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How to plan a kids birthday party! If you know me, it’s probably no surprise to you that I love throwing a good party! For me hosting and planning comes natural, and it literally brings me joy! But for others, I know it doesn’t always come so easy…


I decided to write this article to give you a step-by-step guide into making your next party a success!

Where do you start?

Step 1: Choose the date and time of your party. I recommend choosing what is best for you and your kids and not ask other people what is best for them. This typically creates drama and makes it a-lot harder to get the date secured and start planning.

Step 2: Choose your venue. I like to use the clubhouse in our neighborhood because it is convenient and has nice amenities. If you don’t have access to a clubhouse you can always do a public park, beach or another local venue. 

Sending the Invitation

I am huge fan of a handheld physical invitation. I am old school I suppose and I like to hang it on fridge or the kids bulletin board. 

However, I have recently been using Evite and it really makes it easy on the guests to get regular reminders of the event coming up. It also makes it super easy on YOU to have accurate head counts. 

With so many other services available now you can also use:

Paperless post



Green Envelope 


Smile Box

How to plan a kids birthday party


Decorations are EVERYTHING. It makes your entire party and create the mood from the moment people arrive. This is important so you’ll want to start ordering and gathering items at least 30 days before the event. 

How to plan a kids birthday party


This company makes creatively curated styled-themed party boxes that have everything you need for your next birthday party. You pick the party box you like, They package and ship it directly to you. All you have to do is set it up with some cake!


Create a PINTEREST board to help you get inspired and start saving everything you like to board. You don’t have to do everything you pin, but it’s a great place to start gathering ideas! You can also make the board private if you want to keep it a surprise. 

Balloon Arches are so, so pretty and although it’s a-lot of work it really is quite simple to do! I think it makes the party stand out and juice is definitely worth the squeeze.


If you want a balloon arch you can either hire somebody to do it for you $150-$250 starting price or you can do it yourself! If this is not your thing and paying is easier I suggest using WILDCHILD on Lido Island. 

Or, you can be brave like me and attempt to do this on your own! It will save you a lot of money and you should plan for about 2 and half hours to create the arch on the day of your event. 


Order a ballon air pump machine and several sizes and colors of  balloons. Keep the colors in the same family and with your theme. Buy multiple sizes of balloons.

You can create the arch and hang it yourself over any area you wish or you can even buy a rainbow arch stand to connect it to. I watched about 3 youtube tutorials ahead of time and that really helped. This one you can watch HERE was pretty good. (She is somewhat funny not sure why she had me laughing) and has some good tips! I also liked this one since she gave me the tip to buy clear rubber bands.


Obviously you can get decorations anywhere these days but here are a few of my favorites that save me a lot of money. 

  1. Oriental trading 
  2. Amazon
  3. Wall mart
  4. Target
  5.  ShinDigz
  6. Prime Party
  7. All about the deets


Entertainment is VERY important! The kids have to have fun and keep busy! No matter what the age group there should always be some sort of entertainment. We had a magician and he was fantastic!! However, if you are looking for more options, here is a list of some of my local favorites.

As well as professional entertainment I also had the following:

DIY kids Tattoo station

I ordered all of tattoos online (here) and cut them up so they were ready to go. Get two bowls of water and several sponges cut into squares for easy application. The kids loved this so much. 

Bubble Station

This was also very easy to do and a lot of fun for the kids. I ordered a baby swimming pool, filled it with bubbles, and had several different bubble wands surrounding the bubble pool. The final touch was adding glitter to the bubble pool for golden bubbles 🙂

Photo Backdrop

I have an adjustable photo on hand for all of my parties! You can order one here. Then you’ll just need to order a cute backdrop and photo clips to secure it tightly in place! This makes for amazing photos for the kids and adults alike!

Party Photographer

You probably won’t have time to take photographs at the photo booth as the hostess and not everybody has the talent to take amazing photos! Hire Mcall Rhode Photography because she specializes in kids parties and truly does amazing work! She won’t charge you an arm and leg and you’ll get all of the digital images with her package. 


If you want to keep it super simple, then check out this article for a list of my favorite local catering companies + Food Trucks. 

For this party we had about 150 people with 58 kindergarteners! So I kept it much more budget friendly.

  • Costco pizza double sliced makes 16 slices per pizza at $9.99 each ( we ordered 12)
  • Fresh fruit platters
  • Veggie Platters 
  • Healthy individual pop chips easy for kids to grab
  • apple sauce pouches 
  • Fruit cups ready to eat
  • my moms famous cabbage and mandarin orange salad. 


For water, I decided to be “Eco Friendly and skip the plastic water bottles! Instead I opted for paper cups, and a large glass dispenser for water. I always add lemon and strawberries to the water also! It makes it look beautiful and the kids also love it! There was no juice boxes or soda.

For the adults we had a case of beer on ice and 12 bottles of white wine on Ice. Yes it was a kids party and YES it all got drank 🙂 

(also the cute ice holder to display the wine comes from crate and barrel. (order here)

Goodie Bags

I feel like these always get thrown out and mostly filled with stuff we don’t need or want. This year I bought each kids ONE gift and individually wrapped it to take home. The girls got a large hair bow and the boys got army compass/keychain. Each gift was around $1.00 and had pink wrapping for girls and blue for the boys.

Thank you stickers were a great price for x1000 round stickers! (order here) 


how to plan a kids birthday party


I have this amazing list of all my favorite local bakers that specialize in custom cakes, cookies and treats! However, since I had such a large group of people for this party I ordered the cake and cupcakes from the head baker (Silvie) at Newport Coast Pavilions. I went in and showed her my photo inspiration from PINTEREST and she did AMAZING! Plus check out the price difference! 

Please note the cake came out perfect and that my toddler got ahold of the sides in the photo shown below so we had to smooth it out 😉 haha

I also ordered 65 cupcakes and x2 dozen fresh pink doughnuts from Mags. They all got eaten 🙂 I would note that doughnuts are more popular than cake. I would also note that all of the kids requested actual cake slices not cupcakes! 


I made my daughter wait until the next morning to open gifts! It was really fun to keep the excitement going and spend plenty of time opening and remembering each gift! She even had one of the neighborhood kids come to cheer her on! It was very sweet 🙂

Thank you cards

Since old school is kinda my thing and I love hand written cards it’s important that I teach this to my daughter at a young age. She hand wrote 56 Thank you cards! I helped with some of the words and let her trace my light pencil on some but she did it! I am proud and it also helps a-lot with penmanship. 

Thank you for reading and please come follow me on Instagram anytime to say hello @thatocmomlife – You can also subscribe below for the latest updates from

cheers Megan
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Posted by:ThatOCmomLife

Hi friends! It's me thatocmomlife AKA Megan. I'm here to share with you guys all of our favorite places to go and the things we love! I love to showcase fun things to do with kids in the area, beauty products, shopping deals, and our travel adventures! I am a California girl, born and raised. I am married to an amazing man who happens to be Australian. We have two beautiful kids that we like to raise with the American roots and the Aussie roots too! Everything I share here, I truly believe in and I am a stickler with only working with companies that I have personally tried and am comfortable sharing. This platform has given me the greatest gift, and that is to be able to work from home and raise my kids! I am so grateful for all of the support and THANK YOU for following me and encouraging me every step of the way! XO - Megan

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