There are many alternative venues available now for children’s parties. Here are a few ideas:
At home – The simple back yard party. A great venue for generations and perhaps one of the most popular of venues. Some great advantages are that you can decorate well in advance and all of your catering needs are available. This is all well and good until it rains, so you will need to make sure that you can move the party inside or at least postpone for another day.
In the park – Once again a great venue unless it’s raining. You will need to have a wet weather alternative planned and also a contact plan to ensure that everyone knows just what is going on. Try to choose a park that is fully enclosed to prevent toddlers from getting away and preferably one that has toilets nearby. Just remember, you may need to take all your rubbish away with you, especially any balloons.
Restaurant play areas – Many restaurants these days cater for children and kids have so much fun there that often they request to have their birthday party there. Great! You can sit and enjoy your meal and any parent who wishes to stay can join you. As long as you arrange with the restaurant in advance, you can have a kids’ party that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, since you won’t have to hire the equipment or venue. For a party of up to 10 children this is a good and relatively cheap option – but remember that you will still fork out the money for eating there.
Party centre – These take the stress out of planning and hosting a party. Most are hosted by one or two entertainers who engage the children in dancing and games suitable for their age and also provide an area for party food. Phone ahead / or speak to them beforehand to find out if you could do any or all of your own catering. Most of the Party Centres will have a minimum number of children.
Entertainers – You can organise for an entertainer to come to your home or party venue. They may just perform a set routine or they may engage the children in activities and games. Be aware that for some children clowns and other larger than life characters can be very frightening. Make sure that your chosen entertainer understands your expectations for the big day.
Hiring equipment – Toy libraries are a great resource for a party and inexpensive. By having an assortment of “bigger” toys, such as cars and bikes, you prevent fighting. If you go down the path of hiring a “Jumpy Castle” or similar make sure that you have adequate supervision at all times and preferably someone on hand who is trained in First Aid. Accidents are never far away.
For more information see Kids and animals or Parenting.