If you are a parent, you may be facing the dilemma of how, where and when to have your child’s birthday party – even if their birthday is not for several months! While just a few years ago birthday parties involved a few presents, simple games and some cake cutting, today’s birthday parties seem to rival full-scale Broadway productions complete with entertainers, bouncers, gourmet food, face painting, cakes with fireworks and all other sorts of expensive add-ons. However, the good news is that by carefully choosing a theme and carrying it all the way through your party, you too can have a creative, cost efficient and simple party that will be as memorable as a full-scale extravaganza.
Here is what you need to know about how to make a fabulous birthday party with a simple theme:
• Host a garden party – While the typical garden party may remind you of ladies in big hats sipping tea, this is a different kind of garden party. Lots of kids love to dig in the dirt so why not carry the theme all the way through. Have a small terra cotta pot for each child along with an assortment of seeds. Have planting the seeds as the main activity, then allow the kids to take them home their pot and planted seeds as a party favor. Play games outside and include a treasure hunt to run off some energy. Instead of serving a full meal, why not try dirt with worms? Fill small clean terra cotta pots or bowls with chocolate pudding, crumble Oreo cookies on top and decorate with gummy worms. Kids love this dessert. If you are feeling really brave, let them assemble the treat themselves! While they may not be quite as clean as when they arrived, they will go home happy with lots of fun memories!
• Host a party at the park – One of the best things about kids is that they are so happy with so little. Instead of stressing out about games and activities why not just load up everyone and go to the park for the party? The kids will love being able to run and climb on the playground equipment. Keep in mind that if the park is big you may want an extra set or two of adult eyes. You can also pick up fast food kids meals or serve simple snacks at the park. Forgo birthday cake and just bring a box of cupcakes for the singing of “Happy Birthday”. The best thing about this party is while the kids love it there is little to no mess, no worry about decorating, though you can bring a few balloons if you want, and very little expense involved and everyone has a great deal of fun!
• Let someone else do the work – Sometimes the simplest and the best party is just to let someone else do all the work. Today there are several venues from children’s museums and skating rinks to indoor playgrounds and sports venues that will do the entire birthday party for you. You can pick a place that your child loves to go to and then have their party there. All you do is provide a list of the guests and your check. It is important to keep in mind that most of these venues do charge per guest and do require a minimum number. However, the best part of this is that they take care of all the details from sending the invitations and providing a decorated party room to leading activities and games and serving the food; an added bonus: they clean up the mess. This way you can just write a check and then sit back and enjoy your child’s party. What could be simpler?
No matter which path you choose en route to planning your child’s birthday party, remember that this is your child and it’s your budget so do the best you can afford to do, if that’s what you want to do, without violating your budget. As well, remember that children are fine with simple, easy and fun stuff and the party is for them, not to impress their parents. Most importantly, relax.