Birthdays can be among the most memorable occasions in any child’s life. The fun, excitement, friendship and anticipation that comes with each birthday party gives parents opportunities every year to remind their children just how much they love them. As each year of childhood seemingly passes by more quickly than the last from the perspective of parents, it’s important to make those memories while you still can.
Any parent knows that the task of planning a big and exciting birthday party can be an absolute logistical nightmare. From handling the invitations to securing the venue; from picking the right activities to grabbing the best gifts, it’s an absolute chore. Sometimes, there are limitations on how big of a party you can throw – or where you can throw it.
This sometimes means you have to get creative with the party’s elements, depending on what your kid may want or what your budget dictates. Today, I’ll walk you through some of the basics of throwing the best birthday party for your kid – regardless of the venue!
Low-Cost and Flexible Venues
Depending on the crowd size, specific activities planned and preferences of your child, you may need to think a bit outside of the box for your next planned birthday party. Finding the right choice is essential in making the rest of the party come together. Let’s look at some choices that’ll give you the flexibility you need and the cost savings you prefer.
Outdoor venues like public parks are one of the best choices in theory for a child’s birthday party. For starters, you won’t have to worry about spills or messes causing you to lose a security deposit. The vast space provided also makes sure that you can invite as few or as many of your child’s friends and family members as you wish.
Many parks feature a variety of amenities to make the party execution simple. These amenities include restrooms, covered pavilions (in the case of inclement weather), playgrounds, pools and trash cans.
Perhaps a public park’s biggest amenity – wide open spaces – gives you the ability to start from scratch when fleshing out birthday theme ideas. From athletic games to large inflatable playground additions, you’ll have the opportunity to make any birthday party the absolute best.
The downsides to hosting a birthday in a public park might be obvious to some. First of all, those with birthdays in the winter months might not be able to enjoy an outdoor birthday party. Another concern is bad weather – even for those with covered pavilions and the like, bad weather in a public park setting will drastically hamper any birthday party plans.
It’s also worth noting that there may be increased risk of injury at outdoor birthday parties. According to one Baton Rouge lawyer I talked to, liability for injury – even in public spaces – can sometimes fall on the party planner, so make sure you take steps to ensure you’re not held liable for injury or damages.
If you want to keep an eye out for bigger “blank slate” venues that allow you to transform it for the perfect birthday party experience, then you’ll want to look at rental halls. Commonly used for events such as birthday parties, weddings, and other large family get-togethers, rental halls provide you with most of the flexibility of an outdoor park with virtually none of the disadvantages.
You’ll be able to buy all the decorations you like and adorn the place as you see fit – some rental halls will even handle this for you (for a price). In a lot of cases, preparing the food is a whole lot simpler, as these halls often have caterers who can arrange whatever you need in terms of cake, desserts or actual meals. Tables, chairs and everything else you’d expect for a birthday party is usually on-site as well.
As far as potential disadvantages, there are a few. For starters, the benefits of an outdoor birthday party don’t apply here, meaning you’ll be constrained to some degree. Another consideration is price: rental hall quotes can get expensive quickly when factoring in all the amenities such as food, silverware, and more. Many also require a deposit, which can make the actual birthday party itself a very stressful event as you fret over every little spill or mishap.
Pricier Venue Options
If money isn’t necessarily a limiting factor in planning your child’s next birthday party, then you may be able to spare some of the stress associated with the planning process. Likewise, you can get a bit more creative and interactive with the birthday party’s theme and offerings if you’re able to pay more. I’ll lay out a few great examples of pricier birthday party options below:
Minimizing as much of the entertainment planning process as possible for any birthday party is a smart move. Planning your child’s next birthday party at the movie theatre is one sure-fire way to guarantee an awesome party with minimal legwork.
While the cost of a movie ticket isn’t cheap, many movie theatres offer birthday party packages that can help reduce the overall cost per guest. In many cases, this includes snacks and beverages, making it easy to reduce your overall costs for throwing the party.
Some of the downsides of holding a birthday party at a movie theatre may be deal-breakers. One problem is the venue itself: it’s not exactly a place where gifts can be easily opened, or cake can be served. This makes it more effective at being one part of the birthday party itself, with other activities behind held elsewhere.
Indoor Playgrounds and Museums
Taking the birthday party to a larger, indoor venue with natural festivities and entertainment for the kids is a sure-fire way to simplify the birthday party planning process. You probably have at least one indoor playground facility or interactive museum nearby that can host such an affair.
Child-themed museums and science-focused venues can be great venues for birthday parties due to the high number of activities they provide. Many offer interactive exhibits where kids can roll up their sleeves and interact with nature, explore history, delve deep into the mysteries of the ancient past and explore new horizons in space and beyond.
Even though many playgrounds and science centers offer birthday party packages, they’re bound to be expensive if they’re providing anything extra. Many are very mobile adventures and may not be ideal for children who have limited mobility or health issues.
Is your child into sports? Do they have a favorite sport they play? If so, you might want to consider holding a birthday party at a sports venue during an upcoming game.
Depending on the exact sport and venue, it may be easy to host a birthday party at a major stadium or nearby. You can even mix and match: have a pre-game celebration where gifts are opened and food is eaten, and then head over for an epic baseball, soccer or football match.
In general, this is one type of birthday party gathering where the parents can kick back and relax; since the game itself is the event, all the kids will be more likely to stay still, and that requires minimal supervision.
Tickets to any major sports event generally tend to be pricey, so you may have to restrict who gets to come to the birthday party depending on your exact budget. Ultimately, not everybody may find enjoyment in a sports game or activity, so this could also be a bit alienating to some of your child’s friends.
What better place to enjoy loads of entertainment than at a theme park? Bridging the gap between the benefits of outdoor venues and the all-encompassing fun of others, taking your kid and their friends to a nearby theme park can be quite the birthday to remember.
The great thing about theme parks is that they offer fun in so many formats – everybody is bound to find something they enjoy doing. From scary rides to fun games, you’ll have no trouble at all pleasing even the pickiest of people.
A birthday party at a theme park can often be arranged through the park itself, who will provide you with a space to hold the formal gathering. However, venturing around the theme park may prove to be a bit of a logistical hurdle; supervision will be needed for younger kids, and even for those a bit older, such big venues can lead to scary moments where you lose track of one or more people.
In the end, holding a birthday at a theme park may be one of the more expensive venue options on our list. Once you account for entry, food and supplies, and any extra spending money for the kids, you’re easily talking more than $50 per guest.
I hope these venue ideas have given you some new possibilities to consider for your kid’s next birthday party. Do you have any recommendations to fellow moms for where they can hold future parties? If so, leave a comment below and tell us about the experience!