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.

Kiwiinkits Mon 16-Sep-13 00:29:19

Problem with the food is that we have two kids coming who require halal, one who is a vegetarian and the party will be critically observed by my MIL who is a superb cook and who is distainful about my pitiful cooking. All of which contributes to a growing feeling of impending doom.

All suggestions taken on board, thanks.

missingmumxox Mon 16-Sep-13 00:33:05

Children need to be feed and not just cake and sweets, there is no point in the day where a parent won't have made allowance for your party and their children's meals.
I would be livid if I took my children to a party and they didn't get some sort of meal..and I would expect it to be crap btw, nuggets and chips et al, rare to get food I would want to pick at, so no, if there is opportunity for the parents to buy their own food and drink without disappearing then don't feed them, this is not unreasonable, if you are going to a park, and the parents can't get food and drink then massively unreasonable.

if it is such a massive pain why are you doing it? my twins have only had 2 Birthday parties, 1 at 1 which was to be fair was a house warming as well and their last at 8, a three year old will not remember a party.

but my top tip on party food if you are going to a spot? order Pizza, I went to a Children's party in the USA when I lived there which is why my boys had no parties as I could not get with the etiquette and the Mum was even more out of her depth than me as she was Japanese, she ordered a tray cake....they are massive! I too would have made that mistake if she hadn't done it for me..

but the pizza's where ace she ordered Lots of just cheese about 4?, 2 pepperoni, 2 ham and pineapple, 2 veggie. 30 children and accompanying parents

for 10 children, order the biggest size and 2 just cheese, 1 pepperoni, 2 veggie, I bet that is enough for the parents to have a pick at and satisfy the children.
and if you order in advance they may do a 3 for 2 deal if you ask nicely :0)

Igloofornow Mon 16-Sep-13 00:34:10

Have it at soft play, my idea of he'll but they can cater for all needs and parents can buy a cuppa and a cake. Ten 3 year olds singing songs in a museum? Can't see it happening to be frank...

ShakeAndVac Mon 16-Sep-13 00:36:20

Ignore the MIL, it's a kid's party.For 3 year olds. They won't care for fancy schmancy. It's not a cook off between you and Heston Blumenthal for who can do the most extravagant and outrageous. smile
Halal and vegetarian, give the same options. Vegetarian food is halal friendly, no?! (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

To suit all:

- cheese sandwiches
- egg and cucumber sandwiches
- chocolate spread sandwiches
- cucumber, cherry tomatoes and carrot baton platter
- quiche
- fairy cakes
- crisps

birthday cake smile

missingmumxox Mon 16-Sep-13 00:47:15

forget Halal, most fast food from the big companies is in the UK, Halal so Pizza good to go, just ask them to check when you order.

I don't know why? but I suspect a wind up?

elcranko Mon 16-Sep-13 00:59:30

If your MIL loves cooking then why not ask her if she'd like to help with the food? Makes her feel useful and takes the pressure off you.

Yes i was thinking rope in MIl for the food too. Ask her to do some fairy cakes. Little fruit kebabs always popular with that age group. A strawberry, grape and pineapple cube on a stick - get flat ended ones though, not toothpicks.

BeCool Mon 16-Sep-13 01:23:17

The parents are there cause at that age they pretty much have to be so your DC can have her party. They have taken a chunk out if their weekend to attend. No doubt they could be doing many other things.

Treat them with a bit of respect?! Minimum i would do for parents (if they cant just help themselves to party food) would be some bottles of water, tea and coffee, crisps and dip and cake.

FloraFox Mon 16-Sep-13 01:23:47

I think it depends on the time of day. If it is between 11am and 2pm or 4pm and 7pm, you should provide something more for the kids. If it is between 7am and 7pm you should provide wine for the adults. grin

Presents opened at home!

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 16-Sep-13 01:35:17

You don't need to feed the kids unless the party is over a meal time. If the party is 2-3:30pm no-one is going to be 'starving'. Light snacks are fine. I think drinks for the adults would be nice, but no food necessary (unless it falls at lunchtime).

Kiwiinkits Mon 16-Sep-13 04:27:21

The party is 10.30am to midday. So right on meal time. Dammit.

