So, Your Kid Doesn’t Want a Party! 17 Tips on What To Do

So, Your Kid Doesn’t Want a Party! 17 Tips on What To Do

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Kid outdoors
Kid outdoors

Planning a party for your kid’s special day is such a social responsibility for parents. But, what if your kid doesn’t want a party? Will you go in panic? How will you react to this seemingly unexpected situation whenever you notice a sudden shift of interest?

You have to understand that every child is unique. There may be a sudden shift of interest as he grows up. Yet, this is normal. You don’t have to panic. Remain calm, instead. Talk to him in a very understanding manner. Get him into a sincere yet friendly conversation so he will be more encouraged to open up his feelings about the matter a few weeks ahead of his birthday.

Here are the top 17 tips on what to do whenever your kid doesn’t want a party.

1. Talk Things Out During an Exclusive Family Dinner or Lunch Date in His Favorite Restaurant

Restaurant dining
Restaurant dining

Your child doesn’t want a party, but having an exclusive family dinner or lunch date will not disturb him at all. This is a good chance to talk casually about why he doesn’t want to have a party. However, be very careful not to push your child to give you his reason immediately. 

Befriend your child in a way that he will talk to you openly and sincerely as he would to a best friend.  Make the conversation more fun by being witty. Don’t be serious. Once you have cleared your confusion and got his answers, be ready for your next move.

2. Give Your Child Valuable Options

You don’t want to keep your child lonely just because he doesn’t want to party the way you expect it to happen yearly. Cheer him up as much as you would cheer yourself. 

Your child may be aloof by now or just tired partying along with a large crowd of kids and adults. Your positive reaction to this will affect him year long that he may want to have another party next year.

So, lay out whatever options you have for your child. Let him choose. This could be for a charitable cause, a week-long vacation to a place you have not visited before or anything from the list. This will give your child the freedom to choose. It will even boost his confidence and get more happiness from doing so than from being told what to do.

3. Ask Him How He Wants to Celebrate His Birthday

Do not sound authoritative. Keep that friendly and sincere tone when you first talked about the issue to your child. Never push that “party issue” to your child, too. Be careful with your tone and word choice as he may be smart enough to notice it even before you know it. 

Again, remain calm and prepare yourself for whatever answer he may give you. If he wants to celebrate it with you as a family within the comforts of your home, then it’s not a big deal. There’s really nothing to worry about with whatever idea he may tell you. The key is just to let him open up his feelings with you as parents and best friends rolled into one.

4. Watch a Movie

Check the various movies showing in major cinemas in your area. If there are movies that are kid-friendly or designed for the whole family entertainment, then mark this on your calendar. Show it to your child as one of the options to consider.

Visiting a major theater for that particular movie is also a choice for him. Another option is that if your child is into the creative arts, you may suggest watching a stage play. But then again, remember that you are just offering him options. Don’t ever rush him to pick a choice just to please you.

5. Visit an Amusement Park

Huge soap bubble
Huge soap bubble

Spending the day at an amusement park is another way to unleash the fun and excitement in children. Enjoy the carnival and the different rides. Even the bouncy castles and playhouses will make children forget their shyness or any anxiety being with the crowd.

This makes it another great option to replace a usual party you give to your child each year. However, if he doesn’t want to do this for the year, do not show any disappointment in your tone or expression. He may have other preferences. So, giving him the time to use his freewill helps you both overcome problems here.

6. Go Camping

Camping is great if both parents are real campers or outdoor lovers. If not, you can use your backyard and have your camping tent ready. Pretend that you are real campers. 

Set a campfire for the family to relax and enjoy. Cook your dinner outdoors. Or have him grill barbecues with hotdogs and marshmallows. Vary the activity depending on your child’s preferences.

7. Have a quiet dinner indoors.

Happy family dinner at home
Happy family dinner at home

Your child may not be in the mood for a celebration this year. Why not give him the option to have a quiet dinner with the family in the comforts of your home? Let him enjoy it as it is with siblings around.

Talk to your other children beforehand to never mention birthday parties during the conversation. Just let your “celebrant” enjoy his favorite cuisines during this dinner without talking anything about parties or anything associated with it.

8. Go Shopping

Shopping is another way to relieve stress and anxiety. Give your child the option to go shopping on his special day to make him feel well-loved and special. This will even make him feel relieved from the pressures of his life as a kid.

Set aside a budget for this. Remind him about the importance of budgeting. Be ready to have enough funds for toys and some of his favorite belongings. Make sure that this activity will be more memorable to him than the previous years of partying with friends. If he will choose this option, make it something he will cherish throughout his lifetime.

9. Go on a Week-Long Vacation

Family on vacation
Family on vacation

Going to a farm or resort and staying there for a week would be a great option. You should plan your vacation ahead of time. This could be on an island you have not been to before. Or you could travel abroad.

If your budget allows traveling abroad, start your tour in newbie-traveler friendly places. Central America, Thailand, Portugal, and Spain offer easy and affordable destinations for novice travelers. 

