Sometimes you just don’t have the space to have a party at home. Or maybe you just don’t want to worry about preparing the house for a party and want someone else to deal with the clean-up. So whether you rent a hall for your next kids’ party or you have it at the local skating rink, here are some tips to help you be the hostess with the mostest.
How to Plan a Party Outside the Home
* Book the venue in advance. You need to give yourself plenty of time to get the date and time you would like. Call at least three weeks in advance. If it’s during a particularly busy time of year (like around Christmas time) you will want to call earlier.
* Have an idea of how many guests you think will be attending. You will need to have a tentative headcount when you book the venue.
* Go over the contract and the cost per guest and whatever any add-ons will cost before the party date. You want to know exactly what to expect so you aren’t arguing over something you misunderstood. Make sure you have everything clear and in writing, so hopefully when you get the bill there are no surprises and you can just pay and have a nice ending to a nice party.
* Find out if there will be time set aside for cake and presents. Since you are usually given a time slot for your party, you want to know how much time there will be to get everything in. You might have to do opening the presents at home.
* Check to see what food you are allowed to bring in. Some places don’t allow you to bring any outside food; others might say only a cake. Make sure to find out what they will supply in the way of utensils for eating and serving that cake, though, and if you’ll be allowed to put candles on it or they’ll provide one.
* Call the venue again a day or two in advance to give them a final head count and make sure everything is ready for you.
* Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start of your party (assuming of course you will not be the one who has to decorate). This way you can go over any last-minute stuff with whoever is assigned to help out with your party, and you’ll be there to greet any possible early guests. Also you’ll be able to get yourself all situated.
* Know in advance if the children’s parents will be staying. You can usually purchase some extra food for the adults so find out how many adults you’ll likely have to feed so you can order enough food.
* Have large bags you can use to carry all of the birthday party presents home in, as well as a pen and paper to keep track of who gave you what. This will come in handy for your thank you notes.
* Don’t forget to tip your party coordinators – especially if they went above and beyond.
Having a party outside of the home can really be stress free, especially if you follow these tips. You’ll have a great time focusing on the birthday child while someone else takes care of entertainment, serving, and cleaning. So enjoy it and don’t stress.