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Top Tips: Planning a Kid's Party

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Planning a party can be a stressful business! The Parties area on our website is one of our busiest sections. We have so many suggestions to take some of the stress out of planning your party. There's a lot to think about so we have put together some top tips to help you consider all the options. 

1. Set a budget
This is probably the most important thing to do. Parties can get out of hand very easily and buying bits and pieces alongside the bigger costs can soon mount up. Decide what your budget is and stick to it. A good way to make the budget stretch is to have a joint party. This works really well for class parties where 

2. Numbers
Are you planning to invite family members and classmates, the whole class, or just sticking to family and friends. Remember that your child may have their own guestlist in mind! The number of guests to consider will have a huge impact on the type of party and the venue you choose.

3. Type of party
There are so many options. Are you planning on a theme? Sticking to a theme can sometimes be difficult so choose something simple like a colour theme, a hobby or interest like a favourite character/movie, gaming, transport, animals etc.

Party at home - consider if your home can accommodate the number of guests and then decide if you will be planning activities and games or if you will be hiring an entertainer. If you have enough outside space you could hire equipment for your garden.

Party in a hall - hiring a hall for your party can be a great idea. It gives so much more space and eliminates any chaos and mess in your own home. Halls are a great choice if you want to hire entertainers or inflatables. Click here for our list of venues to hire.

Party at a venue - there are literally dozens of ideas which can be tailored to suit your child's interests. Here are just a few to spark your imagination...

  • Football or sports party
  • Mini golf
  • Swimming pool hire/party
  • Gaming venue or gaming bus
  • Trampoline park
  • Climbing wall
  • Cinema party
  • Bowling party
  • Gymnastics/dance party
  • Pony riding party
  • Nerf party
  • Laser quest
  • Escape rooms
  • Soft play
  • Ice skating
  • Outdoor activity centres - assault courses, archery, woodland skills etc
  • Open farms
  • Karting
  • Pamper and spa party

Click here for a list of venues with activities local to Romford.

When thinking about venues, whether it's a hall or a leisure facility there are things to consider.

  • Parking
  • Adequate toilet facilities and baby changing
  • Access for wheelchairs/pushchairs
  • Space for pushchairs to be left
  • Kitchen facilities - of you are preparing your own food you may need a kitchen area with fridge/drinking water 
  • Access prior to the party to set up/time to clear up afterwards if required
  • Consider if you have sole use of the venue or sharing with the general public

As an alternative to a party your child could choose a couple of special friends to take on a day trip somewhere special like a theme park, a day at the beach or a theatre trip.

4. Date & Time
Check your diary for the best date for your party. It's wise to avoid public holidays as many of the guests may be away with family or have other plans. Also when considering the time, think about your own family needs - do you have a baby with a daytime sleep routine for example?

5. Quotes
Start contacting venues or entertainers and getting quotes as soon as possible - remember you have a budget to stick to!

6. Get booking!
Book entertainers or equipment as soon as you have dates in mind. This is big business and many entertainers are taking bookings months in advance. Many will secure bookings with a deposit. Click here for a list of local entertainers and activity hire.

7. Reminders and lists
Set reminders in your phone/calendar for various tasks - pay the deposit, pay the balance, send out invites, chase RSVPs, buy decorations, plan the food etc etc. Make lists and tick off what you need to do.

8. Invites
Invites don't have to be expensive. You can buy packs of invites to fill in, make something up on the computer if you're talented in that way or if you have booked a certain entertainer or leisure facility they may provide invites as part of the package. Give people plenty of notice about the party and remember to chase up the RSVPs if you don't get them back in time. 

9. Shopping
Buy or order your decorations in good time. If you are ordering a birthday cake or food from a local baker/caterer, don't forget to check availability and book in advance. Remember to stick to the budget! Party bags are a huge pressure for parents to get right but there are so many ways to avoid spending money on 'plastic tat' which ultimately ends up in the bin and can become expensive. Maybe consider seeds to plant, a book, sweet cones, craft packs, a personalised cookie or a bottle of bubble mix. Keep it simple!

10. Food
Check with all the guests if anyone has any allergies or special requests. Think about whether you are ordering in food or preparing it yourself. If you are providing food yourself you have lots of options. A buffet can be time consuming to prepare and you can sometimes be left with a lot of uneaten food. Kids individual food boxes each containing an individual portion of food is another suggestion or you may decide to order in a delivery of pizza or similar form a local take away. For a list of cake makers and food providers, click here.

It's great to get ideas from parties you have previously been invited to but try not to feel pressure to compete or plan something bigger or more exciting. Children are often more than happy with simple ideas and don't notice all the 'extras' - and it's these extras that add up and can blow the budget!

Happy party planning!


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