Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tips for Planning a Combined Birthday Party Outside of Home

There are a variety of options for combined birthday parties outside the home, and I will key on a few that seem to have mass child appeal. When our kids were both one year old and three years old, we had parties at a play center. Play centers offer an indoor playground atmosphere with jumping castles, ball pits, climbing equipment, and slides. They usually include a private party room with the option of either ordering food and/or bringing your own, and some even will create loot bags for you for an extra charge. Many also have a party host, and best of all to parents, clean up is often included!

The other great thing about play centers is that they can usually accommodate a large number of kids, even thirty or more in some cases. But be aware, that while some offer private play space for your party, many indoor playgrounds are not only available to other parties at the same time, but also to private individuals who want to use the facility. You may also be limited to a certain block of time, with very little flexibility. It is also true that play centers or indoor playgrounds can be expensive, but when everything is taken care of for a large number of guests, and two birthday children, it actually seems more reasonable. When kids are very young, however, you have to factor in food for the adults too, who have to stay with their children.

Cooking parties are also great, as long as your twins can agree on what to cook. When our kids were four years old, we did a party at a supermarket’s cooking school. It was a pizza and cupcake making party and both our kids and their guests had a blast making and eating their own individual pizzas, including rolling the dough and choosing toppings! Then they decorated a series of six mini cupcakes that became their loot bag to take home. It was a drop off party, and most parents did just that. We provided coffee and a fruit tray for the adults, and the party cost was quite reasonable. This particular place could accommodate a large number (up to about 30 children), but some cooking party centres may limit numbers. We held their sixth birthday party at a trampoline center, and this was, and since has been a popular party with both boys and girls. 

Other similar and popular types of parties are bowling and glow-in-the-dark mini golf. Bowling parties, which are still quite reasonably priced, go back to when I was a kid. Parties at restaurants such as Chuck E. Cheese or Dave and Busters are fine too, but it is still the games and winning tickets and prizes that are most exciting to the kids, rather than just the eating.

That brings us to this year. For our twins seventh birthday, we are going back to the same play center that we went to when our kids were three. No, we haven’t lost our minds! This particular center offers a wide variety of parties and you can even combine them. This is exactly what we are doing as we are having a sports and games (such as parachute or dodgeball) theme, along with a karaoke option. The party will start with the kids having a choice of the two options, be broken up with the food and cake (which we will be providing), and then finishing off in the gym with some games.

Finally, there are a few things that you should consider no matter what you choose to do for your party. We have always tried to get separate cakes, if at all possible. One party, the cake that was being provided was so large that we divided (but not cut) it in half, and decorated each half differently for our son and daughter, according to their requests. We always sing happy birthday twice. If the place you are holding the party provides a gift for the birthday child, insist on a second gift, and, if necessary, pay for it begrudgingly! One way to reduce the cost of food is to hold your party in between meal times (such as mid-afternoon) and just have snacks and cake. If all else fails, hold separate parties for each of your twins, and let me know how it goes! If you found this helpful, read the read other blog entries at  http://atwinsdad.blogspot.ca

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