Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

OT: Charging Guest To Come To Your Kid's Birthday Party is Tacky!

Posted by on May. 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM
  • 21 Replies

Charging Guests to Come to Your Kid's Birthday Party Is Tacky

by Jeanne Sager

birthday party chargingMy kid's birthday party is less than a week away, and things are starting to get stressful around here. We've got so much to clean, so much to bake, and so much money leaking out of my wallet right now it isn't funny. It is expensive to throw a kid a party these days, even a party in our backyard with a few friends and some homemade food.

But no matter how high the price goes, there's one trend I'm not buying into: charging little kids to attend my kid's party (or charging them for not showing up). No, I'm not kidding.

One mom recently reported that when her 6-year-old got sick and wasn't able to attend a buddy's shindig, the mom told her to cough up $15! Shocked, I asked around, and friends admitted their kids had been invited to parties, and when they called to RSVP, the moms said, "Great, it will be $X to get in."

Say, WHAT now?!?!

More From The Stir: I Love My Kid Too Much to Get Her a Store-Bought Birthday Cake

Ladies and gentlemen, when you start expecting other parents to foot the bill so your kid can have a party, it's time to roll back the welcome mat and sit down for a little priority assessment. Does your kid really need to rent out the whole gymnastics center to have a good time? Do you really need to hire the entire high school baseball team to come do demonstrations (and rent out the local diamond)?

Wait, don't bother sitting down and thinking about all that. The answer is "no."

No kid needs you to go over-the-top crazy for a birthday party. Ever. If anything, I've found that the less I plan for my kid's birthday party, the more fun the kids have. Planned out party games have nothing on running wild around the backyard whooping at the top of their lungs.

Not that I'm not against destination parties -- my kid has had a blast at bowling parties over the years -- but planning one means recognizing the cost involved and shouldering that burden. If you can't handle that, then you don't start charging guests, you back off and plan something else.

After all, it's YOU who decided on a destination birthday, not the other kids' parents. You had other options; don't tell me you didn't. Maybe you don't have a yard for kids to play in or you live in a tiny apartment, but still, you chose to throw a "real" party rather than just letting your child have a sleepover with one or two kids or asking a friend to use their yard.

Personally we opt for our backyard because it's what we can afford. It allows us to give our daughter a nice day with her friends (friends whose families are already shelling out for a present for my kid and who can't always afford the cost of paying for their kid's entertainment for the day).

Isn't that what a birthday party is supposed to be about in the end? Letting our kids celebrate with their friends? Not how much it costs? 

Would you charge kids to attend your kid's birthday party?

Has this ever happened to you?

by on May. 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by on May. 31, 2013 at 10:13 AM
No, I would never charge anyone to get into my childs birthday party. yes I have had someone charge me 60$ needless to say I didn't go. It was around the same time as my childrens birthday as well and I preferred to spent the money on my own children. I was not paying 60$ plus buying a gift.
by on May. 31, 2013 at 10:24 AM

No way! I don't think I would let my kid go. I think that the gift is enough, no matter the gift, there is no way I'm paying someone to let my child attend their child's birthday party. That's just tacky!

by on May. 31, 2013 at 10:43 AM

That's super tacky!

by Jinx on May. 31, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Hey! I take offense! J/k... We rented out the gymnastics center for DD this year! I did NOT charge admission! Actually, while expensive, it wasn't that bad and the smiles totally made it worth it!

OK, charging admission is tacky.

However, if someone rsvp'd that they were coming, and then backed out, I would be PISSED.
by on May. 31, 2013 at 12:55 PM
1 mom liked this

I would never throw my kids a party I couldn't afford to foot the bill on in the first place!

by Silver Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Charging for the kid's invited is plain tacky.  I have done a bowling party before and I had no problem paying for it.  The only thing I said was if the parents wanted to bowl they had to pay for themselves.  The kids were included.  If you are charging to help pay for the party then you don't need to have it.  That is just ridiculous!

by Group Admin on May. 31, 2013 at 10:53 PM

 I'm one mean mommy.  We have never had a party.  We take them to an awesome place for their birthday and celebrate with just the family.  The whole day is about them from breakfast waffles with candles in them to the bedtime story they choose.  I hated how the parties got to be in NoVa when we lived there.  Everyone trying to outdo each other and losing sight of the kids, so we swore we would just not do it.

by Gold Member on May. 31, 2013 at 11:14 PM

We will have parties every so often.  My oldest had a party this last was her first birthday with us as her new family.  It was expensive, but man I wouldn't have traded those smiles for anything.  She had a blast and so did her friends.  My youngest is turning 5 in 4 weeks and she wants to go skating.  I told her that she could invite 2 friends and we would go to lunch and then skating on her birthday.  She has picked 1 friend and that is fine with me.  We will take them out as a family and then skating.  The next party for either of them that isn't with family and super close friends that are more like cousins will be several years away.  I can't afford to put out that kind of money EVERY year.  Just silly to do that.

BTW it is tacky to ask someone to pay for a party that they have been invited to.  I would never do that.

by on May. 31, 2013 at 11:49 PM

No and No.

To me, that is tacky/ bad manners. If I extend an invitation, then I will be picking up the tab. 

by on Jun. 1, 2013 at 11:31 AM

I have been a mother since 1992 and NEVER have charged for ANY of my 6 daughter's birthday parties..I figure MY KID, THEIR PARTY, I PAY..I think it's CRAZY,PSYCHO,NUTTY for people to charge..If you can't afford it, DON'T HAVE ONE..And they are very spendy nowdays..I have never been charged to go to one either.. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)