Review 2017: Beale Park

Thank you to the NHM Secret Reviewer who wrote today’s post.

Review 2017: Beale Park

Like many other afflicted parents, I have a boy addicted to trains. I made the mistake of promising a train ride all week, and today I had to deliver. Fortunately I live in an area where there are quite a few options that aren’t solely about trains, and today was Beale Park – a stunning wildlife park and gardens with a fantastic selection of children’s play areas. Perfect!

Beale Park website

Beale Park Facebook Page

About

Beale Park is a wildlife park and gardens about 30-40 minutes away from Basingstoke, between Lower Basildon and Pangbourne, by the River Thames. There are three main features to the park:

Wildlife:
The park has a collection of small exotic animals, farm animals and birds, including meerkats, wallabies, coatis, owls and peacocks to name but a few. The train passes many of these areas, which can be very useful for tired little feet, although the paths are pushchair friendly. There is also a deer park set in a large open space with picnic area and zip wire. We haven’t been that far yet though.

Attractions:
The park’s miniature train runs every day during their open season and your first ride is included with your entry ticket. There is an additional charge for further rides. There is an amazing Little Tikes Outdoor Village, indoor play area, adventure playground, paddling pool, sandpit, Roplay area and aerial cableway. To be honest, there is so much at the central play area alone, we could spend the whole day there and our boys would be happy (with a train ride of course).

Gardens:
We have so far managed to convince our boys that the way to the main play area is through the Jubilee Water Gardens. That’s not strictly true but the gardens are so stunning we don’t see the harm in being a little sneaky in order to enjoy the amazing walk. With a beautiful oriental feel, I can’t imagine leaving them feeling anything other than relaxed. There is also a ‘Dry Garden’ running alongside the inner lake making it a wonderful feature.

Conservation

Not only is Beale Park an amazing day out for all, it is committed to conservation of rare and endangered species, managing several projects and supporting others. Always a bonus having a great day out and knowing you are contributing to a wonderful cause.

Food

The Peacock restaurant offers a good range of hot and cold food and drinks. I was also surprised and impressed to see on our way out a table offering fresh milk for tea/coffee etc, including soya milk. I don’t know if they cater for special diets, but I will definitely be checking next time!

Tips

Don’t forget your swimming costumes and towels if you’re intending on using the paddling pool

We found it useful to eat early as the restaurant got very busy

It’s also worth keeping an eye out on their website or Facebook page for events

Facilities

There are two toilet blocks with baby change facilities in the park.

The routes around the park are pram and wheelchair friendly.

Parking

There is a large car park to the front of the park with no charge for parking.

Prices

Prices for low and high season can be found on the park’s website: Beale Park admissions

Children under two years old go free

Rating out of 5

Has to be 5/5, there is just so much to do and see

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NHM Readers recommend pottery painting with children

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where can you do pottery painting with children in the local area. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded and to Shona for putting this post together!!)

This is what they came back with, in no particular order!

NHM Readers Recommend Pottery Painting Venues to take children

The Ceramics Cafe  

Unit 2, Coronation Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4HA

Only open on Saturdays between 10am and 5.30pm

Pots2Paint

Units 9&10, Viables Craft Centre, The Harrow Way, Basingstoke, RG22 4BJ

Open Tuesday to Saturday between 10.30am and 5.30pm

Pots to Doodle Do

The Old Village Shop, Church Lane, Cliddesden, Basingstoke, RG25 2JQ

Open during term time Thursday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. During school holidays, open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

Just Ceramics

Unit 3, The Old Stables, Oakhanger Farm Business Park, Oakhanger, GU35 9JA

Open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday’s 11am – 4pm.

Playdays

2 Stewart Road, Basingstoke, RG24 8NF

Playdays offer pottery parties and also regularly do pottery painting and play sessions for occasions such as Easter, Mother’s Day etc.

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Cheap children’s party ideas

Thank you very much to Shona who put this post together. Hasn’t she done a FAB job!!!

Birthday party games that don’t cost the earth

Pass the parcel – You can buy many things to put in the middle of a pass the parcel with a sweet in each layer as you unwrap it.

Musical chairs – FREE

Musical bumps – FREE

Musical statues – FREE

Scavenger hunt – Use clues to help the children find what you want them to find. This could be done even more cheaply by hunting items found in nature i.e. pine cones, rocks. Then the winners get a prize.

Fancy dress – If your children have lots of fancy dress items, you could put a fancy dress box in at the party for all the children to use.

