We’ve just had my twins’ 10th birthday party at Oxygen trampoline park and they loved it. It got me thinking about parties past, from massive church hall affairs to pop star recording parties…
The Zoom Dinner Party
Covid-enforced virtual parties were the reality for so many kids in 2020; my eldest being one. For her 12th, we sent ahead menus from one of her favourite places (Fego) to her friends and organised synchronised delivery and dinner party over Zoom. There was lots of chatting and laughter and she really enjoyed it. Family were allowed to join to bring in the cake and sing happy birthday!
The Sleepover Birthday Party
They all had their first sleepover party aged nine. At this age they suddenly seemed much more mature and I felt more confident that none of the guests would get homesick/have a wobble. Sofia’s coincided with the X Factor final so that was the theme, and twins Maria and Gabby had a movie night theme with a pre-approved film to watch (Trolls World Tour). Pizzas were ordered in, lots of treats were supplied and I organised a few games. However, they mainly wanted to just chat, play and create their own entertainment.
The Pop Star Recording Party
Recording studio Echo 7 hosts two-hour parties where you get sole use of the studio facilities with three staff. The party record one song as a group and the birthday child gets solo recording time. There’s a mocktail reception, a constant supply of snacks (plus chocolate fountain) and they get to walk the red carpet. The crew take lots of pictures and record footage, which is all included in a video they create to accompany the recording. A link to the final edit of the video (unlisted on YouTube) is sent to the birthday child and all guests. This was so popular even with the shyer guests. Find out more here Party Ideas – Pop Star Recording Party
The Pamper Parties
We did two different versions of this. For one, the party came to us. Two ladies set up a salon in our front room and did hairstyling and nails and brought ‘bubbly’ with funky glasses. The girls all got to walk the red carpet after they’d been pampered. We carried on the party afterwards and had another sleepover.
The second version saw us going to a hair and beauty salon. The team alternated between doing hair styling, manicures and pedicures. For anyone waiting there was a Hama bead station and karaoke so everyone was always entertained. They laid on party food and a chocolate fountain. They all loved it.
The Bowling Parties
An easy peasy party where someone else takes care of the entertainment, food and clearing up! Even the children who had never bowled before loved it. The arcade games were an added bonus.
The hired hall birthday party
In the earlier years of school we went large and often invited the whole class. With my twins in separate classes this turned out to be rather bonkers.
We’ve has disco, entertainer, magician, Elsa impersonator, all coupled with a tonne of sandwiches, sausage rolls, crisps, sweets, some crudite (to try and have something healthy) and high octane children.
The Bouncy Castle in the Garden Party
Another easy hit for the younger ones. Having learnt from having a huge party indoors, we did this one outside. It is MUCH easier. The bouncy castle was a local hire. We put up a gazebo – in case the late September weather turned – and had a picnic. Plenty of sweet treats, a piñata, music, bouncing and grown up drinks ensured everyone was happy.
My birthday party constants
There’ve been loads of variations on parties, but a few things remain the same.
I get a professionally made cake for the party from a fantastic cake maker (Fondant Fetish) and make a homemade, not so aesthetically pleasing one for their actual birthday.
A personalised banner has become a tradition. I’ve got them from several places, but my favourite for the last few years is Dom & Geri.
… and there always needs to be party bags. I love these ones from Purple Ladybugs, which we made up with goodies from Flying Tiger and tonnes of sweets from Poundland.
I’ve come to realise though that children don’t need lots of frills and extravagance. They mainly just love getting together and having time to play, chat and interact.