Planning Your Child's Birthday Party

Children’s parties can seem like a scary prospect! Trying to go one better than the last or keeping up to date with the latest must-go places may seem like a daunting prospect. But it’s not necessarily how grand the party is, but how much the children enjoy themselves... a thought quite often overlooked!

Entertainers

If you have no idea who you want to perform at your party, remember there is a very wide choice of different entertainers out there. You don’t have to book the first clown you find!

Getting the right person for the job can make all the difference and take an awful lot of weight off your shoulders. Word of mouth recommendation is the best of all!

Bouncy castle checklist

  • Compare costs
  • Beware of overcrowding
  • Insurance
  • Clean & safe
  • Flame resistant
  • Integrated rain cover
  • Enclosed netting With or without slide 
  • Delivery & collection times

Party venues

There are many excellent party venues in the region where all the organisation, fun and activities are arranged on your behalf so all you have to do is turn up! Many parents favour this ‘no mess’ option and it’s a good opportunity for trying out new activities with their friends.

Decoration

When it comes to decorating a venue, remember a little goes a long way. Balloons can make a fantastic impact, on the wall or covering the floor. Either way they always end up being played with - and popped! A lot of the time fancy décor can get missed in all the excitement.

Party food

Hungry children are never happy children and two hours can be too long for children to go without a party tea. Of course children should have some treats at a party, but you can still have healthy food choices that won’t cause them to run around like mad things. Many party venues now offer a ‘healthy plate’ option, with juice or cordial instead of fizzy additive drinks. Ask what’s on offer at your local venue if you are considering a party outside the home.

Party bags

Do you really need flamboyant party bags? So often, children are not even bothered about a party bag that a parent has worried over endlessly. Kids are perfectly happy with a fun packed party and a piece of birthday cake to take home.

Party etiquette

The party is for your child and his or her friends – the first goal is to make your child feel special and the second is to ensure everyone has a good time. Make sure there are plenty of adults to help out if the party is at home. Encourage your child to say hello and goodbye to everyone, and to thank them for their present and coming to the party. Don’t forget about safety – it’s a good idea to take a contact number for all the parents and find out who will be collecting each child. If you are holding the party at a venue, make sure you know fire procedures and where the exits are.

Last but not least…

If you are holding your party in the middle of a school holiday, hand your invites out before the end of term. If you’re not inviting the whole class to the party (and you should feel under no obligation to do so) don’t give out invitations in front of all the children.

Don’t forget, the children are having a good time so why shouldn’t you? You have put in all the hard work after all! So relax and go with the flow – these will be the moments in your children’s lives to remember forever.

More birthday party information www.birthdaypartyideas.com www.coolest-kid-birthday-parties.com Make your party invites free online www.invitationcreation.com www.smilebox.com Buy party bags & decorations online www.bestbirthdays.ie www.waterfordpartyworld.com

MUNSTER PARTY VENUES

The Teddy Bear Village pride themselves on providing high quality teddy bears at affordable prices and were the first company in Ireland to offer birthday parties where each guest could make their own Teddy Bear. As well as Birthday Parties, their staff is now available to host other types of events such as Communion parties and primary school graduation.

Every guest receives a Teddy Bear, stuffing, heart to bring their new friend to life, birth certificate, and Teddy Bear box. The birthday child receives a Happy Birthday T-shirt, and there are prizes for party game winners such as t-shirts, slippers and clothes.

Customise your party or choose from a selection of packages including a Talking Teddy party; Fashion party; Giant Balloon party; DIY party; Teddy Bear’s Picnic – or create your own!

Face painting is available at selected locations, and party invitations also included.

Parties can be held in your own home or at selected locations – please call 087 2994566, email: info@theteddybearvillage.ie or visit www.theteddybearvillage.ie

Buddies play centre in Killarney is open 7 days a week and their €12.95 party package includes 1 ½ hours play, hot food, unlimited squash, ice cream, party bags and invitations, plus the birthday child gets a present and voucher for a return visit. The play centre has a ball cannon, astra slide, interactive lights, toddler car track and much more. Call 064 39080, email: buddieskillarney@eircom.net or visit www.buddies.ie

West Cork Model Railway Village offer birthday parties all year round at €10 per child (max 15 children). This includes entrance to the delightful miniature railway town, 30 minute train ride to Clonakilty or Inchydoney beach on the ‘Tschu Tschu’ train, and access to the new children’s playroom area. Call 023 33224 - or 023 8833224 (from November onwards) or log onto www.modelvillage.ie

Did you know you could have a Golf Birthday Party at East Cork Golf Club in Midleton? Play putting and chipping games, and a long game competition to see who can hit the longest drive on the fairway. Party package lasts 1/12 hours golf time and ½ hour food in the Club House. Present for the birthday child. From five to 16 years – minimum 10 children. Bring your own cake. Parties are available all year round – in good weather, there will be short and long games; and in bad weather, you can still have your party with a long game on the driving range. Call Don MacFarlane on 086 2483795 for details.

