Kids Birthday Party Ideas
Birthdays galore! Birthdays really are something special. When I think back on my childhood, I can remember practically every birthday and the party celebration that came with it during my younger years. Of course, as I aged the birthdays began to blur together - and now they are certainly overshadowed by the birthday celebrations of my children. But I can really see why us Parents feel the pressure and the sheer joyful desire to make our child's birthday extraordinary. It's for the kids but in many ways it's just as much a celebration for the big people too.
As I chat with friends and parents at the playground or in the preschool parking lot, we all debate over hosting in home birthday parties or the classic off site event at a place specializing in parties. There are pros and cons to both.
Pros for the in-home party:
1. Cost so much less than the steep prices of a chain party center
2. No rush for time
Cons for the in home party: 1. Get ready to invest lots of time and energy to plan a stellar soiree. 2. The house will be a mess after everyone finally leaves!
Pros for an off site party: 1. Everything is arranged for you 2. Basically you just need to show up and are able to host an event with up to 25 kids all under the age of 4 without wrecking your house. Cons for an off site party: 1.The con for an off site event is certainly that you lose the intimate feeling 2. Cost can be very high depending on where you host the party and even where you live in the United States. I hear bounce parties go for close to $1000 in the New York City area whereas in the Philadelphia Suburbs where I live a party for about 20 kids costs $350 or less.
Personally, I'm all for the in home parties. I love the intimacy of having guests in our home to celebrate. And I love that at home parties are not rushed for time and that the host can get creative with themes, cake baking, and games. But yes lots of planning and research is required to really do a great in home party.
I've found a great compromise to the debate between hosting an in home and off site party is to do the following which we've done for the past 2 years. Host a party at home so you maintain the intimate feel of the party but invite in an entertainer for 1 hour. This creates a super activity for the kids and takes the pressure off of Mom too!
The last 3 birthday parties I hosted included an entertainer. Here's what we did:
1.Exotic Animal Show - and it was only $160 for the animal trainer and entertainer to show up at our house with her crates of animals that included a porcupine, hedgehog, boa constrictor and more. The kids loved it! 2. Invite a Princess or other character to attend - It was $200 for "Sleeping Beauty" to come to the party to take photos with the kids, read them a story and sing songs to the children for an hour. 3. Invite a Kids Music Studio Instructor to attend - She charged $100 for an hour of music, instruments and singing with the kids.
Popular National Chains - these are off site and tend to be expensive! 1. Bounce U - the classic moonbounce party 2. Sweet and Sassy - Girls can get their hair and make up done spa style 3. Chuck E. Cheese - pizza and lots of arcade style fun for the kids
Other cute at home ideas include a great theme like Curious George, Fancy Nancy, Strawberry Shortcake, Disney Princess, Cars, Thomas the Train, Diego, or Sesame Street. You can invite a character to attend, bake a cake to go along with the theme, read stories and/or play games that relate to the kids favorite characters too. I've got some creative friends, and they've had a field day with these ideas.
Just to give you a taste of the possibilities, take a peek at these homemade Curious George cupcakes here and here's pictures and ideas for how to throw a Fancy Nancy birthday party.