Take the Work Out of Kids Birthday Parties


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    By: Amy Franzwa

    I’m not good at delegating and giving up control and I am the last one to spend money when I don’t need to.  However, I do believe that my child’s birthday should serve as a means of creating memories. I can’t actively partake in the memory making if I’m spending my time planning, cleaning the house, in the kitchen cooking, or entertaining pint-sized guests. That said, I have officially resigned as the party planning queen.  Now, I allow the experts to handle the details so that I can enjoy this special time with my birthday princess.  

    No matter the venue, most birthday packages are 2-3 hours long and include time for playing, eating and gift opening.  Party packages tend to range from $150 – 250.  To some, this may seem pricey and many parents are quick to assume they could save money by hosting a party at home. That’s quite possible, but I think opting for a party venue is a much better choice!

    Most party places offer all-inclusive party packages with set-up, party coordination and clean-up services provided. Needless to say, I don’t have to power clean my house prior to the party. I do not have to create a menu, shop, prepare and serve food. I’m not required to emulate Bob Barker and host cheesy games to keep the kids entertained. And there’s no post-party clean-up that could potentially include frosting removal from the depths of my couch. 

    Unfortunately, I have come to learn that birthday cakes are rarely offered on-site. Not a big deal. Make your own, buy one from a local wholesale club, or opt for cupcakes instead of cake and you have grub that doesn’t require any utensils.

    I’ll be the first to confess I’ve been sucked into spending over $100 on stationary, plates, cups, napkins and décor to create the perfect Little Mermaid themed party only to watch it go right into the trash after 10 minutes. What a waste of money! Instead, I try to find places that have packages that include invitations, thanks-you notes and paper products, which is a HUGE money saver.

    Party favors can be expensive, too. I’ve been known to eliminate them entirely. If you just can’t do it, try to find a party place that includes goodie bags with their party package or has the option to add them for an additional fee. 

    Taking your child’s party “on the road” to a party place may or may not be less expensive than hosting it in your home, but you can’t put a price on your sanity and time. You’re almost guaranteed to save both by hosting it at a local party hot spot!

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