Birthday Party Locations Tips

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What should I know when I am planning parties at outdoor party places?

How to Throw Parties at Outdoor Party Places

Outdoor party places are wonderful for parties in spring, summer and early fall. People can enjoy the beautiful weather and the atmosphere is usually very relaxed and enjoyable. However, throwing outdoor parties can also be a bit of a challenge. To be successful, you should:

  • Make sure you have a plan for bad weather. Check to see if indoor facilities are available at the location you are considering. If not, ask about rain date policies. Being outside is no fun when there's a monsoon drenching the guests.
  • Bring a well stocked emergency kit, including bandages, antiseptic cream, sun block and bug repellent products. Many guests aren't thinking about the sun and the insects when they are planning their trip to the party and neglect to bring these items with them.
  • Consider the activities guests will be participating in when you are buying beverages. If they are sitting down and chatting, they will probably need two drinks a piece on hot days. However, if they are playing softball, tag, volleyball or other high energy games, you should plan to provide three drinks per person. Also, if some guests are drinking alcohol, make sure you have extra water available for them, in case they get dehydrated.
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Are there any things I should know before I have a party at Chuck E Cheese?

Successful Birthdays at Chuck E Cheese

You've decided you can't handle a mass of children descending upon the house yet again, so you are taking the whole gang to Chuck E Cheese for this year's birthday party. You're going to hand someone money, pass out tokens and let the kids play until they can't play anymore. It's a good plan, but you may want to do a bit more to be sure the party turns out to be fun for everyone.

  • Check the newspaper before you go. Many times, the Sunday coupon section offers some nice discounts for token and pizza packages. It is always nice to get some extra tokens, since the kids use them up so fast.
  • Some states have Chuck E Cheese restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages. Check with the staff when you walk in the door to be sure yours doesn't offer alcohol. If it does, make sure at least one parent is on guard duty at the table at all times. That way, any children that head to the wrong table and grab a glass of what they think is soda will be stopped by the parent before they drink it.

   
How do I find party places?

Finding Party Places

You're planning a surprise party and you need to have it somewhere else, because having it at home would never work with your super sleuth around. Now, your problem is that you have no idea how to find party places.

Often, the best place to start looking is in your old-fashioned yellow page book. Open your book to the party section. You will probably see that it is broken down into several parts, such as party centers, party and event planning services and party supplies. If there are other listings in other sections, your book should tell you. For example, under party supplies, there may be a note that says see also: novelties.

If you still want more options, check your local newspaper. Community newspapers often have local party places listed that are not in the yellow page book because they are fairly new or opted to save money on advertising.

If none of these places are still right for you, call a few local restaurants. Chains like McDonalds and Chick Fil A are happy to accommodate birthday parties and many of them have play areas for kids to run around in. Small restaurants and diners may not have play areas, but many of them do offer private rooms for parties that are great for teen and adult birthday celebrations.

   
Are free birthday club programs worthwhile?

Taking Advantage of Birthday Club Programs

As you browse through some of your local stores or eat at your favorite restaurants, you may notice a small sign about a birthday club program. However, if you didn't take the time to read about the program, you may not realize how nice many store and restaurant programs are.

  • Many restaurants that offer birthday clubs give a free desert to guests who eat there on their birthdays. Some give a free appetizer instead. A few very nice programs actually give the birthday boy or girl an entire free meal.
  • Ice cream chains usually give a free scoop of ice cream to customers who come in on their birthdays.
  • Stores often mail a discount coupon to people to use during their birthday week. Usually, it is a small discount, such as 15% off a single regularly priced item, although some stores do give an even nicer gift.
  • Supermarkets rarely have birthday clubs, but they often give a free cake to children on their first birthdays, so be sure to check with your local grocery store if you have a child turning one.
  • Don't forget to check game centers, miniature golf courses and other entertainment options in your area. Many of them offer free games to people on their birthdays.

   
What should I remember when putting on an outdoor party?

Plan B

Always have a plan B or place to go if it rains or gets too windy. The ideal situation is an indoor space off of the original party location, but if that's not possible be sure to have travel arrangements made or the plan B location included on your invitations.

   
Are there any tips for selecting indoor party places?

Selecting Indoor Party Places

When you plan to hold a party at one of the many indoor party places for the first time, there are so many things to think about. You need to narrow your choices down to one location and find out about all the different policies to be sure the day goes smoothly. Easier said than done, right? Actually, there are several things you can do to make sure it all goes as planned.

