Location, location, location–the old business mantra holds true for memorable birthday parties as well. The venue you choose for a birthday party affects your choice of food, activities, decorations–even the time and date of your party. The right birthday party location can reduce your planning work and turn the gathering into a treasured birthday memory.
Many people choose a party venue because of the activities it offers. Preschoolers and kids in primary grades will enjoy a pizza party at a restaurant that specializes in kids’ birthday parties. The restaurants usually charge a per-person fee that includes a meal, drink, birthday cake and ice cream. The venue may feature games and activities, such as bounce houses and ball pits. Venues aimed at older children usually include game tokens for an array of video games as well.
Many other activity centers offer birthday party packages as well–book a roller-skating rink, a pool at the Y or snack bar at a local mini-golf course for an active afternoon aimed at kids and adults of all ages. Less-expensive options include a picnic or cookout at a state park. For the more culturally inclined, check local museums, zoos and nature centers to learn about their offerings.
Distance may be a factor in attendance for some of your invited guests, so be sure to consider transportation options. Choose a venue that is easy to reach and include directions with the invitations. If you are bringing food and cooking equipment, such as for a cookout or picnic, be sure to consider the logistics of getting everything to the party. A half-mile hike to a picnic spot may make an ice cream cake impractical.
Outdoor birthdays may be synonymous with summer, but don’t rule out Mother Nature during other seasons. A mid-winter bonfire at the lake is an unusual and memorable choice for a birthday party, as long as the guest list doesn’t include young children. Even in the warmer seasons, be prepared for the weather. Choose a venue that provides picnic shelters in case it rains, or set up a rain date in advance of the party.
Many birthday party venues provide food as part of a birthday party package, but the menu is usually limited. If any of the party guests have special diet considerations, check with the venue beforehand so that you know whether it’ll cater to dietary restrictions or whether you need to make arrangements yourself. If you’re providing food for a party at an outdoor venue, be sure to also provide a way to keep food at safe temperatures and protect it from insects.
One of the biggest benefits of hosting a birthday party at a restaurant or activity center is the cleaning up–you don’t have to lift a finger. If you’ve chosen an outdoor site, such as a park or beach, follow the golden rule of outdoor activities. Leave the site cleaner than you found it. Make sure that all trash gets into appropriate receptacles, and if your party included a campfire or barbecue, extinguish it properly before leaving.
- birthday cake image by Tolbxela from Fotolia.com