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- Run the party at home or nearby venue and do it yourself
- Run the party at home and get people in to do the catering and entertainment
- Take them somewhere to be entertained and fed by someone else
In my experience thinking that a home party is easier and cheaper is not always the case. Money/time spent on food/prizes/themes/decorations/partyware can work out more expensive in the long run.
What makes a good venue for a child's party? In the summer there is plenty of choice and you can't beat the beach! If not the beach then a picnic areas, zoo, park, theme park, swimming pool, castle, fayres, pony rides, water park would be just as good.
In winter think about the cinema, theatre, interactive museums, ski slopes, tobaggon runs, paintballing
For home entertainment you could try a magician, ballooon artist, fortune teller, clown, cartoon artist, bouncy castle, trampoline, face painting, cooking, t-shirt design, mask making and all kinds of art and craft projects such as collage, murals, painting egg cups, mugs, plates etc. There are lots of ceramic paints these days that you can decorate on porcelain and easily fix by baking in the oven. These make great little projects to take home. Find lots of projects at your local craft store.
Theming your child's party is also a must - fairies, princesses, Disney, colour themes, pirates, animals, action man, teddy bears, soldiers, cowboys and indians, knights, Robin Hood, Murder Mystery, karaoke, football, all kinds of sports; favourite movies, musicals and books - there's so much choice!
Match the food and decoration to the theme, plus invitations, partyware etc. Buy loads of cheap prizes from dollar and pound stores
Don't forget games for the garden and beach to include football, cricket, rounders, soft ball, frisbee,
Other ideas include lighting a campfire in the garden and have spooky stories. Sleep in tents overnight and get children to decorate the tent