While cake and ice cream paired with a game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey used to be the perfect birthday party 30 years ago, it’s clear from a quick search of the Internet that kids’ birthday parties have become way more elaborate. Having a party at a kid-friendly venue—a salon, gym or a favorite restaurant—is much easier than having one at home. However, most kids have a blast no matter the party location. Parents often choose to throw a party outside their home because it’s nice to just show up and have fun with everyone else, without having to worry about any details.
Whether you’re taking your daughter’s friends for a day at a salon, your son’s friends to climb a rock wall or you’re having a party at home, the most important thing is that everyone has a great time. To really make a memorable experience for everyone involved entertainment is key. Why not rent something that will set your child’s party apart from the average shindig? Party stores all across the country specialize in providing exciting accessories that will make your child’s party stand out above the rest.
Inflatable bouncers are an instant hit. The multi-colored, and often quite large, objects are like a beacon that signals a good time. Inflatable bouncers come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from medieval castles that kids crawl inside of and hop around in, to Velcro walls where kids can jump high and stick to the wall in midair, to giant slides they can climb to the top of and bounce and slide their way down to the bottom. Party stores have a wide variety of options.
Carnival games are also fun. Bringing some of these activities to your home can make a birthday party a big success. Rented carnival games range from beanbag tosses to throwing a football through a hoop, to a fish bowl toss, skee ball and much more. There are many ways to make your child’s party memorable. Here are some more party tips:
Ask your child what’s important to him/her. While you can’t get your child a real unicorn, you can fulfill some wishes. If your child wants to dance with her friends, you can make that happen. Have a theme. If your daughter loves princesses, have a princess party. If your son loves Bob the Builder, make that your theme. You can look on the Internet to find things that pertain to your theme. You will be able to find ideas for birthday cakes, games, logos, decorating ideas, etc. Choosing a theme makes decorating, games, and even the food a snap. No matter what your theme is, have balloons. Kids of all ages love to play with balloons.
Outsource when you can. This saves stress, time and a mental breakdown. Hire an entertainer. Kids love magicians, costumed characters and some even like clowns. Ask other parents to suggests entertainers. Also, while it’s lovely to cook food for the party and bake a cake for your child, when you’re having twenty kids and parents, it’s much easier to buy the food and the cake. You can find great caterers that make platters, finger foods and, of course, pizza. If you don’t want to buy a boring cake, there are cake specialists that will design one for your child.
Rent a karaoke machine. Karaoke machines entertain people of all ages. You can rent just the machine or hire a DJ who will come to the party and spin the tunes as well as encourage shy children to sing and dance.
Have a back-up plan. Even when you plan every detail down to the most miniscule, things can go wrong. Entertainers can be delayed. So, have party games ready, just in case. The old standards, like musical chairs and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey are still fun. Little ones love to dance and play statues. Have a CD of children’s tunes on standby.
Take pictures. Your child will never be this age again, so be sure to take lots of pictures. Although you think you’ll remember your child’s parties forever, somehow they all become a blur by the time your kids are grown.
Don’t aim for perfection. The party doesn’t need to be perfect. As long as your child and his/her friends are happy, that’s all that matters.
Have fun. Take some time to watch your child. It’s his/her special day. Talk to parents, enjoy some cake, and take a few minutes to relax.
Parties at Outside Venues
There are many venues in Brooklyn that will be happy to throw the party of your child’s dreams. Many of the same tips hold true for outside venues, as for home parties. Take lots of pictures and have fun.
Once you’ve decided not to have the party at home, it’s time to decide where to have it. Any bouncy venue will be a success. Preschoolers and young school-age kids love gym parties, where they can run, tumble, bounce and jump. You get to sit back, relax and watch and by the end of the party, the kids will be so tuckered out, their parents will thank you!
Kids love places with rock climbing walls and trampolines, as well as piñatas, face painting, magic shows and ball pits. Ice-skating, basketball and soccer parties are great for little athletes and miniature golf is still a favorite.
There are several indoor playgrounds that make fabulous parties. With crawl tubes, slides, tunnels and web bridges, kids can romp until they drop.
Older girls love spa days, where they take a couple of their closest friends to a salon to get a mani/pedi and new hairdo. And while laser tag parties are very 1980s, boys still love them.
Be sure to check with the venue to find out what’s included. Many supply invitations, paper goods and balloons.
Finally, your daughter may want to have a good old fashioned slumber party. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. All you have to do is decorate the house with balloons, streamers and happy birthday signs and have delicious food and lots of snacks. When everyone has arrived, serve dinner, then let the girls talk, watch TV or a couple of DVDs, braid each other’s hair or polish each other’s nails. As long as there’s lots of party food, the girls should be able to occupy themselves all night long. If you still hear them talking late into the night, don’t worry—it’s a slumber party! They’ll probably fall asleep sometime. When they wake up, serve them a delicious breakfast, then when they’re leaving, give each a party bag full of small candies, gum, hair accessories, and stickers. Your daughter and her friends will be talking about the party for a long time to come!