Planning a Birthday Party

by : News Canada

(NC)-Birthdays rank as the most important date of the year for many young children. Besides the cake and the presents, it's a day when families communicate that a child is special and loved.

For a parent, this can mean a whole lot of pressure and money. Statistics Canada hasn't yet studied the birthday party economy, but with 5.5 million kids 13 and under…that can add up to some serious dollars and serious stress in planning.

Across Canada, time-starved parents may find it extremely difficult to fit birthday party planning into their busy lives, especially when they want it to be a memorable party for their child. But there are quick and easy ways to plan parties that will leave parents with the energy to actually enjoy the party, and more importantly, won't have them dreading next year's bash.

The most important thing to remember is that you don't need ponies and jugglers to create memories for your child. Instead, focus on simple ideas and take advantage of your child's active imagination by letting them help with theme and activity ideas.

According to, theme parties are wonderful because they set the stage for the gifts, activities and party favours, and best of all, they take much of the guess work out of the most important step of a party…proper planning. Other tips include:

  1. Think about how old your child is turning because each age has different interests

  2. Grab a notebook and sit down with your child (if they are over the infant/toddler age) and discuss with them what type of party they have in mind.

  3. Create a list of people to invite (four to six children for ages one to three, ten to twelve children for ages four to 12).

The absolute easiest way to throw a birthday party for your child is to do it at a venue that will either plan the party for you or at least include all the required elements. For example, little girls who love Barbie are all going to want a Barbie Birthday Popcorn Party for their next birthday. Available at Famous Players theatres across the country, the Barbie Birthday Popcorn Party is a full birthday package with a Barbie twist. The birthday girl receives Barbie-themed invitations to send out to her friends, and the large party includes Barbie decorations, Barbie loot bags, and a personalized Barbie cake.

'We've worked with Famous Players to create three totally Barbie-themed birthday packages that no Barbie fan can resist,' says Erica Van Kamp, Marketing Manager, Girls Brands, Mattel Canada Inc. 'These parties are not only great for the girls, but also for the parents - a Popcorn Party coordinator does all the planning for you, and is even on hand to help out during the party. For more information call 1-888-3-FAMOUS.'

Other venues also offer inexpensive birthday party packages. Check out your local zoo, favourite family restaurant, bowling alley, community pool, or skating rink.

If you are going to plan the party at home, it still doesn't have to be a stressful task. Just get creative and use the internet for some great theme ideas like Hot Wheels, princess, Barney, and Blue's Clues.

Whether you choose to have a party at home or at a venue such as Famous Players, just remember that the best part of any birthday party is that you are creating memories for your birthday girl or boy that will last a lifetime. Don't forget your camera!