Birthday party at home or at a venue?
It’s party time and I’m pretty sure that one of the first things you will consider is whether to have your party at home or at a venue… here are some tips and guidelines from years of experience as a birthday party specialist. I have compared both settings and looked at the favourable and not so favourable (and often forgotten) aspects of having a party at home or in a venue.
Having a party at home
- Having the party at home is great as you know where everything is and you won’t be late for setting up and getting your party room ready!
- You are in your own kitchen, which is great for hot party food or pizzas, hotdogs as you know appliances.
- Being at home, the party guests are less likely to be running around as kids know its a no-no.
- You do not have to transport loads of party goodies, including tea, coffee, milk, rubbish bags and all the other bits and bobs that you might need.
- After the party you don’t have to transport loads of presents back home.
- And of course, lastly it doesn’t cost you anything to use your own lounge or the playroom.
- Having the party at home could be stretching your home’s space to it’s limit. It could get very cosy as you may have to accommodate not only the party guests, but possibly also parents and siblings. Even if you request parents to drop off the party guests, you may still have some parents staying if their little one is a bit shy.
- With parents that stay at the party, comes vehicles. Is there space for extra parking in your street?
- You also need to think of where your guests will be eating… Have you got a big dining room table or are you going ‘picnic style’? Thing is, little ones aren’t exactly know for their table etiquette… You are likely to have crumbs everywhere and don’t rule out spilt drinks…
- Are you planning to have an entertainer? Where will they set up? Most birthday party entertainment is most successful indoors. Entertainers are likely to have a sound system and will need power and aren’t ideal to be held in the garden.
Having your party at a venue
- The first and the most obvious benefit of having your party at a venue is… Lots of space! Space to accommodate all the guests, including all mums and dads and siblings, should they all wish to stay. You also have ample space for entertainment, whether you get an entertainer or put party games on yourself. If you wanted to get a bouncy castle, check with the venue as they may have restriction due to insurances or even something like the roof not being high enough!
- Venues have their own tables and chairs for party guests and parents.
- Most venues have a kitchen or even professional catering facilities. Even better, venues will have enough cups and glasses to offer parents refreshments. (That is after you’ve rooted through all the cupboards to try and find them!)
- When you have your party at a venue, you will need to clean up after the party… this is easy enough as most venues have hard floors that are easy to sweep and wipe up any spills.
- Halls are great for entertainment. If you are doing games yourself, having the space to play pass the parcel, musical statues, musical chairs and so on is great. You could even do a treasure hunt! Should you wish to book an entertainer, a hall works well as the entertainer will have sound and possibly lighting equipment which takes up a bit of space.
- Halls and venues normally have parking attached to the facility. Just make sure parking is free and if not, let parents know before the party so they have change with them.
- Hiring a venue or a hall for your birthday party will have a cost attached. It may be a breakage deposit, or a set fee. I have been to venues where only a donation was suggested. Check out local church halls, village halls, school halls. Pubs, social clubs and restaurants are other suggestions, but they are less suitable for birthday parties.
- Using an unfamiliar venue may leave you unsure about the facilities… If possible, go and see the venue beforehand. Check out what the venue offers in terms of kitchen facilities as well as restroom facilities.
- Having your party at a venue, needs a bit more planning before the party as you need to make sure that you have everything ready to take with you. I’ve been to loads of parties where dad or grandad had to dash back home to go and get the party bunting or the party banner or even the birthday cake! When you have so much to think about, it’s easy to forget things at home. I carry a lighter with me for lighting birthday candles as this is so often forgotten in the hussle-bussle of the party preparations.
- You may be restricted as to what and how you can put up party decorations. Check what the venue’s terms are regarding things like blue tac on the walls to keep your party banner in place. And then don’t forget to add ‘blue tac’ to your list of ‘things to take to the party’! (Permitted you can use it, of course).
I hope and trust that this article has been useful to you… And that my years of experience has made your choice of party venue that little bit easier.