By Kim Heitzmann
Planning a birthday party can always be a little daunting, but planning a party for a child with a summer birthday is even more difficult. I was lucky enough to have both of my children born during the summer months. Kids want to be able to invite all of their friends, to celebrate their special day, but handing out invitations at school just isn’t possible over summer.
Over the years, I’ve experienced epic birthday planning fails. Here are a few things I’ve learned during the planning process.
Celebrate Early. My daughter’s birthday is early summer. Most years, I schedule her party before school lets out, so that she can still hand out invitations to her friends at school. So, we celebrate with her friends a few weeks early, but this also means her best friends won’t be out of town with their parents on their summer vacation yet. This way, she gets to celebrate twice. Once with her friends and a second time with her family on her actual birthday.
Celebrate Late. My son’s birthday is at the end of July, so we do the opposite with him. We do something fun and memorable with him on his actual birthday, as a family, and plan something with his friends a few weeks later, after school is back in session.
Plan ahead. If you do try and plan a party mid-summer, make sure to get all the phone numbers and email addresses before summer break so that you don’t have trouble contacting parents. Nothing is worse than having a party where very few friends are even able to attend. Birthday parties are something exciting for kids to look forward to and not having their friends there is disappointing.
Pool Parties. Summers are hot in Arizona. Pools are a great way to keep cool but, even with water play, it can still be quite hot outside. Consider hosting your outdoor pool party later in the day, around dinner time. Water toys are always a great party favor that they can use at the party and enjoy once they get back home. I also like to plan for foods to keep them cool as well; ice cream cakes, watermelon, and snow cones are great options that kids will love. Another important note when planning a pool party, always designate an adult to be responsible to watch the pool or hire a lifeguard for the event. It is impossible to manage the party and watch the kids at the same time.
Cool Indoors. Another great option is to find a nice, air-conditioned venue, such as an indoor ice rink, bowling alley, or indoor rock gym. These are all great activities that will keep you cool and still allow the kids to burn off some serious energy. An added bonus, to all of these locations, is that you can leave all the mess behind and come home to a clean house.