Pulling off the big birthday party

Two women at party standing by food table smiling

Remember the days when birthdays meant cake and ice cream at home, bringing cupcakes into school, or maybe an outing with a few friends to McDonald’s?

The days the understated birthdays have been replaced by over-the-top celebrations at bouncy gyms, the bowling ally, arcades, our homes with real “princess” entertainment, the horse stables, and every parent’s favorite: Chuck E. Cheese’s.

While these celebrations are a dream for our little ones, one can get pretty frazzled with the planning process. Here are some ways to help it go smoother:

  • Send out the paper invites or Evites 4-6 weeks in advance. Contact anyone who didn’t reply one week before – invitations can go astray or hit Spam boxes, and you never want a little one to feel left out.
  • Make a list one week before, shop the day before the party. If you have a helper or concierge available, send them to Walmart or the dollar store with your list.
  • Skip the junky goody bags and opt for one nice favor like a car, jump rope, ball, hat, certificate for an ice cream scoop. The cheap favors are time-consuming to assemble and are less memorable to the guests.
  • When given the opportunity, have the party anywhere but your house. Try the local park, movie theater, art studio, etc. This means no cleaning and no stress.
  • Send out thank you notes shortly after the party – we like to order photo cards from Shutterfly so there’s less writing and a keepsake for you and the guests.

Looking for more help? Check out this printable checklist: http://www.mamaloveslists.com/uploads/3/8/1/1/3811364/birthday_party_planning_list.doc

Categories: Family

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