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Best Party Ideas for a Five-Year-Old's Birthday

Posted by Kristen on February 15, 2010 at 8:44 PM
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Today we celebrate a huge milestone in our house. Today Ethan turned five. He woke up this morning and he was a different person. Dare I say it, he seemed grown up.

Spend the night with the family at a hotel with a pool. There is an upside to a birthday party where only your children are attending and you don't have to make your bed in the morning. I'm a big fan of the lazy and low budget option. This sounds a little crazy but my kids have very low expectations for pools so any old pool will do. In the good years we go to hotels with water parks and in the low budget years we combine work with birthday celebrations.

How about a party at a bowling alley? Work with me here. If you go on the off times, bowling can be a huge bargain and is always lots of fun. Bowling alleys these days have lanes that have bumpers for consistent success (and delaying the life lessons that it isn't going to work out in your favor ever time, i.e. life is not full of strikes).

Pack a birthday lunch and take it to the park. This is a great option for all you warm weather birthdays. With a large playground at your disposal, there is all of the energy release for the kids and none of the running around knocking over furniture at your own house. Parks in my area have special areas that can be reserved for parties so you can even secure your own (covered) spot for your picnic.

These are just a few ideas. What are your best ideas for a five-year-old's birthday party?


De in D.C. writes...

My son has a summer birthday, so for several years we'd have water parties in the backyard. We'd set up an inflatable pool, a slip N slide & a sprinkler, then hand out water guns as party favors and let the kids go crazy. One year we even went all out and filled 50 water balloons (awesome until we had to clean up all the little rubber bits). Totally simple, and we could just send the kids back into the pool after cake for clean-up.

Manic Mommy writes...

Brilliant! Gremlin turns five in April and bowling definitely made the list.

Happy Birthday, Ethan!

Courtney writes...

For my friend's little girl, when she turned five, they had it at the YMCA, they do activities there, and it was "Candy Land" themed. Each kid, and adult, got a cupcake to decorate with gumdrops, and licorice and all the stuff from candyland, and the main cake was a castle made to look the caste on the box. There was even a pinata that matched.

Another kid/family party I just went to was at the family's house, with a baseball theme. Start time was 4:05. They had hot dogs, peanuts, cracker-jacks, pop corn, cotton candy and of course beer. Everyone was invited to wear baseball jerseys and/or hats, the cupcakes were decorated like baseballs, and the mom had made a t-shirt shaped cake and decorated it with the local team colors and logo.

Tamara writes...

Love the park and bowling alley ideas. We have done both of them. Very cost-effective and the kids have a grand time. I have made the cakes/cupcakes for every birthday. When we were at the park, we did sub sandwiches with the fixin's on the side. So guests could have pickles, mayo, mustard, jalepenos, chips, etc on thier sandwich - it was a hit. And again, cost effective.

We haven't done the pool party but that would be awesome! Especially in December.

Jess writes...

We have summer birthdays and have done the parties at local parks for the last few years and everyone always has fun (except for the year my oldest flew off the swing and we had to rush him to the hospital!)

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Anonymous writes...

I wanted to add a different opinion on the bowling for age five. So far the ones my son has attended have not been as much fun as other types of parties where everyone can participate at once. The children just were not as interested. Taking turns is important, but why give that lesson at a birthday party. We're going to wait until six or seven for the bowling party. Otherwise, it's a good idea.

Buffy writes...

We did a fire station tour for our son's 3rd birthday, though I'm sure that would work for 5 too. We had everyone meet at the fire station for the tour and then had them come back to our house afterwards for cake and ice cream.

Judy writes...

My son has a December birthday and we traditionally have his party be the start of the holiday season and have a holiday brunch house party. This is a lot of work to make good food for adults and kids and have lots of activities to do indoors. Last year we had it at an ice rink. This was perfect, non-stop activity for the kids, and skate rentals, plastic walkers for new skaters, cake, party room, etc. were all-inclusive. A great winter birthday idea.

Christy writes...

We've done all of our girls' summer birthday parties in our backyard. 5 was a fairy princess butterfly bubble flower party, with cupcakes decorated in themes, and the kids got to decorate foam flower hats and run around like crazy hyped up on cupcakes, blowing bubbles.

This is the easy age, so why not enjoy it with the little things?

Suzy writes...

We're doing our best to keep the tradition of old fashioned birthday parties going strong. We decorate the house in balloons and streamers, make a big birthday cake, invite kids over (one guest for every year the birthday child is celebrating!), play party games, sing songs, dance, and snack on all kinds of yummy party foods.
This year my son requested a train themed party and my daughter will be celebrating with 5 of her little friends with a tea party.
Small and simple is always just right for us!

Becky writes...

We have done duckpin bowling for several birthdays and its always the best bargin (adults get to play too). The kids can't get enough of bowling. Another big favorite though it could be a bit pricey depending on the place is a karate party. We had one at our local karate studio and it was a blast. Lots of high energy and nonstop activity. It was worth the $200 plus they set up and cleaned up (we had to provide the pizza and cake but they had balloons and plates and stuff). But our favorite pasttime of all with the boys is bowling! We did the hotel with pool one year and it was a huge hit. Its great, we just drove 10 minutes down the road!

sue writes...

The most important thing (at least in my eyes) Is for the birthday party to be ALL ABOUT THEM! They should feel like the most important,smartest,most interesting,beautiful child that ever walked this earth and should be treated as such.My daughter (although she is very smart) Told me one week before her 5th birthday that she wanted black and pink and hello kitty. She told me she wanted everyone to be happy, and she told me i shouldn't let auntie drink or anyone else because when they do that it makes them act like "poop heads" lol. She said she wanted her party at home because we have a pool and when the younger kids get tired they can all take a nap in her room. (awww) So i decorated the house which took 2 days(Omg) in pink and black streamers and white helium balloons, made hello kitty gift bags for all the kids, Made sure there would be sushi(whats a hello kitty b-day without sushi?) And she couldn't have been happier. Although one of the kids did ask me if i could be there mommy......=/

Stacy MInor writes...

My daughter turns 5 in November. I have no idea what to do. Any ideas? Its her first birthday that her friends will get to come to.

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