Celebrity birthday parties, especially the events they put on for their kids, are big business – and big news, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, these parties are outlandish spectacles, meant to attract the press. The real problem with celebrity kids’ parties, though, is their impact on middle-class families. When Kylie Jenner is building a theme park for her daughter, how do other parents justify a pinata and some cupcakes in the backyard?
As more middle-class families play their own version of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” over children’s parties, a growing number describe these events as causing financial strain, and many more are arguing it’s time to draw the line. But while we can put a moratorium on cakes bigger than the birthday child or entire zoos in the backyard, we can learn a few things from these elaborate events. Whether you’re trying to add some flare to your birthday party or celebrating a landmark age for your kid, these celebrity-approved strategies can help things run smoothly.
Know Your Event Space
Even if you’re throwing a low-key party, you may still need to rent out a space, especially if you’re an apartment dweller. Popular options include church and VFW halls, as well as local parks. When renting a space, though, especially an outdoor one, it’s important to know the rules.
Halls will usually outline any restrictions, such as whether you can serve alcohol, but when planning an outdoor event, do your own research into local laws and permitting requirements. And don’t forget to look into information like access to outlets and bathrooms – you don’t want to run into a sticky situation on the day of your big bash.
Follow Your Kid’s Lead
Many celebrity parties are for kids so young that they’d don’t have much say, but once your kids are old enough, follow their lead on themes and plans, while sticking to your budget. Even the Kardashians have thrown parties at Chuck E. Cheese; that was what North wanted for her fourth birthday. Kids may have weird or outlandish theme ideas, but most ultimately want pretty simple things for their birthdays – time with their friends, some cake, maybe balloons.
Know Your Audience
Just like you should follow your kid’s lead in planning an event, be aware of who else will be included. It’s one thing for celebrities to throw over the top parties because that’s what everyone else in their social circles expects and can afford. Your friends aren’t celebrities, though, and there’s no reason you should try to throw a Hollywood-scale party. Things have gotten out of control among elementary school parents because they’re trying to keep up with each other, not because they’re pretending they’re celebrities.
Look For Low Key Trends
Celebrities may not do low key well, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay on trend and on budget. A surprising number of parents are embracing the “fiver party” – in which guests each give five dollars that the birthday child can put toward a gift of their choosing. Developmentally appropriate, low stress, and budget friendly, the fiver party may be the best thing to happen to kids’ parties since the invention of ice cream cake, so consider giving it a try.
The fact is, celebrities live in a different world from the rest of us, and there’s no way for the average family to keep up. Instead, enjoy the spectacle, gossip about it, and then come back to earth. Kids don’t need the sorts of excesses these parties represent, so stop stretching yourself and your budget to the limit to be someone you’re not.