Hosting a birthday party at your home can be convenient. You don’t have to worry about paying fees or finding a rental space that will be available when you want it. If the party is for a younger child, keeping things at home may make her more comfortable. Parties at home do have their downfalls, though, including a potential lack of space and the fact that you’ll have to clean up afterward.
A home birthday party may be easier to host in the summer or spring months than in the winter. You are limited to the confines of the house during a winter party while a summer one allows you to make use of any outdoor space you might have, thereby potentially doubling the size of the party. Keep the guest list realistic. If you will be stuck indoors, look at your living room and think how many people you could fit in there and still be comfortable.
Hold the party early in the day and keep it short, especially if it is for a young child. A party that lasts about two hours is usually sufficient for children under 10. Parties for teenagers can sometimes last into the late evening hours. If your teen is having a party, set a length with her in advance and be strict about kicking guests out at a certain time. If you are hosting a sleepover, have the party start after dinner and tell parents to pick their children up just after breakfast.
Plan a few activities to keep guests from feeling cooped up in your house. Play group games, such as charades, or a trivia game with older guests. Set up classic games that don’t need much space, such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey or Bingo at a child’s party. Let guests have a bit of time free at the start of the party to mingle and to get to know each other. If you are plan to serve a meal, remember to set aside time for that during the party. Leave room toward the end of the party for a round of “Happy Birthday” and the cake.
If you are inviting guests who have never been to your house before, hang a few balloons on your mailbox or at the end of your driveway so that your home is easy to find. Keep the party decorations inside simple, such as a “Happy Birthday!” banner or some crepe paper streamers. If you have time before the party, you may want to make a collage using pictures of the birthday person. Set out a few vases full of flowers, which you can keep around your house even after the party is over.
Some parents may feel upset if you host an adults-only party. If enough of your guests have children, but you don’t have room for them, consider hiring a few babysitters to watch the children for the length of the party, either upstairs at your home or somewhere off-site. To prevent children from feeling left out, either invite your child’s entire class to the party or about one-fourth of the class. Ask your child not to talk about her party at school with people who are not invited.
- birthday cake image by Jerome Dancette from Fotolia.com