First, you'll need to talk to someone at your top three party location choices. It is best to visit in person to see what the room looks like and how the staff acts. It also is a good idea to ask for samples from the food menu. Chances are you'll like one of the venues more than the rest.

Once you have a favorite site, it is time to see if it will work out. Obviously, you need to find out which dates are available for you to book the party. However, you'll also need to find out if a cake is provided, whether you can have the room for a long enough time that the guests aren't rushed out before the party is really over and whether there is space for your DJ and any activities you have planned.

   
What is something different I can do at my party?

Indoor Party Places For Birthday Party Locations

Looking for a new and innovative place to hold your next birthday party? Here are some indoor ideas we recommed:

  • Rent a hotel room, spend the night and play in their pool and watch videos. Be sure to let the hotel know you'd like a room away from other "sleeping" guests! For a big surprise, rent a limo to pick up the guests.
  • If you're looking for a fun, relaxing party why not visit a beauty salon and get a makeover? Depending on your budget you and your guests could get your nails done, your makeup done, your hair... or the works!
  • To throw an unforgettable birthday party, sign up with FAO Schwartz for their in-store slumber party that includes a treasure hunt, gift certificates, and unlimited access to the entire toy selection, as well as a price tag of approximately $17,500.
  • If you've decided to have your party at home, consider putting any pets in an area away from the guests. Many people are either allergic or uncomfortable around strange animals, and small children can get frightened easily.
  • Pool parties can be a blast! But many kids have drowned with 20 adults standing in sight! Designate one or two adults to watch the pool at all times. Give them strict instructions not to do anything else (even talk or eat).

   
What do I need to know about holding a party outdoors?

Outdoor Party Places For Birthday Party Locations

If you're lucky enough to have a birthday during one of the summer months, enjoy the outdoors and take a tip from one of our outdoor party places:

  • Some outside locations have neighbors who complain if they hear ANY noises from a party (music, people laughing loudly, glasses breaking on cement, car engines/doors, sneezes, etc.). Many of these locations have an unreasonably low music volume restriction placed on their music entertainment that can affect the enjoyment of an event. Check music volume restrictions if this is a concern to you!
  • Umbrellas or other shademakers for afternoon parties are not only pretty looking, but in hot climates they can be essential to a great outdoor party. If you don't have trees that give shade to your outdoor party area, be sure to set up some sort of cover for your guests.
  • Keep sunscreen handy and offer to slather some on your guests often. Also make sure to have bug spray available. Even some extra sweaters in case things get cold can make your guests more comfortable.
  • Burn citrus candles to help keep a variety of bugs at bay, and keep ponds stocked with mosquito fish. For yellow jackets (daytime nuisances, mostly), try traps from your nursery or garden center; hang them at least 5 yards downwind of a barbecue or picnic table, waist-high or lower.
  • Cover food, especially meat and sweet drinks, on a buffet table. Don't let your food - hot or cold - sit out on the picnic table for more than two hours - or within one hour if the outside temperature is above 85°F. Put perishables into the cooler immediately after eating. And remember - when in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wind can be a major problem for outdoor parties. Use heavy decorations, napkins, tableware, etc. that will be less likely to be toppled or blown away by high winds, and pin or bolt down everything that can be pinned or bolted down.
  • Let parents know that the party will be outdoors so they can dress their child appropriately. You don't want anyone to show up in a fancy outfit that 'can't get dirty' or restricts their play.
  • If you want to serve lunch, choose something (like sandwiches) that you can prepare ahead of time, to keep you from having to run in and out of the house. Or order a pizza! If you have plenty of helpers on hand you can barbecue, but children are such picky eaters...the time and trouble involved in barbecuing is seldom worth it.

   
What do I need to remember when throwing at outdoor party?

Outdoor Seating

Just because you're outdoors doesn't mean you won't need seating. Comfortable seating for everyone is a must. "Built-in seating or seat walls can supplement garden furniture for large groups and keep the garden from looking cluttered" says Sunset Magazine.

*You can also spread blankets for a more casual picnic party atmosphere.

   
What should I remember about holding an outdoor party?

Supervision Is Necessary

Outdoor play tends to get very vigorous, so your supervision is necessary to keep things from getting out of hand. You should also take a few minutes to childproof your yard/patio area before the guests arrive. Put gardening equipment in the garage, take down windchimes, move plants to another area, put any charcoal or lighter fluid out of reach, etc.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Jerry Mayo