Birthday Party and Guests' Siblings

Updated on January 20, 2013
S.G. asks from Bothell, WA
15 answers

My son's 5th birthday is coming up, and I am looking into having it at a McDonalds or inside play area such as Jump Planet, etc. The weather most likely will not be good enough to have it outside or at our house. I have compared all of the costs, but was wondering how to go about inviting children to the party. Do I say that siblings are welcome (and I pay for them) or can I some how say that my son's classmates are included, but if the parents want siblings to attend, they should pay for them? I don't want to sound rude, but a lot of these places have very specific numbers of children who are allowed to attend, otherwise the party hosts pay $10-$20 extra per child! Some people we know have 3 or 4 kids (and only one of them is friends with my son), so I was wondering what to do. Thank you!

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answers from New York on

I would simply write "No Siblings Please" on the invitations. Don't give people the option to bring their other kids. If a mom is in a jam and asks to bring a sibling and pay for him/her, you can make that arrangement with that mom, but don't open the door to people bringing a bunch of extra kids and you getting stuck with the expense. I'm old fashioned I guess, but I still believe a birthday party is for the friends of the birthday kid, not the friends' siblings. I never brought my other kid to a party that my son or daughter was invited to, unless I was expressly told by the party kid's parents to do so.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

"If siblings wish to stay and play they are welcome to attend with a parent at their own expense."
The only kids you should pay for and be responsible for are your son's guests, not their whole family!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

The invitation is supposed to be only for the person to whom it is addressed unless it says 'and family" or "and guest." If parents bring siblings, then the parents need to deal with the siblings. You should not be expected to pay for extra kids that were not actually invited.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

This is how I and my friends word, the invitations:

"Johnny and 1 parent is invited to Logan's 5th Birthday party. Please RSVP by January 26th if you will be attending or not, so that I can get a proper headcount for the venue and our budget. It will be held at Jump Planet/McDonalds. The party includes lunch for your invited child and 1 parent."

You do NOT have to pay for ALL of a child's family if the parent brings EVERYONE to the party, beyond their invited child.
That is RUDE... to bring ALL of their family beyond their invited child.
ALWAYS, send invitations out at least 3 weeks or more, in advance... SO THAT parents can plan ahead and have someone to watch their other children at home. And families are busy. That is why invitations must be sent out, way ahead of time.

This is the way I do it and have never had a problem.
I also, include my e-mail address and phone number, for the parent to RSVP, properly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Most people know that when you go to a play place that it costs per child and therefore they are responsible for extras but it is best to make it clear.

Address the invitation to the intended guest only. Then, word the invitation something like "meal and drink included for invited child only...siblings are welcome to join us for cake but meal and/or drinks will be $$$ per child"

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would tell them that there is a specific limit you are allowed per party. Please RSVP by x date so their child can be included and sorry but the invite cannot be extended to siblings. Tell the venue that the party is for the guest list only.

The rude ones are the ones who bring extra kids. If all siblings are friends of the birthday boy, then invite them all, specifically by name. Otherwise, they don't need to attend. And allowing the parents to drop off extra kids is more work on you and makes it harder to figure out prizes and goodie bags. I wouldn't even give the option. If I pay $300 for 10 kids, then it's for TEN kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Do people really expect others to bring siblings to a party? Friends would drop off party guest and leave. I never expected them to stay or bring siblings. To me that is just inconsiderate. Send out the invites saying drop off and pick up time is ---

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I would address it to the child invited and state drop off and pick up times.


answers from Boise on

If you are friends with the family, regardless of whether or not you child only plays with one of the kids, then you invite the kids as a family.

As for everyone else there is nothing wrong with saying siblings are welcome, but at the parents expense. I think this is assumed by most parents anyways, but it never hurts to put it in writing.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I hand wrote inside each invitation that unfortunatly only the child in my son's class was invited to participate in the activity. Any other family members would be able to join us for cake and stuff afterwards.

Not many came but that just made it less expensive for me. Over 15 kids and I would have had to pay $10 per child. There was no way I'd pay for some kid's little sibling that I didn't even know.

I didn't feel bad about it. They would do the same thing if they were in the same situation.



answers from Washington DC on

I was once invited to a party where the invitation said, "Unfortunately this party is limited to invitee and parent/s only due to liability and insurance at the venue." I thought it was a very polite way to basically say "no siblings," and everyone understood. You could change "liability and insurance" to "space constraints" or something similar. I would NOT say that parents have to pay for siblings.



answers from Los Angeles on

Nope, don't pay for siblings and don't invite them either if they aren't in your budget and you don't really want them there. Send paper invitations and address them specifically to the child you are inviting. If parents ask to bring siblings, say nicely but firmly that you can't do it.

You may need to be open to having the parents drop their children off rather than staying at the party if you don't want siblings, so they don't need to arrange child care.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I wouldn't even mention siblings. When its time to seat the kids just seat the kids who were invited and make sure that there is just that amount of seats. That is what I always did and it worked out fine. Actually though I don't ever recall parents trying to put the siblings in on the party. They would always just get a booth by themselves and eat together. I always made sure to offer a piece of cake to every single person though. Aand also whatever pizza the party kids did not eat. There was usually a lot leftover.



answers from Las Vegas on

When she was in preschool, the parties only seemed to include the friend and siblings did not come, but once she got to school, I noticed the parties grew in size and siblings were there.

Her ice skating party was out of hand with the siblings. My husband's coworker brought his invited child, plus 5 other kids. They are nieces and nephews that live with them. My cousin brought her children which I expected, but invited a roommate, her daughter and the ladies boyfriend. I never even caught the guys name. Oh and they forgot the gift. Not that a gift is important, but after showing up with 3 extra people, two of them adults, it was a little rude.

The next party we had at the park and didn't care how many kids showed up.


answers from Los Angeles on

For this same reason I'm going to have my guy's 4th birthday party at a nearby park, I know I will have many siblings of friends, but we're in SoCal and the party will be mid-April. If I had it at a venue I'd planned to use Mamazita's advice :)

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