If you host a birthday party at your house, you have to clean. Before AND after the party! This is a HUGE deterrent for me, so I always try to have my kids’ parties at an alternate location.
The price range and services at these venues vary widely, and it can get confusing. How do you know where to go to celebrate your child’s birthday? Here’s what you need to consider.
1) Does the cost reflect the services offered?
You may get sticker shock from the priciest parties, but they usually include everything: games, snacks, cake, loot bags, decorations, AND staff members to control everything for you. You spend more money on these parties, but you save yourself the time and stress of preparing everything. Less expensive parties save you money, but you end up doing some legwork beforehand. Where do your budget and time constraints place you on this scale?
2) What’s included?
Every venue’s party package is a little different, so make sure you read the fine print. Will food cost you extra? Does the venue provide decorations, or should you bring some?
Think about how many kids you’ll have at the party, because this will affect the price. Most venues have a maximum number of guests, and you’ll get charged extra for additional kids.
Some venues also offer special bonuses, like a t-shirt for the birthday child, or coupons for your next visit. If your party venue is a family favourite, these bonuses may save you money later on.
3) Do you get help?
Parties that include staff members are usually pricier. However, this is worthwhile if you can afford it. I’ve hosted parties where I end up running around entertaining all the guests instead of enjoying the festivities with the birthday child. If someone else is entertaining the kids and moving the party along, you can relax and take photos!
4) What do you hate?
What part of party-planning do you dread? If you hate making loot bags, make sure your venue provides them. Not a baker? Pick a place that offers cake as part of their party package. If you’re going to pay someone else to handle certain aspects of your child’s party, make sure they will take care of the parts you dislike!
If you live in Calgary, you've got a great head-start on choosing a venue! I have a complete list of EVERY kids' party venue in Calgary, right here!
What's your favourite place to have a party?