Lavish birthday parties are so last year. You want your little one to blow out some candles, and not blow through your savings account. We get it! These parties all have a wow-factor without a wallop to your wallet. In fact, one party is virtually free!

Photo: City of Albany Oregon via Flickr

Build a Better Birthday for Free!
On the first Saturday of every month, the HomeDepot offers DIY workshops for kids at various locations. Participants receive all the supplies for a wood-based project, a workshop apron, a commemorative pin and a certificate of achievement… for free! Parents can register as many guests as they’d like for the workshop; many locations will also allow you to bring in snacks and cake. Want to keep your party private? Various locations allow you to use the activity room on non-event Saturdays for… you guessed it, no fee! In addition to all of the above, these locations will also decorate the room with festive balloons. Reservations book early, so be sure to call at least four weeks in advance.

Various Locations
1-800-466-3337
Online: homedepot.com

Photo: Chibis 

Don’t Let It Rain on Your Party: Head Indoors
Indoor play places offer a real value to party-goers; you don’t need to worry about the weather. But the party room rentals and birthday packages can be steep at these places (especially if you want a private event). Chibis Indoor Playground in Dulles, Virginia has affordable packages, starting at $175. Want to skip the rental room? No problem. Chibis does not allow cakes outside of the party room, but you are free to bring in as many guests as you’d like and then move the party on to another location for food and beverages. Chibis is ideally situated for a party-hop (i.e. moving from one venue to the next). One Loudoun is just down the street offering inexpensive food options and an outdoor play area. Admission to Chibis is $10 a person, but you can purchase a multi-pass for a 20% savings, bringing the cost per child to $8. And, unlike other area play places, Chibis allows two adults in with every child admission purchase.  

Birthday packages start at $175 for 8 kids.

44675 Cape Ct. #175  (Ashburn, Va)
571-918-0310
Online: chibisindoorplayground.com

Photo: Personal Creations via Flickr

A Silver Screen Party for the Price of Popcorn
Many of the region’s movie theaters offer enticing birthday packages that elevate movie viewing to an all afternoon event. But why not keep things simple? Stick to the movie (and popcorn) for a hassle-free (and budget-friendly) party. Head to Regal Bethesda 10 for $6.60 movie tickets every day before noon. Reston’s Bow Tie Cinemas is a bargain every Tuesday with  $6 tickets (and $5 tubs of large popcorn). And possibly the best deal in town is the Two-Buck-Tuesday deal at University Mall Theatres in Fairfax, Virginia. 

7272 Wisconsin Ave. (Bethesda, Md)
Online: regmovies.com

11940 Market St. (Reston, Va)
703-464-0816
Online: bowtiecinemas.com

10659 Braddock Rd. (Fairfax, Va)
703-273-7111
Online: universitymalltheatres.com

Photo: Yoga Heights

Om Your Way to a Fantastic Fete
Yoga studios make ideal party rentals because they offer raw space for a nominal fee. Yoga Heights rents out their party-perfect space (each studio is 650 square feet) for $45 an hour (with a minimum rental of two hours). If you are planning on serving food, there is an additional charge of $25. Yoga Heights offers yoga party packages, but if your little one isn’t a yogi-in-training, you can get creative. Dance party? Craft party? Movie screening? Anything is possible in a raw space!

3506 Georgia Ave., NW 
202-596-9277
Online: yogaheightsdc.com

Do you have any budget birthday ideas? Tell us about it in the comments below. 
–Meghan Meyers