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Paying to attend child's party.. Opinions?

(53 Posts)
Littlemissred21 Wed 20-Apr-16 13:33:28

Hi all,
OK so last year several families were invited to a local mini farm day out for my friends child's birthday. We went along & paid for ourselves as we wanted to make the effort for my friends child's sake, plus we all enjoyed the day out.
This year invites have gone out again but this time for a soft play type thing for child's birthday.
We are all expected to pay for ourselves & our own kids too.. Plus then the cost of presents etc.
It's not particularly expensive but more the principle of the situation. Friend is not hard up, far better off than we are actually.
I don't want to make a big deal of it but begrudge being expected to pay out for what is essentially not somewhere we would choose to go.
What are your thoughts?

TeenAndTween Wed 20-Apr-16 13:39:58

If they are pre-school and like this:
"Its Camilla's Bday on Sun, how about all our NCT group meet up at LittleFarm then and I'll bring a cake" that is OK
If it is
"Its Camilla Bday, please bring Charles to her BDay party it will cost £ per head to get in" that's a bit off.

If school age then very off.

If later teens then it swings back to paying for themselves a bit, if parents aren't there and they organise it themselves.

Gatehouse77 Wed 20-Apr-16 13:40:08

On the one hand a precedent was set when people willingly paid for themselves last year so the host may not see it as an issue.

On the other hand I see it as being really cheeky to, seemingly, expect what is far from the norm.

If my child would enjoy the soft play and it was someone whose friendship I wanted to foster, I would go but probably compromise on what I spent on a gift. At a later time I would bring up the issue so it wasn't repeated.

If neither my child nor I were bothered, I'd politely decline and only give an explanation if asked.

LyndaNotLinda Wed 20-Apr-16 13:42:27

A mini farm is fun for everyone. Softplay is hell for anyone over the age of 6. No way would I pay to go

TeenAndTween Wed 20-Apr-16 13:44:14


Itinerary Wed 20-Apr-16 13:44:56

If you're hosting a party, you pay for everyone. When you attend, you don't pay.

Does this friend attend other people's parties for free?

RaeSkywalker Wed 20-Apr-16 13:48:17

If it's something that you'd not choose to do, just decline. It does seem odd to me to send out invites and expect people to pay!

Wherediditland Wed 20-Apr-16 13:49:52

Why are you paying for the adults? Surely any soft play is just child entry and that's it?

But yes off to expect guests to pay if it is an actual party with invites and gift expected rather than group get together as kids all have bday around same time (as with antenatal group as mentioned)

Ameliablue Wed 20-Apr-16 13:52:23

Its a bit odd and a personal decision if you go along or not. I think I would either decline or go but just give a token present from the pound shop or such.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 20-Apr-16 13:53:04

That's the thing though. People like to look like big time McAlpine's, but they're asking their guests to pay. I mean expecting the parents to pay. Is one thing, but expecting the children to pay for themselves is very much another

mouldycheesefan Wed 20-Apr-16 13:56:51

No I wouldn't bother. It's a very strange thing they are doing and likely to make them unpopular as the topic of gossip. I wouldn't encourage it. Just say can't make it, sorry.

Gottagetmoving Wed 20-Apr-16 13:57:34

Don't go if you are not happy about it.

Gottagetmoving Wed 20-Apr-16 13:58:16

Most soft play areas where we live arrange organised parties paid for by the host. The guests don't pay.

romanrainsalot Wed 20-Apr-16 14:03:59

Let's think back to the days when we had birthday parties at home and invited kids round...

Did our parents ask fellow parents to fork out for each kid to get a party bag? No. Did they ask for 50p to go on the bouncy castle, £1 to eat something from the buffet? No. 20p for a drink of juice? No.

Personally I think the principle should be the same still. Talk about wanting their cake and eat it (excuse the awful pun).

WonderingAspie Wed 20-Apr-16 14:05:54

Like teen said, depends how it was put. I've gone to soft play when my DCs were younger for their birthday but it hasn't been a party, that's been a case of "we're going to soft play on DCs birthday if anyone wants to join us?" Leaves the ball in their court whether they want to come, I find a lot of people don't mind.

t4gnut Wed 20-Apr-16 14:07:08

If the kids are invited and the cost of their entry covered, but any adult who wants to hang around paying for themselves then that sounds reasonable.

Babymamamama Wed 20-Apr-16 14:13:06

You shouldn't have to pay. Full stop.

TeddTess Wed 20-Apr-16 14:15:18

"we're going to soft play on sunday for x's birthday if anyone fancies joining us, we'll be there 12-3"


"please join us for x's birthday at soft play from 12-3. rsvp"

the first is a come along, pay yourself, no issue with that
the second is we are hosting a party (paid for).

which is it?

Bluelilies Wed 20-Apr-16 14:15:21

I think it's outrageously rude to expect families to pay for their child to attend a birthday party. If you can't afford to pay for them, then do something free at home. Get a movie for them to watch, stick frozen pizzas in the oven, put music on, job done.

We got through the whole of DD's primary years with never being asked to pay for her to attend a party. She then moved from her state primary to a private secondary and one of the parents (who live in an absolute mansion!) asked the kids to pay for their own cinema tickets for their DD's birthday treat shock It's difficult at that age as DD would have been gutted not to go. If she'd been little or less fussed about going I'd have kept her away from it as a protest.

CocktailQueen Wed 20-Apr-16 14:15:31

I have never heard of this before.

Inviting people out to soft play for a bday and expecting them to play? Is the child not having a soft play party and birthday room? If so, you don't pay. The host pays. If not, it's not a party and no present is required. You don't ask people to PAY to attend a party. (Especially not parents.)

CocktailQueen Wed 20-Apr-16 14:16:08

and yy to this:

If you can't afford to pay for them, then do something free at home. Get a movie for them to watch, stick frozen pizzas in the oven, put music on, job done.

superwormissuperstrong Wed 20-Apr-16 14:18:27

I'd simply decline
a) i hate soft play
b) its damn cheeky to ask me to pay for my child to attend
c) I can't be arsed with selfish people like this, so don't much care what they think of me for declining

Sunshine87 Wed 20-Apr-16 14:24:39

Wow that's beyond rude soft play is my idea of hell but that just takes the biscuit.

AppleSetsSail Wed 20-Apr-16 14:25:28

It's crass. If the hosts can't afford it, they can't afford it - have the party at home.

PuppyMonkey Wed 20-Apr-16 14:25:47

Lord no, for a soft play party, the etiquette is that you get invited to one of their crappy party package type things - where they go off and have food after a bit of time in the play area.

Are you quite sure you've understood correctly that you have to pay for both your kid AND yourself? Bugger that. Just say no.

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