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Fabulous Birthday on a Reasonable Budget.

This year for my daughter's 7th birthday-I can't believe that I am saying it-the last birthday tip I wrote was for her 4th!  I digress, we are doing our own version of what is now a popular birthday venue.  In our area there is an American Girl-Tyson's Corner.  It is a nice and fun place for girls, but the birthday packages do not give a lot of bang for your buck. 

Now I will admit that I have been roped into other places where 350-400 dollars is what you pay and a pretty decent party comes out of it.  The last 2 years as a matter of fact.  This year I decided to create a fabulous birthday experience at a fabulous place for under 200 dollars!  Don't get me wrong, for those of you that had your child's party at American Girl Place or at a venue that is hot in your area, birthday packages take out all of the guess work and there is no clean up.  Well, in my version, there is not much guess work and no clean up either! 

We are going to arrive at American Girl when it opens at 10 am because otherwise we would have not a chance!  There are only 4 girls including my daughter, so hopefully it will run smoothly-her other parties always had around 10 or 12 kids.  The girls will be allowed to get their doll's hair done for 15 dollars a piece.  Then they get to choose a custom made t-shirt for their doll for 10 a piece.  (The shirts will be the party favors)  That gets us out of the store for 100 dollars. 

Then we will be going to one of my favorite restaurants in the mall around 11 am I hope-it depends on doll salon.;)  The cost for the kids meals at this restaurant are around 6 dollars-that brings the total to 124.  I am bringing my own cake from Wegman's because my child insisted on picking out her own cake.  My suggestion was getting a cupcake for each child at Cake Love and doing it that way, but she wanted the chocolate Wegman's cake that serves 4 and it is only 7 dollars so why I am I complaining? (bringing total to 131)  

While at the restaurant, I will buy movie tickets for the muppets from my phone via Fandango so that I can gauge how much time we have to do other activities. After lunch, we will go to the food court and do angel ornaments (13 dollars for 12 of them) and I bought story cubes for them to play to spark creativity and get them engaged (6 dollars) if there is time. (the angel ornaments can be taken home as favors as well and if not finished at the mall can be completed at home).  

The grand total at this point is 150 dollars.  Because of the fact that they will be filled up with food and cake, I will not have to buy them food at the movies.  The average ticket during the day in Tyson's is 8 dollars, so times 5-that includes mine, it will be 40 dollars to get into the movies.  This brings the total for the whole party up to 190 and including my meal and tip probably a little over 200-but a girl has to eat right? 

The whole point of writing this is to tell you that you can still do some of the popular places, but not be so burned out by the prices.  The 400 dollar ballet party last year disappointed me and was only for an hour and a half.  This party is an all day event and the girl's will feel more fulfilled by doing multiple things.  It is not completely fuss free because of the timing and additional activities, but it will be a blast and I cannot wait!  Hopefully she will be as overjoyed as I. :)

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