Epic birthday celebrations are now the norm. Studies show that the average parent spends around $28,000 on birthday parties before a child turns 21.

But it’s not necessary to break the bank to plan an unforgettable birthday event. Consider both birthday ideas you can host at home and in your neighborhood to create an easy celebration.

Take a look at these 7 unique ways to make your birthday celebration stand out. 

1. Murder Mystery

Throwing a party for a group of friends who don’t all know each other? One of the best ways to instantly put people at ease is to immerse them in a game the minute they set foot in the door. 

Murder mystery game kits set the stage for guests to interact without the need for awkward small talk. The best part about murder mystery themes is that they can be as big or small as you like.

Decorate your home to look like the scene of a crime or add shots after every missed clue. This theme works for both kids and adults.

Be sure to choose shorter game kits for children so they don’t lose interest over time. Some murder mystery kits can take hours to complete. 

2. Hide and Seek

One of the best free childhood games is so simple, it just might work. Hide and seek is an endless game of excitement for children. 

You need no equipment, no lengthy explanations or no special rooms to make it work. It’s an indoor and outdoor game worthy of making it to the list of birthday celebration activities.

For adults, hide and seek is a novelty that can turn a night of cocktails into interactive fun. Choose flashlight hiding and seek for older crowds to add another layer to the game. Kids can ramp up their hide and seek themes by reversing the game into sardines.

With sardines, one person hides, and when they are found everyone hides with them. The last person left loses. This game isn’t ideal for adults but can provide hours of fun for children.

3. Amazing Race

Get out and explore the neighborhood or city for your next birthday celebration. Put your guests on a city-wide scavenger hunt where the winning team gets a cash prize. 

The ideal finishing location is your home where guests see a giant finish line banner. You can also choose a banner for the starting line using a service like this https://customgraphix.net/product-category/vinyl-banners/birthday-banners/.

Scavenger hunts work well as a virtual game or by leaving clues at different locations around the community. You’ll need permission to leave any of your party props on private property so make sure to consult with landlords and store owners in advance.

Sort teams in advance of the party to make it easier to coordinate things like matching team shirts and team names. For children’s parties, make sure adults have an overview of the game in advance so they can prepare. 

Often, scavenger hunts require taking pictures of places, people, or things. Young children will need adult help or supervision to take on these tasks during the party. Limit your scavenger hunt to locations children can access by foot to avoid confusion. 

4. Hunger Games Obstacle Course

Let your guests flex their archery skills with a fun hunger games style obstacle course. In the game, guests choose their weapon of choice to navigate a shooter-style obstacle course. 

You can use carnival-style party props to pull off this game style. Set up a tower of empty tin cans on a tabletop, followed by a wall of balloons

Keep an obstacle course style set up going for at least 5 stations for each contestant to race through when you start the clock. The person with the best time wins and gets the first slice of birthday cake

5. Gift Card Raffle

Raffles are a simple way to spice up a dinner party. To create a gift card raffle, you’ll need a stack of gift cards with no money on them except one.

The gift card with money loaded on it should look identical to the others in shape and size, but the brands can vary. Choose a gift card with a universal appeal like a gas card or Uber. 

Announce the winner at the start of dinner to liven up the mood and give guests a natural topic of conversation. You may need to mark the card discreetly to keep track of the winning gift card. 

As an alternative, write down the last 6 digits of serial number on the winning card and announce it to your guests. 

6. Silent Party

Silent parties are a growing trend for teenagers. They work by having all guests wear headphones instead of having a DJ play music to the entire room at once.

The benefit of this style party is keeping noise levels down without sacrificing the fun of dancing to loud music. Your teens won’t worry about neighbors making complaints or disturbing parents in the next room. 

7. Backyard Campout 

An adult campout can be an exciting adventure whether guests stay overnight or just join you for a campout cocktail. Ask guests to bring folding chairs to your tailgate-style gathering. 

The summer months are a great time to host this birthday celebration, but Fall and Spring present great opportunities depending on the timing of the rainy season in your area. 

Turn a fire pit into a bonfire for roasting s’mores, hot dogs or bratwurst. Don’t forget the citronella candles to ward off insects during the event.

Budget-Friendly Birthday Celebrations

Your birthday celebration doesn’t have to break the bank in order to be unforgettable. People spend thousands on venues that require catering and insurance just to hold the space.

Your home is the perfect venue for hosting a birthday celebration because you have complete control of when and how the event is planned. Always start the planning process at least 4 weeks in advance to ensure you give guests a chance to mark their calendars for the event. For more information and lifestyle tips, visit our blog for updates. 

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