Sep 6, 2010

The price of children's birthday parties.

Alayna is going to be 5 in a little over three weeks and we're looking for places for her 5th birthday party.  We usually end up going into Staten Island for her parties, since that is the closest large city to us (other than NYC) with [usually] decent priced party venues. We have had all of her birthday parties in various places around there, for the exception of her first birthday. (Which I stupidly held at our house.)  

We picked up a magazine today that has most of the party places and while looking through it, we found a Spa birthday party place that had just opened.  Alayna, of course, wanted her party there because they did hair, make-up, manicure, pedicure, etc...  My 5 year old is the epitome of a sparkly princess girly girl.  She wants to be a princess when she grows up, she constantly asks me to do her make up, curl her hair, all she wants to do is wear pink and sparkly princess dresses... This party was right up her alley.  So when we got home we went online, certain we were going to have her party there, to look up the price... We soon changed our mind. (With much protest from the little princess.)  The party was $699 for 10 kids.  SIX HUNDRED NINETY NINE DOLLARS!!  (And that doesn't include a lot of things, we soon found out.)  As much as I love my daughter and as much as I want to make her birthday 100% special, I just don't have $700 to throw around for a 5th birthday party.  

Looking around at the other websites of places around the area, I realized that kids parties are just too expensive.  The majority ran from $499-$699.  Unfortunately, for someone living paycheck to paycheck, someone who is unemployed or a single parent working her ass off to do the best for her kids, that's impossible.  If you really take a good look around, even people who seem to have money or be financially comfortable, they're having the same money problems.  Who can afford those parties?  

Doing more research I finally found an indoor amusement park that is easily accessible from my town that includes a good amount of things.  It's only $159 for a 1.5 hour party and 10 kids.  That is plenty for us and that's probably where we're going to end up booking the party.  I'm just very sad that I couldn't give my daughter the princess spa party she wanted.  She finally understands, after I sat down and spoke to her about finances and why we couldn't have the party there, but on the other hand I know she is still disappointed.  What little girl wouldn't be?  

I really think that parties should be affordable.  Especially in this economy when unemployment is higher than ever and finances are at an all time low.