How To Make your Kids’ Parties EXTRA!
Parties should be a celebration; a celebration of life, of accomplishments, of others. I love planning events and parties because it is a creative outlet (which brings me joy) and because it brings joy to others. As an experienced event planner, here are my top ten ways to make your parties EXTRA, as in EXTRA special, amazing, and fun and which do not necessarily break the budget:
Hire an event planner:
It will cost a little more to have someone do all the work for you, but you and your family will gain a wonderful EXPERIENCE and you don’t have to stress about it. At. All.
Petting zoos, bounce houses, snow cone machines, cotton candy machines, shaved ice or ice cream trucks, roller coasters, even! Pick one or pick a few, depending on your budget.
Princesses, super heroes, prominent historical figures, singers, dancers, acrobats, balloon artists, face painters, clowns, magicians, caricature artists and much more are available for hire. The great thing about entertainers is that they keep the party, well, entertaining so that you don’t have to.
Location, location, location:
Gather a smaller party of friends and family and Go somewhere COOL! What is your child’s passion? Outer Space? Go to a STAR party at UT (Painter Hall Telescope) or Southwestern University in Georgetown (Fountainwood Observatory). Does your kiddo LOVE cars? Go to the Circuit of the Americas or K-1 Speed Go Kart racing. Do you have a dancer on your hands? Check out the Ballet Austin schedule. Future firefighter in the making? Ask for a personal tour at your local firehouse! Several of these events are free to the public or only require a small donation.
Personalize and customize:
A party is a gift, so make it personal; a generic party is the equivalent of receiving slipper socks for Christmas:
Disappointing. Build on your child’s passion, ask them what they want, and even let them help plan and make decorations for the party. Have a craft day where you and your child make tissue poms, paper flowers, or aluminum foil robots. Ho
w proud will they be when their works of art are on display at their own party?
Transform your party space into the party theme. Sure, a pretty cake table looks nice, but creating a space and creating a feeling or ambience is much more memorable! Turn your house into a jungle safari, dress up like a tiger (Why not?), rent a steam machine and a jungle-critter sound effects C.D. Let your imagination loose!
Involve everyone (parents included):
What parent likes to stand around at a birthday party? Ummm…drawing a blank, here! Nothing is more entertaining to children than seeing their parents be silly! Give props or hats to adults and give them a part they may play (if willing) to fit with the theme of the party (maybe provide light adult beverages for adults); Dodgeball: Kids vs Adults, Talent Show, all party guests welcome!
Have an AMAZING cake and/or dessert:
There are cakes artists who can literally make anything out of cake or cookies. Ask around; perhaps a neighbor, friend or relative has the gift of baking a beautiful, delicious cake or dessert. If your child is not into desserts, make the food more fun. Hire a chef to do an in-house demonstration cooking your kid’s favorite food. Make your own pizza bar, or make your own salad bar or whatever you prefer to serve.
Bring someone special:
Fly in your grandmother or great grandmother for the party; There is nothing better than being with loved ones to celebrate. Nothing.
Make it a long weekend:
Coordinate with your kiddo’s best friend and maybe their family and take a weekend trip to Schlitterbahn, Fiesta Texas, Galveston, Port A, Sea World, Six Flags…maybe even Disney if you’re set for it. Make your yearly family vacation count double as a birthday party—why not?
Making a party EXTRA does not have to cost extra. It is about giving EXTRA care, thought, and attention to make an event special and memorable. The most important thing to any child is love and attention on his or her special day and every day. What they really want is you, and you will always be enough. Sometimes it’s just fun to go big and celebrate, EXTRA!!!!