Parents Drop Lavish Amounts on Over-the-Top Kids' Birthday Bashes

Parents put up big bucks for outrageous birthday bashes.

ByABC News via logo
February 20, 2011, 5:43 PM

Feb. 21, 2011 -- It's almost expected that celebrities throw their children over-the-top birthday bashes.

Tory Spelling's and Dean McDermott's son Liam celebrated his super-sized third birthday with a super hero theme.

Sean "Diddy" Combs bought his son Justin a $360,000 car on his 16th birthday.

But today, even everyday moms and dads are spending big bucks to say happy birthday in style, which is the subject of the new TLC reality show, "Outrageous Kids Parties."

One couple featured on the show, Nicole and Jason, planned an over-the-top party of their own for their soon-to-be 6-year-old daughter Gracie's birthday.

"This is going to be a fairy tale fantasy party for her because she is still in that prime age where she still believes in fairy tales," Nicole said before the big day.

"This is not a normal party," Jason said.

Gracie may not be a real princess, but she might as well be with a party like this. They spared no expense -- from Gracie's spa treatments the day before the party, to the perfect pink dress befitting a princess, to the exact cake of their daughter's choosing.

Not to mention 42 center pieces, 2,000 flowers and 300 costumes. The party's budget? $32,000.

Before the party, the pressure was on.

"It's crazy because Gracie didn't want anyone else to get her dress," Nicole said. "Here we had all these hairdressers and she just wanted mom."

When the big moment arrived, Gracie and her parents emerged from a horse drawn carriage.

All did not go as well with the cake, however. Gracie began to cry when a bird on the cake was purple instead of blue.

"She's a bit of a perfectionist," her mother said.

Doesn't sound like your childhood birthday parties? Today, birthday parties for kids have become a big business with big expectations -- billions are spent every year. An American Express study found that British families alone spend nearly $2 billion on first birthday parties.

The parents who spare no expense are fueling a booming industry. Leesa Zelken, a children's birthday planner, said her business, Send in the Clowns, has exploded over the last decade.