If you’re tired of keeping up with the Joneses, tossing all of those paper plates, and goody bags filled with sugary snacks and useless stuff, read on.  We like sustainability, budget-friendliness, unique ideas, and healthy parties – for mind, body, and the environment.  So we asked our community for some interesting birthday party ideas that have been a smash hit in their house. In the meantime, try these ideas on your kids and you’ll be the talk of the town…

Interesting Birthday Party Ideas on a Budget

1. The Telus World of Science offers new, exciting and unique birthday party packages for children of all ages. Pre-booked parties include a zany Science World host, exploration time in the many galleries and exhibits and a decorated private party room. Themed packages include a Preschool Package, Science Surprise Package, Insects Package and Chemistry Package. There’s limited space so be sure to book early. Visit their website for more information on the great parties Science World has to offer!

2.  Green Planet Parties supplies compostable dishes (that look stylish enough for a wedding).  Also check their cloth goody bags, reusable, sewn ‘Happy Birthday’ banners, and personalized endangered animal necklaces for the kids.  Order online, and look like a hero – both for the cool factor, and also for saving the environment.

3.  Get those kids active with a party at Jump Gymnastics.  The tots leave with balloons, get a fab lesson in tumbling, and the cake can be gobbled up while sitting on colourful stools in the party room.

4.  Dora bags are fun and all, but why not grab a reusable shopping bag (the Vancouver Aquarium has great ones) to stash the gifts?

5.  Know any interesting university students or professors?  Hire one for an hour to add spice to the party.  The marine biology major could talk about crabs at your beach bash, or the bug or dinosaur guy could do their thing.  (Think Ross on Friends – wouldn’t you like to have him at your party?)

6. Plant a garden with the kids from the party, give seeds as favours, and treat the parents to a talk from a landscape designer.

7.  Use frames as your giveaway, and do an art party.  Frame the little Picassos at the end, and other parents will be so thrilled to have a hang-able piece of art!

8.  Homeworks Etc. has great hooks that are ‘in the raw’.  You can paint them at the party, take them home, and voila – a great place for your bathrobe!

9.  Instead of gifts, hold a Giving Party.  Ask for some money and split the total between your child and a charity.  This will stimulate conversation about why little Aidan doesn’t have a wrapped present, and get them discussing the tigers.  Green Planet Parties has some great wording on their website with how to ask for the donations.

See also our One Year Old Birthday Party article.