Party Time at Supernova Family Entertainment

Centre in Ballincollig, Cork is McCool! The Regular McCool Party Package includes 1½ hours play in McCool’s Castle and ½ hour Feast of Food & cake. Activity Party is one hour McCool’s Castle and ½ hour choice of dancing or soccer; while McCool’s & Skating Party is 45mins play in McCool’s Caste and 45 mins skating. Supernova has either Soccer Party (1 hour); Skating Party (1½ hours); or Skating & Soccer Party with 45 minutes of each activity. All options include 30 mins Feast of Food time.

High quality freshly made food options are available, with jugs of cordial and water throughout the party – bring your own cake. Party box for every child is included - minimum charge of 10 children. Supernova is launching a new Nails Birthday Party option this September. Special party rates are available from Mon-Weds. Call 021 4826905 or log onto www.supernova.ie small product photo

Relax – it’s the recipe for a perfect party at Lumpyland, Carrigaline's only play centre with the latest state-of-the-art soft play equipment for kids up to 12. From a massive slide, to a ball pool, biff-bash bags, cannon ball course, soccer and basketball course, rollers and a four-lane wavy-board racer slide, plus treasure hunt and face painting. All you have to do is turn up with your birthday cake, sit back, relax and enjoy the party. New, lower priced two hour packages include 1 ½ hours play and ½ hour eating plus party plate – with sweet, healthy or hot plate options - two drinks and a party bag for each child. Minimum of 10 children per party. Call 021 483 4797 or logo onto www.lumpyland.ie

NEW – Nail parties for fun loving girls from five years to adult in County Cork. Party with a difference with a fully trained nail technician at home for a sparkly girls’ night in! Individually catered activity parties are also available for little ones. Also great for Hen night parties. Call Parties by Emer on 087 2095167.

No stress, no mess, just bring the kids and Chuckies Playzone does the rest! The new-look Playzone – complete with aquarium – is now offering themed parties with enthusiastic hosts. At Chuckies you get a two hour party package (1½ hour playtime/ ½ hour party time) with free invitations, unlimited jugs of squash or water, choice of hot/cold party food and drinks, ice-cream, birthday cake and a goody bag for each child. There’s tea or coffee for Mum and Dad, with a free return voucher for the birthday child. Special diets catered for. Chuckies Playzone has plenty of space and a super multi-level adventure play area, Rodeo Bull, ball pool, football/basketball area and separate toddlers’ area. Minimum 10 kids per party, pre-booking is advisable. Call 021 434 4112 or visit www.chuckies.ie

Crafty Hands can organise a tailor made party for you in their Midleton studio or in your own home, with any amount of children and for any age. You can choose your crafts from a wide variety including ceramics, clay work, mask decorating, card and jewellery making and more. Parties run between two and three hours and kids are guaranteed to be kept busy and have loads of fun. Call Susan on 087 9028186 or email: craftyhands@eircom.net

Ensure you have a splashing time with a surfing party at Oceanics Surf School in Tramore. Suitable for ages 6yrs to 16yrs, parties run for two hours with 1 ½ hrs activity and 30 minutes party food time and birthday cake celebration. Complimentary Kids Club/ Summer Camp voucher for the birthday child. Parents may drop off and leave, stay and observe, or join in the fun! Birthday Party Package is €250 for up to 10 children - additional children €25 each. Call Linda on 051 390944, email: oceanic@eircom.net or check out www.oceanics.ie

Monkey Maze in Glanmire offer two hour party packages with 1½ hours play and ½ hour party time, each party with its own designated party area and party host. All parties include free invitations, unlimited drinks and a party bag for each child. Party food selections are sweets and crisps, freshly made sandwiches or hot food. Birthday parties have plenty of room to monkey around in the giant four levels 500 square metre adventure play area with amazing slides, ball pool, and many more exciting features. There is a separate mini monkey area for children under 5. Monkey Maze is open every day from 10am-7pm and party pre-booking is essential. For the elder monkeys, the café serves a selection of hot and cold tasty food and drinks, all freshly prepared each day, served in comfortable surroundings. 10% discount for mid-week parties. Call 021 482 0674 or logo onto www.monkeymaze.ie

