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Birthday Party Virgin - help!

(6 Posts)
IWantAChickAndADuck Mon 28-Sep-09 20:12:28

My 3 yo has just been invited to a birthday party by someone at nursery, he only started a couple of weeks ago so I don't know any other Mum's yet, and I'm not sure who the invite is from. He's my first and this is the first party he's been invited to that isn't close friends/family so I'm wondering if someone could give me a guide on 'Birthday Party Etiquette', so to speak smile

It's at a soft adventure place 4pm-6pm, I'm presuming there will be party food? Do we need to pay admission? Do I stay with him? If so I have a 8mo, could I take him (obviously not to be involved in the party, if thats possible) and what sort of gift, if any do I take? It's really quite embarrassing that I have 2 children and yet am absolutly clueless! Thanks for any help smile

pixiblue Mon 28-Sep-09 20:30:20

I would expect to stay with my dc at that age, it should be a great way to get to know some of the other mums. As for taking other dcs, we've used big places where facilities are shared so parents can bring other dcs at their expense, but some people hire out the whole facility so you'd have to check. Many places don't charge for under 12mths although some places charge for adults to stay, do a search for the place online, it'll prob tell you all you need to know.

From dcs experience it's roughly an hour soft play, half hour games and half hour food.
As for the gift, when you call/text to confirm attendance you could enquire what the child is into. Otherwise colouring books/pencils etc always seem to go down well at that age.

He'll have a wonderful time. smile

WorkInProgress Mon 28-Sep-09 20:37:02

The first of many, many such parties ! Simple answers to your questions - yes you do stay, I didn't leave mine until they were at least 5, especially if I didn't know the other mum. There is normally a party tea, and birthday cake. You don't need to pay for the invited child, but will for your younger one if you take him. It's normally fine to take a younger sibling especially if you pay for him and feed him ( there have been other threads on this).Having said that it's easier to talk if you are on your own and parties are a good way to meet other mums. Take a small present I normally spend £5ish max £10 - books are always popular. Have fun.

stealthsquiggle Mon 28-Sep-09 20:38:09

Check with host (is there a mobile number /email address on the invitation?) but in general I would say

- you don't pay admission - you just rock up and say "we're with X's party" and they may or may not have a list
- in general if you take a sibling you should pay for them and pay to feed them, but given your LO is under 1 you will almost certainly not have to pay
- I would certainly stay with a 3yo and it would be safer assume that you will be expected to (take money for coffee, though)
- Yes take a present - about £5 - £10 seems to be the norm to spend, depending on your area. Most people (especially at soft play places) will chuck all presents in a bag to be opened later at home, so make sure you stick the card firmly onto it so that the parents aren't left guessing who gave what.
- Yes they should get fed - format is normally an hour and a bit of rioting followed by rounding them up into a party room for food and cake and then they you are expected to take them away.

HTH - and there is no reason whatsoever that you would know until you had been through it a million times

IWantAChickAndADuck Mon 28-Sep-09 21:21:25

Thank you everyone for your help, feel much more at ease now I've had the heads up! Will head down to waterstones tomorrow to get a prezzie! One more thing, whats the usual 'dress code' (I know there won't be a dress code as such, but do they usually get dressed up?)

stealthsquiggle Mon 28-Sep-09 21:30:30

Not for soft play, and generally not for boys anyway TBH - mine always wore a slightly more respectable version of whatever he would wear to nursery.

Make sure he has respectable socks on, though as shoes will be off as soon as they get in the door.

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