Budget solutions for fun at parties
No need to rent a photo booth -- create your own studio with a homemade backdrop, digital camera, and a color printer. (You can easily upload images to bighugelabs.com to apply free, playful photo borders.)
Entertain yourself. Hiring an entertainer can rack up the bucks. Just take a trip to your local vintage store and put together a costume of your own. Parents make great magicians, clowns, fortune tellers, and superheroes.
Taking kids to a sporting event costs a ton. Hire your child's gym teacher to run an afternoon of fun drills instead.
Make a backyard bowling alley. Add a few drops of food coloring to ten clear plastic bottles of water. Stand them up on flat ground, use party streamers as lane margins, and score a strike for saving cash.
Create your own at-home movie theater. Give each child an admission ticket and invite the kids to visit the concession stand for popcorn, gummy candies, and juice.
Forget the amusement park. Take the party to the neighborhood park and give each child an admission armband. Serve amusement-park food and lemonade, and set up a "tattoo" booth and a face-painting station.