Let’s Party: Tips for Throwing the Perfect Birthday Celebration

It’s time to party! Whether you love to plan and host gatherings for you and your friends or you are nervous from the thought of planning a party, we know that the process can be overwhelming at times. We want the process to be fun and enjoyable and something that not only your child can look forward to, but you can as well. Let their birthday party be a day to remember with these tips from the party planning experts.


The theme

Start by identifying what kind of party your child would enjoy most. It’s very easy to get caught up in our own motivations when planning a party but at the end of the day it’s all about the kids. If he is old enough, involve him in the planning process. Your child will have more ideas than you think! He can help by choosing the theme, selecting a small favor idea or even helping to bake cupcakes and hang decorations.

The List

The guest list can be a tricky subject. We often find that first birthdays are much larger celebrations than subsequent years. The first birthday tends to be a celebration for the parents having made it through the first (very tiring) year! If you choose to have a large first birthday celebration, the following years can have a much more tailored guest list. If you have large families, think about throwing two simple parties; this will help keep the numbers feeling more intimate. Once a child reaches school age, inviting all classmates (or all boys/girls) is a good way to avoid hurt feelings.

The venue

We all have our strengths, and if party planning is not one of them, don’t be afraid to ask for help and outsource if needed. There is nothing worse than being overwhelmed and unprepared with a house full of 6 year olds! These days, there are endless outside venues that do a fabulous job with organizing kids parties. For a package price you will get use of the venue, entertainment, simple décor, cake, pizza and usually some kind of balloon or favor – all let by a team of eager staff! These types of parties work extremely well because they follow a schedule – eat, play, sing, cake, go home. And there is a set time limit on the party – another great tip. Check with your local Kidville or play space for party options. We also see these types of party packages popping up at cooking schools, art studios and petting zoos.

The details

This is where “party planning stress”
 often rears its ugly head. Spending 30 minutes scanning Pinterest can either leave you inspired or wondering how the heck you’re going to pull this all off. Start with one simple theme or color story and go from there. We often tell clients to create one “focal point” that encompasses the theme and then just color coordinate everything else. A dessert table is a great way to pull this off. If your child loves Mickey, you can order a Mickey themed cake, cookies, etc from your local bakery, and simply use red, yellow and white décor in other spots of the house, with items like balloons, flowers and streamers. Need some help? Our Little Miss Party in a Box is the perfect addition to any colorful party! Everything you need, all in one box.

The Fun

The single most important factor for any kids party is fun. Keeping the birthday boy and his friends entertained is your number one priority. If he loves music, hire a children’s musician to come play his favorite songs…if he loves animals, consider hosting at a petting zoo…and if he loves to pretend, look into an interactive puppet show. Entertainment will be the best money spent at your child’s party.

The Timeline

You’ve planned for months and the big day is finally here. After all of that hard work, take some time celebrating with your child and family. These special days only come once a year so enjoy every moment. Be sure to schedule the party at a time of day that works best for your child. All young children have different nap times so you will not be able to accommodate everyone’s needs, and that’s ok. Once the party is underway, don’t feel like you have to entertain for hours – everyone knows how long their child can last before that dreaded “meltdown.” Putting an end time on your invitation is key in managing the day and keeping everyone happy.

The Food

Choose foods that are easy to serve, enjoy and clean up. Avoid food items that are only good when served very piping hot, and instead lean towards anything that can be enjoyed room temperature like mini sandwiches, individual fruit cups, mac n cheese bites and veggies with dip. We also encourage clients to serve a mix of homemade and store-bought items to help reduce the anxiety of cooking for a crowd. Prep and plate all food in advance, setting it out about 10-15 minutes before guests are due to arrive.

The Favor

A goodie bag is a age-old birthday party tradition but many moms are opting to forgo the idea all together. While kids may love the favors, many parents feel that it’s usually some small trinket that gets played with for a few minutes and then forever stuffed into a drawer. Instead, try giving kids something useful or edible. A personalized snack container, water bottle or towel are all great ideas. Homemade cookies or snacks can absolutely double as a favor. Consider planning a craft activity during the party – the resulting masterpieces can also be a fabulous party favor.




Know your budget

The first thing to do when planning your next child’s birthday is ask yourself, what are you looking to spend? In order to create your child’s dream, without turning a happy occasion into a parent’s nightmare, this is the place to start.

Choosing the Right Venue

Once you have a budget in mind you can begin thinking of what type of space you would like to host your child’s big day! Do you want to host the day at your home or apartment, or perhaps take advantage of one of your favorite kid friendly venues? This will also be dependent on how many guests you would like to have. The home is great for small parties of around 10 children, but more than that you may want to look into renting a venue or party space.


Creating the Dream Day and bringing it to life! This is all about the details. Think about starting with the invitations and then depending on where the event is being held decorating the space and bringing your theme to life. Costumes can also be fun! If you give people notice and guests dress for the theme, you will be surprised how involved both parents and children can be!

Timing, Timing, Timing

Make sure your guests have proper time to Save the Date. Two weeks prior to the event for the smaller parties and for larger events anywhere between 1 to 2 months is ideal.

Party Flow

The day of the event is going to be busy and the day’s schedule is very important. By now, you and your child have spent numerous hours planning the perfect day! We recommend parties lasting about 3 hours. This extra time allows for parents who perhaps have something they need to do while their child is at the party to have ample time, and for the child to have a good amount of time to have fun with their friends and participate in all of the party activities. A party schedule is definitely important so games and activities, along with food and dessert, can be properly enjoyed!





Account For More

Head counts are hard to get right, and it’s not surprising when not all of the kids can make it. However, you may find that a guest wants to bring their sibling, neighbor, etc. Account for 3-4 more kids than have RSVP just to be safe.

Entertain Parents

When we do flower activities for kids, I always make sure to ask if the parents want to get involved. Having their own activity on the side that moms can do with each other and bond as well as with their children is always a good idea.

Switch It Up

Gender stereotypes can limit creativity and stifle expression. Many girls do love princesses, fairies, and the color pink, however just as many want to get their hands dirty, build things, and pretend to be pirates or firefighters. Read unisex books and use coloring books to see what your child is really interested in. Same goes for boys. Not all boys want to have a construction party; many are very artistic and would rather paint a beautiful landscape.


Photo 1 & 2: Raquel Bianca-Untamed Studios