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Back to the Basics: Retro Monday: McDonald’s Parties are Back!

picmonkey_imageLet’s face it. Birthday parties for kids are getting more elaborate as websites such as Pinterest and Facebook allow people to see cute new things that we all can do to make our kid’s parties the best. One of my most vivid childhood memories growing up is my birthday parties. My mom always made sure our birthday parties were wonderful. They were always held at our house and everything was homemade. I think that my mom spent a lot of time on the details of the parties but I don’t think she spent crazy amounts of money.

Parties I remember:

When I was really young, my mom had a puppet show for one of our parties.
When I was in elementary school, we had a party with our friend, Elena Hutchinson, who had a birthday a few days after we did. I remember my mom baking a three layer cake (it reminded me of a wedding cake) for our birthday and Elena’s mom being brave and taking all of the girls to her house for a sleepover!
One birthday was luau theme and I remember her making invitations out of poster board (flowers) that had brackets that you could move the invitation to see the details.

The parties were not elaborate, nor expensive, but the attention to detail was amazing.

I told my mom that I wanted to make my kid’s birthdays special because I remember her making our birthdays so special. As my kids grow up, we don’t do big birthday parties every year. Every few years, we have hosted birthday parties with the kid’s friends. The other years have been family parties. The parties can be as elaborate or as simple as you make them.

When Paige was around five, we had a birthday party for her at our local McDonalds. I remember it being very simple but the kids still had lots of fun.

Fast forward to today….

picmonkey_image-3For Charlotte’s second birthday, I decided that hosting a McDonalds birthday party would be perfect. We have had a lot going on and I didn’t want to do anything complicated, expensive, or big. Our neighborhood has a McDonalds right in the neighborhood so I thought back to Paige’s party and knew this was the route for me.

What does a McDonald’s party cost and include?

A McDonald’s Party costs $60.00 for ten kids and lasts two hours.

What does this include?

This includes a cake, Happy Meals for the kids, party hats, party favors, plates, and napkins.

What do you do?

The party was scheduled for 11:00 AM and I showed up at 10:30. I bought balloons, a table cloth, and extra cupcakes and brownies. I also made extra party favors (in addition to the McDonald’s ones because they were pretty flimsy) for the kids (a water painting Elmo book that I got from the Dollar Tree and a Minions McDonalds $5.00 gift card that I put in a small plastic decorative bag with raffia around it).

What happened next?
I bought drink cups for all of the adults and ordered a french fries and chicken nuggets for the adults to snack on.

The kids showed up at 11:00 and played for about thirty minutes.

picmonkey_image-4The McDonald’s party hostess took the kid’s orders and they ate their happy meals and drinks around 11:30. At noon, we sang happy birthday to Charlotte and had cake and cupcakes. The kids played on the playground equipment for the remainder of the time.

Would you do anything different?

I would have the party from 11:00-12:30 because there is only a small play area. Two hours is a long time for a Mcdonalds party. I chose not to do games so the kids were just playing on their own. I think 1.5 hours would have been better.

picmonkey_image-2I also would have had the party on a weekday if possible (because it is summer). Weekends are very precious for families so I think having it during the week (during the day) helps preserve family time on the weekends. We did it on a Saturday because Brad’s job has been really busy lately and we couldn’t find a weekday that would work around Charlotte’s birthday.


I have thrown a lot of parties in my life and this was by far the easiest and cheapest party that I have thrown. Charlotte had a great time and it was just a simple party. It reminded me of Paige being young and having a party at McDonalds.

Who doesn’t love Mcdonalds?

My question for you: Did you have a McDonald’s Party growing up and would you have one now for your kids?

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    October 30, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    When Marshall turned 4 we did his birthday party at McDonalds on skinner bc they had a big playground. I had just had Dashiell 6 weeks prior to that! It was easy and cheap! And the kids had fun. Cake food done! I think Dashiell will have his there next year to keep it low key.

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