What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  




     Home  >  Articles  > Parties
by Julie Revelant

Related: how to, birthdays, parties, child, birthday party, kids, children, parents, tips, moms, ideas, advice, busy, time-saving, easy,

kids birthday party; children's party


Want to throw an amazing birthday party, but short on time? No problem. We talked to leading experts who came up with some of the best ideas so you don't have to. So go ahead and pick the ones that suit your party - pronto!



The Experts

Jenna Higgins, author of "Bashes on a Budget - Kids' Birthdays"

Jenna Higgins

Event diva and author of Bashes on a Budget - Kids' Birthdays (CreateSpace)

 Kathy Peel, author of "The Busy Couple's Guide to Sharing the Work and Joy"  

Kathy Peel

Author of The Busy Couple's Guide to Sharing the Work and the Joy (Picket Fence Press)

 Hannah Keeley, host of the TV series "Hannah, Help Me!"  

Hannah Keeley

Host of the TV series "Hannah, Help Me!" and founder of HannahKeeley.com

 Betsy Price, owner of Besy and Company, event and party decorating company  

Betsy Price

Owner of Betsy and Company, a complete event and party decorating company



1. Shut down your computer: Brainstorm with your children and you'll have great ideas in no time.

2. Make a checklist and create a schedule for a smooth soirée.

3. Shopping can be quick: make a list of everything you'll need from beginning to end and then a list by store.

4. After sending the snail mail invitation, send an email reminder - you'll get a response quicker than by making individual phone calls.

5. Don't write out each invitation by hand: buy an invitation kit and print invites on a home computer. Or, for older children, send out a Facebook event invitation or an Evite; click send and you're done!

6. Get your head count early: Send out invitations 6-8 weeks in advance.

7. Give the professional photographer a list of the people and key moments you want captured.

8. Don't rush last minute: choose a venue close to home and ask if you can arrive early to set up. Or even better, have the venue do the setup themselves.


Get Help

9. Ask the parents to stay and help out.

10. Have a stress free start: ask a sibling or parent to greet guests, make them feel welcome, and show them the first activity.

11. Assign your husband, partner, or a grandparent to completely handle decorations, games, or cleanup. 



12. No need to worry about getting the perfect shot: get a professional photograph taken of the birthday child beforehand, and display it at the party. 

13. Instead of blowing up balloons yourself, have them delivered to the venue.

14. Don't stress out about finding every party item with the licensed character: choose one item and coordinate the rest with items of the same color.  



15. Play a simple trivia game like "Who Knows the Birthday Kid?"

16. Pack a cooler of refreshments, head to your local park or ball field, and play flag football or baseball.

17. Utilize your own talents or hobbies for the activities: teach children how to paint, cook, or dance

18. Don't spend endless hours online: get quick recommendations for great entertainers from friends and family.

19. For a sleepover party, buy mini pillows for the girls to throw at each other and also bring home as favors.



20. Pick up vegetable and fruit platters - no slicing, no fuss!

21. Ask parents to bring a special dish and make it a potluck.

22. Set up a pasta or chili bar, or have kids make their own sandwiches or mini pizzas.

23. Don't spend the night before baking: have children decorate individual mini cakes as you decorate the main cake.

24. Buy individualized cups of ice cream - they're convenient and make cleanup a breeze.

25. Enlist the help of a pro: purchase a designer cake or pick up a ready-made one and use colored gels and icings to decorate it.


Goody Bags and/or Favors

26. For spa parties, gather cosmetic samples at store makeup counters which double as favors.  

27. Don't spend time stuffing goody bags: pass out small cellophane bags and have guests collect candy from the piñata to take home.


After the Party

28. Don't rush: collect all cards and gifts at your venue and open at home.

29. Address, stamp, and have your child sign thank you notes ahead of time. Then, make a list of the gifts as they're opened and write a personalized note later. Or create a thank you note template or fill-in-the-blank. Change the name and the gift, then sign it and it's done!

30. Save the snail mail thank you notes for family, and send quick emails to friends.

Boredom buster

Be a parent in the know
Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More Parties Articles

How to Deal with an Unruly or Rude Guest at Your Child's Birthday Party: Advice from the Experts
How to Deal with an Unruly or Rude Guest at Your Child's Birthday Party: Advice from the Experts in Fairfield County, CT
How to Throw an Allergy-Friendly Children's Birthday Party
Momtography 101: How to Get the Best Pictures of Your Kids
Serve the Right Food at Your Child's Birthday Party: Tips from the Experts

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Parties Sponsors

Music Conservatory of Westchester
216 Central Park Ave.
White Plains, NY
Music Conservatory of Westchester was founded in 1...
Greenlawn Equestrian Center
29 Wood Ave.
Greenlawn, NY
Park Explorers-Exploring Theater
8th Ave & 6th St
Park Slope, NY

Mosiello & Sons
545 Saw Mill River Road
Ardsley, NY
Mosiello & Sons is a family owned and operated bus...

Gaminride - Long Island
105 Hoover Place
Centerport, NY
Long Island's Best Video Game Party! Gamin' Ride i...
See Our Parties Directory

local zones


Nassau cont.


Suffolk cont.


Westchester cont.



Rockland cont.


Queens cont.


Brooklyn cont.


Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE