Birthday Party Planning

I was looking at my calendar recently, preparing for the summer ahead, and saw the note I made in there about 6 weeks ago to book the room on July 3rd for my son’s next birthday. Consider the details here – it is only now June, so I planned on booking the room back in April – and my son’s birthday is not until the end of September!

However, in today’s cut-throat birthday party planning world, being six months ahead of the game is a requirement. Gone are the “Ms. Manner’s” days of allowing 6 weeks for party planning. And the older kids get, the more elaborate the party required, which means more planning.

Stage One Birthdays - The Home Party
We started our party repertoire with family gatherings, that always turned into large gatherings, but were home based and casual none the less. Someone would contribute this, someone else that, and so on; before you knew it a party was made. At this stage it was more about the adults socializing than the babies / kids. The ratio of adults was larger than kids!
As more friends of the boys became involved, we moved to the world of indoor play spaces, utilizing our local Recreation Centres. The large space of the multipurpose room is perfect for crawling babies and toddlers, with minimal things to get into. It is also great to have a time limit, it keeps things rolling, and is perfect to minimize overstimulation, not only for the birthday person, but the parents of the birthday boy or girl!

Stage 2 - Indoor Playgrounds
We eventually moved to the “indoor playground” once we had a friend base with only a small percentage of babies or toddlers who could get run over. At this point too, we find more parents just want to drop off their child for the party, versus hanging around. Again, the time limit is great, and of course not having the mess to deal with is a nice bonus. The odd time we’ve tried the outdoor park party, and have been lucky enough to have had ok weather! It is the problem though, as much as it’s nice to be outdoors, to have fresh air and ample space for running, I always feel if you are counting on the weather, it’s more than likely NOT going to co-operate!

Family Gathering - Part B of Stage 2
And as grandparents always want to be involved in a birthday, and are rarely interested in hanging around an indoor playground with a group of screaming kids, we usual throw in a family gathering that is much more low-key.

Theme Parties & Attractions
My sons have also attended a spectrum of parties, from parties with insects, parties with themes, parties with scientists, and so on. Another alternative we’ve liked is having a birthday at a large attraction: the birthday person picks one friend, and one location, and we celebrate that way. It’s more focused family fun than the larger party.

Bottom Line
I don’t think they have ever come away unhappy from ANY party though – so for kids, I think it is really more about a PARTY than anything else! That does nothing to ease my stress as an organizer though, who wants nothing more than to make the birthday celebration of one of the people I love most in this world a perfect day for them! Even if I did forget the forks for the birthday cake at my last son’s birthday party – imagine, 14 kids, chocolate cake, and no forks! My son loved it, however, and declared it, “the best birthday ever!”.

Guest Blogger - Kristine Quan, Kristine is a busy and organized mother of two boys who
writes a blog for "Our Kids" Web Site on parenting



  1. I laughed when I read your blog because it was spot on! My oldest daughter just turned 8 and we had a company come to our house to make jewelry with her and her friends. It was one of the easiest and most fun parties we've ever had. Check them out, I think they are Etobicoke based.


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