Lavish Kids' Parties Get Trimmed in Bad Economy

Parents still willing to spend big on kid's bashes, just not quite so much.

ByABC News
February 3, 2009, 4:09 PM

Feb. 4, 2009 — -- In the 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.

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.

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.

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.