Insider Report

Children and teen party planning from party trends to etiquette.



Kids Korner Q&A: Children’s & Teen Parties

This month it’s all about the kids! A few weeks back we promised to answer your questions about children and teen party planning from party trends to etiquette. We all know that planning a children’s party or bar/bat mitzvah is no easy task these days. With space at a premium & party dates always conflicting, it’s easy for your stress levels to escalate when all you want is to make your child happy. However, party planning for kids can be fun! It’s a time to get creative, be bold and know that you’re the key to lots of smiles and lifetime memories. So, here are a few questions from you! 

Q: We get invited to so many parties that look the same. How can we standout?   

A: Great question. While many parties have a theme (Sports, Nightclub), one of the ways to be unique is to start planning the smaller details first & get specific. Go beyond a theme like “Camping” and decide what kind of camping party you want; i.e.; a Glam Camping (“Glamping”). What gets your child most excited about camping?: s’mores, sleeping bags, telling stories? Consider serving lunch in camp style fry pans complete with a make your own s’mores bar & custom “bug juice." Renaming foods and desserts within your theme makes your event unique. Entertainment can be an arts and crafts or hair braiding station(s), a sing-a-long (maybe hire a children’s music teacher), storytelling or a scavenger hunt with custom maps and clues. “Glamping” may entail colorful sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, mini tents and manicures. Perhaps your favors are personalized canteens or make your own s’mores goody bags. Depending upon budget, time of year and guest count, determine the venue. Do you want to have the party in your yard under a larger tent, at home, at a garden or beach? The smaller details often get noticed quickly and make your party unique.

Q: What are some fun local venues to host a party?

A: In Fairfield County, we have a myriad of options for hosting children’s parties. Often driving venue selection are budget, guest counts & theme. For smaller parties, consider more unique spaces. Try hosting a flower party at a floral shop learning how to assemble bouquets. Consider a luxury car garage space such as The Steel Shed in SONO, which rents out its slick space for parties. Visit sites like www.visitct.org for ideas. Peruse local art galleries, children’s museums and outdoor garden spaces. Dance studios, bakeries, playhouses, zoos, farms, martial arts studios, beach clubs and boutiques will often host events that you can customize. And, of course, your home or yard poses a blank canvas for unlimited themes. 

Q: What are some trends in children’s party entertainment?

A: The trend in entertainment is leaning towards casual entertaining vs. full on staged productions. Consider an “interactive” talent who will interact with all of your guests and depart seamlessly. Strolling magician’s, impersonators & dance instructors essentially come for a short while, interact with guests and depart. They naturally fit into the party landscape and customize their act based on the type of party you’re hosting. Also fitting into seamless entertainment are food trucks, rotating loop photo montages and professionals who can teach something (i.e. science, jewelry making, modeling, choreography, sushi making). Prop based photobooths are still trendy as are performance based entertainment like karaoke as shows like Idol are still in-demand party themes.

Q: Am I obligated to host a parent’s lounge or bar at my child’s party?

A: In short, the answers are both yes and no. Think about your guest profile. For a five-year old party, you’ll likely have some parents who will want to stay. It’s a nice gesture to have some party treats for the parents or a separate viewing space but you don’t have to go all out & entertain. For a more formal event like a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or Sweet Sixteen, family members and other adults may be true guests. While the main event is all about the kids, you’ll still need to take the entire guest list into account. Consider separate party favors and a special drink for the adults but create your design, music, menu and entertaining solely with the kids in mind. As you will see in the trend list below, many kids are opting for more mature themes and décor, which is nice for a mixed child/adult crowd.      

Q: How much do I spend on party favors?

A: Again, it depends upon the event and your budget. Simple sweet treats wrapped in special packaging with a custom label or sticker go a long way as do educational toys. Even the most lavish parties don’t need super expensive favors. For a five-year-old Team Umizoomi party, we spent $4 per favor using flash cards, templates from Team coloring books & placemats, Team Umi straws and stickers. For a Mitzvah we did in a Hawaiian theme, we created custom scented lip-glosses and bath salts and spent approx. $10 per favor. We recently created a custom energy bar for another client which ran us approx. $4 per favor and looked amazing. Look online and use templates, stickers and other simple customizable items. 

Q: Can you provide a few party trends?

A:  Here is a short list of some of the things we’ve been seeing:

  • One or two special activities/entertainers vs a jam packed line up
  • Smaller, more interactive events (i.e. the 15 person baking party at a cake making studio)
  • Sustainable: eco-friendly placeware, linens, post party donated décor
  • Color palettes (i.e.: Emerald Green & Pink, Neon or Sparkly)
  • Grown up foods – ie Farm to Table
  • Interactive food stations-Small bites, build your own stations & global cuisine
  • Activity based venues- bakeries, flower shops, art stores, science centers, jewelry making,  firehouses
  • Custom party logos printed on favors, signs, cakes & lighting
  • Themes: City (Paris Lights, Hollywood), TV: (American Idol, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street), Trendy: (Photoshoot/Red Carpet, Glitter/Glitz, Club/Lounge- get specific like 50’s Vintage), Branded: (Tiffany’s, Lego, FAQ Schwartz), Food: (Global/Ethnic, Small Bites, Adult Foods) Whimsical: (Candyland, Wizard of Oz, Hello Kitty) Children’s Book Based: (Goldilocks, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon) Education based: (Scavenger Hunt, Mad Scientist, Space), Specific Vintage: (Vintage Airplanes, Race Cars, Dolls, Bicycles) Patterns & Colors: (Stripes, Chevron, Neon)

Have questions about planning your next children’s party, sweet sixteen, quinceanera or mitzvah? Please post a comment below or e-mail me at michele@michelesinacoreevents.com. Visit our pinterest boards for even more inspiration http://pinterest.com/msinacoreevents/.


Michele SinacorePrior to starting michele sinacore events {mse}, Michele Solomon-Sinacore worked for over 11 years in Corporate Sponsorship Marketing & Events for some of the largest brands in Sports, Entertainment & Media. mse offers customized event services that include full planning, month-of event coordination & event consulting. Michele creates top-notch events always with an eye for fresh style and an aim for clients to enjoy (vs work) at their events.

Michele Sinacore Events
Event Planning and Coordination for Corporate and Social Events
(203)292-9332

 

 

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