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£400 for a party is a lot of money??

(71 Posts)
andratx Sun 17-Feb-13 21:59:49

My Twins, age 4, had a shared birthday party last weekend. The total bill for everything has come in at £400.

AIBU to think £400 on a party for 4 year olds seems like a LOT?! I had no idea it would all tot up to this amount; this was the first time I had a party outside my home.

Don't get me wrong, I had a great time, so did DTwins and it seems so did the other adults and children. The people running it were excellent and I actually had fun rather than running around cleaning up and cutting up cake. But £400!!

I am now wondering what's the normal outlay then for a party for this age group?

(We didn't have an entertainer to keep the costs down - we just did pass the parcel and musical bumps etc. We were in a local hired hall that lays on bouncy castle, ball pit, ride on toys etc as part of the party package. Nice coffees/sparkling wine and lots of food for adults (all eaten as it was lunchtime) and the normal party food for children. 27 children. Big cake from supermarket. Party Bags to take home). I would be grateful for comparisons before DH starts huffing and puffing about the cost.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 17-Feb-13 22:32:58

I've paid that much for everything all in. If you are having a lot of children, some form of hired entertainment, venue hire, plus feeding children and their parents, it does add up.

I've started to tell my children that a party is part of their present because they are old enough to understand that they can have a party or a reasonably expensive present, but not both! It's much easier when you can involve them more in birthday budgeting, and it's a good lesson for them too.

saintlyjimjams Sun 17-Feb-13 22:34:15

I aim to spend £120ish total on parties. Have done soft play, forest school, magicians, clowns, star wars parties for that sort of price. £400 is a huge

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 22:34:41

Our children have always understood that they don't get birthday presents from us because they have parties.

saintlyjimjams Sun 17-Feb-13 22:35:08

Once they hit juniors mine get the choice of school residential trip or party (they choose the trip)

andratx Sun 17-Feb-13 22:35:41

raspberrytart Ebay actually, it was all on a theme.

I 'had' to get things things like two '4' candles....I also had to buy a CD of kids party music (didn't have any); it's all those little things I guess that add up and before you know it you've spent an ouchy £40+ on 'misc'.

DontCallMeBaby Sun 17-Feb-13 22:35:49

It's the 'other people running it' that will have cost - in with the hall hire, presumably? DD's 4th birthday was a village hall job with bouncy castle, plenty of food so enough for adults, and some wine, it was shared with a friend so VERY comparable with a party for twins. No way did my friend and I spend £200 each, but we DID spend three hours setting up, running around cutting cake etc, the clearing up!

We did have to drink a lot of wine afterwards to recover.

Footface Sun 17-Feb-13 22:36:11

I just been looking into this for my ds, the local soft play. Nothing g special £11 per child. £11 bloody £11 £11 wow I was shocked

GwendolineMaryLacey Sun 17-Feb-13 22:37:06

Also in Surrey and its costing me £180 next week for 12 children and dd1 at her party. That includes everything except the cake and anything for adults.

pingu2209 Sun 17-Feb-13 22:40:21

I have never done a party for less than £250. They are so expensive. If you do a 'mass' party you may have a cheap hall, but the entertainer is expensive or the hire of the bouncy castle.

If you have fewer children you tend to do more expensive things so the cost is around the same.

It is the party bags and food etc they really add up, especially for a mass/whole class party.

I don't do food for adults unless it is in my own home. It is just too much money and too much added work on top of everything else that has to be done.

ThisIsMummyPig Sun 17-Feb-13 22:41:23

The Leisure centres round us do that for about £8 a head, plus you have to provide your own food.

I have never been offered more than a coffee at a kids party, although I have helped out with leftovers.

FWIW last year I did a party for 20 room hire was £15, and I still spent another £100 on food, table covers, napkins, prizes and so on. And I had a shit time doing all the catering and running all the games. I don't think that other than the wine you were over the top.

ExitPursuedByABear Sun 17-Feb-13 22:43:42

I never bothered to add up the cost of my DD's parties. Much less hassle that way wink

andratx Sun 17-Feb-13 22:44:50

DontCallMeBaby That makes me feel a lot better actually, thank you. Yes, the "other people running" it was in with the hall hire. So we did no setting up at all and no clearing up. They did all the food for the children; the cake was cut up for us and wrapped etc. They made the coffees and took them round. They poured the sparkling. They even went round offering the adults food to individual groups of chatting adults. Which was nice.

