Whether sky’s the limit or you’re on a limited budget, we can probably all agree that when it comes to kid birthday parties, less can definitely be more. As in more fun, more creative, more intimate, more eco-friendly, more everything. Here are five awesome birthday party ideas that won’t break the bank or leave you with post-party depression.
Van Saun Park: Snag coveted picnic tables and invite their pals to B.Y.O.S. (bring your own suit) so little guests can cool down in the summer-sprinkler park after getting sweaty in the surrounding playgrounds. For a few extra bucks let them ride the carousel or train- birthday boy in front! (starting at $75, must submit permit request at least 3 weeks in advance, arrive early to reserve your desired location)
Garden State Plaza: Small gaggles of pre-teens will get their thrills at the mall. Park by the new fashion district and head on up to Lush on the second floor where they can play with bath bombs and scrubs in every shade and scent. Party selfies can be transformed into phone cases at The Kase, then finish with a sweet sendoff by sharing Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bar’s Fondue and Chocolate Pizza.
Graydon Pool: This man-made beach, smack dab in the middle of Ridgewood is the perfect summer party spot. Join for the season and guests can accompany you for a $10/day pass. Older partygoers will love jumping off the floating barges, tots will love the shallow areas and kiddie pool, all will love the sand between their toes. And you’ll enjoy the pool all.summer.long. And more good news, Carlos’ bakery cakes are just a few blocks away. (Summer memberships to Graydon Pool, $120/residents of Ridgewood, $200/non-residents, Apply for the summer season here)
Ridgewood Duck Pond: Grab a few bags of stale bread and viola! Instant party for the toddler set. After a serious duck feeding sesh and run at the playground guide the group over to a picnic table on the pond for eats and cake. (starting at $75, must submit permit request at least 3 weeks in advance, arrive early to reserve your desired location)
Swim Clubs: Some local swim clubs host parties regularly at very easy-on-the-wallet prices- making summer-birthdays a snap. Dumont Swim Club’s party package includes the pools, rec equipment, bbqs and picnic tables ($10/guest, learn more here) and Crystal Lake Beach Club in Oakland (which also includes nearby Mirror Lake) allows non-members to use the lake and bring their own food ($6/guest) or they’ll supply the pizza, drinks and ice cream so you can sit back and do some partying too ($10/guest).