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Party Planning Tips!

Use our Party Planning Tips below to help you with everything you need to organize for the big day! Can't find what you need? Email us and we'll help you out!

Basics of planning a Child's Party
Kids: Include or Not?
Outrageous Party Ideas
Fun Party Locations
Food Quantities
Beverage Quantities

Decorating Tips
Party Games
Party Planning Timetable
Party Planning Shopping List
Theme Ideas
Adult Party Ideas
Shopping for Gifts
Crafts & Activities
Free Coloring Pages



ReasonToParty is pleased to provide this free information to you to help you plan your upcoming party or event. Would you like to help us keep this information free?  Then please consider donating. We thank you sincerely!


Basics of Planning a Child's Party


The Numbers Game
A good guide to the number of guests is the age of the child, i.e. ten guests for a ten year old. In terms of helpers, aim for a children-to-adult ratio of 4:1 for children under five. One adult to every seven for children six to ten years of age. Once they're over this age, they'll want far less adult involvement.

Sending out the invitations
Personalized invitations are great fun to make and allow the host to get involved from the start. If you don't already have a greetings card package on your PC, you can find a number of great greeting card sites online, including HP's print project site where there are invitations ready to be printed. As well as showing the time and date of the party, you'll need to include your address (or the party venue, if different), details of any special themes such as fancy dress and, perhaps most important of all, the time at which you'd like parents to collect their little darlings.

Special entertainment
If you do want to do something a little special, bounce houses and tents full of balls are a sure fire hit but do keep a close eye on the children. You'll also find specialists such as magicians, clowns, puppeteers, or balloon artists under Entertainers in the phone book or on party directory websites. (Be sure to check back as we will be adding a directory soon!)

Setting a theme
Young children do enjoy the excitement of dressing up and the little extra effort involved in creating a theme can make a world of difference. You don't have to go overboard; masks or hats are often all that's needed to make it that much more different and entertaining.

Games and activities
Always plan for more activities and games than you will need.
Using crafts or games that match your theme will make your planning easier.
Always have more supplies for crafts (and game prizes) than you think you will need, as well as goodie bags. If a guest brings a sibling, you will have enough.
Hand out goodie bags as the guests leave or they have a habit of over taking the party or tiny treats getting misplaced in the frenzy.

Backup Plans
Always have a backup plan if planning of an outdoor party, in case of possible bad weather. Have activities or games planned that can be played inside or out, or have extra craft projects lined up if the party has to be moved indoors.

Go with the flow
Don't let the little things that can (and usually do) go wrong ruin the party for the birthday boy/girl, you or the guests. Expect the unexpected and try to remember that it doesn't take much to impress small children. They are there for cake and ice cream and goodie bags.

Toddler Party
Have the parents stick around at the party, especially if your guest list is bigger than you would have liked. Also, do not hesitate to ask friends or family members to help you at the party. An extra pair of hands is always nice. You could even have the babysitter there from the beginning through clean up time.


Party Planning Timetable


4 weeks ahead of your party
Work with the guest of honor and decide on a theme
Make a guest list. 
Decide on a date and time for your party. 
Order your party supplies, decorations, favors, piñatas, and activities.
Book entertainment, rent party room, etc.

2-3 weeks ahead of your party
Send your invitations. Ask your guests to RSVP so you have an approximate number of guests to expect. 
Plan activities, menus and games that you plan to use. 
Order your cake. 
Now is a good time to ask for help on the party day from your friends or relatives. 

1 week ahead of your party
Follow up with guests that have not contacted you to RSVP. 
Make sure you have plenty of film, videotape, and batteries. 
Prepare foods that can be made ahead of time. 
Place food and beverage orders, if applicable.
Check your party supplies to make sure you have everything you will need. 
Confirm your rentals and entertainers, if applicable.
Confirm your head count.
Make a list of all items still needed for party.

1-2 days ahead of your party
Remove previously prepared food from freezer to defrost. 
Decorate indoors. 
Stop at the grocery store for all of those last minute items. 
Pick up the cake. 
Clean house.
Accept requests from friends and families for help.
Verify you have enough film, batteries... and the always needed ice!

Party Day
Complete all food and beverage preparation. 
Have balloons filled with helium on party day. 
Decorate outside. 
Take a lot of pictures to remember this special occasion, use your camera or video camera. 
Have plenty of time set aside to get yourself ready
Relax, have fun and enjoy your celebration!

If you are having trouble deciding on a Theme, or you need help finding the perfect items to make your celebration the best it can be, Contact Us Today and we will put together some ideas for you!


