10 Tips For Your Child’s Birthday Party

10 Tips For Your Child’s Birthday Party

Planning a birthday party? As a balloon artist I have been to an incredible number of children’s birthday parties over the years. Here are a few tips I came up with to help make your child’s next birthday party a hit!

1. What is your budget?

This is a good place to start. Expenses for your birthday party can add up quickly! That’s why it’s important to first start with your budget. How much do you really want to spend? And where do you want to spend your money?

Do you want a giant ice sculpture? Probably not. But you will definitely want to factor in food, drinks, decorations, and all the other things that are important to you and your child.

2. Where will your party be?

The next thing to consider is where you will be hosting your birthday party. You can save money by having the event at your home, but then you are in charge of setup and cleaning up.

You can also rent a space for the party. There are a ton of wonderful kid-gyms, play-areas, and many other venues to choose from but they all cost money and vary in pricing.

If you don’t want to be in charge of cleaning up and setting up, or don’t have housekeepers, I would recommend an all inclusive event package from your child’s favorite kid’s play place. You can pick and choose a birthday party package that best suits your needs.

If you’re in Los Angeles I like The Coop, Robertson Art Space, Camelot Kids, and Giggle’s & Hugs.

Wherever you host your child’s birthday party just make sure it suits you and your family’s needs and fit’s within your budget.

3. How long will your party be?

I would definitely recommend putting an end time on your invitation, especially if you are hosting the party at your home. How many times have you hosted a party and thought “Okay when is Aunt Jeanine going to leave? It’s been 5 hours. And I can’t anymore.”

If you are hosting your birthday party at a space you rented most likely you rented it for a set amount of time. If you go over that time you could be charged a fee.

Kid’s play spaces can be very strict about getting everyone out at your end time. Sometimes they can be quite aggressive and I would recommend leaving a little bit of extra time on either end of your party for your arrival and guests departure.

4. How many guests will you invite?

This goes back to budget as well. The bigger your guest count the more food, entertainment, and space you will need.

Do you want to just invite your child’s closest friends or are parents pressuring you to invite your child’s entire class? Just remember they have brothers and sisters and parents (and maybe nannies) as well.

What makes you and your child the happiest? That’s what I would do.

5. The theme question

Many people get way too obsessed over a theme. It is okay to just throw a birthday party.

Many parents have called me and said that their parent-friend-group were all wondering what their theme is. “Wait! You don’t have a theme?” “How can you have a birthday party with no theme?” “What kind of parent are you?” I repeat it is okay not to have a theme.

That said, themes can be fun! Pick something you and your child decide on together and realize that it will probably change every day leading up to said-party. Let your child know by Friday we are choosing a theme and sticking to it.

For first birthdays or younger kids I recommend choosing a color scheme and think of a few keywords about how you want the decorations to look and make people feel.

Most importantly, make it fun for you and your family. Or if this whole theme thing isn’t for you, then skip it! Planning the party should be fun or hire a party planner if it’s within your means.

6. Entertainment

Do you want entertainment for your child’s birthday party? If it’s a really small party, I think you can get away with a bounce house, some food and drinks, maybe some games or crafts, and music.

If it’s a medium to large party I would recommend having an activity for the kids. Bounce houses or Jumpers are always a huge hit. So are balloons, face painting (for kids over 2), magic shows, juggling, and bubble shows. Photo booths can also be a great for large parties as well.

If it’s not a huge party you can probably select one form of entertainment. If you have 20 or more kids at least two activities is best. But don’t forget your budget.

As I have worked with a lot of entertainers in my career I have some advice about choosing who will perform at your party: Do your research!

Did your friend Jen just have the most incredible balloon artist at her last birthday party and you loved them? Have you never had entertainment at your party before? Ask your friends for advice, but also look up entertainers on sites like Yelp or even good old fashioned Google.

Big party companies that offer one performer that can do 10 different things are not the way to go because I guarantee you that Princess Ariel cannot do balloons well, face paint well, do any impressive magic, and fun games. Unless she’s a freaking genius. And just know that company is not paying her well. Asking for samples or viewing pictures of the entertainer’s work is a must.

Speaking of paying well, you do get what you pay for. I know that phrase is tired, but it’s true.

I am not the most expensive balloon artist in Los Angeles but as one of my Yelp reviewers said, I am “Worth every penny.” It’s important to know that when you pay someone a rate that isn’t on par with the industry standard you are not going to get a good entertainer.

Quick note about tipping: It’s always appreciated. If your performer did a great job throw them even just a token of your appreciation.

7. Decorations

Choose decorations that coordinate with your theme or color scheme.

You can save money by getting DYI kits or complete packages that coordinate with your party and making it a fun activity that you and your children make together.

What kind of decorations are the most important to you? Are plates where you want to spend your money? Or balloon decorations? The cake is a decoration. Do you want fancy mood lighting? Or a giant backdrop for photos?

Side note: Those plastic table clothes will need tape. Tape them with Gaffe tape or Duct tape if the tables are standard plastic tables. Paper plates will blow away in the wind. Think about putting something small on top so that they don’t end up in your pool.

Choose the right amount of decorations for the size of your birthday party. Decide where to skimp and where to spend. What is the most important to you and your family?

8. Photography

I highly recommend an event photographer if it fits within your budget. If it doesn’t (the pictures won’t be nearly as good, but) hire your nephew and give them a camera and toss them a little money.

Especially, if it’s a first birthday or very memorable birthday you will have those pictures forever and it will be worth the expense twenty years from now when your kids are all grown up.

Photographers will also take pictures of all of your decorations, the cake, all of your guests and family members, so think of the Instagram posts!

In addition, it’s one less thing for you to worry about. Imagine, putting down your phone, having a glass of wine and actually enjoying your kid’s party.

9. Advice on Cake-Time

Do cake a half-hour before you want your guests to leave. People generally believe that after cake it is time to leave, so don’t do cake before the pinata. You also probably want to get those sugar-high-kids outta there before it sets in!

10. What’s most important to you and your child?

I’ll leave you with this. Birthday parties can be big or small, but what will make the most special day for you and your family? That I have no tips for!

See you at the next party!

For more information on The Balloon Guy please visit theballoonguyla.com.

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