Searching on Pinterest and parenting blogs for birthday party ideas can be overwhelming for busy parents. Who has time to create a customized dessert buffet or make homemade decorations? Luckily, there are plenty of party options that come together in no time.

Here are 11 tips for throwing a fun kid’s birthday party requiring little time and effort.

1. Invite online.

birthday party evite

Forget stamps and postage. Websites like evite and Paperless Post make it easy to invite everyone on your email list.

You can even put a cute picture of your kid on the invitation. Bonus: These sites also keep track of RSVPs and automatically send reminder emails to anyone who doesn’t respond.

As a cost-free alternative, create a quick Facebook invite.

2. Pick the best day of the week for you.

For busy parents who work during the week, Mums Make Lists wisely points out that parties on Sunday give you more time to shop and get ready for the affair, but Saturday parties give you more time to clean up afterward.

3. Shorten the length of time.

Your family is busy with work, school, and other activities. Guess what? So is everyone else’s.

Having a shorter party is fine. Plan for just one hour for toddlers to preschool-age children, and two to three hours for older kids.

4. Pick the right venue.

For busy parents, booking a party venue that will take care of everything including décor, food, and entertainment might be the best bet.

If your budget allows for it, older kids will love:

  • roller and ice skating rinks
  • rock climbing walls
  • trampoline parks

The under-5 set will appreciate:

  • the petting zoo
  • bouncy houses
  • water parks
  • painting studios

5. Have a park party.

kids party in a park

If you are on a budget, consider hosting a laid back party at your local park. Kids can run around and enjoy the playground while adult guests enjoy a picnic. We recommend bringing the following essentials:

  • trash bags
  • baby wipes
  • paper towels
  • scotch tape
  • first aid kit, sunscreen, and bug spray
  • birthday candles
  • blankets or chairs

Find the full list of what you’ll need here.

You could also check with libraries and religious venues in your area where you can rent a room in the cold or rainy months for little to no cost.

6. Host at home.

You can host a kid’s party in your backyard with little fuss. Try hanging up a projector screen and showing one of your child’s favorite films. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Other at-home party ideas include:

7. Buy decorations in one click.

Whether your kid is into “Frozen,” superheroes, or sports, Birthday in a Box makes decorating for any theme seamless.

Order everything including banners, confetti, costumes, and tableware in just a few clicks. Have it delivered to your home or office the week of the party.

8. Don’t worry about a custom cake.

Instead of standing in line at the store or spending time on the phone to order a custom cake, pick up premade frosted cupcakes on the day of the party.

Kids will love decorating their own with sprinkles, frosting, and small candy kept in paint trays from the dollar store.

Alternatively, A Cup of Jo suggests a donut cake. Visit your local donut store and simply stack them up on a plate. Voila!

9. Serve food you don’t need to cook.


Don’t worry about spending hours over the stove. Kids will be perfectly happy if you order pizza for the party. Try Calculate This! to figure out how many pies you’ll need.

For snacks, try serving food you can pick up premade at the grocery store. Popular choices include colorful cups of precut fruit, a popcorn bar, a sundae station, or make-your-own trail mix.

10. Enlist cleanup help.

Kids are good sports about cleaning up.

Point out the garbage and recycling bags where they can throw their meal, cake plates, and silverware when they finish eating. That will mean less work for you post party.

11. Order premade gift bags.

No time to get crafty with gift bags? You can still give guests a fun favor to take home. Just order the gifts online and have them delivered before the party. Here are some ideas: