What are your tips for throwing a party that both adults and kids will enjoy?
Whenever we have a family friendly party (for kids and adults) I always make sure to have lots of crafts and games set out for the the kids to enjoy. For the adults we play music, appropriate for all ages of course, and always focus on food!! Everyone loves good food accompanied with friends and good conversation.
Is it wrong to say alcohol? Kidding! It's important to think of the ages of the kids attending. Adults are pretty easy to please - food and drinks. Kids are pretty to please too, if you have activities and appropriate food. When I have the whole family over no matter what we are eating for dinner I always bake up macaroni and cheese for the kids. Bring out the bucket of LEGO, colouring pages and crayons, dolls, whatever toys that promote group play. If the kids are older, set them up with a movie and fruit kabobs! Take the time to think of everyone who is coming to your party and it will be a huge success.
I think planning is the key! A party that is organised will run smoothly. If children are occupied, having fun and being looked after properly, then mums and dads can relax and enjoy some adult company and conversation. As a busy parent that is what I think makes a great party.
For the kids some ideas might be to set up a movie room, snack table, computer games and activities, jumpy castle, maybe pony rides, face painting, balloon animals, clown or fairy and some music.
For the adults maybe music, board games, adult snack table, drinks, plenty of nice comfy chairs for some chats and laughs.
Set up different areas for food and hangout. At a kids' party, put things adults love but kids don't (like spinach artichoke dip, guacamole) and chilled soft drinks in the kitchen away from the party's main commotion. Adults can hang out there and enjoy themselves.
For an adult party, set up a special room with games and snacks and a movie for the kids. I've hired a teenager to be stationed in that room, and that lets parents relax more.
We have an annual backyard BBQ every year that is designed to be a fun family event, as well as fun for our single and childless friends. The biggest tip, which I can't emphasize enough, is to plan, plan, plan in advance! Keeping it outdoors is another tip for a large group.
We always have a big bouncy house, which I asked for their lead test results well in advance.
Food is potluck style with us providing the main part of the meal, which we cater so no one is spending all their time at a grill. Everyone brings their contribution in a reusable dish, which we will wash for them after the party or they take home with them.
We make homemade beer and sangria for the adults, which are labeled as such. We also make a special drink for the kids and provide water for everyone (not bottled water because of the waste).
We provide enough places to sit in various locations so grandparents don't need to sit near the rowdy teens. ;)
We have a place for trash and recycling that is easy to locate, but far enough away from the party.
We keep everything casual and make sure to make everyone feel welcome. Use the kids to introduce their friends to any new children that might come or invite kids to play. Have little things like bubbles and sidewalk chalk available.
Now I am looking forward to next year's BBQ! I am linking to my daughter's birthday party because it follows all the same principles as our BBQ. http://www.almostallthetruth.com/parenting/make-it-monday-a-butterfly-birthday-party/
Lots & lots of finger food! If everyone has a full tummy then people are more relaxed. I find that adults love "kids" games. One year, I turned my backyard into a putt putt course for Australia day & the adults had so much fun that the kids had to find something else to do.The best parties are not had with the men standing around a BBQ, the kids playing by themselves & the women talking.......the best parties happen when everyone is enjoying being together.
Food! You must have kid and adult friendly food. Kids aren't going to wat plain ole regular party food like finger sandwiches. They want something fun and creative. If you are grilling out hotdogs they make really cute hotdog cutters that turn the dogs into ocopus or wrap the dogs in cheese and crescent roll for an easy on the go party treat. You also need fun activities for the kids that don't necessarly need adult supervision. Instead of a pool party mayeb a sprinkler or blowup water slide party. Hang a large inexpensive white sheet on the fence and let the kids paint.
I like XLMIC's tip and have done that myself...a godsend for a particularly memorable New Year's Eve party. I definitely try to lard the lower floor of my house with things to keep the little ones entertained - movies, art supplies, a ping pong table - and reserve the upstairs for the grownups. I also try to appoint the oldest kids in the group to keep some semblance of order with the younger ones - good practice for future babysitting gigs and what eight year old doesn't like to suddenly be vested with power?
Feed the kids first, and have lots of easy-to-eat non-messy finger foods in the rooms where the kids will be gravitating. We leave a marker near the cups so kids can write their names on their one cup and not have to get a new one each time they're thirsty (or have set the cup down who knows where.)
And relax. It's not really a party until someone breaks a glass.