Are you planning a birthday party and can't decide what to do? Why not celebrate in style at Perks of Youghal! The newly-refurbished fun and games complex has an extended Blackbeard’s Adventure Play Area with lots of comfy seating for grown-ups while your children wear themselves out with fun. Specially trained party co-ordinators provide a friendly and dedicated service with a variety of packages to choose from Tots to Teens. Activities include adventure play, kiddie rides, ten pin bowling and lazer.

Choose from a regular package with one activity or the Deluxe party combining two of your favourite activities. The new look pirate themed funky party areas have a large throne for the birthday child, and there is also a private disco room available to hire for the children. For more information on party packages log onto www.perksfunfair.com or contact a party co-ordinator on 024 92438.

The Quality Hotel & Leisure Centre in Clonakilty provides the perfect venue for ensuring that your child has a birthday party to remember, without the pressure of planning. Guests will have an action packed day with fully supervised activities in a 20m pool with huge inflatable bouncy castle, arts & crafts, and team events such as soccer. The birthday meal of sausages and chips is followed by ice cream and of course the all important birthday cake! The day is finished off with a special sitting in the centre’s 3 screen cinema. Complimentary car parking provided. To enquire about birthday packages, call 023 36400, email: info.clonakilty@qualityhotels.ie or visit www.qualityhotelclonakilty.com

Give your child a birthday party they’ll never forget at KartWorld Adventure Centre in Watergrasshill, County Cork. As well as a brand new fleet of Karts, why not sample a host of other exciting activities such as pulse ranger, a high tech laser combat game, or battle it out in hilarious sumo suits, and try your hand at some archery or laser clay shooting!

KartWorld now features an all new purpose built, race themed party room where all you have to do is sit back and be entertained. Party packages start from €25 per person (birthday boy/girl free if 10 or more in group) including Kartworld party invitations, karting, Sumo suits, hot food and a mineral, lap times and medals. For the thrill and fun of a lifetime, call 021-4889477 or visit www.KartWorld.ie

Here are some great party ideas for the Dublin Area:-

ZOOM Themed Parties at Zoom:- Choose from Postman Pat, Barbie, Spongebob Zoom Party Packages 2hrs One and a half hours in the playframe. Half an hour for the party food at your own party table. Organic sausages, chicken goujons and burgers or buffet style party feast. Fresh fruit platter for every party. Party Invitations. Party bag for all Birthday guests. Complimentary return play voucher for Birthday child. One of the best Birthday parties in the Dublin area. Minimum 10 children at weekends. www.zap.ie tel 01-2016600

Daisy Play Parties is a professional children’s event management service that has been organising and hosting children’s parties throughout Dublin since 2000. Their unique parties are custom designed to suit your individual child’s wishes and can incorporate a variety of arts and crafts activities. Suitable for children from the ages of 3 – 16 years of age, Daisy Play Parties combine fun, laughter and entertainment with creative and imaginative learning to ensure your child’s celebration is one to remember. www.daisyplaycafe.ie Tel 087 2285797 There’s no party like a funky party in Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park. The Park offers an abundance of activities – the only problem is fitting it all in! A healthy mix of indoor and outdoor play, great food, train trips, treasure hunts, pet farm (watch out for the baby wallaby), 18 hole crazy golf and best of all there’s no time limit! The atmosphere is guaranteed with personalized posters, party hats and lots of decorations at your reserved table. The party itself includes chips & nuggets or sausages, drink, ice cream and goodie bags. For a fun-filled special day – Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park is the place to go. For more information or to make a booking please phone 045 870238 or visit www.lullymoreheritagepark.com

ENRG Playcentres in Rathcoole and Artane have four levels of interactive play. 40,000 sq feet of play space, football area, climbing wall, 10 mt slide, ball shooters. You can have a fun filled birthday party at ENRG. Included in the party is: admission, 90 minutes of play followed by 30 minutes of food and music in your own private party room and party souvenir. You can choose from the following parties- new disco party, princess or pirate party, regular party. Additional parties in Artane include: teddy bears picnic, glo golf party.

Artane www.eng.ie Also great for parties the National Aquatic Centre 01-6464300 www.nac.ie and Artzone themed parties Tel 4990614 www.artzone.ie

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