Party site rentals can get expensive. Save money on your party location by considering one of these five ideas for a free or affordable birthday party!
1. Picnic parties – From Riverside Park to Deerwood Rotary Park to your park around the corner, head out for a picnic! Kids can play on the playground and then feed the ducks before pizza and cake. Find a spot under a tree in the grass for free, or reserve a covered pavilion from JaxParks for only $10 online. Here are our top 10 picks for picnic spots in Jacksonville: http://tinyurl.com/heat6gn
2. Beach parties – Bring some tents and tables and the kids can play with parents and friends in the ocean before enjoying snacks and cake. Everyone loves the beach and it's free to gather with a group and play! http://tinyurl.com/gupf2rw
3. Nature parties – Kids are amazed by nature! Gather with friends at a St. Johns River Water Management District property or Timucuan National Park where entry is free. Head out for a hike and then enjoy an easy craft like an alphabet hike or leaf rubbings. Find a picnic table for cake and ice cream. State parks also offer party fun, with low-cost entry like $4/car load. http://tinyurl.com/hm7npxl
4. Sleepover parties…in the woods – Love the idea of a sleepover, but don’t want 10 kids running around the house unsupervised all night? Try a camping sleepover! Invite families to camp at one of the free St. Johns River Water Management District campsites in and around Jacksonville. Bring firewood, hot dogs and s’mores and the kids will love playing in the tents, making s’mores, and sitting by the fire. Find all the free places to camp here: http://tinyurl.com/zhy23nj
5. Party at home – Stay home and save. But home parties don’t have to be boring! Decide on a theme and then work it into games at home, like the old fashioned pin the tail on the donkey, yard Olympics, or create a back yard splash park for a summer party. The kids will have fun being together and you can put your money towards yummy food and the cake.
Terri Mashour is the creator and publisher of Fun4FirstCoastKids.com, a website that offers families ideas for fun-filled parties, summer camps, sports programs, educational classes and more.