How to Hire an Entertainer for a Children's Party

Hiring an entertainer for a children’s party can be a stressful experience. Knowing how to choose the right entertainer and one who will be a safe bet can be challenging; you don't want just anyone in charge of your children and you want to keep them safe from strangers. The steps provided in this article are a quick but sure way to ensure that you hire a professional and weed out any businesses that will give you no recourse if something goes wrong or consist of uncaring or unprofessional people. The goal of hiring a children's entertainer is ultimately to have a successful children's party that is Safe and fun for your children and their friends. For health and safety balloons should not be blown by mouth. They should use a pump. That is a way to tell if they are a professional or not.


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    Call local companies only. If you're calling an entertainer you've found on the Internet, ask them where they're located. If they're hundreds of miles away, if they even agree to help, they'll probably be a "talent agency" middleman company that will subcontract the job to some unknown person who is local to you and this will end up costing you more. Avoid this kind of third party contract; it's not only cheaper to find the local person yourself but it is also better because you can meet them in person and ask around about their reputation.
    • Word-of-mouth is a very important means for finding good entertainers. Ask around other moms and dads, teachers, carers, etc., to get their feedback on entertainers they've used in the past.
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    Contact programmers at local colleges and entertainment venues. Event planners get dozens of contacts from professional companies and entertainers of all different types and prices ranges.
    • Call earlier than you think you should! Many good entertainers will be booked out well in advance and finding a time that suits you might be hard, especially during holiday seasons.
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    Call several entertainers to ask for a quote. Remember you are going to be making a contract with the entertainer. To have a valid contract you need to know the name of the entertainer or the company you are contracting with. Many companies, especially those who send out people in costumes of Trade Mark characters popular with children are not licensed to use the costume and are not legal companies. Therefore they are doing counterfeit characters. A contract with one of them is not valid and you have no legal protection should a problem arise. Be sure you know the name, address, phone number and legal contact person for the company you are dealing with for your protection and the safety of your child. Be very careful of dealing with companies on the Internet that do not provide this information. Have the following information ready to tell them:
    • The exact date and time. It can also be handy to ask about cancellation fees or reschedule dates in case something goes amiss.
    • Exactly how many kids you're expecting to be at the party and their age range.
    • How many kids the entertainment package will cover.
    • The amount of time you want the kids to be entertained for, and whether or not this includes eating time.
    • Ask about the level of variety (for example, face painting, balloons, tricks, stories, etc.) the entertainer can provide; this can be very important for a party of longer duration where the kids can easily grow bored.
    • Any particular preferences for performance ideas, tricks, and so on, that you have in mind.
    • If you don't have a venue in mind, this is a good opportunity to ask if the entertainer has their own premises or good suggestions.
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    Make a choice based on more than price. Price is not the only indicator to keep in mind when making your selection. While you may be tempted to take the cheapest price, only do so if you're also guaranteed a high level of professionalism and the entertainer has a good reputation.[1]
    • Does the manner in which they present their company or activities appear professional and polished? Does their advertising material (website, pamphlets, etc.) reveal that they have taken care in putting together what they have to offer? Have they taken the time to add photos or videos of their work and talents? Who is doing the job? Are they sending in an employee?
    • Does the entertainer provide the range of activities and talents you're after?
    • Does the entertainer provide more than one person where he or she is offering one-to-one activities such as face-painting? If not, how can they keep the remaining children entertained while one child is the focus of their attention?
    • Does the entertainer have any memberships or qualifications that they can show you? For example, does the entertainer belong to a guild of magicians, a club of children's entertainers, etc., that you can look up online or phone to check further? What about references from other parents or schools? And an entertainer who has received specific education in their field of entertainment will have been trained in safety issues and proper care of children as well as in performing.
    • Ask whether the entertainer has been checked with police and if they are covered by liability insurance.
    • Do the two of you "click"? The entertainer's enthusiasm and willingness to be a successful part of your child's party should be evident to you through their tone of voice, the information they've provided you, their flexibility to accommodate your wishes, and the extent of agreement to the things you'd like to happen.
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    Get the confirmation in writing. Once you've agreed to the date, duration, and cost, be sure to get an email or written confirmation from the entertainer that you will be able to hold them to.
    • With respect to payment, do not give out your credit card information to companies you've hired off the net. If you must pay a deposit, use PayPal instead. For local performers, either turn up in person to make a deposit, or send a check. The best arrangement is the one where you pay in full at the door when the entertainer arrives. They have your address, so the arrangement is trustworthy.
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    Prepare the entertaining space. If the entertainer needs to arrive beforehand to set up props, tricks, etc., be sure to know this in advance and make arrangements so that it won't interfere with the rest of your party preparations. If you need to supply anything, be sure to have confirmed this well in advance of the party.
    • Know in advance if there are specific space, height, or safety requirements to ensure, such as room for juggling, no cords to trip over, etc.
    • Ask the entertainer about preferred seating arrangements for the children.
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    On arrival, check basics before the entertainer can proceed with the entertainment. Do the following checks:
    • Ask for the entertainer’s identity. Use the entertainer's business license or driver's license for proof of identity. You do not want strangers in the house with your children. You will be able to call the registering authority to check a business license holder's credentials.
    • Ask to see the entertainer's certificate of liability insurance. It must have the entertainer's name on it. Professional entertainers in the USA and Britain have liability insurance and this will protect you from personal liability if an accident happens. For other jurisdictions, check the local requirements, or check your own insurance coverage.
    • Make a written contract at the door if you haven't already done so in advance.
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    Enjoy the occasion. You've put in the hard work to hire the right professional for your children's party, so sit back, relax and enjoy watching your children have a lot of fun!
    • Another reason for doing all the checks and being certain about the entertainer is that this frees you up to deal with catering, other parents, and any wayward upset kids at the party.


