Family at a Friend's Birthday Party?

Updated on October 14, 2012
J.D. asks from Winchester, MA
18 answers

My daughter is having a friends birthday party. She has asked me to have a separate get together for family including same age cousins. She wants to make sure she gets to spend the time playing with friends. I am torn-I understand her concern but really didn't want to have 2 parties or offend anyone by not having the kid cousins come to the friend party.
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answers from Oklahoma City on

You have an official birthday party with her friends then have a family get together when it's more about the family stuff. Aunts and Uncles can come too. Just a regular old family thing. She can see them and visit with them then. She loves her family but just doesn't want them to be part of her friend thing.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

2 parties, because as the friends, who don't know grandma and aunt sue and uncle chuck and teenage cousin lloyd, it's just akward.

Keep the family party low key, and just some cake and icecream.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Make the friend one a real party. Make the family one just a meal, or even just invite everyone over for cake and ice cream. You don't have to throw two full parties.
How old is your daughter?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We always have a kids party and a family party. The family party is just a simple dinner with cake.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

My older son and his wife always do this (well, almost always) when their girls have their birthdays. The girls have a lot of friends, and they definitely have a lot of relatives. The family party is really a get-together for all ages, and everybody helps with food. Any larger expense is for, perhaps, a special activity for the birthday girl and her buddies at the friend party (my DIL is wonderful at finding coupons). It actually works well and isn't as hard as it might seem.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

We have always had friends parties, except when my kids were say 1 or 2 years old.
We do not have 2 parties- friends and relatives.
IF any relatives do stop by to my kids' friends party, they KNOW it is a friends party. Meaning, they do not expect to be the focal point nor the main entertainment focus of my kids. Nor do they get offended that it is a friends, party.
Then, we also have a budget. And my kids know that.

How old is your child???

A child at a certain age, like to have friends parties. Its normal.
But if another party is being held for family, just so they don't get offended... then well, you and Hubby need to discuss that. In some families, it is tradition... that family is at the party too. Then some family/relatives completely understand the whole friends party thing and don't get offended if they are not invited.
So how is it for your relatives/family???
Are you assuming your relatives will get offended if they are not invited? Or do you know for a fact... that they WILL get offended if they are not invited and it is a friends party???

But the thing is: a child, should NOT have to bear the burden or worry of worrying about her relatives versus her friends.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

We did this as our daughter got older. We went out to eat with the family and had the party at home .

The relatives get their feelings hurt if our daughter did not give them enough attention and appreciation.

You could just serve cake and ice cream for family...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Our family sometimes did this. The family party was as much for the adults as for the kids. It was usually dinner which sometimes was a potluck. We didn't play games. It was just dinner and presents with the kids doing their usual sort of play that happened at every family get together. The presents were one thing from a family group such as one aunt and uncle and kids gave one present and another aunt, uncle, kids also one present. The focus really was on having a good time with the extended family and didn't require any more planning and work than any family dinner.

The friend's party had the focus on the kids with games, prizes, refreshments (not a meal) and gifts.

Why is it you don't want to do 2 parties? How would two parties offend anyone. If you just have one party and don't invite cousins I could see how that might offend someone if your family is close. I suggest that if you just want to have the friends' party that you talk with the relatives and tell them you're just having the one party with just a few of your daughter's classmates.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

She's telling you what many kids can't express - a huge party with too many kids is overwhelming. Follow the "age rule" - if she's 6, invite 6 friends. If she's 7, invite 7. No more. Have the cousins/aunts/uncles over on another day. And they don't have to be big blow-out parties with bounce houses and ponies and reptile ladies and paid entertainment. Just some old fashioned games (sack races, piñata, whatever) and free time to PLAY and be with friends/cousins is perfect!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

We don't do "family parties" really. Of course, we don't have much family living in the vicinity (none until the past 20 months)... so it just didn't come up. If one of the grands was going to be here (or we were going to be up their way) NEAR the birthday, then we might get a cake and have that after dinner for dessert at the time the grands gave the grandkid his/her gift(s). But that would be it. We wouldn't make it a "party".
But everybody loves cake, and it was almost like an excuse to have cake. :)

If my parents come to visit us within a few days of one of the kids' birthdays, they often will pick up a small cake on their way here. We just have it whenever they decide to give their gifts to the recipient. No party. No planning.
So simple.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

How old is your daughter and what kind of party will be held for the "friends birthday"?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

We've been having family and friends separate for a while now. If your daughter is old enough to make the request and to explain it to you so eloquently, then I would honor her request.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I guess it depends on why you really don't want to have two parties. As to offending someone, I don't see how that would happen.


answers from Sioux City on

If we do a birthday party there is only one. I'm not saying that there are times when we don't do anything for a birthday. We always celebrate but sometimes we have a family day trip for birthdays and sometimes we have a party. I don't like how birthday parties have gotten so out of hand. I have 4 kids and that could be pretty pricey to through parties for each of them. When we had just two kids then it wasn't such a big deal but it just seemed like there was this push to make each party better than the last. I soon put a stop to it and said that they could have a day trip with just immediate family or they could invite a couple of friends over with Grandma and Grandpa. I plan one game, I cook a meal, and we have cake. The rest of the time you get to enjoy the people. There would never be a time I would allow them to have two birthday parties. I have a little guy that visits the house often and his family has several birthday parties for their kids and that little fella has come to believe he has birthday week and all week we have to listen to him declare its his birthday. To me that is just a bit over the top.



answers from Kansas City on

My SIL does this. She has a sleepover on Saturday night for her daughters friends, and then sends them home in the morning, then has a lunch birthday party with the family. Seems to work out good for them.



answers from Phoenix on

Friends party & family dinner or casual bbq at the house. Neither have to be big or stressful.



answers from Kalamazoo on

I would just have the friends party. Though Im not sure why it would be an issue to invite cousins of the same age. Kids get to an age where they just dont need to have all the extended family at their birthday parties, sounds like you are there. Just prepare you dd that If she chooses not to have all the family at her party, she may not get gifts from them.



answers from Seattle on

It's quite common to have 2 separate birthday parties, one reserved for family and one for friends. It is indeed more work on you. Keep them both simple.

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