There’s nothing more fabulous than a kid’s party. They get *so* excited. Before you dive into the planning process, listen to the pros talk kid party trends and tips. Danielle Lewis of Elegance Assured Events in Chicago, Illinois, Lacy Hooyer and Ruby Young of The Party New York, in New York City, Lindsey Mensch of Lili Marie Parties in Chicago, and Tatiana Segalote of Sweet Party Decorations serving Los Angeles County – all highly rated party planners on Thumbtack – are here to help you make it the best party your kid has ever seen.
What’s the secret to throwing a successful kid’s party?
Keep the kids engaged, says Lindsey. Have a low-key activity ready for kids as they arrive to the party. There will always be late-comers, and this way the guests won’t get antsy waiting for everyone before starting the ‘main events.’ She reminds you that kids are not like adults and won’t spend 30 minutes catching up on who’s doing what when they arrive. They’re five years old, they came to play!
Have a few extra games up your sleeve in case the guests go through activities faster than planned. Lindsey says there’s nothing worse than having 20 antsy 5 year olds staring at you, and you’re stuck like a deer in the headlights.
Feed the adults, urges Danielle. There’s usually pizza and juice for the kids, but the adults are the ones who brought the child to the party (and, let’s be honest, bought your child a gift). Happy adults make a happy party. It’s a kind gesture that will be greatly appreciated.
Avoid writing “No Siblings” on the invite, is another great tip from Danielle. She understands that everyone has limited budgets, but she explains that no matter what you do there will always be a few extra kids who show up. Be sure to include an RSVP on the invite so you can feel prepared.
Be organized, keep events moving along, and—of course—says Danielle, decorate with a theme. Kids’ parties and themes go together like PB&J.
What are some of the biggest trends for little kid’s parties?
Themed 1st birthday celebrations are hot right now, share Lacy and Ruby. Before you poo-poo it as silly because the baby won’t remember, they point out the event is more a milestone of survival for new parents. It can be a sweet and sophisticated way to celebrate with loved ones, not to mention the darling photo opportunities it provides.
A classic is always the superhero theme. You just can’t go wrong by wrapping up the party in the color of the season’s hottest crime fighter. Another never-fail party theme idea is a photo montage of the child. The gals at The Party New York say photos can be printed on a banner or placed in a series of frames around the party. They’re sweet for guests to look at, and often find pride of place in the home long after the party has been cleaned up.
For super new trends, Lacy and Ruby are seeing fun and funky pinata shapes, unicorns galore, colorful dessert bars and candy buffets, glow in the dark anything, and photo booths for fun themed prop.
For a double win, use the child’s party as way to introduce the kids to a new idea, says Lindsey. She’s hosted abstract painting parties, yoga parties, and even had parties where a nature specialist brings in darling animals and talks about the importance of conservation and protecting the environment. Give the kiddos some culture with their cupcakes.
What services do children’s party planners provide?
Different companies provide different services, shares Tatiana. For example, Sweet Party Decorations specializes in fabulous themed dessert tables, but they certainly organize the party top to bottom if a client requests it. This could include catering, party favors, sweets, cake, decorations, props, centerpieces, rentals, and drinks. The sky’s the limit!
Lindsey adds that many companies, hers include, cover every detail. A kid’s party planner can be anything you need from consultation, theme development and design, invitation printing, venue selection, site visits, vendor management, event decorating, organization, setup, day-of coordination, goody-bag prep, and breakdown. That doesn’t mean you need to plan a two year old’s party as extensively as a wedding. Lili Marie Parties also offers all those services a la carte.
Contrary to popular belief, Lindsey says, kid’s party planning is not solely for the super-rich. These services are for everyone. If you have questions, reach out to your targeted company and see what you can come up with. As much, or as little help as you need is available to you!
What can a parent expect when they hire a kid’s party planner?
Expertise born of experience for guidance in finding the best vendors at the right prices, says Tatiana. Not to mention that parents will have someone (besides themselves) thinking about all the small details that make a party a success.
Expect to save time and money, to have the event well-organized, for the setup and cleanup to be handled, to not sweat the details, and to have a party that will always be remembered, says Danielle.
What are average costs for a kid’s party?
It always depends!
In Chicago Danielle shares that kid’s parties range from $400 – $1,000 depending on factors like number of guests, if entertainment is provided, and where the event takes place.
In the Los Angeles area, Tatiana says costs range from between $1,500 to $3,000 for a fully planned and executed party of around 50 guests.
What are clever ways to keep costs low?
Rent decor from party planners to have an upscale look to your DIY event, says Lindsey. Another great idea to keeping budget low she says, is to hire a college student to teach an activity for a themed “learning” party. One example is a flower-themed ‘build your own bouquet’ party, or learn water ballet if there’s access to a pool!
Low budget favors can also double as decor and/or entertainment for during and then after the party, share the gals from The New York Party. Mini musical instruments look pretty as a centerpiece and then can be part of an activity during the party. They also suggest stuffed mini pinatas that look festive and the kids then take home as a treat.
Even better, say Lacy and Ruby, is to have the kids decorate the party themselves. Adorn the walls with blank butcher paper and let the kids go nuts with crayons, pens, and paints. Just be sure to put smocks on everyone and protect your gorgeous floor!
After it’s all said and done, have your kids write (or sign, or draw) their name on a thank you card to each of their guests, suggests Danielle. What an awesome way to make them good little citizens of the world, and to show your gratitude for the parents!