Birthday Party Ideas & Tips
Is this your first time planning a birthday party or hiring an entertainer? We can help. We've performed at around 10,000 shows since 2002. We've got the ideas and experience to make your birthday party a success.
We usually recommend starting to plan your party at least 2-3 weeks in advance, or 4-5 weeks if you're feeling super organized. That is generally enough time to be sure that you get your first choice of entertainer, bounce house, or character, and so that your guests have plenty of time to "save the date" so that you get a great guest turnout.
If you are planning a party on short notice, consider having your party on a weekday. Weekday parties can often mean more entertainer and guest availability, and an after-school party is often easier than you think for kids to attend. During the busiest birthday party seasons (spring and fall), a weekday party may mean you don't need to compete with your birthday childs' friends for that prime 1:00 Saturday time slot.
Most kid's parties occur between 10:30 am and 6:00 pm. When planning the timing for your party, think about whether you'd like to serve lunch or dinner to your guests, or just stick with afternoon snacks – that will really help you decide what time will work best for you. Also don't forget to take into account that small children often nap during the day – don't plan your party right at nap time (or you might end up with some cranky guests!)
Here's a sample timeline of a typical, successful birthday party:
If you're planning a fire or light show, we recommend an evening party. Fire and lights are both much more spectacular in the dark! Check out our Sunset Clock to find out what time it will be dark on the day of your event.
Most parties we attend are in the host's home or backyard. Lots of people turn their garage into a party room for the day, and living rooms (with the coffee table pushed out of the way) also work great for parties with less than 15 kids.
We have also done parties at community centers, dance schools, tea houses, apartment complex rec centers, kid-friendly museums, pizza places and lots of other locations. When the weather is nice, picnic areas at local parks work wonderfully. If you are having trouble finding a location for your party in your area, ask us and we can tell you what venues we've been to in your city.
If you decide to have your party during lunch time or dinner time, make sure that you have some sort of meal for the guests. With all of this activity, they are bound to get hungry. If you find that your party falls between lunch time and dinner, than it's best to have lots of finger foods around so the kids and adults can eat when they get hungry, instead of sitting down to a formal meal. It also helps the party stay active.
Some great ideas for finger foods:
There are many beautiful commercially made cakes available, but if you want something a little more personal (or a little less messy), cupcakes are a great alternative. Cupcakes are very popular at kid's parties because they are small enough for the kids to hold and they have less sugar than a large piece of cake.
One fun idea is to bake the cupcakes inside ice-cream cones instead of cupcake wrappers. The kids love these and can eat them easily with fingers – no plates or forks required!
The best time to serve cake and ice cream is near the end of the party, so your guests don't "sugar-crash" halfway through. Or if you choose to have a tea party as part of your party package, you can serve dessert then, that way all of the kids are already sitting down. And what's a tea party without dessert?
If you do not consider yourself a chef, or just don't feel like cooking, then make a quick run to a wholesale grocery store to pick up some pre-made food trays. They are already made for you and are also in a reasonable price range.
We usually recommend our entertainers to arrive 30 minutes to an hour after the official party start time just so we can make sure that all the guests have arrived. We wouldn't want any of the kids to miss the show just becasue they weren't there exactly at the start time! Also, giving your guests time to "settle in" to the party before the entertainer arrives is a good way to keep them from feeling overwhelmed - it's exciting to meet "the real Cinderella" and it's easier and more fun for everyone involved if the kids are relaxed.
Affer your entertainer has done her show and if you feel that she has done a great job, then feel free to tip her if you choose. Tips are always welcome but not mandatory. The "standard" tip amount is 15-20%, just like at a restaurant.
Feel free to contact us with
any other quetsions you might have! We do a lot of parties and are more
than happy to share our experience with you!