1) Don't bring kids.
If at all possible, leave your kids somewhere else when you go to Party City. To kids, this store looks like Super Fun Play Town. You will be here for ages. If you must bring them, be sure to put embarrassing hats on them and take pictures.
2) On second thought, bring the kids.
Okay, that hat is hilarious. I changed my mind. This store is fun, and if you are not in a rush, you should totally bring the kids. My daughter spent 45 minutes examining the things in the loot bag section. And the best part is that all of those party favours are inexpensive - 25 cents and up. So if your daughter would also kill for that Hello Kitty slinky, you can indulge her whims without blowing your budget.
3) Shop during the week.
If you can, shop during the work week - the store is nearly deserted. If you have to shop on the weekend, be prepared to wait a few hours if you need balloons inflated.
4) Make a list.
There is a lot of stuff at this store. A LOT. For maximum shopping efficacy, go in with a list. Consider:
Loot Bag Containers
Loot Bag Fillers
5) Go here first.
I am lazy, and Party City is really far away from my house. But it's totally worth the drive. They have everything, and the prices are comparable to the dollar store. Instead of heading to six different discount stores, just go to Party City. I will be shocked - SHOCKED - if they don't have what you need.
Full Disclosure: I was not compensated for this article, as usual. All baby hat ideas are my own.