Jump to content

Cutting costs when outsourcing parties


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 Silver Girl

Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:15 PM

A while ago DS went to a birthday party at Legoland. I was expecting it to be a big class party, lots of kids, hosted in the party room and costing the family hundreds of dollars.

It turned out to be just the birthday boy and two other guests, attending the centre as regular visitors. The Mum had a cake which she took out in the cafe section and they sang happy birthday there. She bought them a lunchbox pack and drink at the cafe. DS enjoyed it - he prefers smaller groups, and didn’t seem to mind that it wasn’t an ‘official’ party.

I’m thinking of ideas for DD’s party and considering doing something similar. Have you done anything like this? There’s a play centre DD loves that would cost about $400 if we book a formal party. I wonder about booking normal tickets and going to a nearby park for cake afterwards, or to a cafe for babycinos etc.

Any thoughts?

#2 Mollycoddle

Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:23 PM

I always prefer that type of party OP. The cost of organised party-room parties versus what you actually get for your money is ridiculous. The food in particular is disgusting, it costs a few hundred and that's just without hot food.

I once did the small informal party at Questacon here in Canberra, we had a family season pass for 4 which got myself, another adult helper, my son and a friend the entry and we paid for another 2 friends. Then my Mum came about 1.5 hours later with food and the cake and we ate it in the gardens nearby. The kids loved it. I have also done just a few friends at the movies.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 16 July 2019 - 08:29 PM.


#3 LucyGoose

Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:28 PM

We went to a play centre after school for my DD’s friend’s birthday.  They paid for entrance fee and got a few plates of hot chips to share.  Then afterwards they gave out cupcakes to take home.  The kids loved it.  I think she had 4 friends.

But we did go to another birthday that was at a play centre at 5-7pm.   They just paid the entrance fee,  but at this time of day we expected dinner food or some food to be provided,  which it wasn’t.  



#4 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:33 PM

For DS2’s 4th birthday we are going to do similar. Start off at the local play center for an hour or so, then back to our place for cake and presents. No official party.

It won’t actually save us a huge amount of money though, because we will have to supply food and cake, and play centre parties are pretty cheap anyway. But it gives us a bit more flexibility, and we will only have a few cousins having a play, so that keeps numbers down, no minimums to worry about.

#5 Bearynice

Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:36 PM

Our local bowling is cheap Sunday afternoons. $6 per child
Had a game then we got each child a milk shake and a few bowls of chips
We took in homemade birthday cake

#6 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:38 PM

As long as there's cake and friends, then it's a party :)

#7 SM3s Fight Song

Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:47 PM

View PostSilver Girl, on 16 July 2019 - 08:15 PM, said:

A while ago DS went to a birthday party at Legoland. I was expecting it to be a big class party, lots of kids, hosted in the party room and costing the family hundreds of dollars.

It turned out to be just the birthday boy and two other guests, attending the centre as regular visitors. The Mum had a cake which she took out in the cafe section and they sang happy birthday there. She bought them a lunchbox pack and drink at the cafe. DS enjoyed it - he prefers smaller groups, and didn’t seem to mind that it wasn’t an ‘official’ party.

I’m thinking of ideas for DD’s party and considering doing something similar. Have you done anything like this? There’s a play centre DD loves that would cost about $400 if we book a formal party. I wonder about booking normal tickets and going to a nearby park for cake afterwards, or to a cafe for babycinos etc.

Any thoughts?

A play centre near us allows cafe parties as well as their party room ones.  You pay for guests normal entry, they reserve you tables, you can get platters of food if you want and byo cake.  It worked out a lot cheaper.  Might be worthwhile seeing if they do this.

#8 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 16 July 2019 - 09:28 PM

A friend of mine did this. However the play centre she went to is packed in the weekends and only allowed her a booked table type party during the weekday.
However it was a bit awkward. She didn't buy drinks for the kids, she assumed everyone would bring their own drink bottle (some didn't). She also only brought in a birthday cake. I am not entirely sure if she had cleared it with the staff ( she has a history of sneaking food in for her kids into playcentres, even though they have policies saying no outside food, and no, they don'thave allergies) and I think the staff couldn't say anything because it was a party and didn't want to cause a scene.

I think if you don't want to do food at a party place, inviting people back to your house or a cafe as you mentioned if it's nearby sounds like a good option. Also check if you can reserve tables, especially on weekends.

#9 Mollycoddle

Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:58 PM

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 16 July 2019 - 09:28 PM, said:

She didn't buy drinks for the kids, she assumed everyone would bring their own drink bottle (some didn't).

Why on earth would you take a drink bottle to a birthday party?? For me the whole point is that it's one less meal I'll have to organise for my kids over the course of a weekend, isn't the food and drink pretty much why you even go?

Edited by Mollycoddle, 16 July 2019 - 10:58 PM.


#10 Lou-bags

Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:05 PM

View PostMollycoddle, on 16 July 2019 - 10:58 PM, said:



Why on earth would you take a drink bottle to a birthday party??

Really? I’d never go to a kids birthday party without water bottles for my kids.

Especially at a play centre. My kids get so thirsty running around. Plus even for a booked party room one it’s hard to keep track of who’s cup is who’s when they are in and out playing, and we stay on longer than the allotted time usually, so the cups get packed away.

#11 Ellie bean

Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:11 PM

^^same loubags, I also remind mine to keep drinking water or poor ds goes bright red at play centres

#12 BornToLove

Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:37 PM

DD has been invited to a few parties like this. I know the parents only want to do ‘big’ or formal birthday parties every other year, but the kids still want to do something on the non-party year.

