Frequently Asked Questions.... answered
We often get asked questions about our parties. As we have done literally thousands of them, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about your upcoming party.
Whether your question is relating to the entertainment we provide or about what party venue would be most suitable, we are happy to help.
Even if you need advise about party food or you need some ideas about what works best, get in touch. We love all things party and love to hear about your party from planning to completion.
In these pages we have included the questions we get asked most often, but if you do not see the answer to your question here, please get in touch.
When do the children eat when I have booked the 2 hour Stress Free party?
Your entertainer arrives at least 45 minutes before the party starts to set up.
At the party start time, the entertainer starts, engaging the kids as they arrive with inclusive games, bubbles and music.
A short introduction and interactive party game follows allowing for any late comers to join in.
25-30 minutes after the party start time, the birthday magic variety show starts and runs till the end of the first hour.
Now it is time for party food - we have a 15-20 minute break for party food and the sing of “Happy Birthday”.
Then it’s time for the disco party and more party games that runs till the end of the party.
Everyone goes home, having just had the best party ever!
We personalise each show - We will make reference to whatever your child likes during the games and magic show and match that with what they find interesting and personalise it to them.
However, we do not customise or theme our shows.
The reason for this is that the show we present has been perfected and fine-tuned over the years for maximum participation and enjoyment for all the audiences that we perform to, guaranteeing a successful performance every time.
This includes the ‘patter’ - the words we say during the performance as well as all the music that is used in the show. They have been practised and streamlined so that we can give our absolute best to every performance. As soon as we present or include material that is not part of the usual performance we have no idea how that is going to be perceived or how successful it may be.
We do multiple shows in a weekend and due to the sheer number of performances we do, we are unable to theme or specialise every show - we would end up doing a new show every week! And then the success of the shows would not be certain.
The short answer is ‘No’ and here’s why…
Children LOVE repetition. Just look at their TV watching behaviours and you will see that your child happily sit and watch the same programme again and again and AGAIN!
The same is true for our shows… If they want an entertainer they have seen before at their party, they want to see the same show.
How do we know?
From 25 years’ experience.
Our entertainers get booked for the same schools' year after year, often up to three times in the same year - that is the same group of children seeing us again and again.
The same is true for parties. The kids love it. At almost every party we do, there are children that have seen our entertainers before. They know exactly what to expect, and more importantly, they know they can have fun from the minute they arrive.
We once questioned this and changed the show when we knew that the same group of children would be at a party one of our entertainers was booked for. This was disastrous… the birthday child wanted to know where all the tricks were that she so looked forward to seeing again. So that entertainer ended up having to pretty much do two shows…
Some thoughts I’d like to share with you regarding venues.
If your venue is not flexible or able to accommodate the time slot, can I suggest that you look for another venue.
Venues are much easier to find than an entertainer that will keep the children engaged and can guarantee a stress-free party experience for you.
When the children enter the venue they are engaged with the entertainer and won’t even notice their surroundings. They will use the facilities for 10% of the time when they are at the party and that is when they are eating. The rest of the time, they will be interacting with the entertainer and having the best time ever.
Now the thing is, if you book an entertainer that is not able to keep the children engaged, you could have the party in a palace and it would be hugely stressful for you as they will be running around, screaming and causing mayhem for everybody.
Magic 4 Children guarantee that we will keep the children entertained from beginning to end of your party.
Why are some venues not suitable for a kids party?
We have worked in literally hundreds of venues over the last 25 years and have learned that some venues are simply not suitable for a kids birthday party.
For us to be able to deliver our best possible service, guarantee value for money and make your party an unforgettable experience for you and your child, we need certain conditions. These conditions are easily met with a little bit of planning and consideration of the type of venue you have in mind for your party.
Have a look at the below examples and things to look out for in your venue search.
What makes a good venue?
Size (smaller is better than bigger), sound (acoustics), accessibility, lighting and layout (rectangular shaped is best).
Typical good venues include church halls, community centres, village halls, some scout huts and some sport clubs (tennis, cricket and bowling clubs).
What makes a bad venue?
Upstairs with no lift access, large echoey rooms, dark rooms with no windows or low lighting and odd shaped rooms i.e. long and narrow or square rooms.
