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Kids' Parties Take a Pay Cut

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In this battered economy, some of the most extravagant moms are cutting back on their usually over-the-top kids' birthday parties, though not in the ways one might think.

 	 boys and girls playing together in a birthday party

As Americans look to cut corners in whatever ways they can, many parents are figuring out ways to take costs out of the party, while still managing to keep the lavish in, reports ABC News.

Mom Amy Oztan says that no matter how bad the economy gets, a birthday party for her two kids will still remain a priority.

"Even if my husband lost his job, we would still find a way to have a few friends over and have some fun," said Oztan, who is a writer for the New York City Mom's Blog.

"No matter what's going on in the economy, I don't want my children to think that they can't have something as basic as a birthday party," she said.

But "basic" isn't usually the word used to describe some children's birthday parties, which party planners say have only become more outrageous, more creative and, of course, more expensive over the years.

Check out one we featured on momlogic.

Linda Kaye, a New York-based party planner for over 25 years, said that lately she's seen parents -- who had typically not batted an eyelash at $1,500 price tags for their kindergartener's party -- less willing to "go all out" on their tot's celebrations.

"The last place people want to save money is when it comes to their children," said Kaye. "But now they are just more sensitive to how they're spending it."

"Before [the economic crisis] they'd say, 'Johnny wants Barney at the party, I don't care how much it costs,' and now they're settling for Barney on their child's birthday cake instead," she said.

Kaye, who has helped organize parties that included a three-ring circus with elephant rides, as well as one that boasted an authentic native American teepee as the main attraction, said more parents are coming to her, asking for ways to cut party costs while still remaining competitive with other parents' soirees.

"I'm sensing a big change," said Kaye. "People are uncertain, they're extremely meticulous when it comes to going through any of the times they have to spend money on for a party.

"There is a concern about the whole cost," she added. "People who would usually ask us to plan the whole party want to do more of it themselves."

Jessica Gottlieb, a mother of two from Los Angeles who contributes to the Silicon Valley Mom's Blog, said she's shown up at birthday parties and been "aghast" at what she's seen.

"For one 2-year-old's party, the parents brought in an entire theme park," Gottlieb recalls. "They did pony rides and a little roller coaster and a carousel. And it was catered.

"It must have cost more than my wedding," she said.

Will you cut back on your kid's party this year?

next: Octuplets Mom's Publicist Lashes Out
1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Marian Merritt February 5, 2009, 1:12 PM

We just went to a party in a home in the nicest part of Beverly Hills. We were surprised, but happily so, to discover the entertainment was just a teacher from the school. She was hired to provide facepainting and then led some games with hula hoops and other simple props. The girls had a fabulous time running around and then enjoyed pizza and cake. And there were no elaborate goody bags either. I was thrilled to see how people are scaling back. I don’t even think this family needed to but maybe they are trying to be sensitive to the feelings of others when deciding what to do.

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