P&K How To: How To Plan a Birthday Party
By Leah Kackley
Some folks are geniuses at party planning. Some are woefully inadequate (raising my hand here!). But all parents are likely to have to plan one at some point. To get the best advice, I went to Emily Myers Garner who has made a career out of event planning because of her immense talent with it. So, are ARE YOU READY TO (plan the) PARTY? Here are her tips:
1 Pick a Theme
What is on your child’s current “favorites” list? If he loves animals, consider a party at your local zoo. If he loves baseball, consider taking him and a few of his friends to a local ballpark. Another option is to plan an “active” party. Think karate, gymnastics, ballet, cheer.
2 Who to Invite
During the school year, invite classmates. Summer birthdays leave you more leeway. Include only boys OR girls to limit the party size. Another option is to limit the number of guests to the child’s age. For example, if your son is turning 9, he can invite 9 friends.
3 Make the Size Appropriate
See above. If the party is big and you still haven’t invited family, consider hosting a special birthday dinner in your home just for them. It allows for quality time with older relatives and can be better for the relatives as well. It can be as simple as having a pizza and popcorn-fueled Movie Night!
4 Budget Hacks
What’s most important? Cake? Activity? Location? Decrease costs that aren’t the priority and focus on the Focus. Creative hacks include purchasing a large sheet cake from the grocery store and personalizing it at home – let your child help! Combine the activity and the party favor. Limit food and beverage by not hosting the party around a meal time, or make the food and beverage the actual party! (Think ice cream sundae party.)
Last minute things for the checklist include birthday candles, cake knife and lighter. Check the guest list for food allergies. Get help from family and friends! And Emily sums it all up by reminding us that it’s just a two-hour party. Relax and Have Fun!