I had a crisis on my hands recently. My son was turning 15, and throwing a “video game party” was not an option. We had a ban on video games in the house during that time. I didn’t have enough in my budget to throw a party anywhere else. A two hour bowling party was $170.00 and wasn’t going to be “cool” enough for teen boys. His birthday was also on a week day that he had an evening class.
I talked to everyone I know, asking for ideas of free things to do for a teen boy’s birthday. I got two generous offers from friends. You never know what resources someone may be willing to share until you ask.
For the actual day of my son’s birthday, we had his grandparents over for an early dinner with cake and ice cream. The gifts we gave him were modest but well received.
His party with friends was on the weekend. We chose an “air soft war games party” hosted at a building some friends of ours use for a theatrical production. Between two families, we had enough “soft air” bb guns and eye protection for everyone. The boys and the dads had a blast. After the games were over, everyone headed back to our house for food. The boys put on a dvd movie, which they all ignored, and sat around the table playing card games, eating, and being loud. They were having a good time without video games – I knew it was possible!
Including gifts, we pulled off a 15th birthday celebration for under $100.00
Family dinner party with grand parents
$ 3.00 Chicken (bought on deep sale and stashed in the freezer)
$ 5.00 Two packages smoked sausage (not on sale)
$ 0.50 Home made field peas + brown rice (had this in my freezer)
$ 3.00 Total cost of birthday cake
(jello poke cake with home made cream cheese icing)
$ 5.00 Carton of fancy ice cream
$ 16.50 Total cost of family party
$ 4.00 Giant bag of tortilla chips
$ 7.00 Huge jug of picante sauce (will last us forever if I freeze half of it)
$ 0.25 Home made bean dip (I had some in my freezer already)
$15.00 Three frozen pizzas (store brand)
$ 5.00 Giant bucket of ice cream
$ 0.00 Left over birthday cake
$31.25 Total for teen party