Not all birthday parties are created equal.  There are a lot of vendors to pick from when looking where to throw your child’s birthday party, and the packages they offer can differ significantly.  Which package is best for you is a personal choice.  Here are four tips for helping choose the best destination for your kiddo’s next birthday party.

  1. What is the cost per child?

Some vendors have a sneaky way of attracting you in through a low-priced birthday party package, only to surprise you later with an additional per child fee.  Some places even charge per person (yep…parents included).  It is important to get a good handle on what the total cost of the birthday party will be based on the number of children that you believe will attend.   Further, beware that some facilities will charge you for brothers and sisters of guests that attend.

  1. Public, Semi-Private, or Private

When you are looking at a facility, it is important to learn if the time there will be private with just you and your party, semi-private with one or two other parties, or public.  Again, the choice is yours but if it is public, understand what you are getting.  First, in a public setting, the interactions with your guests will not be… private.  That is to say that your conversations will be shared with the rest of the public crowd.  Not only this, but your kiddo and their guests will be running around with other kids and parents who you don’t know.  Second, a public party will lead to lines.  Whether it be lines for games or activities, there will be some wait time.  At facilities that offer only a certain amount of time, these lines can preclude your child and their guests from some of the activities.  And lastly, in a private party or semi-private party, you can control your guest list.  In a public party place, this is not the case.  So that annoying parent who keeps screaming at their kids from across the room…. is at your child’s birthday party.

  1. Ask about your party host

What is a party host?  Your salvation to a worry-free party.  Let’s face it, you are at a facility that may be new to you, throwing a party that you might not know 100% of the details about.  Having a dedicated party host who guides you through the process on the day of the party will help eliminate the stress and let you sit back and relax during the party.  Make sure you ask about the people that will be helping host your child’s party.

  1. I need to do what…..

Ask specifically what are your responsibilities for the party.   Bring a cake..sure.  Bring a cake, plates, and decorations?  What are you paying for exactly?  Your job as a parent should be to sit back, relax, and enjoy the birthday party memories with your child.  Anything short of that you should consider what you are getting into.  Holding a party at home is a lot of work and responsibility.  Part of having your party outside the home is to eliminate that.  If the facility can’t promise you that, think twice before booking there.