Wednesday 31 October 2012

Frightfully Frugal Party

Today we had a birthday party for the Big One. He is 8 on Friday. I still blame the fireworks and trick or treaters for my waters breaking! But I digress.

Somehow, rather by accident than careful planning, we managed to give him a frightfully (Halloween themed) frugal birthday party. Not that I am complaining. All the more pennies for keeping my wine level stable.

We decided to hold his birthday party in a local wood, The Spinney, which with lottery funding and continued donations, has been turned into 5.5 acres of woodland adventure park. It is easily big enough to contain and entertain 24 children to the point of exhaustion. The only disadvantages are connected to our climate and a birthday in late Autumn. But, a wood in Autumn is pretty fantastic and even if it did rain (for a little while) the kids didn't care and parents were cosy in a shelter.

Cost of venue: a donation to keep this community project going.

I made up a treasure hunt game where the kids had to find letters I had hidden around the wood to spell out a word.

Cost: 10p for card to write letters on. An hour of my time to draw treasure maps.

I cooked sausages at home, bought rolls and ketchup, bought crisps and decorated oranges for our picnic in the woods. They demolished the lot. I also asked parents to bring flasks of hot water so we could all have hot chocolate, tea and coffee to keep warm.

Cost: £13 for the food.

I boiled a couple of eggs, peeled them and coloured them to look like eyeballs.  We then played an eyeball and spoon relay race over a wobbly bridge and through a ditch.

Cost: 2 eggs so about 50p

I was instructed by the birthday boy, to make a cake to resemble a pumpkin. I did as I was instructed and believe I achieved a passing resemblance.

Cost: About £7 in ingredients plus £1 for the marvelous plastic spiders, cockroaches and bats.

I then made some party favours, inspired by a photo I found on the interwebulator. Lollipop ghosts.

Cost: £2.49. £1 for a bag of lollies and £1.49 for googly eyes. I had the fabric and wool already.

Looking at the faces of everyone, and the muddy knees and sticky fingers, I think it was a success which just confirms my belief that you really don't need to spend a fortune on a birthday party.

Now what is frightful is the blatant drive-by trick or treating, but that is another blog spot.

Right, I need a well earned drink.

Joining in with The Gallery at Sticky Fingers.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  1. An inspired birthday party idea and I bet every one of those children had a wonderful time and now wants a woodland Halloween birthday party! Please do join me over on Country Kids too, just a perfect outdoor post!

    1. Thanks for linking up, this is such a great post to share.

  2. Brilliant one! I love halloween parties but they tend to cost me a bomb. This is a great wake up call for me. Thanks.

  3. That sounds fabulous. I'm a big fan of frugal birthday parties (although I'nm not entirely sure that the soon to be 5yo's will be that frugal unfortunately!) Also not a fan of the trick or treating. I love your lollipop ghosts - brilliant!

  4. That looks like a brilliant party, very frightful too :)

  5. Looks lime you had a great time - brilliant idea for a birthday party - you are so resourceful!

  6. So clever! The little ghost lollipops are genius, so cute. Sounds like a brilliant time was had by all.

  7. This is fab! I wish I could something like this for L but she's December and that's just too cold in the UK :-(

  8. Yes, you solved your party bag dilemma. They look fab, in fact the whole party looks amazing! :D

  9. brilliant! what a great way to celebrate a birthday and do it out in the fresh air too so no mess at home for you! genius !! so many brilliant ~halloween inspired ideas here too. x

  10. I love the egg eyeballs and the lollipop ghosts.the best parties are the ones you take time to make things yourself.

  11. So many fab ideas here - love it!

    I'm hosting a Party Party at Mums Make Lists for birthday party related posts and would love for you to link-up


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