31 answers

Birthday Party Times/lunch?

I am starting to think about the party for my sons' birthdays in October. They will be 2 and 5. Because our family's calendars seem to be filling up fast, I hope to go ahead and plan a date/time. I am going to have the party at an inflatable place, and they schedule their parties starting at 9:15 in the am (for 2 hour time slots) with new parties starting every 45 minutes throughout the day. (They rotate through 3 rooms). Because of my parents' schedules, I really need to have the party in the morning. So here are my questions: What is your opinion about a party as early as 9:15? Is that too early? The next time slot is 10:00, but since that one would be 10-12, I feel like I would need to serve lunch. I'm already spending enough on the place that I'd rather not have to do that. But I guess my next question is, would you expect lunch? And if so, would you expect the parents to eat, too? The party would be for about 25 kids, so that's a lot of pizza, even with the $5 Little Caesar's variety. :) I'm guessing I'm going to end up sucking it up and feeding everyone at the 10-12 slot, but I just thought I'd get some thoughts before I make the final decision.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your responses. As I figured, most of the rest of you agree that birthday parties have become a ridiculous affair these days. I think I'll follow your advice and go with the 10-12 slot. Thanks for "letting me off the hook" for lunch. That will make my life a lot easier. :)

Featured Answers

We have several children and would not expect lunch to be served unless the party was scheduled for 11:00 through 12:30 slots. If we were invited to a party that ended at noon, we would go out for lunch afterwards. Anything that was scheduled between 2 - 5, we also wouldn't expect food .. just cake. You might also indicate on the invitations ... Cake and Juice to be served! This would be a way of telling me that the kids wouldn't have anything else and that I should feed them before or after if I know they'll be hungry.

I wouldn't feel like 9:15 would be too early, depending on how far everyone lives from the party. I'd be the same way about lunch, it's a touchy subject but you could probaly get away away with just cake and ice cream at the 10-12 slot...

I would not expect to be fed (or my child) if we went to a party from 10-12, especially if there will be cake or snacks. Cake in the a.m. may be too much, how about mini muffins or granola bars and juice boxes or fruit served midway through the party?

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Do not go into debt for your child's birthday party. 10 to 12 is before lunchtime. If you serve cake & ice cream, or cake alone and have drinks for those thirsty children and some bottled water available for parents that's plenty! Parents may want their child to have a healthy lunch after cake in the morning. In your invitation you may say cake & ice cream served at.....such & such time, so no one is surprised that there is no other food. It is such a rush to get set up & be prepared to clean up so quickly in that time frame, there's really no time for any other food.

You might contact a local restaurant and see if they offer coupons for a kids meal you could put into their goody bag. Parents would appreciate that one and so would the kids.

You need to be in the moment and enjoy your children's celebration of their birth and not stressed out over too much $$ being spent. Assign some other family/friends to take candid photos of the event so that you can watch your children enjoy their day!

And congratulations, Mom!

Personally, T., I don't see why a lunch would be expected or necessary with the party ending at noon! Everyone can eat when they go home. Any later and you would be required to serve something. Why must it be pizzas? Is that offered by the inflatables place? Why not something less expensive such as tuna sandwiches for adults and peanut-butter/jelly for the little ones! Sounds yummy to me. Good Luck.

We have several children and would not expect lunch to be served unless the party was scheduled for 11:00 through 12:30 slots. If we were invited to a party that ended at noon, we would go out for lunch afterwards. Anything that was scheduled between 2 - 5, we also wouldn't expect food .. just cake. You might also indicate on the invitations ... Cake and Juice to be served! This would be a way of telling me that the kids wouldn't have anything else and that I should feed them before or after if I know they'll be hungry.

When we have parties I just specify what we'll be doing. For example my baby's baptism, I put on the invite we'd serve light refreshments. My son's first birthday party I put we'd serve lunch and cake.
If you don't want to provide lunch, just word the invite something like Please join us for John and James birthday party at JumpZone. After play, we'll have cake and punch. Its a simple way to indicate you won't be serving a full meal and people will be on their own for lunch.

I would say, no, don't feed anyone lunch! I bet around 11:30 people would be ready to go and eat on their own anyway! I don't think it's unreasonable not to have lunch. People are spending ridiculous amounts on birthday parties these days, and if you don't want to, then don't! If you had it from 11-1, then people would expect lunch. I just don't think you should be pressured to do what you don't want to do.

That sounds totally overwhelming to me. I think 9:15 is a bit early and 10 would be better. I seem to get a little overwhelmed at birthday time also since mine are 3 years apart but their bdays are only 3 days apart. What I finally figured out is that either I have less kids come and I can feed them food and cake etc or if I want more kids to come then I let people know I will be having cake and cupcakes. Parents don't care and the kids are busy playing kids is a lot of kids! anyway so they don't seem to notice either. the party ending at noon seems to leave plenty of time for parents to take their kids to lunch after the party. I personally would not take all of that on as it takes some of the fun out of it. I would not expect lunch as a I would eat a snack before we came and then I would go home or go out to eat lunch. It is not your job to entertain everyone, feed them cake and lunch as well. That is my opinion after much guilt induced parties that I spent too much and felt overwhelmed when really no one cared anyway.

hope that helps!

I would go with the 10. I am not a morning person, so unless our sons were best friends, I would not attend the 9am one. As far as lunch goes, I never expect more than cake and ice cream at a birthday party unless the invitation states otherwise. Especially with it ending at noon. It isn't your job to supply lunch. Although I would go with small portions on the cake b/c of it being mid morning.

I would not expect to be fed (or my child) if we went to a party from 10-12, especially if there will be cake or snacks. Cake in the a.m. may be too much, how about mini muffins or granola bars and juice boxes or fruit served midway through the party?

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