  • If you're not sure what is age appropriate for your child, ask the entertainer for his or her thoughts; they will be able to tailor their activities to the age group, as well as taking into account the concentration spans of the relevant age group.
  • If you strike an answering machine, leave the following information: Your phone number, the event type, preferred date, and location. If you can't remember it all, at the very least provide your phone number.
  • If you email, it can be easier to set out all of your requirements in advance but it's also a good idea to connect personally with a follow-up phone call.
  • Expect to pay for a minimum time; setting up, preparing, traveling, and doing a good job of entertaining all takes time. Don't expect to just pay for a half hour of time; it won't happen! In addition, don't be surprised to be charged a travel fee if you're not in the normal range of the entertainer, usually to cover fuel costs and time.
  • Some entertainers will also supply party give-aways, party supplies, costumes, games, prizes, etc. Just be sure that everything you'd like them to include is organized in advance and that payment is properly sorted so that you don't get any nasty surprises or end up doubling up on things.
  • If electrical equipment is involved, be sure to check that it is properly certified.
  • It's a really good idea to take into account your children's wishes and ideas; they're the ones who will be enjoying the occasion and they'll soon let you know if they don't like it!


  • Some children might be frightened by certain styles of entertainment, such as clowns. Ask the entertainer if they have "less scary" makeup or appearances for younger kids who express concerns. For example, some clowns will appear without makeup but will still do lots of funny antics, make balloon animals, and face paint, etc. if requested.
  • Entertaining children well is hard work. Children can spot phonies a mile off, they're brutally honest, they like to wind up people who are too pompous or stiff, and if they get bored, they mean it. A good entertainer will use a combination of good self-directed humor, relaxing techniques, top quality entertainment, and a love for children all in one; it's worth its weight in gold, so bear this in mind when considering the cost.

No matter what, make sure a trusted adult is present at all times.

Things You'll Need

  • License checks
  • Internet access
  • Phone

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