Over the weekend we threw our oldest son, A, his first birthday party with school friends. With his birthday being right around Thanksgiving coupled with our every day chaos of life with three little boys, I knew from the get go that I didn’t have any time to spare. So, I decided to reserve a two hour block at our local Pump It Up! BEST. DECISION. EVER.
From the food, to kids’ activities and set up and clean up, it was the best experience for all of us. Our guests had the best time and I was so happy to go home to a (semi) clean house without having to worry about cleaning up after a home party. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to throw a DIY, Pinterest-inspired party for the boys’ first birthdays. Aside from that I’m all about low key family only birthday dinners.
But FIVE! A turns five years old tomorrow and this milestone is a big one! So we decided last year it would be his first birthday party with friends from school. Here are my tips for how to throw a stress free birthday party, Pinterest fail mom edition!
1.) Don’t throw it at home!
I’m so glad that A didn’t want to have a party at home. I think the state of our house is messy enough, try throwing a party there and it’s like triple the work! Getting it ready for guests, decorating, and then having to clean up after the party? Yep, no thanks. We’re already hosting Thanksgiving dinner, so this was a no brainer for me. Pump It Up! is only a five minute drive away and the two hour party slots are just the perfect amount of time for everyone. It was A’s first pick when I asked him where he would like to have his party. After attending a friend’s party last winter, he couldn’t stop raving about how much fun it was and how he’d like to have his birthday party there too.
2.) B-U-Y, don’t D-I-Y!
While I like to DIY when I’m in the mood, most times, I’m more of a Pinterest Fail Mom. A lot of my DIY projects look better in my imagination than in reality. So I definitely didn’t even attempt to make my own party decorations this time. A loved the rocket space theme party decorations from Merrilulu! I loved everything from the birthday banner, garland and matching cupcake toppers! I ordered our cupcakes from the local Kroger. But, A and I had fun with our DIY Cake Kit from Cakest.co! As you know, I am not the best baker. But, this kit made everything super easy. Mine didn’t turn out perfectly, but for my first time using fondant, I was happy with the results.
3.) Outsource, Outsource, Outsource!
From the food to decor, I outsourced everything. Seriously, the only thing I did was ask for a class list from the school director, filled out the invites from Pump It Up! and helped A write his thank you cards.
4.) Minimal Input, Minimal Stress
From the beginning of the “party prep,” I vowed to do as little as possible and to not stress about the details. It worked out great to have so much help. It was worth every penny. My husband and I both agreed that the most stressful part was coming home and trying to figure out how to hide some of the gifts from A!
While it might look like it cost a lot to be “stress-free,” it was cheaper than the first birthday party that I threw for C a couple of summers ago! In fact, it was almost 50% cheaper! I’m sure I could’ve been more cost efficient too if I had shopped around for different things, but all in all, it was definitely worth it! And look at us, we definitely have no regrets about our decision to do a kids’ party at a play place.
How To Throw A Stress Free Birthday Party