Monday, July 2, 2012

Zoo Birthday on a Budget

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!
Summer is our birthday season.  We have one in May, June, and July!  I don't know about your kids, but mine love discussing everything about their birthdays starting in........December.  You can imagine that by the time birthday's actually get here, I am more than a little burned out.  Having said all of that, 
Our oldest is an animal lover, so I convinced her to go to the local zoo with just a couple bff's instead of having a large party at our house like normal.  It worked out so wonderful that I had to share what we did!  I hope it will inspire you to think outside of the box when it comes to your next kid's big day.

The Budget:  Less than $100--Crazy huh?
The Mission:  One happy Birthday Girl

We have a zoo membership pass so getting in had been paid for last year with the purchase of a well-used and well-loved pass.  We just had to have goody bags for the girls, but since I wasn't having as many kids to provide for we splurged just a bit more than normal.  We got four canvas bags in bright colors at Hobby Lobby for $8.  We filled them with left over paper Easter grass varying colors, water bottles with individual labels ($ .60 for cardstock), individually wrapped starfish snacks ($2 for a box of 6), and two individually wrapped animal fruit snacks ($1 for box of 8).  We had these party girls during the lunch hour so we fed them cheese pizza for $10.  Each bag was personalized with their names with puffy paint from a previous project, ribbon from our wrapping paper box, and a small tag printed off our computer with a scavenger hunt ($ .60 for cardstock).  Now add in gas which was about $30.  Grand total?  About $53.

Everything inside.

Every girl got her name on a water bottle and a different animal on the back.

All tucked away in a bag.  Now I don't have to carry it.
I loved the bags, but I didn't know just how useful they were until we got to the zoo. You know the maps, tickets stubs, coloring pictures and what-not you get at the zoo? Well, I didn't--for once--have to carry one blasted thing own water bottle.  GENIUS, if I do say so myself.
Now for the rest of the budget....
We are firm believers that birthday girls are QUEEN OF THE DAY so what they want goes.  She wants Dippin' Dots ice cream because it is close to 100 degrees out; she gets it at $20 for everyone.  She wants a stuffed animal as her birthday present from Daddy; she gets it at $9.  She wants to go see the butterfly garden; she gets it at $10 for everyone to enter.  If you aren't of the "Queen for a Day" philosophy then your trip will probably be cheaper than ours was.  At a grand total of $94, we couldn't complain, and I don't think she did either.
Happy Zoologist All-Around!
Just one last thing for anyone who wanted to know...
The Scavenger Hunt List Tag
We have a few older, but still usable phones with cameras.  The scavenger hunt was for ten things they would find throughout the zoo.  Once they found them, they had to take a picture of the item.  You could do whatever you wanted, but we chose things like: 
a sleeping lion, 
a baby, 
 something green,
 three friends,
 your favorite animal,
 you and the birthday girl,
 a reptile,
 a swinging monkey,
a blue bird. 

The point was to get these girls taking pictures.  We wanted them to take whatever pictures they wanted and have a ton of fun. We are going to print off the best ones and send them to each girl as part of the the thank you cards.  Isn't digital so amazing?
We had close to fifty pictures of just the dolphins on one phone.  Exactly what we were going for.  Take as many as you want and we'll delete the ones that don't turn out.  I think every girl LOVES dolphins.

Some Highlights of the Girls' Pictures

A Big Wasp that Makes Noises

A Blue Bird

Digging For Bugs

Looking at a Really Big Spider

A Favorite Animal

Something Green

One of the Dolphins at our Zoo just had a Baby
I hope this gives you some ideas for your next birthday party.  Leave a comment of something you have done so maybe we can swap ideas.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

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