Okay. I have changed my plan. We will just go to the (overpriced) museum cafe instead of my original cake-in-the-park idea. Will rope in the MIL to make some sandwiches (thanks for the list, ShakenVac!) and fruit kebabs to supplement the (overpriced) cafe fare.

Really appreciate all the advice, thanks. I really am crap at events.

GiGiGi Mon 16-Sep-13 04:49:47

I personally think just cake is fine, they are only 3. Could you possibly make it earlier, instead of dangerously close to lunchtime? Alternatively maybe a picnic in the park? You could get those individual boxes and put in a sandwich, carton of juice etc. I wouldn't bother with snacks/drinks for adults, I'm sure they will survive.. and it is just that little bit too early for gin anyway!

Thumbwitch Mon 16-Sep-13 04:59:00

If you're going to the Museum café you'll need to check whether or not they'll let you bring your own food in - most places won't.

Look, you need to make your mind up properly: EITHER go somewhere that has no food and bring it all - parents don't need a hot drink, just something TO drink, so take water, juice/squash and they can get on with it - OR go to the museum café and suck up the cost. Unless your museum café is unusually compliant and lets you bring in your own food, which I think is extremely unlikely.

MusicalEndorphins Mon 16-Sep-13 05:57:45

That is true, you may not be allowed to bring food into the cafe.
It is too late now as you have invited people, but you do not have to have a birthday party for children, it isn't the law you know. ;) A special day for the birthday child is good too.

I don't do cups of teas, I claim it is H&S with loads of children charging around, really am just lazy/ busy entertaining their dc - but I do have wine and soft drinks available for them to help themselves. I don't tend to give parents specific food beyond that, they just nibble at the children's feast.

I would rope MIL in for some snacky food, have cake available and under circumstances maybe have lunchboxes so that if it is raining you can send them off with some food, or if it is nice then a picnic in the park. 12 is v close to lunch if they have to travel any distance.

SmallTorch Mon 16-Sep-13 06:17:29

Yes the patents can nibble at the children's food! Just do all vegetarian and forget about your MIL.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 16-Sep-13 06:30:07

Call the museum- ask them what people normally do. I always follow protocol with these things as they see loads of parties and see what works and what gets you your own thread on MN grin

personally I always think there is too much food at kid's parties. A friend did one recently and she just provided a few sandwiches, grapes, carton of apple juice and then the cake, and that was loads. Bottled water and a few cans for the adults, plus a bit of cake for those who want, but most people didnt.

Portofino Mon 16-Sep-13 06:34:45

If you have to think of halal - also remember to think about sweets in party bags. Many sweets eg Haribo contain pork gelatine.

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 16-Sep-13 06:43:52

Few questions!
What party activities are the children doing at the museum (other than walking round with Mum/Dad.) ? Have you booked this party with the museum staff? Only asking because you can't just turn up en masse and take over
as a big group and start having a picnic on the floor, in a corner. You can't usually light birthday candles in a museum either.
Have you booked their education room?

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 16-Sep-13 06:46:24

I say all this because if its pouring down with rain, a picnic in the park won't be great!

myBOYSareBONKERS Mon 16-Sep-13 06:49:57

Personally I would not have a party in a place where I had to pay but still have to do half the work myself!!

Maybe have a re-think to the venue of the party.

littlewhitebag Mon 16-Sep-13 06:55:02

You could make up old fashioned picnic bags in paper bags. A sandwich, crisps, fruit, carton of juice etc. Keep the sandwiches simple. One quarter cheese and one quarter ham should suffice. Hand one to each child and sit them somewhere out if the way to eat.

takeaway2 Mon 16-Sep-13 07:13:30

We just had a birthday party for my 3 year old. The soft play place catered food for the kids, I had a tab open for parents coffee and tea. I also brought along a box of tomato/cheese tarts and choc chip cookies for the parents. They were v appreciative.

Bunbaker Mon 16-Sep-13 07:18:34

I'm not sure many 3 year olds would eat quiche. Or is it for the parents?

WipsGlitter Mon 16-Sep-13 07:23:00

mrstheroux I think she says they've organised singing and stories. At this age I wouldn't bother to be honest. We didn't do parties until they started school.

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