Organising a child’s birthday party can be challenging to say the least. There are a million and one things to think about, from choosing the perfect theme, finding the best entertainer in town, to curating a menu that works for grown-ups and little ones, not to mention the all-important guest list.
Plus, once all these things are decided, there’s the making it all happen, from shopping to set-up to the dreaded clean-up. All to make sure that your little one has a birthday that they will remember for years to come.
At Maggie & Rose, we understand the importance of creating lifelong memories for little ones and grown-ups alike. We can proudly say that we have been hosting special occasions for families for over 12 years, and we secretly think we’ve got pretty good at it! So, read on for our top tips on how to organise the perfect child’s birthday party.
Pick your date and location
Weekend parties usually feel more relaxed, so choose a Saturday or Sunday for your party. Invite your guests at least a month ahead (if it’s a busier time of the year, think even further ahead), to ensure everyone can make it. Then, decide whether you would like to host the party in your own home, or hire an event space – there are positives to both.
Choose your theme and decoration
After deciding on the date and location, move onto the fun part – picking the theme. Think what would appeal to your little one, what is it that they love and are interested in: dinosaurs, astronauts, princesses?
At Maggie & Rose the party themes are the core of our party experiences, and they aim to inspire imagination and take little people on exciting journeys.
For our littlest party animals, we offer Old MacDonald, Totally Transport, Dinky Dinosaur or Beautiful Bugs & Butterflies, with our party spaces tastefully decked out and themed activities and toys included. Or, if you fancy a more magical adventure, we offer Knights & Fairies or Princesses & Pirates packages – costumes are optional but usually worn (and super cute!)
To really unleash little ones’ creativity, our ‘Inspired By’ Arty Party is a must. For this one we take inspiration from great artists, splatting a canvas a la Jackson Pollock or making a work of art in a salad spinner like Damien Hirst. These parties are one-of-a-kind and super-messy – definitely not one to try at home! Or, why not try our ‘Make, Bake, Eat’, where little cheflets whip up their favourite party food from scratch in our fully equipped Cooking School before heading out to our signature bubble disco to party!
Inviting friends & family
Once you have chosen a date, location and theme for your party, it’s time to write a guest list. Send out a super cute invitation to invite friends and family along, or an email invitation which is often easier. Involve your little one by asking them to make the invite cards personalised: they can draw or write something on it, or you can even use photos of them and their friends in the design.
Catering for little ones and adults
Make sure you check the dietary requirements for all your guests in advance – do they have any allergies or food preferences? Once you know the food requirements you can plan a menu. Have a mix of fruit platters, mini sandwiches and hot dogs, and other small, nutritious and easy bites for your guests.
You can also plan the table settings built around your party theme. Think also about low-level seating and tables, as well as age-appropriate trays and cups for children, to eat and drink from.
The birthday cake
The best part of a birthday party is when the cake arrives with candles on top and everyone sings ‘Happy Birthday’. Whether you decide to make it yourself or pre-order it from a local bakery, it will be a special moment for your little one and all your guests.
If ordering a cake from a bakery, be sure to book in at least four weeks in advance. Another fun idea for smaller children is mini cupcakes. These can be stacked on a cake stand and each child/ guest can then receive a cupcake each. It is worth also providing small paper boxes, so guests can take a slice of cake or cupcake home with them.
Depending on the age of your little one and your budget, decide whether you would like to hire a professional entertainer or provide it yourself. If you go with the latter, think good, old fashioned party games like Pass The Parcel, Pin The Tail On The Donkey, Musical Statues. Combine with a crafty session.
Here are some of our go-to activities to keep the little ones happy:
- Make your own… – Use a cut-out template and let little ones make their own crown or pirate hat, which then they can decorate with glitter, stickers, paint.
- Bubble Disco – Hire a bubble machine, some lights and play some music. Then play games like who can pop the most bubbles with their elbow or nose!
- Balloon keep up – Don’t let the balloon hit the ground. Such a great activity to keep moving!
- Nursery Rhymes – Get everyone involved and sing your favourite rhymes.
If you are hiring an entertainer, think magicians, face painters or balloon artists.
Get creative with the decoration and dress up the space around the theme you decided to go with. Create bunting with your little one’s name, get classic paper throws, balloons and party hats. Balloons can often become the main attraction at a party: keep a few for the end, so little ones can take them home.
A party bag is a lovely souvenir, from the party. Include small take-home activities such as colouring pages, stickers, or craft materials. For bigger budgets, a children’s book (around the theme of the party) is a great gift to help all the guests remember the fun time they’ve had.
Our Maggie & Rose goodie bags are one element that we are particularly proud of. Not only do our goodie bags extend the experience and give continued inspiration, made up of activities and gifts themed around the party options, but we also do our utmost to ensure they reflect our ethos on nutrition and sustainability, not filled with sugary sweets and plastic toys.
Thank you cards
After your party, it is lovely to send out a thank you card to all your guests. To make it more personal and memorable, print out a photo you took at the party (maybe a group photo) to include with the card.
Ultimately, we know that busy parents want nothing more than to relax and enjoy the occasion, and so we are dedicated to taking care of everything from start to finish. Our party packages include all of the essentials, plus we provide little extras to make the day extra-special – from personalized e-vites to thank you cards, unique decorations, a scrummy spread for the little ones and a delicious grown-up menu to choose from, including a great selection of beers, wines and Prosecco. And, of course, there’s a birthday gift for the birthday boy or girl!
Throughout all of our parties, there are our super-helpful party hosts and our fantastic entertainers, trained in-house by Maggie & Rose, to take care of every detail and ensure everything runs smoothly and little ones are kept engaged. They will even get the little ones seated around the table and serve their food, lead the singing while the birthday boy or girl blow out the candles, and cut and serve the cake. We also have an extensive little black book of the very best face painters, balloon modellers, photographers and cake decorators to add something extra memorable to your occasion.
Our team will work with you from start to finish, guiding you through the choosing of the theme and the refreshments, talking you through the timings and making sure all you need to do on the day is turn up in your glad-rags to welcome your guests. We lovingly dress the party space, prepare the food, curate the playlist and chill the Prosecco. Once the party is over, we give out the goodie bags, bag up the gifts for you and (the best part) take care of the clean-up!