Kids parties today are a little different from when I grew up. In the 70s and 80s it seemed that a few cupcakes and a game of pass-the-parcel (with only one prize) was the accepted norm, and while there is no reason why we still can't have a simple party at home, it seems that kids parties in the new century are a little more elaborate.
While this is not an exhaustive list of parties in Perth, I have tried or experienced everything here and would be happy to recommend them. Add your favourite kids party suggestion in the comments.
Parties at home
A party at home is probably the most manageable and controllable, but it usually means you are responsible for everything from entertainment to food. Here are some interesting party ideas you can do at home.
Stufflers: perfect for kids of most ages, these parties involve making a new stuffed animal for each child. Available in various themes such as jungle animals, aliens and rainbow bears, each party guest receives an animal, a birth certificate and a cart in which to take their new friend home. The toys are top quality and there are options such as sound buttons and clothing available at extra cost.
Kids make their own stuffed toy at a Stufflers party
Prices are around $25 per party guest and part of the 'entertainment' is that kids stuff their own toys using the stuffing machine. You will need to be able to collect the machine and toys from your local franchisee or they can be delivered for an extra fee. The package even includes an online invitation and RSVP system. Click here for a full review of Stufflers.
Rosie O Face painting: there are face painters and then there is Rosie O. Probably the best in Perth, Rosie and her team are some of the fastest and most talented face painters around, doing all the major events as well as regular parties. A two hour kids party will cost around $280 which includes face painting for all your guests (including adults if you like) plus games, stories and other entertainment. All you have to do is supply the food and invitations. Click here for a full review of Rosie O.
Artybrellas: this is a unique and crafty party suitable for kids who are aged five or older. Each party guest receives a beautiful paper parasol which they then paint during the course of the party with bright dyes, colourful paints and sparkling glitter. As the painting is both the entertainment and the take-home gift, all you need to provide is the food. This party needs a bit of space (works well outdoors) and the cost varies depending on how many guests you have, but it is $25 . Click here for a full review of Artybrellas.
Christmas Party: this is a simple, DIY Christmas party that you can do at home for any number of kids (or adults). I have included suggestions for food, games and decorations, because too many parties are never enough. Obviously nothing is free, but all the ideas here are very cheap. Click here for the full story of how to host a kids Christmas party.
Parties somewhere else Perhaps you live on a boat, or in a tiny flat, or just dread the idea of a dozen kids tramping through your house. Whatever the reason, sometimes you want to have your kid's party anywhere but at home. Here are some suggestions for places which host parties.
Pottery painting: if you like the idea of a party where the entertainment is organised by someone else, and the kids get something to take home (forgoing the need for lolly bags) then consider a pottery painting party at the Pottery Playroom. More suited to kids who have an attention span longer than two minutes, the other advantage is that they also have a small indoor play area, which is great if you have a few younger siblings who can't be trusted with ceramics. Parties start from $20 for the real littlies (under 5 years) and from $26 for older kids, which includes the pottery, invitations and food. Click here for a full review of the Pottery Playroom [Joondalup].
Pool Party: if you're looking for something a bit more energetic then a pool party at the newly refurbished Beatty Park might be suitable. The indoor pool is perfect for small to middle sized kids (keeping in mind each child might need an adult 'minder') and because it is indoors you are not beholden to the weather. Parties cost $25 for each guest but this also includes entry for an adult for every child as well as food and a dedicated (but not private) party space for your group. Click here for a full review of Beatty Park [Leederville].
Old style ten-pin bowling: for older kids, a ten-pin bowling party at retro Rosemount Bowl is a cool and fun way to celebrate a birthday. You can choose one or two games (one game is perfect for six year olds) and they have bowling ramps and gutter guards for the not-so-professional players. Included in the price are chips and water during the game, then a selection of food afterwards (such as pizzas, hotdogs and burgers), icecream and lollybags. Parties cost $21 for one game and $26 for two games, and are only available between 10am and 4pm. Click here for a full review of Rosemount Bowl [North Perth].
Timezone: it's an oldie but a goodie. Shooting games, dancing games, games of skill and racing games, you might shudder but kids love it. All TimeZones offer birthday party packages and most usually have a dedicated (pre-decorated) party room that is included in the cost of the party. They even include invites and all you have to do is supply the food. Kids are given a pre-loaded card which gives them access to most games for sixty or ninety minutes, plus one 'feature' and one 'vending' game.
All games (no matter how badly the kids play them) give points which can then be traded for various toys and gadgets at the front counter, so you don't need to arrange a goody bag, as each child will get to choose their own prizes. Prices may vary from place to place, but standard parties are around $16 per child and $20 for the deluxe party. Click here for a full review of the Timezone party [Innalooo].
Food and catering
Cupcakes: most kids I know say they like cupcakes but tend to only eat the icing, so why not find the smallest possible cupcake with the maximum amount of icing. Sweet on Cupcakes in Osborne Park offers a range of cupcake sizes in an endless variety of flavours, colours and decorations. We found the mini cupcakes were perfect for a four-year old party, and would you know, most kids even ate the delicious cake as well. Prices start at $2.25 for the minis up to $4.50 for the giant cupcakes. Order 24 hours in advance. Click here for a full review of Sweet on Cupcakes.
Custom cake: if you are looking for something a little more exotic, and money is no object then consider a custom made cake from Custom Cake Designs. Anything you can think of can be made into a delicious cake that will blow your mind. With prices starting at $200 it is pricey, but might be just what you need for the Best. Party. Ever. Click here for a full review of Custom Cake Designs.
Mobile wood-fired pizza: if you are sick of serving up little red sausages and party pies at your parties then consider Bella Pitsa who will come to your house and make you woodfired pizzas, literally in the back yard. There need to be a minimum of twenty guests and since it operates on a freshly-made, all-you-can-eat system this might suit a family party where there are plenty of adults as well. With starters and dessert pizzas also available, there are a range of packages to suit, but a party for 50 guests worked out to be around $20 per person. Click here for a full review of Bella Pitsa.
Decorations and handy hints There are some basic rules when having a party for kids such as involve them in the process, keep them busy and have plenty of food. Click here for an article on how to host a party for kids.
Decorations: it is easy to spend a lot of money on party decorations that inevitably get taken down and thrown away. Did you know you can easily make a range of colourful decorations at home, even if you are clueless when it comes to craft. Click here for some cheap and easy ways to decorate your kids party.
Great article. If you are DIY catering for your child's birthday party, I find that buying the white takeaway food boxes (Vital Packaging, Glad Tidings) and preparing them with a half a round sandwich, small yogurt, cheese stick, juice box and a Chocolate crackle is a great way to take the stress out of your party at home.Have your child write the names of each guest on the box and decorate with stickers. Kids love their "own" package and will pretty much devour the box or take home to eat later.http://www.encorekidsparties.com.au/party-ideas/food/birthday-party-food-boxes
Another fantastic idea for kids parties is the Gym Bus. We've had it two years in a row. First time in the afternoon which was great fun. Then last year at tea time when it got dark as it became a disco gym bus with flashing lights and pop music, dance competitions etc. Both the boys and girls, and my older kids absolutely loved it s0 highly recommend it.