We did option 3 - 3 - Go away (DM's idea, and she babysat DS for 5 days!).
I appreciate this is not always possible, but we are also going to an Option 4 in a few weeks
4 - Hire village hall (pref with parking and playground). Invite everyone you want to (no worries about space in village hall). Provide buffet lunch, ask all guests to bring a pudding. Put urn on!
Ask parents to bring age appropriate indoor games for their kids. Ask friend BikeRunSKi to run mini olympics with offers of tunnels, pop up tents, indoor croquet, goals etc. Ask brother to do playlist and run kids's disco. Plan to have quiet room for older people in vestry. Plan party games for children and card games for older folk. Crafty stuff too for kids.
Go to pub in evening with friends who want to.
I think it sounds great - all planned by my single, childless best friend. She realised that making it difficult for parents to bring kids would diminish her guest list massively, so she's roped us all in to help involve and entertain children aged 18 months - 12.
wow that sounds such, erm, hard work. Think am going for home as dont need babysitter and kids can join in then bog off to bed. Thought pm for friends with kids and then evening for anyone who fancies it. think I will need to put a gazebo up in case it rains as my house is teeny tiny, want loads of fairy lights and bunting. it is in may so I should be able to get the garden looking pretty good.