These low-key parties are the compromise. It’s usually the birthday kid with 2-4 friends doing something special like a movie, trampoline place, roller skating etc followed up with a milkshake or cupcakes at a nearby cafe.

#13 Mrs Twit

Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:44 PM

My DD (14) wanted a skating party but didn't want the official party so we turned up really early so we could grab a table, my DH picked up pizzas on his way there and we took a cake, bags of lollies and chips and popcorn and drinks. Too easy and cost probably half of what an official party at the rink would have cost. Also we didn't need to worry about minimum numbers and we went on a Sunday night (during the holidays) when it was cheap and parents were free so we got to have a skate too.

#14 just roses

Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:53 PM

That’s my kids’ favourite type of party. DD went to one last year (8yo) and it was just birthday girl, DD and one other kid. The mum took them to a cafe and they ordered cake and milkshakes. Then she took them over the road to the park for a play for an hour. Cheap as chips and DD raves about it!

#15 spr_maiden

Posted 17 July 2019 - 06:54 AM

I've done this.  Birthday child, 3 friends, sibling and friend for sibling. Went to a skate centre.  I called the skate centre couple weeks earlier to check re cake ok to bring in and they were fabulous. Noted the date we were to come in,  made sure we got a table.  They stored the cake for us on the day and provided utensils etc,  and treated DD's party like they do the big parties except for the catered food that the cost per child includes. I took a plate of fruit, cheese and crackers plus sweet buns. Bought some hot chips and drinks.

Another one,  birthday child plus 3 friends to see a kids theatre show, sushi lunch out,  home for cake and play for the afternoon.

Both went really well and were the easiest, most stress free parties ever.

I thought it was cute that even though invite had said play not party, all the kids completely thought of both as birthday parties and were really happy.
100% rec'd it OP.


Eta: my favourite parties for my children to attend are the after school park play parties.  Parent provides snacks and cake,  walks kids from school to nearby park,  they play,  eat,  sing happy birthday.  
It's all done by max 2 hrs later. Kids have a ball.  Those parents are geniuses!

Edited by spr_maiden, 17 July 2019 - 06:57 AM.


#16 Hands Up

Posted 17 July 2019 - 07:25 AM

Best kid party we’ve been too was when the parents got the local pizza place to deliver pizza to the park. They also had a cake and poppers. Fun and easy!

#17 cinnamonnutmeg

Posted 17 July 2019 - 09:48 AM

We never do them because they want a min 10 people and DS has a couple of besties and no cousins. We take them to tunzafun, bounce or gaming centres then home for pizza and sleepovers (when old enough). MUCH more cost effective.

This doesn't work at play centres though because of the whole booking a table thing.

#18 hills mum bec

Posted 17 July 2019 - 09:58 AM

We do this all the time.  This year we took DD1 with 3 of her friends for a few games of laser skirmish then back to our house for DIY pizzas and a sleepover, total cost $100.  For DD2's birthday we took her and three of her friends to the Lego Expo which happened to be on her birthday weekend.  It only cost us $50 for the tickets for our family and the guests and they all loved it.  The prices that venues charge for an actual "birthday party" package are so inflated and the food supplied is usually pretty ordinary.  So much easier to cater yourself at home or even stop somewhere like McDonalds then head out for an activity.

#19 Grrrumbles

Posted 17 July 2019 - 11:13 PM

The after school park parties can be great but can be a logistical nightmare for working parents, those wth commitments like swimming for multiple children or those who need to pick up other children at a different location.

I love the low key low fuss nature of them but they rarely suit us. Taking the afternoon off work for a birthday party is not something I am keen on. It costs the attendees way more than the hosts.

But play date style parties at the park on the weekend are great if the weather is good. Middle of winter birthday child has never had one because there is a small window between when the frost melts and the sun starts to set and it is hard to get it right.

#20 spr_maiden

Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:48 AM

All we've been to don't require parents to attend.
I can see how that would be a pain if they did.

#21 gracie1978

Posted 18 July 2019 - 07:03 AM

If you're going to have a party with just 2 or 3 guests, make sure the parents know it's a small party and that it's important to RSVP and show up...


#22 Ellie bean

Posted 18 July 2019 - 07:49 AM

View Postgracie1978, on 18 July 2019 - 07:03 AM, said:

it's important to RSVP and show up...
I tend to think that is important regardless of the size of the party

#23 Hands Up

Posted 18 July 2019 - 07:55 AM

True Ellie bean but for a recent party we didn’t hear a thing from three of the ten kids we invited. Their parents just didn’t bother.

#24 Ellie bean

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:01 AM

View PostHands Up, on 18 July 2019 - 07:55 AM, said:

True Ellie bean but for a recent party we didn’t hear a thing from three of the ten kids we invited. Their parents just didn’t bother.
Yeah assuming the invites didn’t get lost that’s really rude. I think it’s important to be polite and rsvp no matter how many kids are invited.


#25 gracie1978

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:22 AM

View PostEllie bean, on 18 July 2019 - 08:01 AM, said:


Yeah assuming the invites didn’t get lost that’s really rude. I think it’s important to be polite and rsvp no matter how many kids are invited.

About 70% rsvp'd for DS's 4th.  They all got the invite because the staff hand them to parents.  One showed up who hadn't rsvp'd , two cancelled on the day and another two didn't show and I never heard from them...
I couldn't bear for other people's disorganisation and selfishness to impact his party, so I make sure there are plenty of kids invited.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 
 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Viewed Articles

 
Advertisement
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.