But hosting in an apartment can make things a little cramped. You’ve got food, entertainment and seating to contend with. Even so, there are ways to make your space feel a little less small to guests and make your child’s birthday party a HUGE success.
1. Take advantage of apartment amenities
If your complex has a clubhouse or rooftop space, you’re in luck. Most will let you use the area free of charge. You just have to reserve it in advance and make sure to clean up after yourself.
This can be a great way to have a large party and not have people cramped in your apartment. What’s even better is if you can also use the apartment pool or playground. While it’s unlikely you can have the space all to yourself, it will give your guests something to do.
2. Remove excess
If you do have to have your party inside your space, make room. You can do this by pushing some furniture closer to the walls and moving unnecessary items to the bedrooms. It will make the space feel bigger.
But remember to give your guests plenty of places to sit down. Your guests (specifically the adults) will want a place to rest their feet and watch the chaos.
3. Don’t invite E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E
Limit your guest list. Gone are the days of inviting your child’s entire class to a birthday party. A lot of parents no longer send out paper invites, so it’s easier to avoid hurt feelings when every kid in class doesn’t get an invitation. Send out an Evite or email a customized PDF invite.
4. Plan an activity
Give the kids something to do that won’t have them running around like hyenas through your apartment. A simple craft for younger kids works.
LEGOs can keep older kids occupied for hours – especially if you give them a project like building a truck or house. Another idea is to hire a balloon artist or face painter.
5. Set a time limit and stick to it
A small space can feel even smaller as time passes, so don’t make the party last too long. A child’s birthday party really shouldn’t be longer than two hours. Clearly display start and end times on the birthday party invite.
Do an activity, have cake and work on getting guests out the door. Try to avoid having your child open birthday gifts while the other kids are still there. This prevents filling your living room with a sea of gift wrap and tissue paper. It also eliminates any potential battle royale with guests over new toys.
A polite way to show people the door? Hand out goodie bags and tell your children to thank guests for coming. It will signal parents that it’s time to round up their kiddos and head out.