Children’s birthday parties can seriously be the bane of a parent’s life. Between trying to convince your child they don’t need to invite everyone in school, the playground and the random kid they met at their cousin’s house last week, and deciding what kind of party and venue will cause the least stress and damage to the wallet; it can get a little over the top. Gone are the days when a birthday party entailed having a few friends over for some party games, a run around, a simple cake and a half-hearted rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.
Now it’s all party packs, decorated cakes from trendy bakeries, entertainment, bouncy castles, photo booths... the list is long and ostentatious. This issue we break it down for you by theme and age (p10), by venue (p16), and give you a an idea of where to rent costumes, what your kid could wear for a party (p46), and even where to get interesting birthday cakes (p26). We dare you not to be able to throw a half-decent party after reading all that!
Veering away from kids’ parties, if you’re looking for a weekend break with a difference, try taking the kids glamping (p70), which, as the name suggests, is camping without the hassle and having to dig your own latrine – always a good thing! Closer to home, instead of staying indoors and staring at a screen or each other, pack a picnic and head to the nearest public park (p38) – outdoor activity is absolutely necessary for the kids and will tire them out so they go to bed on time!