Simon says – FREE

Pass the balloon – split into 2 equal teams and sit in lines. Each person has to hold the balloon under their chin, no hands and pass it along to their team. Whichever team gets it to the end of the line wins.

Dead ants – for older children. The children dance around the room until you shout a number from 0-4. When they hear the number they put that many body parts on the floor. If you shout 0 they have to lie on their backs with their limbs in the air like dead ants.

Party activities

Bubbles – many parents have a bubble machine at home already.

Pinata

Colouring books / printable colouring activities i.e. masks

Decorating cupcakes – you could have cupcakes and part of the party activity could be decorate your own cupcake to take home.

Decorate your own party hat – see below

Pin the tail on the donkey – print out a donkey picture and make a tail out of paper/material. Here you have pin the tail on the donkey.

Pasta necklace making – string and dried pasta tubes create great pasta necklaces.

Sports day type activities – egg and spoon race, three legged race or a water balloon toss.

Ball pit – many parents will have these knocking around, even if it’s a small paddling pool filled with plastic balls.

Disco – just use your own music on a stereo or smartphone with speaker. Much cheaper than hiring a disco.

Skittles – using empty drinks bottles, you could fill them with various things to make them a little heavier then use a ball to try and knock them over.

The chocolate game – a bar of chocolate, knife and fork and a dice. Sit in a circle and roll the dice. If someone rolls a 6 they have to try and cut up the bar of chocolate and eat some with the knife and fork. The other guests continue and when someone else gets a 6 they swap in.

Monday saving decoration ideas

Decorate your own party hats – rather than buying party hats you could use paper for children to make a cone and decorate their own party hat with crayons, pens or even sticking sequins, buttons or feathers on.

Pre decorated party napkins – buy some napkins, a rubber stamp and an ink pad, then you can stamp anything onto your napkins!!

Make your own happy birthday banner – using things around the house i.e an old bedsheet and some pens/paint.

You don’t need helium balloons – children are happy with normal balloons so if you want a helium one, then just perhaps get one in the number of the child’s age.

Make your own party favours – in place of a party bag, each person could go home with a homemade sweet cone. Sweets can be bought in bulk and cellophane cones can be bought from eBay.

Top Tips

  • You MUST decide on a budget and stick to it. Perhaps try and work out how much you want to spend on food, decorations, cake etc.
  • If you have a theme, not EVERYTHING has to go with the theme. Napkins, plates and decorations can be very expensive. Just use the theme for invitations and cake, the children won’t notice all of the extras as long as they are having a good time!
  • You can save money by having a birthday party for a time where you don’t need to provide food (e.g. 2-4pm).
  • Having a reasonable limit on the amount of guests can save money as then you don’t need to spend as much on favours and invitations
  • Can you find a template to print out party invitations online? Then you could print your own.
  • Keep it simple!
  • Can you host a party at home rather than rent a venue? If not, shop around for a cheaper venue but still local.
  • Search for pre-filled party bags – you can often get these cheap if buying a couple or you could go to the pound shop and get some cheap fillers for party bags.

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Ideas for Baby Showers: Venues, decorations and gifts from local businesses in North Hampshire

Thank you to Shona for putting this post together. She’s done a great job!

Let us know, via NorthHantsMum@gmail.com, if there are any other venues, decorations or gifts from local businesses that you think should be added.

Miss NHM

Baby Shower Venues in North Hampshire Area

The Parlour Tearoom

Within Viables Craft Centre, The Parlour Tearoom serves homemade cakes and lunches. They are open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturdays. They were also voted Hampshire Life Tearoom of the year 2014. As it isn’t very big this would be best for a small baby shower.

Parlour Tearoom 

Trip Advisor – Parlour Tearoom

For further information, call 01256 325795

The Tea Bar

Right in the top of town, the Tea Bar is a lovely tea room in the day and at night turns into a bar in the evening with music and sometimes live bands. They provide lunches and afternoon teas. Lovely seating and space means tables could be put together for larger groups.

The Tea Bar 

Trip Advisor – Tea Bar

For further information, call 01256 353332

Sundaes Gelato

Sundaes hasn’t been open that long but is definitely a hit! If ice cream, crepes, waffles or just deserts in general are your thing, this is where to head! There are booths, tables and even sofas so a nice comfortable area.

Sundaes Gelato

Trip Advisor – Sundaes

For further information, call 01256 351122

Relaxing Gifts for Mum

Relaxation Session

Relax for Birth provides hypnobirthing, antenatal preparation and Doula support across Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and West Sussex. Wendy has worked within the birthing field for over 20 years and supports women and couples to have a positive experience that positively impacts their journey into parenthood.

