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Hosting A Great Birthday party

hostinggreatbirthdaypartyNo matter what the special guest of honor's age may be, having a wonderful, fun and entertaining birthday party helps to make the day memorable for friends and family members as well as the birthday person. Since there are various items to consider to host a birthday party it is always a good idea to make a written list or itemized checklist to ensure that you have everything accounted for.

Organizing the birthday party

Spending a bit of time planning the birthday party makes the big day easier for the host and/or hostess. The various options and considerations that need to be determined prior to the event include:

Time and duration of the partyLocation of the party
  • Theme of the party
  • Food and beverages to be served
  • Gifts or not
In addition there may be other considerations such as is the party to be a surprise or does the birthday person know about the party. In addition if the party is for children you may want to consider asking additional adults to attend to help with serving food or keeping children supervised during the party.

Time and Duration of the Party

Planning the time and length of a birthday party is important when you determine what types of food or beverages you will be serving at the birthday. For example, if the party lasts several hours or is over a regular mealtime it is generally expected that a meal will be provided. If, however, the party occurs in the mid afternoon or in the evening it is more often assumed that appetizers or snacks will be provided but not a full meal. The time of the party may also indicate how formal or informal the event will be.

Location of the Party

Having a birthday party at home is a great way to entertain in comfort, especially if you are having a small dinner style birthday party or if you are having children over. The drawback to hosting the birthday party at your house is the clean up afterwards. Some party themes are just easier to host by having the guest go to the party location, rather than trying to recreate a theme or place at your house. For instance, a bar-b-que or picnic style party may be easier to complete at a lake, park or even at the beach.

If you are having the party away from your home you do need to consider how guests will get to and from the party. If the party is a long distance away you may want to consider renting a van or even a small bus rather than expecting all guests to get there on their own.

Theme of the Party

Adding a theme to a birthday party is a great way to create a festive atmosphere. Consider a theme that is a favorite of the guest of honor, and create decor and menu selections from there. If the person enjoys the outdoors try having a series of games or outdoor events or even a beach, park or poolside party. Plan events like volleyball, baseball, football or even an old fashioned picnic and games like horseshoes, races and bobbing for apples. For kids a theme based on a favorite character, movie or book is always a great idea.

If there is a theme for the party be sure to notify guests on the invitations, especially if they will need to dress in a certain way or bring special items to participate.

Food and Beverages

Most birthday parties try to incorporate the birthday person's favorite food items. If possible have a selection of different foods and allow guests to choose which ones they prefer. This is usually a safe decision for a children's birthday party where kids may be very selective in what they will or will not eat.

The highlight of almost every birthday party is the birthday cake. If you aren't a baker, don't worry, simply contact your local bakery and have one made for you. New computer programs and graphic design programs allow pictures to be transferred into edible icing and sprayed onto the surface of the cake. The result is an amazing photograph as the cake icing. More traditional cakes include theme cakes and simply delicious and lovingly made homemade cakes. There are many wonderful ideas for cake decorating available on the internet and in cake decorating books.

Gifts or Not

For children's parties there is almost always a gift involved. Usually both the guests give a gift and the birthday person also gives a small gift bag to the guests. For adult parties often there is a group gift or a specific theme of gifts indicated in the invitation. Be sure to be clear to the guests if there is a gift expected or if a group gift or donations for a gift are being accepted in advance.

Hosting a party is a wonderful way to let the birthday person know that you want to make the most of their special day. Enjoy the event and make the party as simple with as little stress as possible by following a well-prepared plan. Remember that friends and family often want to help so don't worry about asking others for ideas and suggestions.
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