Are you planning a children’s party and want to take weather conditions out of the equation? But you don’t have enough indoor space at home? Nassau County and Suffolk County have a large selection of party places to host your child’s next birthday party.
The party guides list places for everything parents need to plan the perfect party, from activities and themes; decorations, supplies and staff; and facilities to rentals; catering and desserts; entertainers and performers; and party providers that come to you.
In addition, Your Local Kids has also put together some stress-free suggestions, ideas and tips for planning the best indoor kids’ parties on Long Island.
- Pick a theme, but remember who the guest of honor is. The party – and the theme you choose – should reflect that it’s for your child and be fun for your child. That’ll help focus your energy on creating a cool, fun and memorable party your child will remember, and take some of the stress off of you.
- Include your child when picking a theme. Get your kids involved when choosing a party theme. This’ll help narrow down what type of decorations and invitations to buy, what food to prepare and what games to plan. You can do character parties (think Frozen, Hello Kitty, Dora the Explorer, Iron Man, Captain America, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Despicable Me or Minecraft, for example). Or you can go more generic (think fairies, princesses, cowboys and pirates, for example). Begin by sitting down with your child and writing down the ideas you both like, and focus on one you both love and that has easily accessible decorations and favors online or at your local party store to ease the stress.
- Establish the parameters. The theme is chosen; next is deciding the date, time and place. Make sure it works for you, as a parent, and, of course, your child. Look at the calendar and make sure it doesn’t coincide with a holiday or another event that might hinder other children from attending. And remember you don’t have to go over the top; though you might think you have to be Martha Stewart to pull off a great party for your child, you really don’t have to be.
- Determine the guest list and send out invitations that match the theme. Whatever theme you choose, get invitations that reflect it. It’ll get your child excited about the party, as well as the kids who are invited. You might want to invite your child’s entire class, if he/she is elementary age, or just keep it to a few close friends your child has. The number of kids – and accompanying parents – will depend on you, your child, the party theme, venue and overall cost of the party.
- Buy the decorations. To make things easier, you can order them online or head to your local party store in Nassau or Suffolk to purchase them in the theme you want.
- Plan the food and drinks. Make it easy for yourself, and keep it simple and no-fuss for kids. In addition to cake, which could be bought or home-made, try some easy-to-make finger foods, such as chips, vegetables and fruit and dip; cookies; chicken nuggets and pigs in a blanket with mustard to dip; pita chips and hummus; or even mini grilled cheese or peanut and jelly sandwiches cut into triangles. Have some soda, juice and/or water available for the kids. Keep the cutlery and plates kid-friendly and safe.
- Prepare some entertaining kids’ party games and make the favors fun. Again, you don’t have to go crazy, but planning some cool activities and creating some simple, interactive party favors is a plus. You could buy pre-made favors or put together small favor bags filled with party-themed toys, cookies or candy. You could also let the kids take home some of the decorations or make their own favors at the start of the party as the kids arrive, such as jewelry, simple masks, badges or potato print t-shirts, for example. You could then send any late arrivals home with the materials to make their own. As for activities and games, it really depends on the age. Older kids will appreciate less structured activities, while younger kids could play old-school games, such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Red Rover or Blind Man’s Bluff or participate in relay races or a scavenger hunt that go with the party theme. You can also set up an arts-and-crafts table or leave out some old clothes for the kids to play dress-up. You can also hire a children’s entertainer (think clowns, face painters, puppeteers and/or costume characters, for example). There’s a wide variety from which you can choose in Nassau and Suffolk counties. If you’re having an indoor party at a specific venue, such as a movie theater, laser tag arena, bowling alley or ice-skating rink, for example, then the activities can take care of themselves.
- Arrange good-bye protocol. Share your cell number with parents of the kids attending your child’s party, and have them text you if they’re running late or sending someone else to pick their child up when the party ends. Make sure you take note of each child who leaves and make sure each child is leaving with his/her parent or parent-designated pick-up person.