So I guess what I have paid for (without realising it cos it's my first time) is the stress-free and cleaning up free element of it - I did actually have fun and got to chat to a lot of mums there. DH would have been v v grumpy if he'd had to do hours of setting up and clearing up, so I will tell him it's worth the extra £100 or so that someone else did it all for us.

AlfalfaMum Sun 17-Feb-13 22:51:37

Nice coffee and sparkling wine and food for the parents is the part that's bumped it up OP. Lovely of you, but you didn't need to do that, parents would usually get their own. You've basically treated a load of adults to lunch out!
Parties are really expensive though. We always have ours at home at the DC's request, and it still costs a fortune.

Yfronts Sun 17-Feb-13 22:52:54

I spend about 100 on mine - per child that is.

Yfronts Sun 17-Feb-13 22:58:22

Next time give the adult a cup of tea and a bit of cake only, give a wrapped bar of chocolate to each child instead of a party bag, buy basics napkins/plates. Easy, problem solved.

JackieTheFart Sun 17-Feb-13 23:02:24

Well my twins turned 4 in January. We took them to softplay and treated them to dinner out. And presents, although we didn't get them much.

TBH I didn't think it was worth spending that much when they have only a few nursery school friends. Next year when they are in school we will have a party, but will in no way be spending even close to what you have! If needs be, it will be kids + a friend only.

beenhereayear Sun 17-Feb-13 23:08:41

I did a 'big' party last year.

Hall hire £40
Entertainer £170
Food 80
Decoration / party bags £20

with other extras was best part of £400, whoops

weegiemum Sun 17-Feb-13 23:11:42

£400?? Eek I've never spent anything like that on a party! We usually have some people to the house for games and food and cake!

Last weekend we had dd1's 13th and ds's 11th (birthdays are only 3 days apart!)

Dd1 had 3 friends come after school on Friday, they got ready and dressed up, I put them in a taxi to a lovely local cafe where they ate pizza and ice-cream until dh picked them up on the way home from work. Cafe:£45, taxi £7, sweeties for sleepover £5.

Ds took 4 friends to the cinema to see Wreck It Ralph. Then they came home, played on the ps3 and 3 stayed overnight. Cinema tickets Inc dh and dd2: £42, pizza £10, snacks about £5.

If I paid £400 for a party I'd be shock. but then we've always kept it smallish and cheapish <tight>.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Sun 17-Feb-13 23:12:18

Wow! We had an amazing farm party at around £100... would rather spend the money on my daughter for other things personally but if you have tons of money why not?

BlatantLies Sun 17-Feb-13 23:13:13


The more you tell us about the party the better value it sounds. It is lovely and hospitable of you to cater for the parents too. I bet they all appriciated it.

Kungfutea Mon 18-Feb-13 01:23:02

Well, this may make you feel better.

My dd was invited to a 6 year old's party. We just moved to new York, party was in a museum in manhattan.

I went to the museum website to get directions and was a bit nosey when I saw the 'party packages' link. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw how much they'd paid - $1200 for up to 15 kids!!!! Food was crappy pizza, nibbles for adults, no booze. Seriously, what a con! Nice party but no way was it worth that much!

Cortana Mon 18-Feb-13 01:47:59

I once paid £9.50 per child for soft play, a hotdog and chips with juice and a party bag. I have to provide the cake. 33 children turned up. We also put on food for the adults with tea and coffee.

Once and once only will that happen. Never again. He had a fab day though.

MTBMummy Mon 18-Feb-13 08:27:35

It's not that bad to be honest - we held DD's party in a local hall and hired a bouncy castle, only had 8 kids and about 16 adults - did party bags and a few games, and I think all in it came to just over £300 - for us the booze for the adults was the most expensive thing.

NynaevesSister Mon 18-Feb-13 08:45:08

But ... Many people here are admitting to spending £200 for a child's party. Isn't it really that she spent £200 on her DC - it is just that being twins she is soending it at same time.

If, as someone said, they spend £250 on a party, therefore if they have 2 kids in actual fact they're spending £500 which is way more than OP.

It isn't fair is it to expect that you spend the same on twins as you would on a single child? Or am I missing something?

Adversecamber Mon 18-Feb-13 09:42:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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