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.

Planning the Perfect Kid’s Birthday Party

Pulling off the perfect birthday bash for a kid is sometimes tricky as you may overlook something you think is trivial but which means a lot to the kid. The costumes, food and drinks, games, décor and much more must be gotten right for the kid to feel the bash was good and amply entertain her/his friends.

The best way to ensure everything is considered and taken care of is by having a checklist of activities and items needed.

Planning checklist

  • Make a guest list and a budget
  • Choose 2-3 dates and time agreeable to the must attend guests – give special consideration to your child’s best friend(s) and close family members availability.
  • Look for a birthday venue if not having the party at home
  • Choose the party theme and décor
  • Select menu. If you want the food catered for by a catering firm, look for one and make the menu together
  • Send invites. Digital invites work better for easier RSVPs and Thank you notes

You will need different preparations depending on whether the party is being held at home or at an outside birthday venue. If the bash will be away from home;

  • Check whether all needed décor items are purchased
  • Check out the party favors offered at the venue. Look quality stuffed animals and goodie bags and see if the venue allows you flexibility to pay for ONLY the amount used of these items so you can pre-order larger quantities to ensure no last minute run-outs.

If you engage a birthday venue, let them run everything so that you are stress free. Let them decide on the what/when/why/where questions of the bash.  The venue usually has a timeline that works well to ‘Make it All Happen’.

  • Review the venue website and brochure to see what to expect before, during and after the bash.
  • Confirm what can and cannot be brought to the venue,
  • Book party décor items like balloons through the venue,
  • Confirm that venue has standard utensils, discuss color of utensils to ensure they match with your theme.

If the party is at home ensure;

  • The needed kitchen and table wares have been bought. Take an inventory of forks, plates, knives, cups, cake lighter, and serving utensils and buy anything missing
  • Order whatever party rental you will need (Tables and chairs)
  • Schedule the cleaning service 1-2 days before
  • Plan for 2-3 hours of activity and games
  • Order entertainment services (Inflatables, trains, reptiles, characters…etc.)
  • Plan for a cleaning service to come 1-2 days after the event to get your house back to normal.

2-3 days before the party;

  • Confirm with the birthday venue regarding guest counts / give-aways / food / timeline
  • Assemble all needed items not provided at the venue; drinks, costumes, goodie bags etc
  • Prepare the camera with fresh batteries

1 day before the party

  • Buy perishable food items and chill the drinks
  • Pick up the cake
  • For a home party prepare food items that can be refrigerated

Bash day

  • Designate an assistant to help you out
  • Decorate before guests arrive
  • Have a gift check-in system
  • Prep thank you cards
  • Prep the birthday kid on how to say thank you

After the party

  • Share photos and videos on social media
  • Send Thank You notes

Ultimate Arena Aliso Viejo

Considering throwing your next indoor birthday party at home?

fun-image-2-newBirthday parties are a big deal. The invites, the prep time, the entertainment, presents, the decor, the food, the cake. If you’re throwing a party at home you can’t forget to take inventory of kitchen items and tableware for the party, purchase everything you are missing. Don’t forget to schedule time to clean your home before and after the mess, ordering party rental equipment, and plan activities for 2-3 hours of your personal home invasion.

It’s easy to forget about all-of-the-above when you are planning your next kids birthday party, but for some of us, it happens every year. We find ourselves spending far more than we expect while trying to “make things easy” or “save money”. Does this sound familiar?

If you’ve already sent the invitations, booked the party clown and hired the taco-guy, you might be in for a repeat, but for everyone else there’s Scooter’s Jungle.

Scooter’s Jungle is conveniently located throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Ventura County. Each venue offers a complete party itinerary to keep your party-goers entertained, with age appropriate arenas, dining rooms and event supplies on hand.

There’s more…reserving your next private birthday party at a Scooter’s Jungle near you gives you access to our professional event planners, clean facilities, made in-house fresh pizza, balloons available to match any theme and party favors that start at just $3 each.

During your visit expect to be part of the FUN. Your itinerary may include sliding down the tallest, longest inflatable slides, obstacle courses, zip-lines, air hockey, tricycle races, and much, much more.

Throwing your next Birthday Party at Scooter’s Jungle will help you avoid many of the pains that you’ll face when having a party at home, from planning, to cost, to cleanup. Call today to talk to our party planners or reserve your next party.