22 answers

At What Age Do You Stop Inviting Family for Bday Party?

I am curious at what age is it appropriate to stop inviting family (grandparents, aunts uncles, etc) to a child's birthday. The reason I ask is I have a sister who stopped sending out invites to her kids parties and said after a while it's really just for kids friends to come. I feel like I could verbally tell whoever (especially grandparents) that they could come but is there an age where it becomes silly to send out invites to everyone?

Also---said sister mentioned that she didn't want out of towners to feel like they had to travel which made me feel like it was directed at me....my whole family and husbands family is out of town.
My daughter is turning 6 in September and we're planning a party at a bowling alley and I just didn't know if I needed to include all the family too.
Thanks!

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Thanks! We are going to do it at the bowling alley and invite everyone as we usually do. Usually most of the out of towners do not come and I know any other time I've been to bowling alley parties just the kids bowl and the adults mingle. I think I need to just stop listening to my sister. haha. What she decides for her kids is not necessarily what is what I should do...and it's obvious from all of your responses that it's weird to not invite family. To be honest...I answered my own question because I've felt slighted over the years when I stopped getting invites to her kids birthdays. They live 4.5 hrs away but I still drove even though we'd only stay the night.

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My daughter is 21 and while we no longer have birthday parties, I host a birthday dinner for her every year and family and her friends are invited.

1 mom found this helpful

For us all family is out of town and are hrs and hrs away.
So we don't invite family it's just too far for people to come.
If they were closer we would likely invite them , but we don't really do birthday parties. We take the kids where ever they want to go for their birthday and do that as a family thing, just the 4 of us.

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My oldest just turned 19 and we had the whole family come. There was a time - I would say 11-16 when she wanted to have slumber parties or go to a theme park with a few friends, we got a hotel room one yr, where she just wanted her friedns to come. But even those years, we still had a birthday dinner with presents and a cake and the whole family. So, it's not that we didn't invite the family, we just had 2 parties. We always want to get together as a family and celebrate. Any reason is a good reason!

3 moms found this helpful

You include who ever you want at any age for a party you are sponsoring. We have a large family and we always invite various cousins, aunts, uncles, etc to the various kids parties. Family is important to us. When the kids got old enough to invite their own guests is when the list changed slightly based on the kid's preference for guests. The call is yours. It's your party.

2 moms found this helpful

I have been in your shoes before. I usually send all of the family an invitation, but for those who live far away, I write a little notes saying that I don't expect them to come, but wanted them to feel included. Then if the family can't come to the party, we usually have a birthday celebration the next time the family gets together.

2 moms found this helpful

Happy Birthday to your daughter - a tad early!!

I guess for me, it's an open invitation for family. My parents live on the other side of the country but they would be there for my kids if they could. My sister and brother too live on the other side...

I think it's rude that your sister stated that the parties are really just for "friends" - what does that make you, chopped liver?

If my family wants to travel for my kids birthday's? That's THEIR choice...not mine...they are adults and can think for themselves...guess I'm being short - sorry - but I would tell family what's happening and let them make a choice.

2 moms found this helpful

My stepkids still invite cousins, and family to the big ages (13, 16, 18...) when we do a family dinner party as well as the friend gig. My family is coming to DD's 3rd birthday party tomorrow, but my ILs are not, which is fine. She has her own friends now and it's more of a kid-event and less of a family one. We will save the birthday celebrations with Grandma and Granddad for later in the week. As the kids get older, it becomes more about friends than family. By the time SD was 6, there were no extra family members at her parties (sleepovers for years!), only the girl cousin that would appreciate it. I think it really depends on your families. This year I invited my cousins, the ones with girls similar ages to my daughter, but I did not invite my aunt and uncle and outward.

1 mom found this helpful

Huh? We always invite family, but then it really is just my mom and on occasion my aunt and cousin will drive over from CA. We have a "family" party and now that the kids are older, on the weekend they can invite 2-3 kids to an event (bowling, movie, bounce house, etc) that they want to do for their "party". They also take cup cakes to school on their actual bday. They have never invited classmates to our home for thier party. And they have never missed that either. I would just continue to invite your family and leave it up to them if they want to come or not. I think the whole point of being a family is to celebrate each one's bday. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

We do the bowling party and invite family too, Well it's DH family, mine lives out of state :( They come and watch the kids bowl and have fun.

1 mom found this helpful

We are planning a party for my daughter who will be 4 in January. She wants to have it at McDonalds with her friends from daycare. I am not going to invite family except for her cousin who is 5. She only has 2 cousins and one will be 1 1/2. The 5 yr old and 1 1/2 yr old are brother and sister so they will both be there. Since her birthday falls during the week she wants to have a princess cake for her birthday. So the day of her birthday we will do dinner and the cake with her grandparents.
Once you start to have the parties at bowling alleys, McDonalds, etc, if you invite your family too it will start to run into some serious money. It will get expensive. I would just stick to her friends for that.
I had a friend that had his sons birthday party at a local place called the Castle. They have go carts, video games etc. He had a set price for the kids. They have all kinds of packages to choose from. He invited some of his family and told them that he would pay for the kids but if the adults got anything they would have to pay for it themselves. Well some of the older family members would get something and say to add it to his bill. When he got the bill he fell to the floor. It cost him $400 for a 6 year olds party. So you need to be careful when inviting family to these kinds of parties. As long as I can remember my birthday parties were with friends only. Especially when I started school. From age 1-3 they were with family. After that it was with my friends.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think I could ever not invite family since we are a close family. We don't do the "party" every year and the past two years we have just had a family dinner with some cake. I don't think a kid needs a party every year. She hasn't actually had a party with friends yet since she is 3. I'm thinking we'll do a party with friends when she is 5 or 6 and then it will be a few more years until another actual party. BUT since our families always like to celebrate, they are invited to join in on dinner and cake if they want.

