Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why I'm done with big birthday parties for kids

We celebrated our daughter’s fourth birthday the other weekend with a big Disney princess dance bash at a local studio. It was a great party and I think everyone enjoyed themselves, but you know what?

I’m never doing a huge kids’ party again.

Let me set the scene. There were 40 children on the guest list, including younger and older siblings, and I think 30 kids was the final guest tally. Plus parents, of course, since most of the kids were four or younger — add one or two adults for every couple of kids, and you’ve got a lot of people. Everyone was laughing and chatting and oohing at how cute the kids looked dancing under the flashing disco lights.

There was even entertainment! I hired a lovely Rapunzel impersonator — er, I mean “I flew in Rapunzel from that island with all of the floating lanterns” — and she was fantastic. She performed on stage alongside our daughter, played games with the kids and even painted their nails and applied temporary princess tattoos. They followed her around like adoring ducklings and it was awesome.

But, you see, there’s a formula to a big party: you either spend more money for doing less work, or spend less money as long as you’re willing to do more work. I opted for a few conveniences — like buying pre-cut fruit — and a few cheaper solutions — like making the cakes myself — so in the end, I feel like I spent a lot of money AND put in a lot of time ...

Continue reading why I'm DONE with big birthday parties in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene ...

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