You’ve probably heard all the bad nightmare stories… the ones about the birthday parties that parents are forced to throw and where things go wrong. The stories about the birthday party that you have to throw not just for your child, but for the 20 classmates they invite… and by extension their parents. There are the last minute inquiries for bouncy castles or play areas, where you have to book at least what seems like a month in advance; a minute less and it seems nowhere is prepared. Calculating the amount of food you have to feed the horde – because by now it isn’t the guests, it’s the horde – trying to remember who RSVP’d, who didn’t… it’s all a complication of what seems should just be a small, friendly event.
So what can you do to keep it as a small, friendly event? To save cost and, let’s face it, keep it as hassle-free as possible? Consider the following to avoid one of those having one of those infamous parties yourself:
The Grand Hall (AKA Venue)
Whether you’re hiring a venue or having it in your backyard, it all comes with pros and cons. Having the venue means some sort of activity you’ll have to spring for, but generally means less food to prepare (a cake and some party favours might be sufficient). The latter means no venue cost… but might need a full on spread to satisfy the guests since there’s no real departure time. Travel there and back will have to be organised too between fellow parents. Weather too, must be considered if you’re hosting something outside: sadly in the UK this is an all-too-real threat to that lovely little party you planned to have in your garden.
The Band (AKA Entertainment)
For a less stressful party, ensure it’s something that can either be prepared in advance, such as baking cupcakes that can be iced later by the children for a tea party, or hire a professional service that will have staff that are adequately trained for such an event. If you have the space, Go-Kart Party is a good choice for something that isn’t gender-divisive, active, and different enough to the regular old bouncy castles. Even better, they will come to you and sort themselves out without you having to lift a finger.
The Banquet (AKA Grub)
A birthday cake will probably take the centre stage. Whether you provide the accompanying feast is up to you and your generosity, but if you choose to, customisable food such as pizza or cupcakes can also double up as entertainment as well as feeding the horde.
Party Favours (AKA Party Favours)
Or also known as the goody bag. If you do choose to give them out, a clever move is to serve the slice of birthday cake in the party bag for the child to take home. Add other little treats such as chocolate coins, a sheet of stickers, or crayons for an extra bonus.
Disclosure: Bought to you with Go Kart.