Kids party Melbourne, the choices?
Once you've decided to have a party for your child, the planning starts. Who are you going to invite? Who do you not invite. Where are you having the party? Is it at home, in the back yard, or are you going to hire a venue?
These are all important choices you need to make and virtually before you do much else.
Of course, you must check that your planned party date doesn't conflict with school holidays, public events, and all the other days and dates that are just not good for a kids birthday party. There's nothing worse than having to change the date after you've sent out invitations.
One of the considerations when planning is food and how much you want to feed the guests.
If you have no money, then do the party away from a mealtime and skate through the catering with only a little food.
On the other hand if you are a cooking freak, run the party at a mealtime and let everyone know what's happening. As an add-on lots of people will like to come and visit you if you know there's a free feed on the way! While kids parties don't involve booze and alcohol, there's also nothing wrong with letting adult guests or parents know that there may be some alcohol on offer for those legally old enough to drink the stuff. Also depending on the age of the kids, if it's a kids party, may be a factor in how many mums and dads choose to stay at the party.
In Melbourne and most other parts of Victoria, mums and dads tend to hang around for kids parties when the age of the children is 5 and under. But for older kids the usual protocol is a dump and run, whereby the mums and dads literally dump the kids at your place or the party venue and then run away as fast as they can to go shopping, go to gym or even go home and sleep! In other words if you want the mums or dads to hang about, let them know in advance.
Within Victoria a large number of scout groups and councils have venues for hire, so if your house is no good for a party or you don't fancy the idea of little terrors wrecking your place, you can always hire a place!
Catering – Junk food rules at parties for kids. It shouldn't be this way, but in Australia most parents don't want to spend a lot of time and money catering for other people's ungrateful kids, so they settle for junk food instead. Then there's the convention of the fact that everyone else's mums and dads feeds your kids rubbish at parties, so why can't you get them back?
After all the sugar usually kicks in hardest just after the kids are sent home from the party and so the parents are stuck with the consequences. There's nothing worse than a kid having seizures or fits as a result of some chemical laden food that you have given them, but in reality there's a risk of this happening if you give them healthy food as well!
Party entertainment, DIY or paid? – Well the kids will want something pretty good. Now unless you've lived in a cave for the last ten years, you'd know that childrens entertainment at a party is a highly competitive business. You won't get away with a game of pass the parcel or something similar.
The kids will probably riot if that's all you have. You can try clowns, magicians, animal farms, face painting, pony riding, cartoon characters, and all other sorts of themed parties and entertainment options.
It's often said that you should never work with kids or animals and both are potential disasters waiting to happen, but for kids parties they often work well togeather. It's a bit like acid and alkaline. One will neutralize the other.
Very popular these days are reptile shows.
However there are quite substantial differencs between the companies and what they offer. Most are so-called interactive shows, whereby a reptile handler will bring reptiles out of boxes and do an extended version of show and tell. Now because reptiles are so interesting, this kind of party can engage the kids for an hour or more, although with kids in the 7-11 age range, boredom may set in and the kids may run away and turn feral. This is especially the case for young boys.
Mobile zoos are another option and this is where the animals are brought in large cages set up as kind of static display. In the business they are commonly referred to as boring static displays and this is what they are. The animals in the case will hide in the furthest corner of the cage and then the kids will thump the glass front and shake the cage to try to get the terrified animal to move. Now while these sorts of displays are legal, there is a strong reason for them to be outlawed on the basis of animal cruelty laws.
The third option is the hands-on reptile dhow, whereby the kids get to handle the animals. In Australia only one company does this sort of show, although some others do emulate them to a lesser extent.
The kids are engaged as they handle the animals and most find it as one of the best party options around. However not everyone likes reptiles or other animals and a hands on reptile party may not neccessarily be the best option for your next kids party.
Party Gifts – These come in two forms. The gift for the birthday child and then the gift to the rest in the form of lolly bags and the like. In terms of the first this is usually best determined by speaking either to the birthday child or the parents. In terms of lolly bags, these are a feature of Australia's obesogenic society and are standard departure fare at most kids parties. Usually the mum buys some bags of lollies and stuffs them into ready made lolly bags and the rest is history. As a parent, it's probably best to grab these from your own child leaving the party and to flush them down the toilet as soon as you get home. Your kid will hate you at the time, but when they get older and they look better than their overwight peers, they'll be eternally grateful for your tough love.
Kids party Melbourne, the choices?