Relax for Birth

For more information contact 07716 321477 or email wendy@relaxforbirth.co.uk

A voucher for a pedicure

The Beauty Lounge Oakley offers vouchers for a relaxing pedicure for the mum to be. Perfect for a bit of me time and some pampering before the big arrival.

The Beauty Lounge Oakley

Gift voucher for Relax, Stretch and Breathe/Yoga for Pregnancy

NCT offer a course suitable from 12 weeks pregnant right through pregnancy. It enables you to relax, focus on your baby and think about your wishes for birth.

Relax, Stretch and Breathe

Reflexology Session to prepare for birth

Wendy French Reflexology can offer gift vouchers and/or sessions for the mum to be.

Wendy French Reflexology

Birth Doula and Maternity Support Services

Linda Cooks offers treatments such as pregnancy and postnatal massage, reflexology, birth preparation, placenta remedies and mother blessings which all could be a lovely gift for a mum to be.

The Celtic Touch – Birth Doula and Maternity Support

Reflexology Taster Session for mum to be and guests

Jill Lewis can provide taster sessions at the baby shower. Massaging using pressure points can help with stress, back pain and hormonal imbalances.

Jill Lewis Reflexology

Gifts for mum to be and baby

An activity for when baby arrives

Jolly Babies provides various classes for parents and children. Music with Mummy involves singing, clapping, dancing and waving. There are bubbles and simple instruments for babies to explore.

Music with Mummy

Gifts from the Little Barn Gift Shop

There are plenty of things such as gift vouchers, baby products, coconut oil and natural health remedies available, perfect for mum and babies.

The Little Barn Gift Shop

Katie Book Lady

There is every type of book available for new babies including cot and buggy books, cloth books as well as well known children’s titles.

Katie Book Lady – Usborne Books

Unique gift idea – Book about teething

A rarely covered topic that is never discussed in detail, teething can be a nightmare for parents. Having a read about it before baby arrives could be an excellent idea.

Your Teething Baby: From one parent to another

Cuddly toy for the new arrival

Over at Snuggly Sockimals they  make gorgeous animals from brand new socks. All Sockimals are CE tested and handmade.

Snuggly Sockimals

Gift voucher for Ceramic Painting

Pots2Paint have a wide variety of gifts available and you can purchase a gift voucher. They have done commissioned pieces which include a paint with a footprint for every month of a baby’s first year so definitely worth discussing any ideas you have.

Pots2Paint

Babywearing consultation

Carryoncarrying can provide a consultation to find which baby sling works best for mum. There are also packages for groups.

Carryoncarrying

Art Gift Voucher

My Tiny Gallery by Emma Vallis creates artwork, prints and cards that are ready to buy as well as commissioning individual pieces. Name paintings and nursery art are her speciality. You can buy gift vouchers or even a gift for the mum to be.

My Tiny Gallery

Keepsake Gift Voucher

Smallprint captures precious moments with unique items of jewellery hand-crafted in silver. From fingerprints to doodles and drawings, there is jewellery for all. Gift vouchers are available.

Smallprint

Photography Gifts

Photoshoot Gift Voucher

Mum to be could have a gift voucher for a maternity or newborn photoshoot from Your Family Deserve this.

Your Family Deserve This

Photography session/voucher

Agnes Forrai Photography offers portrait sessions, maternity shoots and newborn shoots so you can keep hold of precious memories.

Agnes Forrai Photography

Decorations for a baby shower

Shampagne Occasions

Shampagne Occasions can provide everything you need to decorate your venue for the baby shower. From balloons to decorations, they have everything covered.

Shampagne Occasions

Sweet Treats

Over at Sweet Treats they make party favours for baby showers as well as sweet cones and a sweet cart for hire.

Sweet Treats

Innocent Cakes

Based in Basingstoke, Innocent cakes provides cakes, cupcakes and cake pops made to order.

Innocent Cakes

Personalised chocolates

Owow Chocolates, based in Old Basing can make some personalised chocolates for your baby shower needs.

Owow Chocolates  

A variety of gifts available from Doveys Occasions

Doveys Occasions can provide lots of different gifts to suit any budget including sweet cones, sweet filled bottles, wish trees, gift baskets and candy carts.

Doveys Occasions

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NHM readers suggested Birthday Card “hacks”

NHM readers suggested Birthday Card “hacks”

I’ve always been rubbish at remembering birthday cards, or rather, I buy the cards in advance but never quite get round to posting them in time.

