Time-poor parents, please note: You are not a bad person if you engage help for your kid’s birthday party. In fact, you’re cleverer than most.

There are generally two ways to plan a party:

1. Fill your life with stress and panic for weeks and months over every tiny detail including colour-coordinating your napkins to your invitations to your nail polish, or,
2. Throw together a simple plan covering the key elements (date, location, guest list, food, drinks, cake) and then focus on having a great time at the party yourself.

We, here at haven, know which way we’d prefer to party plan. Here are some ways to take the stress out of your party so you can concentrate on celebrating the milestone at hand – that’s the reason you’re having this party, remember?!

Guest list
Hostess stress is a real thing. But whether you choose to plan your shindig via option 1 or 2 (above), nine times out of 10 the most important element of the planning is your guest list. Choose the right mix of people and the party becomes a ‘party’ organically. Please note: you DO NOT have to invite your kid’s whole class just to be politically correct. Likewise, you DO NOT have to invite every family member and neighbour on your street to be politically correct. Ask yourself, who are your birthday kid’s key friends right now? And which parents will be the most fun around the (adult) punch bowl – just kidding!

Ah, the cake. We have two simple words of advice when it comes to this, the party pièce de résistance: Buy it. (Or at least buy a DIY cake kit to make the job easier.)

Yes, there’s definitely one cool Instagram post and at least 10 minutes of pride in displaying that work of art that you spent days working on (from late-night Pinterest sessions for ideas and driving around town searching for that special cake tin, to buying ingredients, baking, cleaning the kitchen and decorating). But once the last “Hip, hip? Hooray!” is done, that pièce de résistance is in literal pieces on plates and then, as mentioned above, smooshed into your carpet. There are experts in this world who make cakes for a living. They are not you. Buy the cake. And get great joy out of eating it, too.

Again, this is a party department that you can delegate. Speaking from experience, I’ve been so caught up in organising and hosting the games and entertainment at my kid’s parties that I’ve totally missed talking to all the parents and generally enjoying the celebration.

Just like cake artists, there are professional entertainers who can bring the fun and the show to you. And the style of entertainment is so varied these days – from visiting animal farms to clowns and games/activity providers. Or, the other good option is to engage the services of the birthday kid’s ‘funnest’ aunty or uncle to be in charge of organising and hosting games – they are always the bringers of fun in a family, aren’t they?! Maybe that could be their gift to the birthday child? Maybe you could even trade services at your niece/nephew’s next party?

Now this one is straightforward. Hosting your party at home means hours of cleaning beforehand to get the place up to scratch for those 30 minutes at the start of the party when everyone walks in and your home is on the show. And then there are that other 2+ hours of cleaning squashed cake out of your plush carpet, sticky fingerprints off your windows and glass sliding doors, and picking up everyone’s rubbish after the gig.

Or, clever parent, you could take your party off-site and leave the mess and fuss to someone else. What about these ideas:

  • Paradise Resort is literally your one-stop shop. Choose between an ice-skating party, waterpark party, adventure party or even a pamper party. Gold!
  • Dreamworld also has a variety of party package options covering tiny tots, kids, thrillseekers, safari enthusiasts and those looking for the cool vibe of WhiteWater World
  • Maybe Dracula’s ‘Drax for Kids’ musical show party is more your kid’s scene?
  • Bounce trampolining is a great party location/activity for busy littlies
  • AMF Bowling parties keep them out of the sun and playing a fun game that could be new to some of the guests?
  • Or then there’s one of the myriad other speciality party venue providers in our patch. A simple Google will give you a thorough list.

Image credit // @missmia_and_me



haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.