You may also look for family-friendly destinations. Visiting such family-friendly places in the USA as The Grand Canyon, Central Florida, New York, Atlanta, Georgia, and Park City in Utah will truly inspire families to travel regularly. This will make your vacation more fun and hassle-free. 

There are various travel and tour companies that can help you with travel arrangements. You can search and compare online to get the best deals. Just make sure you are dealing with a reputable company with a tour guide in case you are a novice traveler.

10. Organize a Sleepover for Your Child’s Close Friends

The idea of having a sleepover with friends is cool for kids. If possible, try to call the parents of your child’s close friends if they can allow their kids to come over to your house for a simple sleepover. This can make your kid happy just by being with them.

Make sure to prepare your kid’s favorite dinner or even snacks, and serve them breakfast before they leave. Be prepared to entertain the parents, too. However, keep them informed beforehand that your child doesn’t want the usual lavish party to avoid any misunderstanding.

11. Run a Garage Sale With Your Child for a Cause

Garage Sale
Garage Sale

Help your child see the value of money and effort in earning a daily living. Let him look over his closet and storage boxes for clothes, toys, and other belongings that he does not need anymore. If he has older siblings, they can join, too. Parents can also add other items for sale.

Once all things are set, decide on the cost of each item by placing a price tag on each of them. Have your child help you with this so he knows what to do when you are in the actual garage sale. Explain to him that the money that you will get from this garage sale will be for charity.

12. Visit an Orphanage

Once your child agrees to do a garage sale, visiting an orphanage is a great option to do a charitable cause. You can donate the proceeds of the sale to an orphanage of your choice to help the less fortunate children. If you have different orphanages in your list, let your child choose which one he wants to give donations for this year.

Make sure to get him involved in this activity whenever he agrees to do so. No matter how big or small the funds you have to donate, remember that it is not the amount that really counts. It is the act of giving that you instill in him while he is young that actually matters. This will make him even more responsible in the future.

13. Visit a Home for the Aged

This is another option for doing a charitable cause. Your child may prefer helping the elderly for personal reasons he couldn’t figure out yet. But if this is what he wants, then you can donate the funds here instead of going to the orphanage.

14. Get on a Spa Day

Older kids usually prefer this option. You can get your child a massage. Pamper him/her with a makeover. Or try the wonderful spa promotional offers and packages specially designed for children and teens. 

This option will help your child get more acquainted with himself, care for his body each day, and be more confident. It will also help him feel relaxed yet energized to face another year ahead.

15. Go Hiking

Freedom in travel hiking
Freedom in travel hiking

Going on a hike is another way to destress. You can plan to go on a nearby trek. Or you may also get the help of hiking companies to start your journey.

If you are a family of hikers, your child won’t be having trouble choosing this option. If not, encourage him to try new things such as this. Who knows, this could be one of his favorite activities when he grows up.

16. Try Ice Skating

Your child may enjoy skating on his rollerblades around the neighborhood. But, what about ice skating this time? Hitting the skating rink is a great option that he can enjoy while you wait outside.

It is even more fun if he wants to go on ice skating with the whole family. Gliding on ice is a cool way to forget any anxiety or stress. Learning how to do ice skating is easy though, once you’re on the rink. Encourage him to try new things. Yet, don’t push him over an idea. Let him decide on his own without putting too much pressure.

17. Call Out Friends for Backyard Soccer Game

Kids playing soccer
Kids playing soccer

Soccer is a very famous game. If your child is into this sport, keep your backyard ready for this option. He may agree with you to call out some of his close friends and play soccer in your backyard.

Be ready with some of their favorite snacks, too. Be creative yet try not to show too much effort as your child may notice it and label you as being “pushy.”

More Fun Ways to Choose From

  • Go biking
  • Get on a family swimming adventure
  • Enroll your child in painting lessons
  • Try Go Karting
  • Plan on a zoo or wildlife tour
  • Go for Virtual Reality adventures
  • Get music or dance lessons
  • Try going fishing/boating
  • Try creating his very first YouTube video
  • Get into a sport-themed bouncy castle or trampoline experience


Having kids who don’t want a party in any stage of development is normal. You just have to know the reasons behind the dilemma. At some point, they may have their own personal reasons that only you as parents can handle and untangle the issues behind your child’s decisions.

If shyness is a problem, encourage him to be more outgoing with all the suggested options here. Or you may seek professional help while your child is young to avoid future complications.

Girls playing with balloons

Related Questions

  • What should you do if nobody shows up at your child’s birthday party?

The situation could be really embarrassing. Yet, this happened to many people of various ages across the globe. As some say, just charge it to experience. Move on as your family is always there to help you out whenever bad days come.

  • What is the real meaning of “no gifts please” at birthday parties?

The “no gifts please” policy is actually confusing. This contemporary birthday custom is not yet clear at all in different cultures. This is the very reason why host parents should clarify in their kid’s party invitation what they really mean about it. 

Ideas For Kids Parties is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc.

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