Manicure and Pizza Birthday Party

I mentioned many months ago that, in order to preserve my own sanity, I was “outsourcing” friend parties this year. In the past, I have hosted everything at my house and, while it all went fine, I would run myself ragged. I do not have a large house, nor am I a natural housekeeper, and I usually wound up frantic and feverish.


This year? I vowed to avoid that. I decided way back in the summer that I would let someone else provide the setting for these parties.


I am not, however, a huge fan of bounce houses, Chuck E. Cheeses, or athletic facilities that require you to have a party of 15-20. Quite frankly, my children are now at ages where they truly enjoy a few friends– they like to be able to visit with them and interact with each on an individual basis. They don’t HAVE 20 close friends. Neither do I, for that matter.


Winter babies in a cold climate come with their own challenges. It’s not as simple as just “heading to the park” for us. Could we do “half-birthdays”? Sure. But I’m not a big fan of that, to be honest. Not judging those who have success with the concept, but I always feel like asking a child to wait six months to celebrate is kind of torture-land… time passes S-L-O-W-L-Y when you’re a kid.


We don’t have gazillions of dollars to drop on a birthday party, but we’re not destitute either. I decided that, ideally, I’d like to keep each party around the hundred dollar mark. To some, that will sound like lots of money. To others, it will sound like a pittance. Either way, that was my target.


For my daughter, the Christmas Eve baby, I decided to organize a Manicure & Pizza Party.

I started out by simply surveying my town. I looked at where the nail salons were located. I found one that was pretty centrally placed in town. I checked to see what eateries were within walking distance, because I knew I didn’t want to be in charge of transporting all these little girls from one place to another.


I wasn’t sure what the salon owner would think about my request for five appointments, all for 6- and 7-year-old girls. I chose a Friday during Christmas break to do the party. The salon owner helped me choose a time (mid-late morning) when they weren’t as busy and the little girls could be the stars of the show.


There was a local pizza place just two shops over, so that was my next stop. I talked to the older Italian man who owns the place and he told me he’d be delighted to have us and that, no, it was not a problem for me to bring in cupcakes. Awesome.


I will tell you– without hesitation– that this was my favorite party I’ve ever thrown. The salon had technicians ready for each girl, so they got their manicures simultaneously. They were DARLING choosing their colors and gabbing under the dryers. Each had tiny flowers painted on her nails and it was cute beyond belief. Their “private” nail techs held their coats for them and pampered them with the royal treatment. So sweet.


After, in the restaurant, they debated the merits of Sprite vs. chocolate milk. (And, in the end, ordered white milk and root beer– ha!) They were perfect little ladies and the waiter gushed appropriately over their fancy nails.


Even in rather pricey Connecticut, the “child manicure” price is less than ten dollars– eight dollars, plus tax, to be specific. Even with tip, it wasn’t bad.


Our extra large cheese pizza, drinks for everyone, and the ingredients to make the cupcakes all came in under $30.

The party lasted almost exactly 90 minutes, which seems to be a pretty typical party length around here. I came in just under my $100 budget. When it was done? I had nothing to clean up, nothing to put away, and nothing but a relaxing afternoon ahead of me.


I call it a WIN and I highly recommend it as a fun, frugal birthday party option.


Next week, I’ll share with you about how I outsourced our son’s eight-year-old party. It was another smashing success!
linked to Frugal Friday (<– which is a particularly awesome post this week, by the way!)
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11 comments to Manicure and Pizza Birthday Party

  • Courtney

    That sounds fun!!!! The last two years, we’ve thrown our son a BIG birthday party, complete with bouncy house, games, and a zillion of his preschool and church friends. :<) I enjoyed it- I love party planning, but it IS a lot of work. He turned 6 earlier this week and decided he wanted to invite 5 friends to a restaurant instead of a big party. It worked out GREAT! Everybody ate dinner and cupcakes, he opened presents, and we left when it was over with nothing to clean up! :<)

    • Oh, Courtney, the thought makes me TIRED! ;) Party planning– like interior decorating– is a true gift, I believe. I think it’s awesome that you had fun with it! (That restaurant plan is much more up my alley. ;))

  • mlearley

    This is such a great idea! I’m going to have to bank that in my memory for when my girls are older. We’ve always done small family/friend parties either at our house, in-laws house or a room at our church (free!) This year for her 4th birthday my daughter asked for a build-a-bear party. My thought, oh crap that’s going to cost a lot unless she only has 1 or 2 friends come but she wanted 4 friends. So I did some research and found these adorable bears online for $6.95 plus a white tshirt for $1.95 and then one bag of stuffing. The kids decorated their shirts with paint I had on hand and then we stuffed the bears. I made a bear face cake from a pan I bought years ago on We had a blast! They all had a gift to take away and it was WAY cheaper than the chain store.

  • [...] told you all last week about the success I had hosting my daughter’s Manicure & Pizza Party at the end of December. Just as soon as I got through that one, Operation Outsource Parties [...]

  • [...] parties outside the box — and the home. She’s able to pull it off in winter, no less. Manicure and Pizza Party? Hockey party at the ice rink? I’ll take [...]

  • What a great party idea! My little girl will be turning two this year, but I can’t wait until she is a little older to try out this concept!

  • [...] year, I planned a Manicure & Pizza Party for my older daughter and that whole thing came in just under a hundred bucks. It was fun and easy [...]

  • dannyscotland

    OH my gosh, this is so perfect! I have a 5 year old who was born the day after Christmas and my 2 year old is a January baby. Thank you SO MUCH for a great idea for my older’s next party!!! I am so much like what you described, I hate housecleaning, don’t have a big place, and don’t have tons of money! I prefer smaller to larger parties and I think my daughter would, too. I am definitely keeping this in mind!!!

    • It was truly one of my very favorite parties ever– so easy and fun. The girls had a blast and I loved that they were able to have kind of a “ladies’ lunch” together. It was cute and (did I mention?) EASY! ;)

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