When to choose to do a birthday party at home versus at a venue

Planning your child’s birthday party can seem overwhelming as there are so many things to consider. Deciding whether to do the party at home or at a party venue and choosing between which venues can leave some parents feeling defeated.

Some people throw parties at home because it seems like the most economical choice, however, this is not always the case. Also, they may not realize that a venue can alleviate so many considerations and responsibilities than when doing it in your home.

When selecting a party location, primary things you should consider are: Safety for both your child and your guests, comfort for your group and of course the opportunity for fun! Let’s highlight the advantages of both home parties and kids party venues:

Choosing between home or venue to host your child’s birthday party?

Many parents choose and enjoy hosting their child’s birthday party in their own home and this is a great option for certain birthday years. There are other birthday years where it can be more enjoyable for both the birthday child and parents to choose an outside venue. A mix of the two is important to keep in mind.

It’s important to not have the misconception that having a party in your home is easier to organize and more comfortable for your guests, because this is not always true.

Pros for home party:

  • If the party gets too overwhelming for your child, they can go to their room or a familiar quiet spot to recalibrate.
  • You do not have to drive anywhere to get to the party.
  • You can host your guests as long as you like and there are no limits on how long they can stay.
  • No need to transport decorations and you can set up your theme decorations however and whenever you choose, day of…or days earlier if you enjoy having everything displayed.
  • You can cook and serve whatever food/drink items you like, including alcohol, with no particular food rules or schedule.

Cons for a home party:

  • There is a lot of cleaning before and after the party, which is time consuming if you do it yourself and expensive if you are able to hire someone to do it.
  • You have to come up with a plan/schedule for the party and some sort of activity to keep the kids entertained.
  • You will most likely need to decorate your space, from scratch, to make a festive birthday party appeal and will not be able to ‘surprise’ your birthday child with the theme since you will need to work ahead of the party to make it ‘just right’.
  • You have to be comfortable with a lot of people, particularly kids, in your home potentially breaking things.
  • You will need to manage your guests to be on their best behavior, unless you are able to hire event staff to assist you.
  • Guests can stay AS LONG as they like…and maybe sometimes longer than you would like.
  • You might get exhausted hosting your child’s birthday party at home, be careful.
  • The costs can add up when you consider everything that goes into it, especially if your guests expect to be served alcohol.

‘If the cons are too much, consider choosing a birthday party venue’

I​t’s important to consider costs and comfort when deciding between different party venues, but there are other things to keep in mind as well. Here are some things to consider:​

  • Venue and party size
  • The event venue that you choose should have ample space for your group. Ideally, the venue will have private room options to allow your group to celebrate together without strangers during both their activity and dining time. If your party child wants to have an active, fun birthday party, then they will need lots of space to ‘spread their wings’.

  • Decorations and themes
  • Choose a venue that makes your life easier by offering a venue theme that is attractive to your birthday child. Doing so will reduce your need to come up with a theme from scratch and even get you off the hook from doing any decorating if you choose. If you have a theme in mind make sure the venue allows you to bring in your own decorations. If you don’t have a theme in mind, be sure to ask if the venue provides any decorating options that you can purchase, such as balloons.

  • The party package and privacy
  • Usually, the party package is restricted to a certain number of guests, be sure to inquire about the costs of inviting additional guests and make sure the venue is large enough to comfortably accommodate your group size. Be sure to ask if your play area is private or if you will be sharing it with other parties or patrons. Ideally, you will be able to choose a venue that keeps all aspects of your party private.

  • Food
  • Be sure to find out in advance if your chosen venue provides food or whether you will need to supply it yourself. The benefit of having the venue do it, is that you don’t need to prep, prepare, clean, or transport the food. Sometimes parents like to do a combination, for example, bring their own veggies and birthday cake but have the venue provide pizza. Again, it is important to ask what your options are.

  • Staff
  • If you’re doing the party at home you are most likely doing a lot of the ‘work’ yourself or hiring someone to do it. If you do it at a venue be sure to inquire if there will be a dedicated staff member helping you.

Decision time:

Whatever you decide, make sure your child is excited about it. A birthday party is a special occasion and marks an important transition in your child’s life. We at Scooter’s Jungle believe it may be helpful to visit the venue ahead of time to see it and get a feel before you invite guests. Not all venues offer 100% private parties. Many venues do not offer any private options or only offer the dining portion as private. Learn more about which venues offer 100% private birthday parties that are kid friendly and alcohol free, such as Scooter’s Jungle.

If you do the party at home make sure any activities or entertainment you have are age appropriate and something your child will enjoy. When choosing from countless places to have a kid’s party, consider the options available and don’t restrict yourself to home only.