1 mom found this helpful

My girls are turning 8 & 10. We always go out to dinner on their birthday with the family (we are all local within 1 hour) BUT they have a friends only 'party' My oldest is having a pool party and she just wants to be goofy and girly with her friends.

1 mom found this helpful

We always had large parties when my daughter was small to include family and adult friends with kids. As my daughter got older, we started doing horse parties where her older cousins could still come (2 and 4 years older than her). This year my daughter turned 8. Her cousin’s birthdays were earlier in the year and although the family had small family get-togethers, my daughter was not invited to the friend parties (roller skating, bowling, etc.). We decided to have separate parties also. I hated it, but my daughter felt slighted and wanted only close school friends and her best friend to come to her party. Everything worked out fine. We had the cousins over for a sleepover after cake and coffee with the family.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter's still at the age for family and kid parties (she's 6) but my nieces and nephews started doing slumber parties, etc. w/ a few friends at around 8-10 yo and beyond. With one side of the family we still have a dinner at my in-laws, the other side nada. Didn't bother me one way or the other; we all live relatively close.

1 mom found this helpful

I honestly don't see having a party without family there---I think that is what birthday celebrations are all about--being with the ones you love and who love you back! I don't know if I will change my mind on this or not, but for now, we will still have family parties every year---we always combine them-so we have the kiddo's friends and then all the aunties, uncles, grandma and grandpa etc. It works well for us. I guess each family has that choice-I just never considered NOT inviting everyone.

M

1 mom found this helpful

For us all family is out of town and are hrs and hrs away.
So we don't invite family it's just too far for people to come.
If they were closer we would likely invite them , but we don't really do birthday parties. We take the kids where ever they want to go for their birthday and do that as a family thing, just the 4 of us.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with Kimberly..your party, you do what you want. For my daughter, when she was young, we did start doing mostly just kids at her parties when she entered school (it depended on what the party was, but we usually tried to make them something all ages could do as she has cousins all over the board in age). Then we got to a point where she had a "friends" kid party, then we did a family deal (just my side has 20-25 of us at that point with just my Mom, siblings and their spouses and kids...my siblings do a similar thing now with their own kids who are young).

For us it just got to be too many people. Often now we combine parties exceptt for the much younger kids (under about age 10). We do family parties a few times a year and clebrate all the seasonal birthdays and anniversary's. Tomorrow is our Summer Bash. Its our biggest one as we have about 70% of our celebrations occuring from Memorial day to Labor day! Now we also have alot of Winter babies in recent years, so when we gather for Christmas, we do a birthday party first (my niece decorates her basement in full birthday gear...we do cake and pictures and seperate stuff, then we go do Christmas! Its just our thing now!)

1 mom found this helpful

This was our "transition" year (9)... he's having a sleepover with 3 of his besties.

In the past we always had 2 "things". An immediate family only "plan your day kid" on his actual birthday with cupcakes (he and I, and sometimes dad) at the end on his ACTUAL birthday party, and then a big kid & family bday party, with a potluck afterward at our house (since we only had the kid party at our house sometimes).

Well THAT'S not gonna work this year.

We unintentionally hurt a few feelings, so next year on his actual birthday it'll still be the "plan your day" on his birthday, but we'll potluck/bbq with family on the evening of, and have 'kid only' for his party. LOL... He's already planning his kid-party for next year. (He wants to go to a waterpark. Wanted to this year, but 2 of his besties aren't quite up to the swimming level required).

((My family is constitutionally incapable of not bringing food to a party, for any who might think a potluck bday is tacky.))

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 21 and while we no longer have birthday parties, I host a birthday dinner for her every year and family and her friends are invited.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you should invite whoever you want!! Don't follow in your sisters footsteps just because that is what she wants. I'd bet a lot of her out of town relatives will be disappointed not to get an invite too!! My oldest is in high school, and his birthday party is this Sunday, and we are having a house full!! I think it is fun to celebrate with them!! Do what YOU want!!

1 mom found this helpful

We're still inviting family to bday parties and my oldest is 12y. Its really one of the few times the cousins who live out of town get a real chance to come by - other then the usual round of holidays. But family is a big thing for us.

I think though once you get into the teenage years that the kids might not want to invite grandma along or the younger family members because they just want to be rambunctious with their buddies. For us though its looking closer on the horizon with my oldest, maybe in the next year or few...

1 mom found this helpful

In our case it was when they had enough friends to come and you didn't need to "fill in" with family.

1 mom found this helpful

We have partys for my kids 9 and 12 and have always invited the familys. Even the ones out of town we send the evite to just so they feel included. My sister in law has had some slumber parties that my boys can't go to but we've always still gotten together at another time and celebrated. Just because she has chosen to do this doesn not mean at all that you should! If you are planning something that she chooses not to come to that's on her. With the bowling you might have to look at cost too. We are fortunate I work at a place we can use for the parties free of charge and they have all kinds of games so it does not matter how many come.

Good luck with your desition and God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful

I've always done two parties (am I the only one?). There's the kids party - say, bowling, tea party, skating, etc. I've never invited either family to any of these. Then we have a "family" party at our house on another day. Casual - usually pizza/sandwiches/chinese take-out & cake. Honestly, I would be bored silly having to sit at a kids party if I didn't have a small child participating. I wouldn't expect the Grandparents to even want to be there.

1 mom found this helpful

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