a party for your kid can be stress-free, exciting and best of all one that doesn’t break the bank, contrary to popular belief. 💸💸💸

Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids’ entertainment

When you host an indoor party at home, it already sets a homely, fun and comfortable tone and context which is a perfect invitation for a colourful, rainbow balloon garland like this one from Kmart ($6.00). Set that up in the living room, then play an upbeat playlist through the T.V. or your speakers and you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

Tip: Your kid could be their own DJ. Find some upbeat songs and help them create a playlist on Spotify or Youtube.

Cost: $6.00 + a couple dollars on the electricity bill

Emma Wiggle kids party entertainer host dancing and having the best time with the children
Now that you have kept under budget you can consider hiring a kids’ party entertainer to keep the kids occupied with fun activities. Image by Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids’ entertainment via @periwinkle_parties

GRAND TOTAL: $111.27
SAVED: $38.73

Kids are always eager to have a hands on involvement, from picking the cake to choosing the theme of their birthday party. Letting them have an active involvement and understanding of keeping to a budget means you’re priming them for money management and decision making skills from a young age, both skills which are instrumentally important as adults too. Who knew planning and hosting a birthday party could be so educational and exciting? 📚#lifelonglearners

How adorable are these these kids’ face paints our Periwinkle kids’ party entertainers did? Image by Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids’ entertainment via @periwinkle_parties

Think back to your fondest childhood birthday party. Do you remember what coloured candles you had on your cake or whether the fruit punch was too concentrated or diluted? We ran a poll on our Instagram account and found that unsurprisingly, 86% of us remember memories of playing fun games and activities with friends more than whether we had a rainbow balloon garland or not at our 7th birthday party. This goes to show kids will always have an amazing time when they’re in the company of great friends, great entertainment and great activities.

Instagram Poll. Image by Sydney Periwinkle Parties kids’ entertainment via @periwinkle_parties

Comment down below which topic you’re itching for us to cover in our next blog post and good luck hosting your kids’ party⁠—let us know how it goes!



How to Handle Adults at A Kids’ Party

When you’re planning a birthday party for your little one, it can be easy to be so caught up in thinking about how to make it special for the kids that you forget about your other guests. We all know how tricky it can be to make friends as an adult and your child’s birthday party is a great opportunity to meet other parents and make new friends.

Often parents will drop and run when it comes to a kid’s birthday party, so here we’ve come up with a few ways to make your child’s party a bit more adult friendly.

Provide some adult nibbles

It’s hard to go past those childhood classics like fairy bread and party pies, but most adults would probably prefer a nice cheese platter and some mini quiches. Having some adult food available as well will encourage the other parents to hang around and socialise. You don’t need to put on a full spread, but a little effort will go a long way in creating the right atmosphere. And while we’re on the subject of refreshments….

Consider offering some adult beverages

There’s a saying (I just made up) that goes, “it’s easy to make friends when you give them wine.” Obviously, a children’s party is not the place for a booze-up, but one or two glasses of a nice dry white or a fruity red is perfectly acceptable. If you’d rather not offer alcohol then some nice juice or mineral water can be a great alternative.

Hire some entertainment

One of the best (and easiest) ways to make your kid’s party more adult friendly is to pass the reins over to a professional. Hiring a child’s party entertainer takes a lot of the pressure off you as a parent. It’s not easy to keep a dozen over-excited small children safe, having fun and getting along, so why not let an expert handle it? Then you have the freedom to sit back and relax over a glass of wine and antipasti with the other parents.

You can find more information about booking a kids’ party entertainer for your next event here.

Top 4 Venues for a Kids Party in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

Being a kids party entertainer for the best 7 years means that I know all the hidden gems for party venues in Sydney. Here is a list of my top picks in order starting from favourite!

The Parks are better for summer parties! However, I would suggest to always have a back up plan incase of wet weather for outdoor parties.
TIPS:
If you are having an outdoor park party – make sure there are bathroom facilities.
Arrive early in the morning to reserve your spot in the park if you have to.

Vaucluse House LOCATION: Vaucluse

About: This would be my top pick for a beautiful outdoor location. The gardens are AMAZING! The whole place looks like a fairy garden and to top it all off they have chickens and goats in the garden you can visit. This is a real hidden gem!
Facilities: Lots of parking, bathrooms and baby changing facilities, shade from the sun.
How to book: Visit their website for more information

Sherbrooke Hall LOCATION: Double Bay

About: I really love this venue because it not only has a huge hall but also an amazing outdoor area that is gated. The outdoor area has a sandpit, a cubby house and plants. This venue is a real win win because its outdoor areas is beautiful and large and it also provides you with a backup plan incase of wet weather. The outdoor area also has a raised small stage area which is perfect for setting up the party table with the cake.
Facilities: Lots of parking, bathrooms, indoor hall and outdoor area, kitchen facilities, shade from the sun.
How to book: Visit their website for more information

Centennial Park LOCATION: Centennial Park

About: The best place for a picnic party! The park is very big so there are ample spots to choose from. My favourite spot is the Willow Pond Picnic Site. However, they have recently built the ‘Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY’ area which is fenced off play area and its PERFECT!
Facilities: Parking (sometimes hard to find a park where you want but there is always a park somewhere), Kiosk, ample bathrooms, access to taps, shade from the sun.
How to book: Visit their website for more informations

Parsley Bay LOCATION: Vaucluse

About: This park really has it all – A climbing area with swings, a kiosk, a beach, large grassy area. This little slice of paradise is great for party photos as every element is picturesque. However the play area is close to the car park and is not gated so I would not recommend this location for parties with very young children.
Facilities: Parking, Bathrooms, Play Equipment and Kiosk.
How to Book: Visit their website for more information