Friday, May 6, 2011

Throwing a Kids Party.... the breakdown (in case you ever want to throw one)

This is one hell of an endeavor!  You have to think of the venue, how many kids to invite and how many the facility can accommodate, how long the party should be, decide on a cake, loot bags, food (what would the 5 years old's eat? - what would their parents want to eat? and snacks, decorations and activities.  This task is not for the weak of heart.

About 2 months ago I decided to purchase wag jag coupons for Amazing Adventure Playland, after much debate and price matching for similar parties and venues.  The coupon included one day of play at the playpark and a build a bear.  I have to admit that I was really excited about the idea of having the kids build their own bear (actually they had jaguars, cats, bunnies, ponies and bears!) So I rented the room for the hour.  Sent out the invitations and didn't really worry about the party for the next 7 weeks.

  This week and more specifically for the last 2 days, I have been thinking non stop about this party.  Originally we were going to keep it really really cheap and simple, but of course I couldn't let that happen.  It was going to be cake from costco and a bunch of pizza's.  I'm sure either way it would have been fine.  But I decided I wanted to have cupcakes from Longo's - because they would sell me a 6 pack for 3.99$ (and include the ring on the top as part of the deal), so I ordered 42 cupcakes, a mix of chocolate and vanilla and each and every one had sprinkles and a ring- either a boy's ring or a girls one!  And I had been to a party that had make your own sandwiches and I loved that idea so that is what I did, spent 45$ on the sandwiches (meat, cheese, buns, veggies), 20$ on chips and condiments, 25$ on fruit and veggie tray, 13$ on drinks and about 20$ on dishes/cutlery and decorations.

Ok so here is the moral of this story.  Throwing a party is bloody expensive. Don't do it if you don't absolutely have too.  But I'm glad in the end I chose Amazing Adventure Playland.  Here is the breakdown  for my party with the wag jag coupon:

299$ - kids passes including the build a bear (which I used as my "loot bag")
75$ - room rental
151$ - food/decorations

Total = 525$  (but remember that with this deal the kids didn't have a time limit on the "length of time to play" - some of my friends even used their pass in the morning!

Here is the breakdown of the equivalent type party:

$430$ - room and play time for 2 hours, 50 slices of pizza/50 drinks, large cake, balloon arrangement, and a few other perks (dishes,cutlery, extra passes and a small gift for birthday child)

I would still need: Loot bags, fruit and veggie trays and extra food for the parents (since with having a party with such young kids - most of the parents stick around)

Let me guesstimate:
40$ - extra food
92$ - loot bags (if I underestimated 4$/child)

Total = 562$

Woohoo!  I saved a few extra dollars doing it my way! Check out the comments for more price matching for a 25 kid party.   Like I said I'm glad I chose this route, kids and parents got to eat tons of good healthy foods, they did a little craft (decorating the build-a-bear shirt) and stuffing the bears, and they got to play for more than 2 hours! If you haven't fallen asleep yet.. here are some pictures from the grand event!

Kids looking at how to stuff their bears!

Getting started!

Party Princess waiting for cake!

If you look on the table a few of the finished build a bear creations (pink bunny and little horse)


My very happy son waiting for his cupcake!

I let each kid pick their own cupcake! (so they could choose the ring and the flavour!) win-win

My baby!  Driving...

He was so happy! 

Back home, boys are sleeping and Annaliese got to spend some quiet time opening her gifts. 

She had a very systematic way of organizing her gifts: papers in a huge pile on the left, bags lined up on the right, I was holding the cards, and the gifts all went in a giant pile.  She then went on to try to stack them, count them and decide what would go where in the house! 


  1. Lil' Monkey's equivalent package would have been (499$ plus HST), Loot bags and extra food platters. = 664$

    Little Goober's (239$ +HST)But I would need, loot, food/condiments/plates/cutlery.
    151$ (food)+90$(loot)+ 257$ = 498$ (cheapest but not by much!)

  2. Will you do a big party for each child's first year of kindergarten?

  3. Yes thankfully, Luke starts in 2 years - we have time to save up!