While it might not seem an enormous endeavour, sometimes providing something for your guests to do, especially children, can be a challenge. That’s where hiring a professional might come in handy, someone to take some of the work off of your shoulders and keep your guests occupied during the festivities.
To start with, you will need to decide on a theme because this will often inform your decision on entertainment. Having a backyard party – a bouncy castle might be in order? Throwing a princess theme party, a professional Princess will fit the bill? Doing an animal or zoo theme, a face painter or petting zoo would be suitable entertainment?
- Consider the age of your party goers. Babies and tots might not respond well to clowns or a life-sized mascot. It might be best to find an activity that’s more age appropriate. A musical entertainer or puppeteer might be more suitable for children under three. If you’re unsure, ask the entertainer their ideal age range.
- Decide if your party will be indoors or out. Some entertainers like clowns and illusionists work best inside, while carnival attractions like popcorn and cotton candy machines work best outside. Balloonists and face painters, meanwhile, will work well both in and out of doors. Just make sure to provide ample shade. Also plan a rain day alternative, just in case.
- One of the best places to search out entertainment is on the internet. Keep these things in mind when looking: How long have they been in business? Is their website in order? Do they offer pictures or a portfolio of their work and testimonials from past clients? Do they have a favourable rating on social media? These will provide good clues into how professional the entertainer is. Also, feel free to ask for references.
- Ask if the entertainer carries their own insurance. While an independent performer might not, a reputable business should have this.
- Get a quote ahead of time so that there are no unexpected surprises. Get payment terms from your entertainer; is there a deposit required and what types of payment will they accept?
- Make sure to discuss with entertainer the time they will arrive, what, if anything they will need you to provide. For instance, a face painter will usually require a table and two chairs, plus access to water, a magician will likely need a table and some quiet time before hand to set up.
- In most situations, tipping is optional, although most entertainers will always appreciate it.
Having a party? Why not make it into an event by creating a theme party. It’s great for all ages and it will be a change from the norm. These tips will help you get started:
- Decide on a theme. Ideas can come from brainstorming with friends and family, the internet, books and magazines or pop culture such as movies and television. Be as creative as you like.
- Decide on a date for your themed event. Make sure that it doesn’t conflict with any important family or work event or holiday (unless the theme is tied to the Holiday)
- Create invitations that are tied into your theme. Mail or hand deliver the invites – it creates more excitement than a phone call or email. Allow at least two weeks before the party for mailing and ask that everyone RSVP so you know they received the invitation. Sometimes they get lost in the mail.
- Make a list of all of the things that need to be accomplished before the party date. This might include food and drinks that you want to serve as well as music, decorations, party games and entertainment (like a face painter!), prizes, etc. You will feel less overwhelmed if you have written everything down.
- The party doesn’t have to cost you a bundle. Ask guests to bring one item that you select for them that ties into the theme. This could be a food dish or a beverage. Include this in their invitation.
- To encourage guests to dress in costumes, offer incentives such as door prizes (that can be purchased at the dollar store) or lottery tickets.
- Ask friends ahead of time to help with music and equipment or helping serve food and drinks. This will make you job as the host/hostess less stressful and you will be able to mingle with guests.
- Have plenty of bottled water and non-alcoholic beverages available for guests.
- Set an end time if you don’t want guests to overstay their welcome. You don’t want them to have too much fun! Don’t forget to have some cash on hand for taxis.
Some popular theme party ideas are:
- Great Gatsby / Prohibition – Roaring 20’s
- Colour theme: pink, blue, etc.
- Titanic Era
- Tiki / Hawaiian
- Disco – 1970’s
- Mods and Rockers
- Mexican Fiesta
- Vicars and Vixens
- Superheroes and heroines
- Screen Heroes and Heroines
- Medieval Knights / Lord of the Rings
- Agatha Christie / Murder Mystery
- Wizards / Harry Potter
- Fantasy / Sci-fi
- Carnival / Circus
Major events that make great themes:
- Showers (Bridal and Baby)
- Stag and Does
- Fundraisers (church and school)
- Patrick’s Day
- Mardi Gras
The team from Happy Faces Party arrived in Banff, Alberta yesterday for the Bodyssey & Beyond 2016 face and body painting conference at the gorgeous Banff Centre for the Arts nestled between the mountains in Banff Alberta. The conference is hosted by CAFABA – Canadian Association of Face and Body Artists. Our face painting artists and balloonists will be attending workshops all week fine tuning our skills!