Choosing the right venue for a child's party

Looking for the latest tips and trends on throwing the perfect birthday party for your daughter or son? Expert and luxury party planner of La Fête, Charlotte Ricard-Quesada has some tips and insight into this year's trends.

What kind of venue is ideal for my child’s birthday party?

When choosing the venue for your child’s birthday party, there are several factors to consider:

  • Is your venue choice child friendly?
  • Is your venue age appropriate?
  • Is your venue easily accessible for guests with prams?
  • Is your venue flexible in terms of decor?
  • Does your chosen venue match the kind of party your child would like?
  • Make sure to pick not only a location that you like, but one that fits what your child wants, whether that’s a formal Sweet Sixteen, a toddler’s football-themed party or an activity-fuelled celebration.

How do I settle on a theme and decor?

Deciding on a theme for your child’s birthday party can definitely be a challenge as there are so many options! We recommend starting with creating a list of all the things your child loves and drawing inspiration from that. Popular themes include monochromatic colours (pink, blue, orange, etc.), princess/fairy/mermaid, circus, animal/safari, rainbow, film/video game inspirations, books, nature and food, such as ice cream themed. We also recommend personalising with initials, names or photographs, to make it that much more special.

As for decor, we love going all out: balloons, a photo booth with a striking backdrop, flowers and as many props as possible (this could be a huge clamshell for a mermaid theme for instance). Just make sure that, as with any event, you have a cohesiveness running through all your decor elements, whether that is a colour or overall style: we guarantee that such a high level of detail will make your child’s event the talk of the playground!

Which activities can/should I include?

We highly advise including activities in your child’s party and for maximum effect, keeping some (or all) of them as surprises to be revealed on the day. As well as providing a clear structure to your event, it will also keep the excitement going and leave no opportunity for lulls. You can either theme the whole party around an activity, such as ice skating, paintballing, bowling or swimming; or alternatively incorporate interactive stations and moments throughout the party: these could be face painting, live illustration, traditional fair games, flower crown workshops or making their own custom freakshake. Classic party games such as pass the parcel and musical chairs are always winners, so do also include some of your personal childhood favourites. Other activities, which work particularly well for a sleepover party, are a s’mores atelier and a movie marathon: it’s minimal work for you but plenty of fun for your child and their friends. However, if you don’t feel quite ready to handle a large group of children, don’t hesitate to hire a professional entertainer. Just be sure that they are age appropriate for your child!

Which food and drink are ideal for a child’s party?

There really is no perfect answer here! Other than making sure that food and drinks don’t contain any alcohol, you can absolutely choose whatever you would like. Do consider the following when making the final decision though:

  • What is your child’s absolute favourite food item or overall cuisine? Can you work it into your theme?
  • Think of the colours of the foods you are choosing, particularly sweet, which can be iced in any colour, and match them to your theme.
  • Do any of the guests have allergies or dietary requirements that you need to navigate around?
  • If your venue only offers in-house catering and you’re set on having someone else cater your child’s party, think about which would be more important to your child and you.
  • Instead of fizzy, highly caffeinated drinks, why not offer fruity mocktails to the children?
  • Similarly, why not set up a bespoke hot chocolate bar, complete with mini marshmallows, sprinkles, whipped cream and flavoured syrups?

Children like to have fun with food, but also with presentation: think about showcasing stand out elements, such as bespoke drink bars, popcorn and candyfloss carts; a mix and match sweet buffet, and a cake table. As well as the themed birthday cake, smaller desserts are extremely popular, such as cake pops, cupcakes and macarons.