How to Have a Birthday Party

Birthdays come and go with each passing year, so how do you have a party that will always be memorable? A little planning and inspiration can get you started.


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    Pick a suitable theme. Consider the age, gender, interests and hobbies of the guest of honor! Then choose a theme that suits them perfectly.
    • You can go "all out" and make every aspect of the party theme-related, or you can try a lighter touch by including just a little theme-related decoration or food.
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    Plan ahead. Get your guest list made and your invitations out at least 2 weeks prior to the party (more if it's a big event). This way, you'll have an idea of how many people to expect and you can decide on the best location to accommodate your group size.
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    Plan your music. Make sure you have a way to play your tunes - whether that be just a set of speakers with a phone or music player, or a whole DJ setup.
    • Even if you're not planning on having dancing, background music really helps set the atmosphere at the party. Make sure you have a range of fast, slow, soft, and quiet songs on hand to fit the mood at different times of the event and get your guests feeling celebratory.
    • If you're hosting a kids party, pick out some kid-friendly selections that won't drive the parents crazy. If you're hosting a grown-up celebration, make sure you have a range of genres available to suit everybody's likes, and let your guests play "DJ" too.
    • A good song is "Birthday" by Katy Perry, but you can choose other songs.
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    Decorate accordingly. Balloons and streamers are fun, but they're at every party! Get creative by tying into your theme. A large box can become a doghouse for a puppy party. Small pebbles spray-painted gold can be the treasure for a pirate party, and haystacks make great seats for a Wild West Party.
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    Serve food relating to your theme, like Hawaiian Fruit Dip for a luau or pigs-in-a-blanket for a barnyard party. Just remember, finger foods are best, particularly for young guests.
    • To lend an older mood to your party, prepare some more grown-up snacks, like chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, and range of easy-to-prepare appetizers. Make all your options things you can cook or put together ahead of time, so that you can spend the precious hours of the party enjoying your guests' company, rather than in the kitchen.
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    Keep guests entertained. Provide lots of opportunity for social mingling (particularly for grown-ups), as well as "free play" for kids. But to really keep the celebration going, games always seem to be the hit of the party! There are some great websites out there where you can find activities that tie into a particular theme.
    • Depending on your number of guests and their ages, you can even have several games running throughout the event. Balance your levels of activity so that there's plenty going on throughout the party; you can try something active like a three-legged race or Twister, followed by lower-key but social games like Pictionary or charades (or board games, for kids).
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    Expect the unexpected! With kids' parties especially, it is almost a certainty that things will not go exactly according to plan. Be prepared by having extra games and activities, extra goody bags, and a rain plan ready.
    • For older guests, you may not run into those particular issues, but be prepared with some extra food and activities if you end up with more guests than you expected, and be prepared to reign in the party to cater a smaller crowd if some people don't show up.
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    Remember the goody bags! Once again, try to keep the goodies relevant to the party theme and the age of your guests. For example the goody bag may contain chocolate bars and toys like grow your own frog etc.
    • If you're aiming your party at an older crowd, goody bags may not fit the mood, but that doesn't mean you can't send them home with a memento. Take snapshots of your friends being goofy in a make-shift "photo booth" and print them out for guests to take home (or send them along later, if you prefer), or make a fun "grown-up goody bag" with kazoos and party poppers for when people really want to get the party going.


  • Get snacks that your friends will enjoy, not just you.
  • Don't go to any place unsuitable for younger guests.
  • Make a pinata out of a balloon and fill it with candy instead of having goody bags. You could do both, if you want.
  • Use books from the library or book store, or surf the Internet for more fun birthday party ideas.
  • Find an awesome outfit that fits the theme (not too outgoing and not too classic).
  • Don't forget it's just a party. Relax have fun. Don't get to stressed out about anything, you should totally relax yourself in to the social environment.
  • Try to not over decorate or there won't be any room for your guests!
  • Make sure you don't have food that some of your guests are allergic to.


  • If throwing a party for children, and young kids or babies are going to be there, make sure the goody bags don't contain gifts they can choke on.
  • If throwing a party for adults, if someone drinks you should order a taxi for them, or offer them to stay in your house over the night. If he/she drinks and drives there could be horrible results!

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Categories: Birthdays | Parties for Children