Hosting a kids party at a venue

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

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

Balloons – Born to Party


Unicorn foil balloon - Poppies for Grace

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

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

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

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)

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

Movie dessert table – Saffy and May


Bowling party - Favor Lane

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 by Red Wagon Events. Printables by Pretty and Print



Favour bags - Styling and photos by Sweet Style

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

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!