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To do a bring your own picnic?

(42 Posts)
youarewinning Sat 27-Jul-13 11:48:30

DS will be 9 in a few weeks. Money is very tight and he struggles socially so a party is often a very tearful occasion for him.

I was thinking of doing a bring your own picnic party at a local woods/ adventure park. I was thinking of taking some extra bits - eg cooking a bag of sausage rolls/ sausages, cakes, fizzy pop and a birthday cake etc but really don't want to or cannot afford to buy a load of food - most of which is likely to be wasted.

Was thinking of wording it "Bring a picnic and join DS at X place from Y time on A date to celebrate him turning 9."

AIBU to do this? After many recent threads on here I'm beginning to think I would be. confused

talkingnonsense Sat 27-Jul-13 11:52:17

If you do, you need to add bring a picnic, not a present- otherwise it does seen tight. People will be happy to bring a picnic for a gathering if you are clear it's not a party and presents aren't expected.

Aldwick Sat 27-Jul-13 11:54:26

I think that would be absolutely fine and no need to mention/not mention presents.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 27-Jul-13 11:54:44

If you said 'instead of presents please just bring some food to share and our lovely selves' I would think that was fine.

But if he cries over parties wouldn't it be even cheaper more sensitive to his feelings to do something quieter?

mistressploppy Sat 27-Jul-13 11:55:20

I wouldn't bat an eyelid if DS received an invite like this. I think it's a lovely idea.

Happy birthday to your boy smile

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 27-Jul-13 11:55:26

YOUR lovely selves I mean, or you'll sound a bit bigheaded!

kim147 Sat 27-Jul-13 11:55:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LoveBeingItsABoy Sat 27-Jul-13 11:57:32

What would he like to do?

youarewinning Sat 27-Jul-13 12:00:20

Oh goodness - the present thing hadn't even crossed my mind! Would people really think I expected them to bring a present? The whole idea was a relaxed, no pressure get together of all groups of friends where children play and adults chat and DS gets to have a birthday cake with friends grin

DS will enjoy meeting somewhere open as there's no expectation for him to socialise in a certain way - no choosing who to sit with etc.

kim147 Sat 27-Jul-13 12:02:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cakebar Sat 27-Jul-13 12:11:20

You listed quite a lot of food that you were happy to bring, if you got basics bread, cheese and ham you could do a lot of sandwiches for less than a fiver. I personally would do them all a sandwich, packet of crisps and apple then finish with birthday cake. I'd make up squash too. Sausage rolls/sausages and pop are quite expensive.

But I'd also be ok with a bring your own picnic too. You should explicitly put 'no presents' on the invite.

liverpoolnana Sat 27-Jul-13 12:22:34

To make it absolutely clear that no present-bringing will be involved, how about putting 'no presents, please, but a donation to xyz charity would be very welcome'. It could always be in the form of dogfood tins for an animal shelter, or food for a food bank, if the guests want to actually bring something.

Does your son have a favourite charity?

youarewinning Sat 27-Jul-13 12:54:20

My DS wants to donate to every charity that advertises on TV!

I agree would probably be cheap to do loads of cheese/ham sandwiches, cheap crisps, etc. What's preventing me is some of our friends DC's. Two are really fussy over bread, ham, cheese, salad cream vs mayo in tuna/egg, 1 will eat crisps all day and won't consider others, 1 will pile their plate high with food they won't eat and then will get more - mum will not hear of anyone commenting as it's a party. One is nut allergic so I'm very careful what I provide, DS is allergic to tomato!

I've just made our friends sound nuts - I promise you they're a lovely bunch but as in any group there's a few of the DC's who are outspoken and just seen as 'pickles' or 'monkeys' or just rude in some of our eyes!

How about making it more of a fun afternoon? Perhaps meeting at 1pm - so after lunch? I can say I'll provide some snacky bits to keep the DC's going? What I don't want is to be made to feel inadequate by children because I haven't provided to their tastes - I want DS to have a fun afternoon with his friends.

MangoJuiceAddict Sat 27-Jul-13 12:58:39

I think that's fine. In fact my DD begs to take her own food to parties/ houses. DD only eats Indian food so goes into a panic when invited to her friends house for dinner and is offered spaghetti Bolognese! She dreams of taking birhyani.It also makes it a lot easier for children with allergies. Just stress that its a no presents party and it will be fine smile

50shadesofvomit Sat 27-Jul-13 13:03:24

Make it afternoon tea so cake and cold drinks rather than lunch? If you make it 2-4pm then it'll be after lunch.

If you have an icebox and it's hot then icecream would be a treat?

Boreoff Sat 27-Jul-13 13:04:40

Yes thats a good idea, do it after lunch and serve birthday cake and pop, they would love that.

50shadesofvomit Sat 27-Jul-13 13:04:41

I'd also ask for specific food to a bring your own picnic or you could end up with 40 packets of crisps.

Montybojangles Sat 27-Jul-13 13:19:00

Sound like a lovely, relaxed idea.

worsestershiresauce Sat 27-Jul-13 13:25:04

My DH's family have a big get together every year, and rather than one person going to the expense of catering they do a BYO picnic. It's fab. Initially it struck me as really weird but I'm a convert.

ThoraNomiki Sat 27-Jul-13 13:27:14

Bring your own pic-nic is a great idea. No need to state "presents not expected" on the invitation. Bringing a gift is always optional even if you are providing a sit down 3-course dinner. Leave that up to the guest.

ZolaBuddleia Sat 27-Jul-13 13:31:00

We've done this every year for DD's birthday and it's great. We've never had too much of one foodstuff, people tend to bring a range of things.

I'd go with the 'please don't bring presents, just some food you'd enjoy eating and your good selves'.

You can always a cake so you feel you are 'hosting'.

It's a lovely idea, much nicer for adults than a soft play type party, and a fraction of the price for you!

hermioneweasley Sat 27-Jul-13 13:34:44

Another vote for " no need to bring a present, please just bring food to eat and your lovely selves"

I am sure some people will choose to bring a gift, but this is politest I think.

Mumsyblouse Sat 27-Jul-13 13:40:08

I'm afraid I'm going to go against the grain here, my children were invited to a cycle ride party in which we had to bring the cycles, cycle with them, bring our own picnic and it was all quite a long way away (i.e. not in a easy to get to place but in some woods/trail). Lovely but way too much hassle on a Sunday and I have to say putting bring your own food put me off. It's not really a party, just an appointment to meet and we didn't go (couldn't organize all the bikes anyway).

I would say: I'll be providing a few bits, if you want to bring along some extra food (instead of a present) that would be lovely.

I also think the weather is a big factor- these events are great in sunny weather, a wash-out if it is raining like it is today- do you have a Plan B?

Mumsyblouse Sat 27-Jul-13 13:42:22

For some reason a BYO party for a family event seems more normal, everyone is part of the family after all. But surely when you have a party for your children, you don't expect the children's parents to provide the food? Sorry, I think minimal food and a cake is fine, but anything less is quite cheeky, in fact it's not a party, it's an invitation to a bring your own picnic which is nice, but I would only do that with very close friends and not families from my children's school.

BikeRunSki Sat 27-Jul-13 13:46:21

We did a "picnic and races" park party for DS' s fourth birthday last year. I did provide the picnic for ygd children ( paid for by Nectar points!) but als
chose a park you really have to drive to (rural) where parking costs £4. Had a debate about whether to offer to pay for people' s parking - could potentially been very pricey .- but didn't. Almost a year later about what a good party it was.

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