Why Cancelling My Son’s Birthday Party Was the Best Decision Ever

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may have seen my first son’s First Birthday Fiesta at home. We then changed things up a bit for his second birthday and hosted a party at The Little Gym.  By the time his third birthday rolled around this year {and with the addition of our second child}, I was a little spent. We had just come off of planning my second son’s Baptism celebration, and I just couldn’t get excited about the thought of more planning, organizing, and coordinating. My creative juices were drained.

So I did something very unlike me :: I scrapped it altogether.

Cancelling Birthday Party

Before you start judging what a mean and lazy mom I am, hear me out! Instead of putting my energy into invites, favors, themes, and menus, all things the birthday boy would frankly never notice, I went back to basics and asked myself what would he really want to do.

We traded the huge birthday celebration with our large family and friends for an intimate family staycation in Kemah, and totally focused on things that our Jack loved to do. And it was the best decision ever.

So what did we do to make the weekend special? We headed to the Kemah Boardwalk! First, we ate lunch at the Aquarium Restaurant letting Jack run around and look at all of the fish – which he is so in love with these days. After lunch, we toured the Aquarium area downstairs. Next, was a run through the splash pad, followed by train and carousel rides.

After watching all of the “big boats,” we checked into The Boardwalk Inn, our home for the night, to give the boys {and ourselves} a chance to rest. Once we regrouped, we did a fun dinner on the water to celebrate our birthday boy and an ice cream cone before heading back to the hotel for the evening – all of which was walking distance from the hotel so we didn’t have to mess with driving. It was such a fun, family day totally centered around our special three-year-old!

[Related Post: Birthday Party Places in Houston]

If Kemah doesn’t sound appealing, keep in mind that there are so many other “staycation” spots in and around Houston — including La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa, The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center, Hotel Galvez and The San Luis Resort.

So will we do this every year? Probably not. I’m sure next year we will go back to a traditional birthday party, letting Jack choose the themes and the activities as he gets older and has an opinion on it. But for this year, I am so glad we strayed off the beaten path and didn’t throw a big birthday party simply because that’s what the cultural norm dictates. Instead, we chose to do what makes sense for our family, and of course, our special honoree.  And whether that’s a big birthday bash or a quaint night in – I encourage you to do the same!

Have you ever opted out of the birthday party route for your little one?


  1. Our daughters first birthday was just mommy and daddy, no family or friends in TX as we had just moved from CA, and I was pregnant with brother. We went to the Downtown Aquarium. Her second birthday was simple… we visited family in Ohio. Her third we had a few friends for cake. Our sons first birthday was again just mommy and daddy, and of course sissy. His second birthday was low key too. Just a day out. We’ll likely have a party for his third, we’ll see…

  2. Yessss! Best decision ever! After all, their birthday is about then, and how much of a birthday party, through all the hussle, do they really get our undivided attention to celebrate them. I love this blog and couldn’t have explained it better if I tried. Thank you for sharing so that I know I’m not alone on this idea.


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