Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Big Kid" Birthday Parties

Never too old for a party!!
For today's "Birthday Week" post, I thought I would talk about one of the most top of mind birthday related items - the birthday party!! As I've gotten eghm older eghm, I've found it more challenging to plan birthday celebrations for myself and others - not only are loved ones' schedules more complicated to coordinate, but planning a party, especially for yourself, is kinda tricky. Age appropriateness is key (please keep that drunk 23 year old's rail vodka off my shoes!) and variety is crucial to motivating people to attend (one can only endure so many "private space at back of bar" celebrations). But birthdays are the perfect excuse to gather all your friends and family in one place for some quality, happy time together, so here are some Merry Meri thoughts on planning the perfect "Big Kid" Birthday Party.

* What you want to do and what people will want to do with you.
It's your birthday party so you can ________ if you want to, but if you want people to come, you should think about what they'd enjoy as well. Do your friends love being at the beach? Maybe your celebration should be coordinating a group trip with a BBQ in the sand and a cooler full of cold beer! If little kiddos are in tow and nap times are an issue, maybe you set up a lovely picnic in the park for several hours and invite friends to come and go as their schedules permit. Think about your crowd and plan a party that they'll love as much as you will.

* Being classy does not mean you're lame!
When I was planning Dr. H's birthday, researching unique NYC restaurants with a private room and pre-set menu, there was a moment when I thought "Ohman we are so old and boring", but seriously!? Get over it. As you grow up your tastes evolve and if you enjoy delicious food in a classy joint with pitchers of awesome mixed cocktails, do that. Love brunch? Birthday Brunch it is! If staying in is more your speed, dial up a caterer or your favorite restaurant and have them deliver a feast for your friends. Borrow a large table, set it up in the living room or backyard with some fancy pants place settings and host the classiest dinner party your friends have ever attended. Embrace your "big kid birthday" taste.

* Consider covering some (or all) of the cost.
Now that we're adults (gasp!) asking everyone to pay their own way feels a little tacky. If you're able, pick up the tab at the end of the night or set a uniform price for everyone to contribute and pick up the balance of the check yourself. This allows you to "host" on whatever budget you can swing and let's friends feel like guests which is always appreciated.

* Don't be afraid to throw it back (to your childhood)
You know what grown ups don't do enough of? Playing!! Maybe it's time you re-visit your 7th birthday party locale at the mini golf course or bowling alley or plaster paint palace. I doubt your friends would object to a round of laser tag or some go carting and pizza..! Birthdays are an awesome excuse to do that random activity you haven't done in ages with the people you enjoy "playing with" most.

* You know I love a theme...
...but themes don't have to be cheesy or costume related, they can be anything! Bust out that ice cream maker you got for your wedding and host a make-your-own-ice-cream-sundae party. Make the theme "Whiskey Wishes" and have everyone bring a bottle to sample and share. What about a "Happy Brie-thday Party" where everyone brings their favorite cheese and you supply the wine!!? Host a game night (YES) and give out gift cards or booze as prizes. The possibilities are endless, just think fun/tasty/unique and then go for it!

What are your favorite "Big Kid" Birthday Party ideas!?

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