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From the venue and theme to entertainment and food, there’s a lot to consider when planning your child’s birthday party. Check out the tips below to make your party planning process easy and fun.
1. Figure out the budget
Knowing how much you are willing to spend on the party will help keep you on track. Does your little one need to have a party at an event center with 100 of your friends and family, or can you keep it casual at home? Small things add up quickly, especially if you’re booking a venue outside of your home. In terms of the cost, some categories to keep in mind are: number of guests, venue, food/cake, décor, party favors and extras.
2. Decide on a Theme
Themes are one of the most important steps to planning a great party. Once you have chosen your theme, you can begin looking for decorations and begin any DIY projects. Don’t wait until the last minute — starting projects early eliminates stress and knocks things off of your to-do list. Place online orders as soon as possible, since shipping errors happen and items can be out of stock if you wait too long. This also is a good time to plan games and activities to ensure you have what you need and can execute your ideas at your ideal party location.
3. Book it, Fast
Reserve your venue, special entertainment or rentals as soon as you pick a date. You don’t want to miss out on having the ice queen at your snowflake party because you waited too long to book.
4. Determine the Guest List
The theme is set, the venue is booked, now it’s time to put together a guest list and send out invitations. Does your budget allow you to invite extended family members or every classmate? Keep in mind who the party is for when creating your guest list. Consider inviting them with free customizable invitations sent digitally through Facebook, Evite, email or even via text. Paper invitations typically are thrown away after a party, so consider saving the environment (and your wallet) and send them digitally. This also is the time to create a menu and order the food/cake.
5. Go Beyond the Goodie Bag
Most parents (including you) don’t want more stuff — this includes a bunch of random party favors that are bound to get lost. Most parents are happy with their child enjoying the party and having something to eat. If you want to give out party favors, try something different, like edible favors. You can order custom cookies that match the party theme. Sending your friends home with a cupcake or other take-home treat is a sweet idea. Considering doing a craft at your party? These can double as favors. Not the DIY type yourself? Send home a DIY slime recipe and ingredients kit. Other great ideas are Play-Doh packs, Lego packs, coloring books or books. Reusable bags are a great way to package your items; you usually can find them on sale, plus they are an extra gift for your guests to keep.
6. Don’t Forget the Details
Let’s face it, even the most seasoned party planner is stressed on the day of the big event. Have a list of items you will need for the day: camera, candles, lighter, ice, helium balloons, food, drinks, party favors, etc. Include things that often get left behind or forgotten. With a list, you’ll be able to stay organized and have the best party ever.
— Submitted by Make Believe Family Fun Center, 8303 Day Drive, Parma. 440-385-5500, makebelieveparma.com