The simplest tip I can give for having a party in which adults and kids all feel like they're having fun is to spend a little extra and hire a couple of trusted babysitters. This really helps the parents relax and enjoy the party instead of feeling like they have to constantly be 'on'.
1. Make sure you keep the alcoholic drinks far away from the kiddie table and preferably serve them in something other than sippy cups.
2. Have lots of toilet paper, wipes, and a plunger handy in the bathroom.
3. Realize that some adults behave like children and some children are mature beyond their years.
4. Hire a clown for the adults and a fortune teller for the adults. Wait, reverse that!
5. Have fun and the rest will follow.
In all seriousness, I grew up in a large extended family. No one ever made a big deal about gatherings being for both kids and grown-ups, that's just how things were. As kids we made our own fun and it was fine. Now as a grown-up with kids, I'm always surprised by how few gatherings/parties I get invited to are actually family-friendly. It's a shame. Adults should really learn to play well with kids, it's not that hard. Just my opinion.
Every year we throw a big party on New Years Day for parents and children. It works best when we provide both food and drink specifically for kids (fruit, cookies, popcorn, chips, juice, etc.), and some specifically for the adults to enjoy (sushi, cheese and crackers, crudites, wine, etc.), and we arrange our house to provide a space where the adults can socialize and a seperate area for kids to play. This past year we also set up some crafts and activities in the kids' space to keep them occupied and it worked great. This keeps everyone happy and prevents things from getting too chaotic.
When I'm having adults and children at a party I tend to gravitate towards finger foods. This way I can have some fancier ones for the adults and some not so fancy ones for the kids.
If you're having an outdoor bbq you can plan a few games and outdoor activities for the kids to keep them busy. If it's an indoor affair set up a station with toys, video games, snacks and other entertainment to keep them happy.
Organizing the activities is one of the most important parts of an enjoyable party. You need to develop a program that is organized and flows in a particular order. Parents and kids will enjoy a semi-fast passed party where they are continually entertained. Party ideas include fun music, art and crafts, and games, get the parents or adults involved too. Everyone likes to have a great time. Keep everyone engaged. Try not to have too much down time where nothing is going on. When guests arrive, have an ice-breaker, which will help everyone get to know each other. To read 6 more of my party tips visit http://cleverlychanging.com/2012/03/tips-throwing-party-adults-kids-enjoy/
My advice is, FIRST, KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU LIKE CHILD OR ADULT FROM THERE AND ALL THE PARTY mood on that basis.
DO NOT NEED A LOT OF MONEY WITH VERY FEW THINGS AND IMAGINATION CAN ASSEMBLE A BEAUTIFUL EVENT!
CAN SEE MY IDEAS IN www.dulcesdebilidades.blogspot.com
Great food - especially fun presentation along with upbeat music will always get everyone involved.
It's actually surprisingly simple to throw a great party that all ages will enjoy. Here's a few tips to make it great...
Choose somewhere big enough. Make sure there's plenty of room for adults and kiddos to spread out.
Themes make it easier. If you have a theme (be it holiday, season, event, topic, etc) it's so much simpler to plan. Keeping it non-age and non-gender specific (such as tropical or beach in summer or snow or igloo in winter) is the key.
Keep it simple. Don't be extravagant with food or decorations just pick a theme and create the environment around that. With a varied crowd it's about atmosphere.
Finger food is your friend. Children adore it and adults think its cute. Just have plenty on have and feel free to be creative. Kabobs are a fun option as is using cookie cutters to make food into shapes matching your theme. Simple creative containers to serve it in with creative food labels is also a fun addition.
Have activities available. A table with crafts and/or coloring pages for the kids to do and ways to keep children busy and active will ensure less frustrations arise. If you plan games leave it open for who can participate and don't plan anything that is mandatory for people to participate in.
Have fun. Plan it, prepare it and enjoy it once guests arrive. Try not to put yourself in a position where you're having to prepare things or do a lot of running around once the party starts.
Make it fun and colourful, Tiny foods are a big hit with everyone. Always have a little table set up for the kids...have crayons, paints and appropriate crafts! They LOVE it! Don't forget awesome music :D Have fun!
I love a good themed party with cute crafts and fun games, but the most important element is good food. A party isn't great without delicious food!
Keep the menu as simple as possible!!! Hire the neighborhood teenagers who babysit to help occupy the littles.