Party planning

It’s my daughter’s 10th birthday in a few weeks, so she’s in full-on party planning mode. And Daddy is doing his best to scupper her plans with sensible financial decisions all the way.

I don’t know what it is with kids of her age, but it seems they all start planning their parties about nine months in advance, then change their minds about 12 times before the big day.

Having had a (very nice) bowling party herself last year, her first idea for this year was a dance party. Then she wanted a climbing wall party. And then, huge excitement, a trampoline park opened in Gloucester at the end of last year. She wanted a trampoline party.

She hasn’t been to the trampoline park herself, but it’s what all the kids want to do. Her brother went and had a great time, but there was an ambulance there when we dropped him off. The grown-up cast members and crew of the panto went and two of them got injured.

Oh, and it’s quite expensive. It’s £17 per person and you have to have a minimum of 10 people for a party. My younger son only ever had between two and four party guests between the ages of 6 and 10, so my husband isn’t happy for her to have 10 guests at a total cost of £170. And I can see his point.

So we considered just doing a normal trampoline session at £10 per person and no minimum numbers. But, while my husband is trying to restrict her to four guests, she wants eight guests. And for £10 per person, there’s no food, which looks a bit mean when you invite people to a party. So we would have to go to Pizza Hut or McDonalds with the kids.

Just as with the theatre group decision, she is getting overwhelmed by it. She doesn’t know why financial decisions or what her brother did should come into it. There are plenty of families who don’t bat an eyelid at £200 or more for their kids’ parties, but there are also plenty who don’t do parties or just restrict it to a couple of kids to the Saturday morning (very cheap) cinema.

She has to work out what her priority is. Does she want the eight friends or does she want the fun of the trampoline park?

When you’re nearly 10 and your birthday party is practically the highlight of your entire year, this is a big decision.

She’s decided having more friends is more important than the trampoline park, so her final decision is to go to the bowling alley again, which has much cheaper party packages, including food and with no restriction on the number of guests.

Thank goodness for that!

Do your children stress over planning parties? Or don’t you give them a choice in the matter?

Party, Birthday, Invitations, Daughter

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Eek, it’s like I’m looking into the future. We don’t have any of this just yet but the school invites for parties have started and I get the feeling z is going to start wanting similar things!

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    • Bless him! I’m sure he will! We found a lot of families had very big parties in reception with the whole class and then cut it down to a smaller guest list after that.

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  2. My children are still little enough that we make pretty much all the decisions for them fortunately, but I can see this becoming an issue in the future! The trampoline party sounds amazing but that’s an awful lot of money to spend. We did my son’s first party (7th birthday) at home this year and ended up with 16 children. It was a lot of fun but to be honest it was a bit much for him, he got very overwhelmed and disappeared towards to the end to go and hide somewhere with a book, so I think in the future we’ll probably just limit him to a couple of friends and go to the cinema or something. He went to a party recently which was a movie party which I thought was a good idea, they played a few games then watched a movie with party food, that sounds quite cheap and easy to organise. I hope she has a great party!

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    • We did a couple of friends to the cinema for a few years with both of the younger kids and it was definitely my favourite sort of party! Your poor boy! Parties definitely can get overwhelming.
      Thanks, I’m sure she will love her party in the end 🙂

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  3. Trampoline parties definitely seem to be ‘the thing’ at the moment. I think over the years we have done bowling, soft play, Build a Bear, cheap cinema on a Saturday morning (hurrah), but last year we did something different. I took Katie and 3 of her friends to our local theatre to see a Katy Perry and 1D tribute band. Declaring it the best night of their lives lol, this year she has upped her expectations. Instead of a party she is taking 1 friend to a Little Mix concert in April. Yes it was £120 for 3 tickets (gasp), but it is probably cheaper than a trampoline party. And yes 10 year olds do seem to plan their party about a year in advance. I am sure she will have a great time with her friends x

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    • The tribute band sounds amazing! The Little Mix concert sounds fab too. We’re not very near any big venues, so we don’t get the big bands near to us, but that’s definitely the sort of thing we would consider if we were! My husband did vaguely offer my daughter that she could just take her best friend to Alton Towers as her ‘party’, but she decided against it. x

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  4. we just had my daughter’s 10th birthday party this weekend, even though her birthday isn’t until the end of the month. She & her best friend asked months ago if they could have a joint disco party, so we booked up the local sports pavilion and hired in a dj – we held it in the evening as a grown up thing to do, so we only provided snacks and lots of squash. They sorted their own guest list of 40 girls, and despite some trepidation by me it turned out to be a fantastic event, a pleasure to host all the girls we have seen grow up turning into beautiful young ladies. As we shared the party, we split the costs, and it worked out really well for us. Luckily my seven year old son has consistently wanted to take three friends to the cinema and for lunch. I did try to claim that I have got my daughter to 10 and that’s it now until she’s sixteen, but somehow I don’t think that’s going to wash! Good luck with your arrangements, hope it all goes well x

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    • Thanks very much! That sounds like a great idea – even better that you’re sharing the cost with another family! I think my daughter would love a party like that. Maybe one to consider for year 6?!
      We’ve had a few years of cinema and lunch with both of my younger kids and they’re definitely my favourite type of parties! Not to expensive and not too much opportunity for the kids to go wild, but they still have a lovely time! x

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  5. Thanks very much! Good to know they grow out of it in the end. We never had this stress with my boys! x

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  6. Cheeky Chap is desperate for a soft play party this year which is a minimum of ten kids and something like £12 a head. While that is comparable to what we paid for his bowling party last year, I hate that you have to pay for no shows, which seem to be inevitable in his class and you don’t have to do that with bowling. Plus the additional “entertainment/party games” are dire and the food is basic cheap party food. The husband is refusing point blank to allow it! We think that as he is so Lego mad we might just take him to Legoland but that feels almost mean as he’s still so young and expecting a party. It’s so difficult to know what to do isn’t it? And it’s only going to get worse I suppose…

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  7. Oh, I’m not looking forward to those sorts of decisions! My little girl wants a party this year, I have no idea what we’ll do and she’ll only be four! I do love the trampoline park in Gloucester though, we’ve been a couple of times now to the toddler sessions and had a brilliant time.x

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