to not offer food or coffee to the parents at my DD's birthday party?

(99 Posts)
Kiwiinkits Sun 15-Sep-13 23:45:27

DD is turning 3. We're having a party at a small venue at a museum where they organise stories and games for the kids. Then, I was hoping to just give a 'goodie bag' to each of the kids, which they would take with them to a spot nearby where we would sing happy birthday and cut the cake. There's 10 kids coming, and therefore 10 accompanying adults.

WIBU to just offer the adults a piece of cake (and not offer them drinks or coffee)? Basically I'm really busy and I CBA preparing lots of adult food. CBA preparing a kids party either, which is why I booked the venue. But now I'm getting the guilts about not offering a full Martha Stewart garden party complete with bunting and beautiful cupcakes. Sigh. I hate mummy guilt.

bellamysbride Mon 16-Sep-13 10:20:16

You really, really don't need to do food for kids or adults. I have two children and have been to plenty of parties that have not fed either and they have been fun. All the kids really want is cake and all the other stuff goes into landfill. It is never easy to cater. I did the ready made pack ups for DS's party last year. What a faff! As long as the party is not at a meal time, don't bother. I would do drinks though.

McNewPants2013 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:24:32

Don't worry about the adult, I know when i go to a children party I never expect anything.

stubbornstains Mon 16-Sep-13 10:28:11

Well, if the food for a childrens' party comprises sandwiches, carrot batons, houmous, crisps, sausage rolls, fairy cakes and biscuits for example, both adults and children will get something to eat. Because, let's be honest, although this is the kind of stuff that has been provided at every 3 year old party I have been to, the kids generally only eat the crisps and the icing off the fairy cakes, and the adults hoover all the rest up grin

stubbornstains Mon 16-Sep-13 10:30:45

Oh, I see you've actually booked the museum. Well, they must offer the option to cater for the party too, no? They wouldn't miss out on a money for old rope making opportunity like that, surely?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 16-Sep-13 10:36:55

With children that young I have always fed everyone, and always been fed whenever I've gone to a party! Especially if family are going to be there, I have often done hot food for the adults, a mixture of home cooked and deli bought, and always provided wine and soft drinks.

You are basically inviting the child and parent, and without the parent giving up some time you wouldn't have a party - so the least you can do is provide tea and coffee and something to have a nibble of.

I'm really surprised that you were planning to have a 90 minute party without giving the children any food - they aren't going to concentrate on games and songs for that long without a proper break!

Have you ever taken your 3 year old to parties? What happens at them?

Mojavewonderer Mon 16-Sep-13 11:01:34

I thought kids parties centred around the party food lol
I think you need to call the cafe and ask if you can use it to host the party first and then if its ok ask them if they'll do you a deal on the food. Sarnie's, crisps and cup cakes are the basic end and for 3 year olds that'll be fine.
Thankfully my son is at the age that he just wants a few mates to go to the cinema and Frankie & Benny's after. My eldest daughter is the same and my youngest is autistic so no parties for her because she has major meltdowns on her birthday and refuses to even come out of her room. I've organised at least 10 kids parties and that's just my own kids so I don't envy you as 3 year olds can be manic. Good luck!

Ozziegirly Mon 16-Sep-13 12:20:05

I just had a party for my 3yo on Saturday - 13 kids to our house with the parents, I did a "treasure hunt" in the garden (hid a load of cheap plastic crap in the garden) and had a bubble machine and for food I just did sausages on sticks, cheese and pineapple, fairy cakes, bowl of strawberries, crisps, popcorn, some biscuits, jelly and ice cream and birthday cake.

DH was in charge of tea and coffee for adults.

nicename Mon 16-Sep-13 15:04:02

That sounds lovely! We don't have room so when ds was 3 we did a church hall with a lady from his toddler music class doing the entertainment. We also did little games (musical statues) and had a little boogie. I did the food and drinks - the 'good' stuff (fruit, carrot sticks, sandwiches) and not so good (jelly , cream with sprinkles, sausage rolls, sweeties...). The mums were all 'oh Tamara only ever eats organic carrot sticks with hummous' as Tamara swiped a jelly and hid under the tables with the other children. The joke was the the 'naughty' food was actually vegan/healthy versions.

Bunbaker Mon 16-Sep-13 15:05:20

"you can just turn up and leave"

With a 3 year old? I wouldn't have wanted to be responsible for several 3 year olds on my own at a soft play barn. What about taking them to the toilet?

By turn up and leave I meant you can just show up at time of party and leave at end of party. No catering, no clear up, no Pre party prep etc.