Kids: Include or Not?  


The most important considerations are: 1) What kind of atmosphere do you want; 2) Do you feel comfortable hosting children?

Keeping the above in mind, consider the cons.
Kids at your event can:
distract guests and interrupt the flow of conversation
make it difficult to have an elegant atmosphere
mean parents cannot relax as much and enjoy other guests
create more likelihood that things will be broken or spilled
demand that adults watch language and behavior with extra care
cause guests to leave earlier rather than later

If you really want an elegant atmosphere; if alcohol is an important component to the festivities; if you can't stand kids, you should probably say NO.

Now, consider the pros.
Kids at your event can:
give guests a focal point and something to talk about
add energy, activity and fun
add a sense of community and bridge gaps between generations
enable parents to avoid cost and hassle of getting a baby-sitter
cause guests to leave earlier rather than later!
If there are activities for the children, if there are children who can play together, if you like children, then vote YES!

If you do include children, make sure you have a few toys or activities for them to enjoy. Remove breakable objects and have stain-remover nearby (you should probably do all that any way!).

If you do not include kids and parents ask if they may bring them anyway, say, "I'd love to have the kids over but this time the party is just for the grown-ups." If they press you and say that they can't come without the children, you're in a tough spot! Try: "We'd really love to have you come. But I'm afraid I've told other parents no and this really is a gathering for adults. Perhaps next time?"



Party Shopping List


Click here to print this list!


9" Plates
7" Plates
Luncheon Napkins
Beverage Napkins
Table Cover
Plastic Cutlery
Thank You's
Blow Outs
Favor Bags
Mylar Balloon
All "meal" items
Ice Cream
Items needed for game/craft
Door Sign
Favors/Take Home Treats
Party Extras
Camera/Film/Charged Batteries
Curling Ribbon

Fun Locations to Host a Party


While "at home" and "backyard" birthday parties will always be popular, here are a few additional options to consider. While some of the venues have rental or admission fees, many are available at no charge. Tie your theme to the location, be adventurous, and most of all…have fun!

Dome Hotel with Indoor Pool
Art Museum/Gallery
Pottery/Ceramic Making "store"
Children's Museum
YWCA/YMCA or other similar gym
Beauty Parlor
Mobile Party – contained entirely in a Limo, Trolley or RV
Roller Rink
Bowling Alley
Swimming pool – (Country club, community center, or a dear friend's)
Gymboree/Kid gym
Movie Theatre - rent it out during an "off-peak" time
Grown Up/Adult restaurant for lunch
Amusement Park
Parent's place of business
City building like the court house
Rent out a toy store after hours
Sports Team Professional Arena or High School
Athletic Field
The kitchen of a favorite restaurant (many will allow private sittings in their kitchens)
Airport/Stationary Airplane
Fire Station
Police Station
Local campground
Photo Studio – (great for Hollywood, Makeover or Pamper Parties!)
Dance Studio
Putt Putt facility
Historic Train Station
Community Hall
Country Club
Science Museum




Outrageous Party Ideas


Looking for something different to do for your child or teen's party this year? Then you've come to the right place. The following party ideas come to us courtesy of you – our party-loving pals! We've taken your ideas – added in a few of our own – and come up with the most outrageous parties in town!

Play With the Pros
Attend a professional or semi-pro game (this idea works well for basketball, baseball and football games). After the game, have team members give a short "training camp" to teach kids the basic moves. This idea could also work for other athletic events, e.g. Karate, soccer, or your child's favorite sport / hobby.

Ballet Party
Take children to your local ballet troupe to watch a matinee performance. After the ballet, hire a professional ballet teacher to show the children special moves and a quick routine. Perform the routine for the parents when they come to collect their children!

Victorian Elegance
A wonderful idea for a summer party! Ask guests to dress in their finest party dresses and treat them to an elegant tea replete with dainty sandwiches and scones at a fancy hotel or restaurant. Finish the party by taking guests on carriage rides through the park.

Tour of Trains
Take a step back in time and experience the lost civilized mode of transportation. Take a day trip to another city via the train. Have a tour of the engine car, talk to the chief train engineer, and let kids discover what trains are really all about.

Toys Extravaganza
Rent out a large toy store after hours (we know of someone who rented out F.A.O. Schwartz for the evening!) and let the kids have a veritable field day in the store. After they have played to their heart's content, allow them to select one toy (under a certain dollar amount) as a favor.

