Even on a licorice string budget, you’ll make your child’s birthday the sweetest day of the year with a Sweet Shoppe party! Our easy-to-follow tips outline everything you need to know about lowering costs on invitations, decorations, food and favors. We even have free printable games and activities that will entertain your party guests for hours!
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Planning & Invitations
What Do I Need For the Party?
No need to buy a bunch of expensive, name brand candy for your Sweet Shoppe birthday party. Here are some easy alternatives that will fill your party with smiles, without empting your wallet.
- Marshmallows are inexpensive and great for making s’mores or chocolate covered marshmallows on a stick. If your party is outdoors, they make a great dessert when heated over a campfire. You can even have contests with marshmallows to see who can toss the most into a basket!
- Bake your own treats like mini cupcakes, cookies, brownies and cinnamon buns. Serve some at the party and wrap a few in cellophane for your guests to take home as favors.
- Serve milkshakes, root beer floats or ice cream sodas.
- Pop your own popcorn and sprinkle it lightly with cinnamon and powdered sugar to create a yummy treat. You can also use popcorn to make garlands by threading string through the snack.
- If you only need are few specialty candies, purchase a few sweets individually from a local store.
Even the smallest treat can excite a child! Include something special with your Sweet Shoppe party invitations to get guests ready for the event.
- Hand-deliver invitations wrapped around a 1.55 oz candy bar. To make your own wrapper, use image software to create a 5.25 x 5.5 design. Include the party’s date, time, place and R.S.V.P. information on the wrapper. Print out your design and wrap it around the foil-covered candy bar. Secure each wrapper with clear tape.
- Attach your invitation to a lollipop. Punch a small hole in the corner of each invitation and attach it to the lollipop with a bright-colored piece of ribbon.
- To ease expenses, have your child draw a picture of their favorite candy. Scan the design using imaging software and add the design and party details to the invitation. Be sure to include the text “This party’s gonna be sweet!” Print out enough copies for all of your guests.
Pressed for time but still want a personalized touch? Try our personalized Summer Treats party invitations, which will include your child’s name and all of the party details.
Create a vibrant atmosphere for your Sweet Shoppe party with decorations inspired by candy colors, patterns and labels.
- Use a rainbow assortment of solid colored paperware, cutlery, balloons and streamers to decorate the party table.
- Use construction paper to create candy shapes to use as wall decorations.
- Line the walkway to the party with fake lollipops! Create your own by taping a colored paper plate to a wooden dowel. Then, wrap the plate in decorative cellophane and tie it closed with a pretty ribbon.
- Make your own garland by stringing rainbow cereal, such as Froot Loops, on long pieces of string.
- Arrange a rainbow colored assortment of licorice sticks in cups on the table. Have the children bite off each end and use the licorice as straws!
- Instead of using bowls, fill glass jars or vases with colorful candies such as jelly beans, M&Ms, hard candy and butter creams.
- Create a banner that reads “I Scream for Ice Cream!” Use long craft paper, markers and ice cream stickers.
Kids need to eat more than candy and ice cream at your party! Here are some creative ways to save money on party food.
- Make your own pizza instead of ordering carry out. Cut a large pizza into small slices for your guests, or make mini pizzas. Party guests can add their own toppings before you bake them.
- Have a barbecue and serve hot dogs and hamburgers in smaller portions on buns. Form smaller hamburger patties into sliders and serve hot dogs sliced in half. By serving smaller portions, less food is wasted. Guests who want more food can help themselves and guests who aren’t will be fine with half portions.
- Serve a variety of sandwiches and cut them into quarters. Peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese make great finger sandwiches for children.
- Have guests decorate their own pre-frosted cupcakes with M&Ms, jelly beans and other colorful candy.
- For the cake, cut costs by serving donuts and arranging them in the shape of a pyramid. Start with large donuts and layer with smaller ones to fit every appetite. Add a scoop of ice cream on top of each plated donut for the ultimate sugary treat!
Party Favor Ideas
Make your own favors for your Sweet Shoppe party or find inexpensive alternatives that will send your guests home happy. Here are some suggestions that will end your party on a sweet note!
- Create custom candy bar wrappers that read: “Thanks for being such a sweet friend!”
- Label swirl lollipops with personalized thank you stickers.
- Include unique themed favors like edible sand art, candy necklaces, ice cream bubbles and popsicle pencils.
- Add mini puzzles or sticker books to each of your favor bags.
- If you have extra candy or sweets when the party is over, wrap them in individual cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon.
- A toothbrush and mini toothpaste
More Birthday Theme Ideas
Browse our list of over 130 themed party guides to find tips for your child’s next birthday! Each guide includes ideas for invitations, decorations, food, favors, games and more.
Games and Activities
Get ready to win with the sweetest game of bingo you’ve ever seen!
Children go on a scavenger hunt for yummy snacks!
Guests color and decorate their own ice cream cone wrappers using our free printable templates.
Here’s a list of fun games you can play with just jelly beans!
See who can go the longest without snickering!
Make jewelry from licorice strings, round candies, and cereal.
Fill a bottle with colorful layers of candy “sand” then eat it!
Hand out this free coloring page at your party.
With just three types of candy, your guests can build their own candy airplane!
Players pass cones filled with water down a line until their team’s glass is full.