So this year my soon to be 4yr old declared that she wanted a party in a play centre
I admit I do love home parties – creating memories at home and the personal feel of the party not to mention the ease of having all your supplies at your fingertips. We have had most of our kids parties at home – this being her 3rd birthday Snow White party last year:
However after 5 years of home parties (except two first birthdays in a hall) in some ways I didn’t mind not hosting the party at home….being able to avoid all the clean up definitely sounds enticing
However for someone who loves to style a dessert table and decorate for my kids parties…a party at a venue like a kids play centre doesn’t exactly lend itself to a beautiful setup which takes a few hours to get right..does it??
So if you’re a mum like me – loves to style and decorate your kids parties…and wandering how you can still do this outside of home – here are my top tips!:
Realise you can’t decorate the same as a home party
Home parties give you days to get ready for a party. You can set decorations up the night before and morning of the party. You have more flexibility with space if you want to setup a dessert table, kids table, drink station etc. by moving furniture around. You just can’t get this for a party at a venue – you may get 30 minutes beforehand if it’s a play centre type venue with parties back to back!
Rather than stress yourself trying to madly create an amazing setup, it is best to accept you just cannot decorate the venue in the same way you can at home – and you can think outside the box as to how you can use your creative ideas in a smaller way
Know the space you will have at the venue
Superhero party – I Heart Table Art
Make sure you do get a look of the room or space you will be allocated at the play centre so you can at least plan some decorations or what may work in that space
Ask the venue how much time you will have to setup and what you are allowed to setup or stick to walls etc
The image shown above is from a dessert table at a play centre where they had a superhero mural already on the wall which could be used for the party dessert table backdrop. It looks amazing and is an easy setup with the jars already pre-filled and a few added items
Use quick and easy decorations
Balloons are the easiest decorations for a quick setup – and these days there are so many fun and stylish balloons available for kids parties! Think jumbo balloons, confetti balloons, huge novelty balloons – they are fast to setup and will instantly make the space look great!
Balloons – Born to Party
Unicorn foil balloon – Poppies for Grace
You can also use a large printed canvas or backdrop that you can bring in to rest at the back of the cake table if you are keen to have some type of backdrop. This is a simple setup but it still looks gorgeous doesn’t it?:
Tahlia is the theme party- Pretty and Print
Setup a small cake table
A play centre doesn’t always lend itself to a huge dessert table but that doesn’t mean you can’t setup a nice small table if you want to!
I have seen lovely little setups with just a cake and party favour bags and perhaps some cookies or drink bottles…and that is it ! These can look really nice using some cute printables attached and can be quite quick to setup.
You can hang a garland along the front of a table and use balloons either side for some quick decorating.
For example in this gorgeous confetti party setup there are 4 platters/stands and the lovely garlands – and the effect is really cute! It is especially helpful if the venue has a white wall you can use – if not perhaps you can work in the colour of the wall into the party colour scheme!:
Sprinkles party – Sweet Style
Here is an example of a party table set up at a play centre in 30 minutes – jars were pre filled and with a simple, clean layout it is easy to put it together without having to reshuffle things around. Keep in mind printed backdrops do take a bit of time to setup and someone else assisting you is the easiest way to get it done in time and also someone to be there helping you with your children if they are also with you early at the venue:
Peppa Pig party – I heart table art
Have fun with the kids table
Most play centres will setup an area for the kids to eat food during the party. Rather than a dessert table – you could use your time of setting up to lay down a cute tablecloth, fun party plates and drink bottles instead of the ones the play centre uses. This can really make a big impact in the space and help to theme the party to match your child’s theme even without a dessert table.
Kids party table – Red Wagon Events (Melbourne)
Cut the cake at home
If you really love the personal feeling of cutting a cake at home or in a quieter location for your child’s birthday, there is the option of having the kids at your house before or after another party venue.
This works well for a SMALL group of older kids who may be going out to a movie or bowling for example rather than a toddler party.
Here are two gorgeous small set ups by stylists before the kids headed off to the movies and bowling:
Movie dessert table – Saffy and May
Bowling party – Favor Lane
Have fun with the party favours!
It’s all about seeking out what you CAN add a special touch too when it comes to parties at a kids party venue. Invitations is one area to add a cute personal touch and party favours is definitely another! By choosing unique and theme specific items or using fun packaging and tags – you can help theme the party bags and have a little (or a lot!) of fun putting them together!
