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
At Home Celebration Ideas
- Decorate cheap using crate paper, balloons, and homemade birthday banner
- plan a themed mystery party – everyone comes dressed in their character
- Note under their pillow – kids will love finding a simple note saying “I love you”
- Make their favorite meal – let the birthday child pick their favorite breakfast, lunch, or dinner
- Birthday Parade – Enlist friends and family to do a parade of cars in front of your home
- Yes, Day! Plan to do activities the birthday person loves
- Tell their birth story. What do you remember when they were born?
- Sharing memories. Take turns sharing special memories of the birthday person
- Play games. Pull out their favorite board/card games!
- Dance/karaoke night in the backyard
- Picture Slideshow. Get pictures from friends & family of memories with the birthday person
- 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.
- Gift of Time. Plan the whole day spending quality time with the birthday person.
Activities for Celebrating Birthdays Outside
- Day camp with campfire and smores
- backyard movie – watch their favorite show with blankets, pillows, and popcorn
- 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…
- group bike ride
- Dinner in the backyard.
- Big backyard games: twister on the grass, human chess, etc…
- Rent a bounce house
- Backyard Tea Party
- Painting Party. Line up the canvases and get creative.
- Lake Day
Spending A Little…or A Lot
- Show or Play
- Theme park
- Water park
- Fun park
- Roller Skating
- Spa Day
- The Zoo
- Day trip to State or National park
- Stay the Night in a Hotel
- Visit a museum
Save these free printables for ideas to celebrate without gifts.
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.