Whether it’s a milestone number, or just a day that marks another year older, birthdays are always special occasions. We have all the ideas and tips to throw a memorable birthday party, serve crowd-pleasing food, and choose the perfect gift. If you’re planning a bash for your child, there are plenty of things to account for—and it can get pretty stressful. Luckily we’ve simplified the process for you. Our at-home birthday party checklist will keep you organized and prepared, plus you can check out all the budget-friendly birthday party ideas for kids that will impress (and save you a buck or two). For adult celebrations, there are some unique ways to decorate a cake, as well as gift ideas for the friend who has just about everything. Plus, if you’re tired of the generic decorations at the store, we have some easy DIY ideas to make the party space worthy of the occasion.

How to Make a Piñata

This super simple DIY piñata—no paper mache required—is sure to make any party that much sweeter.

You’re Invited: Celebrate Julia Child’s 104th Birthday with the Time Inc. Lifestyle Brands

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” –Julia Child

13 Birthday Gifts for Her

More than a dozen unique finds for any woman, whether she’s a friend, mom, girlfriend, or even a coworker.

9 Kids’ Birthday Gifts That Real Simple Editors Swear By

Can’t stand the last-minute hunt for a party present? Stock up on these no-fail picks, and you’ll never have to scramble again.

DIY Cake Toppers for Every Celebration

In celebration of Real Simple’s 15th anniversary, we assembled an assortment of impressive do-it-yourself cake (and cupcake) toppers. These crafty embellishments will make any dessert look so special that party guests will probably ask where you bought them.

24 Creative Goody Bag Ideas

From magic to secret agent, these clever favors correspond to a fun party theme.

5 Party Desserts for Kids

Need a kid-pleasing party centerpiece or a whimsical sweet? Try one of these clever edible creations.