Are kids’ birthday parties becoming a competitive sport?

baby with birthday cake

As our new comedy podcast 2 Judgy Mums becomes a firm favourite with mums and dads across the globe, all kinds of familiar and pesky parent problems are being dragged into the light of day …

The problem with parties

… Take birthday parties, for instance. Hen and Becks from 2 Judgy Mums have recently spent a little too much time chaperoning children to fancy parties and they have thoughts on the subject! As have we all …

Last week we broke the unsurprising news that Australian parents were spending WAY too much on parties. We reported that a recent study of Australian families found “71 percent of Aussie parents feel pressured to throw extravagant parties for their kids due to the influence of social media and celebrities.”

The study also noted that the average cost of a present for someone else’s child had now hit $46 a pop – which equates to $1.4 billion spent each year just on gifts. Factor in the cost of throwing the party and, oh dear LORD, we’re parting with a lot of cash in the name of a bit of “hip, hip, hooray!”


  More brilliant podcasts you’ll love:


Vale chocolate crackles

So is it all a bit much? We headed to Facebook to find out just how fancy parties had become and how our readers were feeling about the pressure to throw bigger and better bashes.

“When did kids’ birthday parties get as fancy (and expensive!) as a wedding?” we wondered aloud. “Bring back the good old days of chocolate crackles, pass the parcel, and a homemade cake made by mum! What’s the fanciest thing you’ve seen at a child’s birthday party?”

Some people quickly told us to stick it up our jumper and let the fancy parties be fancy …

“Since when does it matter what other people choose to spend their own money on?” was the gist.

“They don’t ‘have’ to be, it’s all a choice,” someone else quite rightly pointed out. “Some of us actually enjoy the creativity of bringing together a children’s birthday party.”

Little girl at birthday party

So fancy, everybody knows

Others were keen to spill a little more on the parties they’d been to – and how they approached celebrating more simply with their own children.

“I heard from a staff member at the bowling alley I frequent, that someone had 30 kids at a kids party and it was close to $2k – it was a 5th birthday,” someone posted.

“Fanciest thing I’ve seen at a birthday party was a hired petting farm! They came to the local hall and they had chicks, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, lambs, a baby piglet, goats even a baby calf! My kids absolutely loved it but it wouldn’t have been cheap …. ” a fancy party appreciator said. We have to admit that is a lot of different animals.

And let’s not forget the ‘painted pony party‘ we told you about recently. And the ‘French flower market’ party Kitty Flanagan recently pointed out.

View this post on Instagram

🌸 Le Marché Aux Fleurs D’Amelia 🌸 We’re so proud to share this jaw-droppingly beautiful setup for Miss Amelia’s recent 5th birthday. It has been such a blessing to be able to work with the absolute best in the industry to make this party come to life. We’ll be sharing more pictures over the coming days to showcase all these amazing vendors, so watch this space! Concept – @dream_a_little_dream_events Concept Development, Stationery, Art Direction and design – @eveandcostationery Event Styling – @eveandcostationery x @sweetfingercakes Photography- @emmavalentinephotography Chanel Cart – @elegant_tea_time Floral Cart Styling – @sweeteventstylingbythanhtran Birthday Cake and Floral Tarts – @sweetfingercakes Meringues – @quincy.lane Strawberry Tower – @doms.strawberries.delight Custom Lollipops – @petal_and_pop Balloons – @borntopartyshop Hand Dyed Linens, Runners and chair silks – @herbeautifulmess_creative Tiffany Chairs, Children’s Table Hire & Plinth – @sweetheavenlyeventshire Welcome Sign Print and Large wall print – @jossignsbydesign Large Number 5 – @foamtasticpartydecor Favours Stand and Kids’ Soft Play with fencing – @tiny_tots_toy_hire Fairy Floss Favours – @fluffycrunch Smarties Box Covers – @glitterandgluedesigns Partyware – @favorlanepartyboutique ‘Eat Up’ Napkins – @rubyrabbitparty Paper Flowers on kids party hats – @stylish_paper Decorative Floral Paper ‘A’ – @hangingpretty Amelia’s Dress – @lottie_clothing Amelia’s Party Hat – @eveandcostationery Kids’ Entertainment – @functionsoffun . . . #fifthbirthday #fifthbirthdayparty #5thbirthday #5thbirthdayparty #flowermarket #frenchflowermarket #lemarcheauxfleurs #lemarchéauxfleurs #flowers #flowertheme #flowerparty #floraltheme #frenchflowermarkettheme #redandpink #redpinkandwhite #kidsparty #partyinspiration #kidspartyinspo #partysetup #prtystyling #bespoke #bespokestationery #customstationery #custominvitations #invitations #couturecelebrations

A post shared by Eve&Co. (@eveandcostationery) on

Keep it simple

For many, the simple things like jelly and  ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ are the very best party options …

“I refuse to do fancy parties!” a Babyology Facebook follower declared. “They get exactly what I got! Homemade cake, pass the parcel, and homemade treats with sausages and chips.”

“I just did my sons 5th bday. I made my own cake and hired a pie warmer and jumping castle. Was so easy,” someone else posted. #PieWarmerGenius

“Ours were all home parties and cakes made from scratch. It’s amazing how many adults love fairy bread and cocktail franks,” another Facebook user wrote and thanks because now we want a cocktail frank toooo!


Dip into more hilarious parenting chatter in Episode Three of 2 Judgy Mums. 


You can listen to 2 Judgy Mums with Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen to Google Podcasts

Subscribe to Babyology

Our email newsletters keep you up to date with what’s happening on Babyology.

We also have special newsletter-only offers and competitions that are exclusive to Babyology subscribers.

Sign up below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Send this to a friend