Kids’ birthday parties can be a massive cost when you least need it. Plus they’re a huge stress! Here are some tips to help you choose what to have where, without losing the will to live…
If you’re booking entertainment, there are several options to go for, depending on how brave you are and your budget.
To save the pennies, home’s the cheapest option… unless you have pale carpets! If the weather’s rubbish and everyone’s indoors, remove anything that’s damageable or might harm excited children. If it’s dry and warm you’re laughing. It doesn’t matter how small the garden is, provided there’s easy kitchen and toilet access it’s the best place for manic children!
Venue with an entertainer
Some venues offer the whole experience, and it definitely makes organising simpler as it kills two birds with one phone call. You may not get the best price here, but the stress and wrinkle saving might be worth it!
Whether it’s your village hall, church facilities or a Guide hut, you’ll have a couple of options wherever you live. The key is to book well in advance and check for size, facilities and parking. The good ones get booked up fast by the mums of your child’s peers – though it’s worth getting recommendations.
This is down to personal choice, but there’s a huge discrepancy in prices. Shop around before you commit.
The plus here is they should engage the children while you sort the party food. If they’re no good the kids will be bored which can be a nightmare, so go by recommendations. Watch the price here too: the best ones are definitely not necessarily the most expensive, and the price can be high.
There’s a range of inflatables available depending on available space, child numbers and your budget. You’ll be more hands-on if you go this route though, to check no-one gets hurt or plays too rough.
Anything from craft activities and teddy bear making to children’s farms and miniature railways will usually offer a party option. The limiter here is you pay per child, but that keeps the cost within your control. Soft-play places will do party bags and food too – you’ll just need to be on hand for toilet trips and nursing bruises! Find out what’s in your area.
A tip here: get these out early, especially if your child’s birthday is near a school holiday. Keep a list of who you send them to so you know who to chase and tick off. State a deadline for responses too, as some parents give infuriatingly short notice!
Many venues issue their own, which they’ll post or you can print from their website. Make sure they send the right amount and that the information is correct.
The lazy option
If you have people’s mobile numbers or email addresses, you can just let people know this way. It’s ideal for pre-school or family parties, where you know everyone already.
If you’ve organised things yourself, you’ll need to do these too. Often buying a supermarket bulk pack works out cheaper than designing and printing your own on the computer – and loads less hassle for us time-strapped mums! Good luck!