Typical bad venues include (but not exclusively) pubs and social clubs, most (but not all) scout huts, town halls, some sport clubs and restaurants.
This is a very broad generalisation and there are exceptions to these examples set out above.
A good venue can make a good party great and similarly a bad venue can ruin your party experience, despite having great entertainment.
Let me share a story with you…
I was booked to do a 4th birthday party in a social club. When I arrived I realised that the venue is not suitable. It was dark - very dark and it was huge.
The children started arriving and quite frankly they were scared. The size and insufficient lighting was just too much for them to bare and they were unable to relax and enjoy the party. As a result, the party felt disjointed and I was unable to deliver my best as I had to spend a large part of my time reassuring the children and trying to get them to relax and enjoy the party.
Another big factor to consider is the sound in the room. Is it noisy and echoey?
It may be when you go and see the venue you may not notice it because it is just you and the room organiser there. But clap your hands and listen. Does it echo? When you talk, is it noisy?
Imagine 30 kids, laughing and having a great time with an entertainer working over a PA system and 30 - 40 adults having casual conversation… Add maybe a crying baby in there… How does that sound?
In echoey venues a party is very noisy and will probably have you and everyone leave the party with a pounding headache…
Choose your party venue carefully.
Have a look at this article about party venues (included are lists of some venues in Liverpool Cheshire and Manchester that we have done parties in)
Why does a party for two children cost more than a party for one child?
The show we do for a double party has huge differences to the show for a single birthday child. It is not a show for one birthday child with a mention of the second birthday child - the focus is on them both in equal measure throughout the party. At a double party we ensure both of the birthday children are made to feel like superstars from beginning to end.
The birthday stars have equal attention during the show and each one help with a special birthday magic trick and both get to keep a magic wand kit made up just for them by their entertainer.
Each birthday child gets a special gift and give aways during the show - having two birthday children means double the prizes and therefor the extra cost. The extra fee is to cover this extra expense.
We do not offer a joint party package for children with more than a two year age difference.
Here is why…
As I am sure you know that what your older child finds entertaining i.e. the kind of games he/she plays and the TV programs he/she enjoys are totally different from what keeps the younger child engaged.
This is also true for live performances, especially at birthday parties as you will essentially have two groups at your party - the older child’s friends and the younger child’s friends.
There is very little to no entertainment that would appeal to both age groups in the same way, so you stand the chance of losing all the kids attention and engage no one. If you aim to entertain the older group, you will lose the little ones and vice versa.
In all our 25 + years of experience we have not been able to successfully deliver a performance that we feel meet our standards and you would feel disappointed and let down. Disappointing a customer is bad enough, but disappointing a child on their birthday is even worse!
We pride ourselves in delivering the highest quality entertainment and when we feel that we would not be able to do that, we would rather not do it at all. We are not in the business of taking people’s money, but to provide the best possible party experience for you and the birthday star.
We would highly advice reconsidering your party to make it exclusively for the one or the other to ensure you get the best value for money or consider a different type of party.
I hope that this advice is useful for you to make sure you choose the best party experience possible for your children.
A few things to check when having a party at home:
The entertainer will need an area of at least 2 x 3 meters for the setup and equipment.
The children will be seated on the floor and will need a bit of space to move around in, especially if you are having a two-hour party with a disco.
Please ensure that you have adequate space for a safe party. (Bear in mind that you will need to accommodate parents as well as party guests).
Helpful tip: Clear the party area of as much furniture and loose items as possible, including rugs, standing lamps and ornaments. Also make sure that there are no toys or potential distractions lying around for the children to play with.
Here's a few reasons why your garden isn't that attractive after all:
- Stings and bites cause tears.
- Sitting in the sun for up to two hours is dangerous.
- If it rains you have a LOT of
rearranging to do.
(Hint: We live in the UK where rain is the norm. The met office say the North West gets about 200 wet days a year. You just have to guess which of the days it won't rain.)
- Wind is nobody's friend at a party.
- My equipment is powered by electricity, which means running an extension cable form indoors. This causes a whole bunch of hazards in itself.