Construction Time
The perfect party for young boys! Have trucks and other construction vehicles available to give rides to the children. Set up a giant sandbox for kids to maneuver their construction toys around.

Restaurant / Professional Chef Tips
Get a closer look behind the scenes at your favorite local restaurant, and spend a few hours with the head chef. Many restaurants will allow you to watch and test some of their recipes. Wrap the party up with an elaborate feast in the restaurant.

Fight Fire With Firemen
Take your fireman theme party to the next level and arrange for a tour of your local fire station. Allow kids to dress up in real firemen's coats, hats and boots. Let them slide down the pole, ride the fire engine and watch a short display by the firemen.

Balloon Adventure
Pack a simple picnic and head to the skies for a breathtaking ride your guests will remember forever. Be sure to inform all guests to dress appropriately.

Sky High Adventure
Charter a helicopter for the afternoon and tour your city in a whole new way. Take aerial photographs of your home and neighborhood with panoramic cameras, and fly over favorite locations.

Amazing Animals
Have a zoo to yourself for the evening! Arrange for a personal tour guide to tell special things about the animals, ride all rides, feed the animals, etc.

Formal Dinner
It's time to dress up! Tell all the guests to put on their finest evening clothes for this occasion. Have a fancy limousine pick up each guest at their home and take them to a fancy restaurant. Dine in the restaurant's private room for the ultimate luxury.

An Afternoon Indulgence
Perfect for teenage girls! Pick guests up in a plush limousine and deposit them at your local beauty salon. Schedule manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, hair styling, make-up application lessons and body wraps. Finish the evening off looking beautiful out on the town!

Cinderella for the Night
A Sweet Sixteen favorite! Rent out a large, ornate ballroom at your local country club or hotel and decorate it in Cinderella's favorite décor. Our carriage castle kit, glass Cinderella slippers, and other products will make your child's party fairy tale come true! Offer carriage rides at the end of the evening and mandate that guests don appropriate attire for the occasion.

Bring the circus to your house! Set up a carnival in your backyard and let the games begin. Bring in real carnival rides including the zipper and bumper cars. Hire clowns, have face painting and award prizes to carnival game winners.

Petting Zoo
If you don't want to fight the crowds at your local zoo, then bring the zoo to your own home! Set up your very own petting zoo in your backyard for your child's next animal theme party. Be sure to have a variety of animals on hand, and include some exotic animals as well.

Skydiving Escapade
For fearless partygoers only! Check for guest's proneness to vertigo before you venture off with this theme party. Some skydiving companies will even videotape each person's dive – this will make an excellent favor for all the guests.

Your Own Indy 500
If you're lucky enough to live close to a large racetrack, then it's worth inquiring about track rentals. Many tracks will set up driving lessons, allow you to meet famous drivers and take a ride in a racecar.

Make Your Own
Rent out your local pizza place or ice cream parlor and invite guests to make their own pizza or ice cream sundaes.

Amuse Yourselves
Take everyone to a large amusement park for the afternoon. Give kids special T-shirts in a bright color with the party details imprinted on them (this will help you keep track of all the guests). Finish the party with dinner at the park.

Picasso Party
Spend the afternoon at your local art museum – modern, classical or otherwise. Purchase postcards of famous paintings for kids at the gift shop for inspiration. When you return home, arrange for a local artist to give kids pointers and a quick lesson. Easels for all will allow the creative juices to get into gear!

Rock Star for a Day
Rent out your local music studio and have kids make their own CD featuring their own original songs. Or, rent out instruments and let kids make their own band and music. At the end of the day, go to a special concert and get backstage passes to meet the band.

Fishing Extravaganza
Rent a large fishing boat, and have real fishermen help the kids catch large and unusual fish. At the end of the day, take the fish back home, clean them and cook them for dinner.

Get Down with the Dinosaurs
Check out your local history museum for a party that dates back in centuries! After the museum visit, set up a fake archeological dig in your backyard. Finish the party off with a real archeologist or historian to answer the kids' questions.

Get On the Air
Visit your local radio station for a day of audio fun! Arrange to have a professional teach kids how the radio equipment works, and let them record their own broadcast.

Golf Outing
Get the group together – dressed in stylish Tiger Woods garb – and head for the links. Start the outing with a quick lesson from the club's pro, and then it's off in the carts. Our custom-imprinted golf tees, balls, hats and T-shirts will make this day on the course one that will be remembered forever!




ReasonToParty is pleased to provide this free information to you to help you plan your upcoming party or event. Would you like to help us keep this information free?  Then please consider donating. We thank you sincerely!

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