Favour bags – Styling by Red Wagon Events. Printables by Pretty and Print
Favour bags – Styling and photos by Sweet Style
Party bag – Styling by I Heart Table Art. Tag by Pretty and print. Octonaut items from Favor Lane
So if your child requests a party at a venue – I hope I’ve shown you that there are still ways you can have fun with it and add personal touches while also keeping things simpler!
Past the first birthday, it’s fair to say children’s birthday parties become less about the parents and their friends, and more about the kids wouldn’t you say? The older they get, the more activities kids require to keep them busy for the duration of the party – well after the sugar rush has ended!
Choosing an entertainment option or kids party venue will ultimately depend on the age of the children and budget, as there is really no limit to your imagination when it comes to making the occasion as much of an experience as you like, creating lasting memories for the birthday boy or girl and guests.
Now there is nothing wrong at all with doing the classic party games we all grew up with – pass the parcel, musical statues, pin the tail on the donkey….but for those of you who are looking for something different or perhaps don’t want to take on the role of entertaining the kids – there is a range of options now available to you!
So whether you’re planning a small gathering at home or searching for a fun new venue to take the hassle out of the day for you, we’ve curated our LLC vendors that you can find on the Directory pages to get you one step closer to a fun filled kids party for your child and their friends! If there isn’t the needed entertainment or venue listed below in your local area – this blog post will provide you some party ideas to look out for in your state!
Kids Party Entertainers
Inviting your child’s favourite character to their party is a dream come true for most younger aged children, keeping them entertained for one to two hours with games, prizes and fun activities before cake.
I’ve personally used entertainers for my children’s last few parties and have found them as a great option that the kids love which also makes things less stressful on the parents allowing them to sit back and relax while their children are entertained.
Fairy Fun – Sydney
When choosing a kids party entertainer you will want to check the packages to see what is included and the length and also the max number of children included in the price. It is also useful to view the testimonials and reviews on their website and facebook page and view their party photos to get a better idea of what they offer.
Fairy la la land – Sydney
For ages 5 and over, you can’t go past a themed party based on a special interest. Karaoke, jewellery making and Lego building are just some of the incredible activities that can come to you and really get the kids involved and engaged!
Choosing an activity all depends on their age and their interest and most kids party entertainers can customise and tailor their hosting to suit the specific age group or guests invited!
Bop til you drop – Syd, Melb, Ade, Per, Wollongong
Lego party – Lil Kidz Construction (Sydney)
Pretty Little Things Parties – Syd, Melb, Gold Coast, Byron Bay
Stretched for time and love the idea of having someone do more than just the entertainment? Check out these LLC vendors who will not only set up a gorgeous affair, but entertain with a range of activities or packages to choose from!:
Easy Breezy Parties – Melbourne
Deer Little Parties – Buninyong, Victoria
Do It Yourself kits
For those who love the creativity of pulling together a kids party yourself, we’ve found these fantastic vendors who can turn your event into a party your child will still be talking about the next year – while still allowing you to DIY and host the party yourself!
Hire some fun toys and play equipment to turn your home or venue into entertainment central for your kids party! This is only a small snapshot of the huge range available at Tiny Tots Toy Hire (Sydney). I’ve used their ball pit for a few of my kids parties and it is always a huge hit! This soft play range is perfect for 1st and 2nd birthdays!:
Tiny Tots Toy Hire – Sydney
Some fantastic kits to create some fun kids party activities for the kids leaving them with something special to also take home! Perfect for the slightly older age group are these gorgeous necklace kits:
Choose from a range of CreativiTea Kids with various crafty activities on offer the kids can do such as creating these cute wall hangings:
CreativiTea Kits – Free Range Living
The various items and kits available from Party Ideas in a Box make running your own party games easy, fuss free and fun for all the kids! They have all the classic party games (eg pass the parcel, egg and spoon race etc) as well as some unique party game ideas!:
Pass the parcel party game kit – Party Ideas in a box
The older girls will love these jewellery making kits to create something special to wear after the party:
DIY Jewellery making kit – Pretty Little Things
Kids Party Venues
If you’ve hosted your fair share of parties at home or have an entire class invited, a kids party venue is a fantastic option to save time and mess! Most mums already know of the play centres in their local area. At Life’s Little Celebrations my aim is to feature more of the unique options available for kids party venues – and here are some delightful places and spaces for your next kids party many of which provide not only a venue but various activities such as art and craft or cupcake decorating for the kids to enjoy:
Free Range Living – Sydney
Apples & Jam – Melbourne
Deer Little Parties – Buninyong, Victoria
I hope this helps kick start your party planning preparations – and assists in deciding on something special for your kids party entertainment or venue!