Balloons at the party
Balloons scattered on the floor is not a good idea, this creates a health and safety risk (trip hazard and choking hazard when bust) balloons on the floor may encourage screaming, running around and bursting of the balloons which can be disturbing to shy or younger guests and detracts from your entertainment
Plain helium balloons to give out at the end is a great idea - not only do kids love them, they serve as decoration during the party.
We are fine with them being in the hall permitting they are either tied up or out of reach of the children.
If this is the case some management from your side might be required… If you have any younger ones at the party (3 and under), mums and dads tend to give them the balloons to play with as they are not able to fully engage with the entertainment. This can sometimes lead to a bit of interruption as other guests might also want a balloon then.
Balloons may encourage screaming, running around and bursting of the balloons which can be disturbing to shy or younger guests and detracts from your entertainment.
If this was to happen we would need for you to manage that as our focus will be on the children and making sure that your child has the best party ever.
Bouncy castles are wonderful things at school fairs and community events. Kids love them. Heck! I even still secretly love a quick bounce now and then. But do they make your party easier?
You can generally book them for half a day or a full day = 4 hours or 8 hours. Considering that the ideal party length is 2 hours, booking them for more than that is sort of neither here nor there. Aha, but the kids can get the use of it before and after the party you say. So true, and this is where the problem lies.
I've lost count of the times I have arrived at a hall where the birthday child — or their best friend — is all red-eyed and their cheeks are sporting dried tear stains. They then show me the large lump on their forehead. That's the reality of bouncy castles as much as we all love them. They require constant supervision which means work for someone.
If you set them up indoors, get your ear plugs ready because you are in for a very noisy party. The motor noise alone sounds like a screeching Jumbo Jet flying directly overhead and when you add jumping children, your party becomes a screaming match to be heard.
But what about setting it up outside? If it rains — and it does always when you least want it to — you are left high and dry — so to speak — and there goes your entertainment. If the kids do continue, they come in wet and muddy and grassy.
The beauty of the 2-hour party blueprint is you don’t need a bouncy castle or any other sources of entertainment. The formula ensures fun for the kids and a relaxed, stress-free party for you.
Is it necessary to hire a face painter?
The short answer is "NO!"
Hiring a face painter to come along and join the party or booking an appearance from one of your child's beloved cartoon characters, super heroes or princesses sounds like a great idea at first. You want the best for your child and you want to give them everything they wish for at their party. But when you choose the 2hr Stress Free Birthday party package from Magic4Children, your entertainer and the show that they provide really is all of the entertainment your child will want and need.
I've performed at dozens of parties where I've arrived and the parent has said; "Oh by the way, I forgot to mention, we've hired a face painter to be here too." - what has then happened is the party has become divided, one half of the party is with your entertainer taking part in the games, watching the magic show and dancing in the disco and the other half are waiting for their faces to be painted. It takes roughly 4-8 minutes for each child to have their faces painted and during that time the other children get bored and start running around causing stress and chaos for you! I've been to a number of parties where the parents have come to take their child to get their face painted and I've heard the children cry "No, I want to stay here and watch the magic show!"
Although it is not the end of the world if you do decide to hire a face painter or a visit from a character themed entertainer, we strongly recommend that you don't. It is an added cost to you that you really won't need to spend should you choose Magic4Children as your party entertainers. And the special attention we aim to provide your birthday child and the atmosphere we aim to create is diluted by the fact that the children's attention is split.
See What Other Parents Say
"Without a doubt Freddie was awesome today. Lola-Kate was totally thrilled with her party and Freddie did the amazing job I have seen him perform before. So many parents commented on how brilliant he is with the children. Total credit."
- Nikki (Culcheth)
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Fantastic Freddie for giving Louie the best 5th birthday party that he could have wished for. Freddie kept the room of 24 kids entertained and transfixed on the show from the moment they arrived to when they left. I received lots of positive feedback from the parents/grandparents about how entertaining they found it too.
Louie had a brilliant day and certainly felt very special. All of his friends were involved too and I couldn't believe how Freddie could remember each of their names! It was a huge success and I got to sit back and enjoy watching the kids all loving the show."
- Lynsey (Urmston)