Dancergirl Mon 16-Sep-13 15:07:54

Just do a couple of bottles of soft drinks/juice, paper cups and crisps in big plastic bowls. Very easy and all that's needed really. Don't worry about doing hot drinks, too much faff.

Bunbaker Mon 16-Sep-13 15:08:00

Oh, right. Yes, it is the easiest option.

roamer2 Mon 16-Sep-13 15:16:00

It depends on time of day with the party - if its over lunch time children and adults will get hungry but if morning or afternoon they'd be better off with just a quick snack. Afternoon parties I've been to with a lot of food have had a lot of it wasted

BlackeyedSusan Mon 16-Sep-13 15:20:29

I have been to loads of children's parties. you only get offered drinks if it is in a hall with a kettle. parents are lucky to get offered biscuits, or some of the extra food on the table!

presents are tken home and opened at home.

mum2jakie Mon 16-Sep-13 15:24:15

Probably a bit late in the day if the event has been booked but I really think you are creating unnecessary work for yourself by holding a party for a three year old too! Your little one would be happy with a birthday cake at home!

If you are holding a party, it's customary to provide at least picnic style snack food and courteous to offer parents a hot drink. I wouldn't expect any food to be offered as an adult.

And when you do 'need' to hold parties, soft play with all food provided is definitely the stress-free option!

Kiwiinkits Mon 16-Sep-13 22:47:39

I promise the museum won't be rubbish. The museum is very cool (honest!) and it has a wonderful kids' room, which I've booked for the party. It's a proper party venue for under 5s and they organise stories and games etc. But you can't take food there - you have to either use the (overpriced) museum cafe or go elsewhere. Luckily there is a park next to the museum and as it's Spring here it's likely the day will be fine.

I talked to the museum cafe and they were adamant that you couldn't BYO food to supplement their crappy fare. Buggered if I'm paying $10 for saggy sausage rolls! It's the principle.

So, I'm taking McNewPants boxes idea and will pack a little picnic for each of the kids to take to the park. Not too hard to do. I just have to find time. Will rope in the MIL to do sandwhiches for adults and will bring squash and cups so the adults can have a drink too. That's all they're getting from me. A drink and a jolly sandwhich. And if they're incensed by that, well so be it.

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Sep-13 23:05:09

hold on <puts 2 and 2 together and clocks the OP's name> - you're in New Zealand, aren't you?? But, that's a whole different country - they could have completely different rules!!!!! Really, OP, you must make these things clear from the start. You can do what you like there, it's all far more laid back. As you were.

I loved NZ when I visited. I can't wait for the next Hobbit film so I can gaze upon the sexy dwarfs beautiful scenery once more.

Kiwiinkits Tue 17-Sep-13 02:25:49

yes I'm in NZ. It's not more laid back really. MILs are still judgemental and parents still have to give up their Saturdays to take their kids to parties hosted by tight, negligent, fun-killing mummies

Kiwiinkits Tue 17-Sep-13 02:28:29

I don't know about your 3 year olds but mine has literally been asking me four times every day about when is it going to be her birthday, when's my birthday, am I going to have a cake mummy, will I have three candles mum, how long till my party, is Sofia coming to my party, is granma coming to my party, will I have a present for my birthday mummy...

Couldn't possibly fob her off with a cake at home.

Thumbwitch Tue 17-Sep-13 08:26:10

Your revised plan sounds fine, Kiwi, hope the weather holds for you to got to the park smile

Rufus43 Tue 17-Sep-13 10:12:11

Your plan sounds good.

When my eldest was 2 or 3 I had a party for him at a play place. He did not eat normal food at the time and I was damned if I was paying an arm and a leg for everyone else's kids to eat so I booked it for 2pm and made it clear that there would be no food except for squash and biscuits. As they were mainly children of my friends this wasn't a problem

I did make sure that the party bags were stocked with crisps, biscuits and sweets!

Next year wasn't a problem as the little bugger decided he would start eating again!

LCHammer Tue 17-Sep-13 15:39:20

Good plan, OP. enjoy the party.

BeCool Wed 18-Sep-13 13:01:08

The day after my 3yo turned 4 she started dreaming and planning her next birthday!

This year she will be 6 and waited until a mere 3 months before her birthday to start making plans smile

TeenAndTween Wed 18-Sep-13 13:12:41

I think your revised plan sounds fine, lunch boxes for lunch in the park (and presumably party bags to signal 'end of party' time)

For future reference:
- finishing at 12 noon, you could get away without major food.
- nice to offer something to the parents, but not essential for this type of party
- you didn't need to make party so big, when DD was 3 we had 2 friends over, when she turned 4 and 5 we had 3 friends over, even when she was 6 we only had a party of 10.

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