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Off Topic- Birthday parites and no shows

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How do you ladies handle it when you plan a party for your kid and no one shows? 


We had this issue last year, and I'm worried it's going to happen this year.  Last year ds decided he wanted a halloween birthday, which is cool, right?  So we plan and send out invitations for a costume party 5 weeks in advance.  Now, I throw some pretty great parties, if I do say so myself, and for this one I had planned a scavenger hunt in the yard, set up a maze in the house, a "crazy corner" with sheets and sheets of bubble wrap taped to the floor and a bubble machine, cake pops, cookies, white chocolate eyeballs, gift bags for the parents that included gift cards, crafts, the whole shebang. 

One kid showed up out of 30 invited.  Ds was heartbroken.

His birthday is coming up again, and he's decided he wants a Sonic the hedgehog party, and he wants to wear a Sonic costume.  So I've got the invitations made out that it's a themed party but we want to see everyone's super costume, we're having a make your own sundae bar instead of a cake, rented a room at a local activity center, and have some games.  I don't think I can stand to see ds cry over another birthday with no friends though!  He doesn't want gifts, or even activities, he JUST WANTS HIS FRIENDS THERE!   It's even in the invites that we don't want any gifts, just company.  Ds has no cousins anywhere near us, so if none of his friends show there really isn't a back up.

Gah!  Ok, rant over.  I'm just hoping for his sake that we can convince people to come.

"Parent" is a verb.

by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:42 PM
Replies (21-26):
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:09 PM

I figured out that a small intimate thing with just a couple friends has worked better.  This year, DD10 invited her BFF to go shopping at the outlets and to lunch, they had a blast!  And DS11 invited two good friends to go minigolfing and out for ice cream, they all had fun...and we did it a couple weeks after DSs actual birthday to coordinate with both friends to be sure they could come.

Last year, they each invited 4 friends and we went to the lake where we have private beach rights-they had a blast (4 is how many kids I could fit in my minivan+the birthday kid), I was impressed that all the kids that were invited came (with the exception of DDs BFF who I know her mom is kind of protective and thought she wouldn't let her come...I talked to mom before inviting the child and mom wasn't sure about it, so we let her know it was ok and invited a different child, then had the BFF come over another day alone just to our house).  I think that having a smaller thing, and inviting each kid through their parents personally just has seemed to work better.


I would say at least put an RSVP in there, and maybe send out a reminder evite a week and a half or so before, asking everyone to please RSVP so you are sure to have enough food/drinks/goody-bags/etc.  It's easier to RSVP to an evite, IMO.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Wow. That is terrible. I am so sad that that happened. You both have my hugs!

I would only suggest that you plan everything ahead like you like to do but only send out the invites a week or two ahead. You might also want to keep the amount of kids down. Less of a let down?

paganbaby
by Silver Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 12:47 AM

I've always had a hard time getting kids to show up at my parties :-/

We usually end up grabbing neighborhood kids or kids from the park, depending on where we're at.

It's to the point I've stopped inviting kids and just do family only.

Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 7:21 AM

i think 5 weeks might be too early too. I'd say send them 2-3 weeks early. You could try evite too, I"m pretty sure you can set it so the site sends reminders so it doesn't look like you badgering them. Plus, you can tell who viewed the invitation so you know if they never even got the email (sometimes it does go to people's smap folder).

Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 7:22 AM

BTW, so sorry that happened! How awful! I'm a little worried about a birthday party this year for ds as he won't be in public school and I am afraid his number of friends will drop.

WantedNameTaken
by Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM

This!  We consider birthday celebrations family events, so parties are not the norm in our house.  We've hosted a handful of them for a total of four kids - now all teens; this illustrates how rare parties are for us.  As long as mom, dad, and siblings are present, that's all we need.

I will admit, however, that I can see how disappointing it would be to invite so many people and have most of them not show.  All the more reason to focus on family.  Fewer hurt feelings.

Quoting usmom3:

We don't do party's we dedicate the weekend before or after the family members birthday as "their weekend" & they get to pick what we do & eat for the weekend.


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