When landed with the task of planning your child’s birthday party consideration must first fall to where the event will be held. Do you opt for home or hire a venue? There are pros and cons to both ideas. I’ve performed in homes and hired venues so have a good experience to advise on this. I’ve seen the pitfalls and triumphs of both settings.

If you decide to hold the party at home then you have the main advantage of reducing the outgoing budget. This extra cash could be used to add something to improve the party experience (perhaps a children’s entertainer?) Hosting the party at home avoids the need to transport the food, which is a lot easier than cramming it in your car. Who knows what could happen to that birthday cake if you take a corner too sharp? If you have a garden and its a nice day then the kids will love to run around and play outside. This takes the burden off you of having to keep them entertained and it’s something you normally wouldn’t benefit from with a hired venue.

The potential problems with holding the party at your home are of course the state of it come the end. Having numerous excited energetic children dashing around your home may be a recipe for disaster. Be sure to watch out for sharp edges such as tables and that all those breakables are placed that little bit higher. Occasionally parents will like to stay at the party as it can be easier to do so rather than to return home for a short while only to have to head straight back. Consider the additional seating requirements for this. It’s best to find out before hand if their intending to stay. A further disadvantage may be the large volume of parents struggling to park in your street and annoyed neighbours. Furthermore space could be an issue with so many children in such a small area if you cannot accommodate that many. This is especially true if you are booking entertainment as they will need an ample sized area to perform in. If you have a large room in your home then of course this would not be a problem.

The main advantage of hiring a venue would be the abundance of space eliminating the concerns of the previous mentioned hazardous issues. Another positive is that parking is normally always plentiful at hired venues. Most venues also come with catering facilities so if you need to prepare food this is an option. It’s surprisingly cheap also (especially village halls and community centres). Many venues do not serve for profit which is why you can often hire them for around the £15 – £25 an hour price bracket. With lottery funding, many venues have had extensive makeovers and are wonderfully modern. Gone are the days of dilapidated old wooden huts with the hot tap not working.

If you can handle the kids at home and have the space then go for it. If space is an issue then I’d say hire a venue.