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How To Celebrate Birthdays Without Gifts

Jul 22, 2021 | Celebrate | 0 comments

This year we are celebrating birthdays without gifts. I want our kids to focus on meaningful experiences with the family instead of presents. With birthdays just around the corner, I have started thinking of fun ways we could celebrate. With 44 different ideas, I am sure you will find a fun activity for that special someone’s birthday this year!

Decorating on a Budget

A tradition we love is decorating our doorway/hall with balloons and streamers, then the birthday person runs through and breaks the crepe paper! 

  • Balloon archway
  • Birthday banner (print the pennants and string them together)
  • Bake a cake and decorate it 
  • Helium balloons from the dollar store
  • Pick a color and serve foods in that color ie: oranges, sorbet, cream soda, etc… 
  • Homemade birthday card

decorating with streamers for wyatt birthday 2020

At Home Celebration Ideas

  1. Decorate cheap using crate paper, balloons, and homemade birthday banner
  2. plan a themed mystery party – everyone comes dressed in their character
  3. Note under their pillow – kids will love finding a simple note saying “I love you”
  4. Make their favorite meal – let the birthday child pick their favorite breakfast, lunch, or dinner
  5. Birthday Parade – Enlist friends and family to do a parade of cars in front of your home
  6. Yes, Day! Plan to do activities the birthday person loves
  7. Tell their birth story. What do you remember when they were born?
  8. Sharing memories. Take turns sharing special memories of the birthday person
  9. Play games. Pull out their favorite board/card games!
  10. Dance/karaoke night in the backyard
  11. Picture Slideshow. Get pictures from friends & family of memories with the birthday person
  12. Social Media Spotlight. Get friends/family to share photos and stories of the birthday person and tag them. Fill their newsfeed with thoughtful posts from people that care.
  13. Gift of Time. Plan the whole day spending quality time with the birthday person.

cupcake made for evee to celebrate her birthday evee jase and rach

Activities for Celebrating Birthdays Outside

  1. Hiking
  2. Day camp with campfire and smores 
  3. Camping
  4. Swimming
  5. picnic
  6. backyard movie  – watch their favorite show with blankets, pillows, and popcorn
  7. Scavenger hunt down memory lane. If you live in or near your hometown, taking them back to the places they love ie: favorite playground, ice-cream shop, restaurant, friends home, etc…
  8. fishing
  9. group bike ride
  10. Dinner in the backyard. 
  11. Big backyard games: twister on the grass, human chess, etc…
  12. Rent a bounce house
  13. Backyard Tea Party
  14. Painting Party. Line up the canvases and get creative.
  15. Lake Day

jase and rykel posing at birthday masquarade ball

Spending A Little…or A Lot

  1. Concert
  2. Show or Play
  3. Theme park
  4. Water park
  5. Fun park
  6. Theater
  7. Roller Skating
  8. Bowling
  9. Spa Day
  10. The Zoo
  11. Day trip to State or National park
  12. Stay the Night in a Hotel
  13. Visit a museum 

swimming at a pool with friends for evee's birthday

Save these free printables for ideas to celebrate without gifts.

free printable ways to celebrate birthdays without gifts page 001

free printable 10 ways to celebrate birthdays without gifts page 001

Birthdays are all about celebrating that special someone’s life. You don’t need gifts to celebrate or even spend money. In our home, we try to make birthdays meaningful in other ways than just gifts. We love to decorate and make/buy their favorite meal and then do something fun the birthday person would enjoy. 


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rach and jase cut

Rachel is a vlogger and stay-at-home mom! When she's not filming fun videos for the "Ohana Adventure" and the "Rach Bennett" channels, she is sharing amazing lifestyle, travel, parenting, and homeschool tips here on the blog.

Jase is an entrepreneur, surfer, skater, fisherman, and the best dad ever! When he’s not creating silly Reels (@jasebennett), you can find him sharing adventures on the blog & great entrepreneurial tips on his podcast: The Decode.


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