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Planning Your Child's Party at an Outside Location

Everything You'll Need to Consider

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Planning Your Child's Party at an Outside Location

Children's Party

Oksana Struk/Getty Images

There are more places than ever before that are willing to host children's parties. Many facilities put together turnkey packages so that all parents need to provide are the birthday child and guests. If you decide to host a children's party at an outside facility, here are some of the questions you should ask:

Cost Considerations

  • What is the cost per child?
  • Will you have to pay for any parents that stick around for the party?
  • Is there a minimum number of children you are expected to pay for?
  • What is the maximum number of children you can have?

Organizational Questions

  • What is the length of the party?
  • What activities will be organized by the facility?
  • Do they expect all the parents to stay and supervise their own children (as Gymboree does)?
  • How many party coordinators do they provide?
  • Will they send out the invitations for you if given a list?

Food Questions

Are food and beverages provided? Do they have a relationship with a food supplier (such as a pizza shop) that you are required to use? What additional food can parents bring in, if desired?

Child Related Questions

  • Do they recommend children wear any particular type of clothing?
  • Is there any clothing that is not permitted?
  • Is there a minimum age for children?
  • Is there a maximum age for children?

Other Important Details

  • What extras do they provide? e.g. goody bags, party favors, invitations
  • Will party goods be supplied?
  • Can you drop off ahead of time any of the food or party goods you'll be supplying yourself to save last minute setup?
  • If you'll be hosting at an outdoor location such as a park or beach, are there restroom facilities?

Final Tip:

Don't forget you'll be bringing home presents from the party. Make sure your car is large enough to handle the anticipated gifts.

Here are some ideas for the kind of places that now host parties for children. If your child has a favorite place to visit, it never hurts to ask whether they are available for your next party.

Restaurants

  • McDonald's
  • Chuck E. Cheese's
  • Burger King
  • Pizza Hut

Outdoor Parties

  • Nature Centers
  • Farms
  • Zoo's
  • Geology Parties
  • Aquarium
  • Beaches
  • Parks
  • Rock Climbing

Sporting Parties

  • Bowling Alleys
  • Karate Centers
  • Gymnastics Centers
  • Water Parks
  • Batting Cages
  • Miniature Golf
  • Roller Rinks
  • Ice Rinks
  • Swim Clubs

Home Arts and Crafts

  • Craft Shops
  • Pottery Painting

Specialty

  • Supermarkets
  • Tea Parties

Older Kids

  • Movies
  • Laser Tag Arenas
  • Museums

Very Young Kids

  • Gymboree
  • Children's Museums

Readers Respond: What have been your favorite locations for kids' birthday parties?

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