Party Planning Made Easy!

As a children’s party entertainer in New Jersey, I’m often asked questions about party planning by parents looking to make their kids’ birthday party extra special.  I thought it would be helpful to share with you some of my most helpful suggestions so that planning your child’s next birthday party will be a piece of cake!

What should I do first?

  • I recommend planning your party at least 2 months in advance.
  • Before you decide on your date and time, make sure the entertainer you want is available.
  • Read my “10 Tips for Great Kids Parties…” article for some very important party tips.

Where can I have my party if I don’t want to have it at home?

  • You could try Elk’s Clubs or Knights of Columbus.
  • Fire Houses often have party rooms to rent.
  • Pizza Places sometimes have private rooms.
  • Parks & Recreation in your town may rent out rooms or pavilions at local parks.
  • Country Clubs or Golf Resorts
  • Restaurants or Diners have private rooms or will clear space for entertainment.
  • Dance Schools or Karate Studios
  • Preschools or Camps

*If you can think of more party place ideas, please comment on the bottom of the page so I can add to this list!

To Theme or Not to Theme?

  • Your child’s favorite character or activity usually makes the best theme.  This can be highlighted with decorations.
  • If your baby hasn’t told you yet what his/her favorites are, go with something that makes you light up when it comes to your child:  A Garden, Animals, Rainbows, Music, Teddy Bears, Candy, etc.
  • I will help you plan activities and music to add more to your theme if you wish.
  • Don’t feel that a party is only perfect if everything in it goes along with a perfectly matched theme.  Music, Fun and Positive Energy are all we need for a good time!

Party Favors?

  • I would like to take care of this for you!  It is one less thing you have to worry about! My “Sing Along with Miss Dylan” CD’s can be included with my party packages and they are wrapped beautifully.  The CD’s are great for children 1 -8 and I believe it is something families will enjoy and want to keep. What more could you want?  ;)

What can I serve the children?

  • Children do tend to expect pizza or chicken nuggets and fries at parties.  These are very easy choices and guaranteed to be enjoyed.
  • Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (You can cut these up into fun shapes!) but check that none of your child’s friends have any peanut allergies first.
  • Favorites for babies are great at parties too:  Cheerios and Fishy Crackers.
  • Cut up cucumbers and carrot sticks with dip; a healthy option for a snack.
  • Cut up grapes, banana slices, strawberries and orange slices:   colorful and healthy.
  • Cubes or fun shapes of cheeses are yummy.  You can use a cookie cutter for the shapes.
  • Hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough (You can cut them in half before you wrap them.) are a huge hit with my family.

*Add in the comment box any fun ideas you have tried or would like to suggest!

14 Responses to Party Planning Made Easy!

  • Susan Newman says:

    Dylan, Such a great list of ideas that are sure to help plan awesome parties! In Hoboken a theatre company that puts on children’s shows, offers parties before the show. This way they can have the birthday celebration and a live show as well!

    • Dylan says:

      Thanks Jodi for spreadin’ the word! And Ellen, I love the idea that this list is “turnkey!” Susan – I love that a theatre company offers parties using activities before a show. What a great idea! My acting parties are a lot of fun too for children over 6 years old. Kids love playing pretend!!

  • Ellen Thomas says:

    Thanks, Dylan! What great ideas! Coming up with something different for children’s parties is always a challenge. Having a checklist like this makes things more turnkey!

  • Jodi Krizer Graber says:

    I don’t have any children but I love these ideas. I will surely spread the word about you and your ideas…brilliant!

  • Carolyn says:

    I would have never thought of a firehouse as a place to have a birthday party. How fun would that be?!
    Great tips, Dylan!

    • Dylan says:

      I do many firehouses who have party rooms attached or next to their garages. I even did a “Fire Engine” theme at a party where we had our music hour, then the children got to tour the station and get a close look at the fire engines!! I have a great song about fire trucks too that “drive” the kids wild! LOL Thanks for your comment, Carolyn!

  • DrSusan says:

    Great ideas! You make throwing a party sound easy. I don’t have kids, but my clients do, so now I have a great resource in you for my virtual roladex.

  • Gay Edelman says:

    Wonderful suggestions. I especially love the food suggestions, which make a lot of sense for little ones, and relatively easy for the hosts as well. But I know the best part of the party is the entertainment!

  • Donna Leyens says:

    Great check list! And I think it’s great that you offer a built in party favor. My kids are past the birthday party age, but I remember several times when the party favor almost threw me over the edge because I was one short, or got too many “boy” favors and not enough “girl” favors, or my child wanted to give out something that was way more expensive than I wanted, or we decided to make them ourselves (picture up till 2 a.m. finishing favors) etc.,etc. LOL!

    • Dylan says:

      Hey Donna! I do know party favors can be overwhelming cause I have been there too – up till the wee hours making, wrapping, etc. I think if you’re gonna spend about $5 on “stuff” to give out for each kid already, it should be something nice, and something both parent and child are going to want to keep! I love having the CD’s as an option!

  • Tanzie says:

    Great, helpful and creative ideas Dylan, will pass on to some moms I know. I think probably the biggest is your first tip, start planning early!

    • Dylan says:

      I agree, Tanzie. So many times, people call last minute and we are all booked up! It is never too early to start planning. But that is why I am building a team – so I can accommodate more parties, even if people are a little late in planning.

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