We’ve all heard the expression “party hard”. But what about “party smart”?
The smart way to throw a kid’s birthday bash is to plan strategically with you and your adult guests in mind.
Put your party hat on first before assisting others.
Whoever said a kid’s birthday party can’t be fun for adults? It can be if you know how to “party smart” with Stay-in-Bed Mom.
Tips for a “stay-in-bed” style birthday party
1. Serve adult-friendly beverages in an adults-only space.
Keep the drinks discreet and out of reach of children. Chances are not all the adult guests know each other, so a little “juice” goes a long way in speeding up the clock and making introductions and small talk easier. For our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed party, we gulped “Goofy Juice” from a big @ss 5-galloon beverage cooler (not so discreet). For our upcoming Hot Wheels bash, we’ll guzzle down “antifreeze” from that same fountain of bliss.
If you’re anti-booze, there are other crowd pleasing drinks for the over twelve set. Coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages are appreciated by overtired and overextended birthday party-hopping adults who need an instant pick-me-up. Fun seasonal drinks can be served like cucumber-and mint-infused water, pink lemonade with fresh sliced strawberries, or a virgin sangria made with sparkling water. Every kid’s party needs an adults-only “stay-in-bed” space with grownup drinks, don’t you think?
2. Play music you like.
The stress of hearing Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark” for the upteempth time may set you off and trigger a dangerous feeding frenzy. You may hungrily grab a hunk of cake when no one’s looking. Who needs a plate when you’ve got a hand?
Play songs that would be appropriate for Baby Shark, Mommy Shark, Daddy Shark, Grandma Shark, and Grandpa Shark. Think wedding playlist. You can make your own playlist – if that’s your thing – or choose a station on Apple or Spotify, for instance.
3. Ditch the party hats.
They cost money and seriously who wants to wear them? Hahah! Put the money towards an adult-friendly appetizer or the booze. (See tip #1.)
4. Keep the party to two hours, no more.
Make it a point to include the times on your invitation. That way guests know when the (BLEEP) to leave. For kids five and under, shoot for a party that’s one and half hours, two hours max. For older kids, cap the party at three hours.
5. Plan the party for an “off time” (if possible).
Two cousins of ours had the smart idea to have a two hour donut party in the morning. (See tip #4.) Short and sweet. They served coffee, donuts, and juice. A donut was the “birthday cake”. Everyone was watered and fed. Everyone was happy. The guests had the rest of the day to do as they pleased, literally stay in bed or otherwise.
6. Host at a venue (if possible).
I’m a huge proponent of a party that’s not thrown in your home. If you outsource your party, you don’t have to worry about lingering guests, readying the interior/exterior of your home, or cleaning up. But depending on where you live and your budget, party spaces may be limited and/or pricey.
7. Say “no gifts.”
No gifts, no clean up. And, best of all, no thank you notes. You’re welcome.
My fantasy mom self says “no gifts”. But my children are too young yet. I hope to have a “no gifts” rule in the future when we have older “friends-only” parties. (See tip #10.) The birthday kiddos would still have a family party where they’d get special gifts from family members.
8. Goody bags, be gone!
Remember when I said “no gifts”? (See tip #7.) Visit with everyone at the party and thank each guest for being there to celebrate the birthday boy or girl. Done! The alcohol and/or caffeine will help.
9. Hire a sitter.
Or two. Hahah! Wishful thinking. But seriously try to find a teenaged helper. Assign the babysitter(s) to a specific space and task, e.g. backyard, face painting.
A brilliant friend of mine hired a highschooler (a more affordable option) to babysit the kids in the family den/playroom during the party, while the adults mingled. (She knew how to “party smart”; see tip #1.) The adult guests, especially the parents, had the chance to take a break and enjoy a little “stay-in-bed” time.
10. Throw a “parent-optional” party.
When the kids get older, the best gift you can give adults is a little time away from their kiddos. Ask your family for support, hire outside help, or outsource the party to the local bouncy house staff to help you take care of the kids, so the parents of your child’s friends can enjoy a little time away.
A Final Thought – From the Pillow
So you can party hard…and stay in bed a little longer.
Do you have additional tips to make birthday parties more fun and stress-free for adults?