Five Birthday Parties for a Girl Turning 5 by Moms in Weston
Catherine of Moms in Weston reflects on how birthdays evolve as each of her children turns another year older.
GROWING UP, WE HAD ONE birthday party: a family dinner on the actual day with a cake. And, that was fine by me. Boy, have things changed! I’m finding that as my children’s ages increase, so have the number of birthday parties! I started with one for my daughter’s first, two for her second, and so on—OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but there is definitely the classroom party, the immediate family party, and then a big bash for the friends at the top of the list.
For my daughter’s 5th birthday, she happened to have five parties, one of which was a week-long Walt Disney World celebration. I managed to keep it down to just three for her last birthday. While it is fun to celebrate birthdays, they can get stressful. However, just one “this is the best birthday party ever!” especially from a guest makes it all worthwhile.
We’ve hosted bashes at home with a face-painter or another type of entertaining. There have also been parties at venues like the zoo and the Dinosaur State Park. Parties can be as elaborate or as simple as you make it: from homemade invitations, cupcakes/cake favors to purchasing premade ones. Remember that involving the child in the planning creates an extra-special memory. My two cents?
- Keep the party simple.
- If you’d like parents to stay, say so, but make sure you have snacks for them, too.
- Plan to have fun with the kids. They still enjoy simple games (potato sack races, musical chair, etc.).
- Themes are great! It makes it easier to shop for decorations and favors.
- Make sure you play music the kids like and that they can be noisy.
- Parties lasting 90-120 minutes are plenty long.
- Book early; popular entertainers and establishments fill their calendars quickly.
- Have plenty of food and drink.
- It doesn’t matter what time your party runs (even if it’s after lunch), the kids WILL eat the pizza, especially after running around for an hour.
- Cupcakes and juiceboxes are easier to serve than cake and pouring from a jug. Clean up is easier this way, too.
- Just ask. If you see a take-out deal from your favorite restaurant, ask if you can order multiples.
- Delivery of goods saves time.
- Designate a photographer/videographer.
- Send invitations as early as possible.
- Don’t forget the thank you notes.
I’m off to plan my son’s 4th birthday party. His only request is a bouncy house in our back yard. Here’s hoping for the glorious weather we’ve been having so far!
Catherine, who founded Moms in Weston, lives in Weston, CT with her husband and two young children. Moms in Weston offers a network of parents raising children in Weston, and features places to meet local parents through events and activities in the neighborhood.