Ask @DadandBuried: Should I Rent a Venue for My Son's Birthday?
As kids get older, it's hard to know whether the costs you'll save for an at-home party are worth it.
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Hosting at home can be cheaper, but it may cost your sanity. You’ll be stressed about decorations; you’ll need to provide food and drink and the fun. You’ll be stressed about cleaning before guests arrive; you’ll be stressed about cleaning after guests leave; there’s a lot of work involved! And while it should definitely cost less money, making sure everything is Pinterest-perfect may end up costing more than you suspect. (And if you enlist your arts and crafts-impaired spouse in the preparations, you might have to factor in the expense of the resulting divorce as well!) All the extra work—and its accompanying headaches—may counter the cost benefit.
It ultimately comes down to which you prefer: saving money or peace of mind.
One more thing: If you do host the party at home, I implore you to provide beer or wine for your fellow parents. Nobody needs to suffer through one of those things stone-cold sober! Though some venues do allow it, many don’t. In fact, that’s what ultimately tips the scales for me. Looks like we’ll be hosting the next birthday party at home!