The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Kids Party in York
Planning a kids birthday party in York but don’t know where to start? Our Ultimate Guide to Planning a Children’s Party in York is crammed full of helpful tips, advice and services in York to make sure your party is one to remember!
Use the list of links below to jump to a section in our Party Guide, or read the whole post and become a party planning expert! 🥳
Planning a kids party may seem like a daunting prospect. You can go easy on yourself (and pay someone else to do it all!) or be as elaborate as your imagination, free time and creativity allow. If you’re not sure where to start when planning your child’s party, follow our checklist below to ensure it is stressfree and organised.
1. Set a budget for the party
First, decide how much you want to spend as this will help you decide what to do and how many people to invite.
2. Involve your child in the planning
Get some ideas from your child as to what they would like to do or where to go or what theme they would like. They might need reining in or adapting but it is their party after all.
3. Pick a date
Decide if you want the party to be the weekend before or after the birthday or after school. Do you want certain people to be there, like grandparents? Check they are free first!
If you are doing more of a DIY party, then why not pick a theme. What does your child love, but won’t be too difficult to pull off and have you up all night trying to copy ideas you’ve seen on Pinterest!
6. Pre-book for your ideal date
Book the party venue or hire the hall. If you are hosting your own party rent any equipment like a bouncy castle or book an entertainer or activities provider.
7. Write your guest list
Based on your budget and any minimum numbers a venue may specify, write your guest list with your child’s help.
8. Send the invitations
Send out the invitations. No time to write them all or want to save some money? Why not set up a WhatsApp Group for the party and invite people that way? It’s also a great way to share photos and thank people for coming along.
9. Plan the food
Once you know how many people are attending you can decide on what to do for the party meal, unless the venue includes the food in your package. Find out if you’ll need plates and cups so you can get or hire those too.
10. Sort the birthday cake
Don’t forget to order or make a cake, which might need to tie in with your chosen theme!
11. Get any decorations
Check with your venue if you can put up your own decorations or if you are hiring a hall, think about how you want it to look.
12. Organise party bags
Definitely an optional step but a nice gesture nevertheless.
Free adult entry with an adult table reserved for up to 6 adults
At least 1 ½ hours of playtime
“My daughter had her birthday party at Creepy Crawlies and it was fantastic everything was provided apart from the cake and even tho the party is for 2 hours you can stay as long as you want afterwards.”
Your party-goers will get to meet lizards, snakes, tortoises, millipedes, frogs, spiders, snails and other small creatures. The totally hands-on show is carried out under expert supervision and tailored to age and your needs.
“The Reptile Roadshow is fab! Christine is great!”
Offering a mobile disco and bouncy castle for hire!
“DJ Ollie is great. Takes care of all the games and entertainment, music, bubbles etc and can have a bouncy castle too. You just provide the parcel for pass the parcel.”
Venue & Equipment Hire 🏰
If you decide to pull together your own party or fancy getting someone in to entertain the party-goers, then you might also need a venue or some equipment such as soft play or a photo booth.
There are loads of venues around York that can be hired out by the hour for children’s parties and are listed on the Mumbler website.
Generally, you get the use of a hall and kitchen area, but if you also need outside space you might want to check if this is available. Rates vary depending on the venue but for budgeting purposes are approximately £15-25 per hour.
One sure-fire way to keep lots of small children entertained and to burn off all that birthday party excitement is to hire a bouncy castle. All the party equipment you might need to hire is also listed on the Mumbler website.
Free or Low-Cost Activities 🎁
If you are planning to host the party yourself or feel you need to pack in even more fun, here are some free or low-cost ideas to keep all the party-goers entertained. Remember a party doesn’t need to be complicated or cost you a small fortune. Children really enjoy being with their friends and playing fun games together, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself for it to be perfect.
Use your phone to play music or take a mini speaker along with you. Download or stream some party tunes and away you go! The hardest part is spotting who was still moving when you stop the music!
Set up a simple treasure hunt around your venue or home. You don’t need anything fancy and could use something your child already has. Hid 10 of their teddies or Lego figures – let your imagination go wild. Just take a photo of them all, stick the photos into a document, number each one and print out enough sheets for everyone.
No explanation needed for this classic. All you need to prepare in advance is a pad of paper & pen and think of a few ideas of words or phrases people need to act out! You could even match the game to the theme of your party. If you don’t want it to drag out, use the timer on your phone for each player.
Pass the balloon
Simply blow up a balloon and get the kids in a row then get them to pass the balloon from under their chin to one another without using their hands. Use two balloons, split the kids into two groups and have a race!
These always seem to go down very well at parties but do need quite a bit of supervision to make sure the children take turns and nothing but the Pinata gets whacked! Maybe not for the faint-hearted. You can even get a locally handmade Pinata from Pinatas York!
Pass the Parcel
Another one that needs no explanation! You can add to the fun by having more than one parcel or simply fill a zip-up bag with treats if you don’t have time to wrap or don’t want to waste lots of paper.
Party Food Ideas 🍕
At most organised parties where you pay for a full package, party food will be included. However, if you need to take your own party food or are having a DIY party here are some tips and ideas.
Keep the food simple, the kids won’t be expecting a gourmet meal 😂
Ask your party guests if they have any special dietary requirements first
If you are having a large party, you might want to provide the meals in a box so you can do all the preparation in advance and just hand out the boxes on the day
Go for food you know the kids will love and don’t worry too much about it being super healthy!
Crisps or popcorn
You could always make the food preparation part of the party and gets the kids to decorate their own pizzas or fill their own wraps from a choice of fillings
You can order platters of sandwiches and party food from most supermarkets as long as you order it in advance.
Finally, if you don’t want to make the food yourself there are a great range of caterers listed on the Mumbler website. Most providers will organise a party food package for you and even food platters for the grown-ups.
Birthday Cakes 🎂
If you are not this year’s star baker and don’t want to make your own cake, there are lots of cake makers listed on the Mumbler website. Prices depend on the size of the cake, how you want it decorated and if you want it delivered to your venue.
You don’t need to be a great baker to create a brilliant birthday cake. Why not hack a supermarket cake? Buy a few plain cakes and jazz them up with extra frosting (buy a few tubs of that whilst you are shopping) and cover the sides in sprinkles.
If you are having a large party, consider making or buying cupcakes instead or alongside a smaller cake. It will be easier and quicker to give them all out.
If your birthday boy or girl isn’t too keen on cake, then here are some alternative suggestions:
A giant cookie
A doughnut tower
Rice Krispies cake
Whatever you do, don’t forget the candles and some matches!
Decorations & Party Bags 🎈
From balloons to sweet treats, if you don’t want to organise everything yourself, there are plenty of suppliers listed on the Mumbler website who can help you out. If you are looking for an alternative to the usual party bags fillers or want something more eco-friendly and useful, check out our list below.
A book, perhaps with a handwritten message inside or thank you sticker
Do some simple crafts at your party so the guests can take them home
A packet of seeds to plant & grow
Set up a pick & mix stand with paper bags and let kids help themselves at the end of the party
🥳🥳🥳 We hope you found our Birthday Party Guide helpful.
Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have a brilliant and memorable birthday party. 🥳🥳🥳