‘Kids’ and ‘stress-free’ don’t always go together as well as peanut butter and jelly do, but event planner Brett Galley is here to affirm that there is hope for fantastic parties that won’t inspire any gray hairs!
1) Keep it simple. As much as we never want to leave anyone out, more guests = more of everything else. The unspoken equation to a practical amount of youngsters is to match the number of invitations to the age of your child, and add two. This helps with party expenses as well as keeping the atmosphere fun and intimate yet manageable. When it comes to the guest list, sometimes less is more!
2) Be organized. Have a checklist and timeline and mark tasks off as you go along. Try to give yourself ample time to prepare so you have time to relax and anticipate the big day. These celebrations are memories in the making so make an effort to slow down and enjoy them with friends and family.
3) Go Green. Most people these days are tech-savvy enough to use email regularly. There are easy ways to make a festive e-vite that looks cool and is more efficient. This saves time, saves trees, and cuts costs of buying or printing invitations to mail. Welcome to the 21st century!
A little creativity goes a long way—>
4) Is a party venue right for me? If you find yourself losing sleep over party details and it’s within your budget, handing over the reins to the experts is one way to catch a wink. There are many establishments that take care of all the needs of a kid’s party from food, to entertainment, to décor and favors. It’s easy (and free) to call and just ask for information. Choose a venue that specializes in children’s parties, has organized activities and responsible hosts. All you have to do is show up and party!
5) Get creative. Pick a theme and carry it through. A theme party such as sports, pajama party, DJ Disco, or a safari adventure can really add to the excitement of the day and provide a magical atmosphere for the kids to escape to. Have novelty eye patches for the little buccaneers to wear as they “board the ship” to your child’s Pirate Party or have Tea Time with scrumptious cakes and juice for all your little princesses. Let yours and your child’s imaginations run wild and never forget to have fun.
6) Don’t be afraid to DIY. If budget is a stress, cut costs where you can. Bake your own cake or turn it into a fun activity and have the kids decorate their own cupcakes. Organize classic games at little to no cost to keep the kids entertained like hot potato, limbo, and charades. Legends never go out of style!
7) Visit your local party supply. Head to a local party store for supplies. Many party stores provide all the essentials from invitations, to paper goods, balloons, decorations, games, and favors. Try to find a one-stop-shop to avoid making several trips around town.
Shop online and save!—>
8) Shop online and save. Shop in the comfort of your home and have everything you need sent straight to you. There are many wonderful websites available that are devoted to all your party needs. Search for companies with shipping deals and discounts and avoid spending time and money running from store to store. Get your kids involved and enjoy the experience together without the checkout line meltdowns.
9) Hire entertainment. Let the professionals do what they live to do and amaze your guests. Watch how the time flies as kids are being mesmerized by a comical magician, an educational and hands-on animal show, or an upbeat dance party. There are great online resources and seasoned agencies that can help narrow down what you are looking for and allow you to find talented entertainers in your area at great prices.
10) Hire a party planner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Party planners take care of all your needs from start to finish, providing unique ideas and truly giving you a stress-free experience. Having a point person to ensure a perfect event takes the pressure off of parents and allows for even more creative capabilities than you may have thought were possible.
Brett Galley is the Director of Special Events and owner of Hollywood Pop Gallery. She has produced events and concerts for American Express, Diana Ross, Robert DeNiro, Bon Jovi, the New York Yankees, and the Museum of Modern Art.