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook for any good “hacks” for how to remember to send birthday cards. 

Thank you very much to everyone who responded and thank you very much to Yvette who put this post together! 

Please note, these are in no particular order!

1. Moonpig / Funky Pigeon (as recommended by Georgina, Melanie, Lisa, Cerys & Jason)

Moonpig: Personalised Cards – Greetings Cards – Cards Online

Personalised Cards| Make Photo Greetings Cards Online

The general consensus was that these websites are great as you can set up in advance what date you would like certain cards to be sent and also you can personalise your cards with your own photo’s / text.  The only downside is that it can be a bit on the expensive side, but prices do include postage and they sometimes have special offers on.  Alternatively, Cerys came up with a great idea of setting up reminders on the websites but buying the card elsewhere when the reminder email comes through!

2. Bunches (as recommended by Madeleine)

Bunches.co.uk

You can also set up reminders on this website (or other similar ones), just remember to put the exact dates in the notes.

3. Good old fashioned pen and paper (as recommended by Marie, Elaine, Sue, Heidi & Michelle)

3.1 Another great suggestion was to write every birthday on a calendar/diary at the beginning of the year and then at the beginning of every month, bulk buy all the cards you need for that month.  Or alternatively, put a reminder in your diary to buy the cards 2 weeks before and then another reminder a week before to actually post them.

3.2 A lovely alternative for keeping birthdays separate from everything else going in your diary is getting a box of cards and planner from Heidi Wadsworth at Phoenix cards.

http://www.phoenix-trading.co.uk/web/heidiwadsworth/

Just go through the planner each week, write them out and stick them in the post. The planner lasts and doesn’t need redoing each year.

4. Phone reminders (as recommended by Hayley)

Putting a reminder on her phone 2 days before to post the card has worked well for Hayley.

5. Facebook (as recommended by Jason)

6. Buy in bulk 

Peta says “I buy packs of ‘assorted’, but quality, birthday cards to suit all ages (or multiple packs to suit a range of ages) and store them in my writing desk with books of (12x) stamps (1st class, 2nd class, £1.28 for airmail). I still forget birthdays, but at least my ‘belated’ birthday wishes are not quite as belated these days…

I also buy postcard packs (e.g. from local artists when I don’t want/cannot afford to buy individual pieces or themed packs from places like TK Maxx or independent bookstores) and packs of blank greeting cards so that I have an abundance of supplies for last minute wishes ‘thank you’, ‘thinking of you’, ‘anniversary’, ‘happy house warming’.. (you get the picture).

Oh, and my ex-housemate always writes her month’s cheques & birthday cards in advance, noting the ‘send on’ date in pencil on the front of each sealed envelope. She would pick up relevant envelopes in the morning and post them on her way to work. Teachers. So organised…”

7. A final thought 

Lisa says “The sign of a true friend is one who still loves you even when you forget their birthday…maybe more than once ; )”

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Review 2016: Track Party

Miss NHM, Mr NHM and I went to a Track Party a few years ago that Richard and the team were running in the Popley Spotlight centre.

I’m not sure who enjoyed it more though, Miss NHM or Mr NHM ;-).

Mr NHM did find out that it takes Richard and his team four HOURS to set up and then the same to put away at the end of the day! That’s dedication for you!

Thank you very much to the “NHM Secret Reviewers”, Karen, who did a great job on today’s review of Track Party!

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Review 2016: Track Party

About

Small J, Mr J and I were very excited to attend our first track party at Old Basing Village Hall.

We arrived to a lot of excited children (and Dad’s) eagerly waiting to get playing.

The hall was full of train tracks and a huge array of Thomas and his friends waiting to play.

Later in the day cars and dinosaurs were added to the fun.

Richard and his team were on hand all the time replacing batteries in tired trains and lending a hand.

Also available on the day was face painting by Carin Shepherd (find her on facebook).

There was lots of colourful creatures running about, the perfect way to entertain siblings who were not so keen on the trains.

Lisa Healey was displaying her lovely collection of Usbourne books and I enjoyed a browse whilst the boys were playing with the trains.

Tips

Get there on time. Sessions start and finish promptly to allow the team to reset everything in between.

Bring some extra money for the face painting and books.

Track parties run all over the country, the next ones in this area are Reading July 9th, Wickham Sep 10th and Basingstoke Sep 24th. 

You can also book the trains for a private party, for more details see their website.

Food

At all track party events hot and cold drinks and snacks are available.

Facilities and parking

There were plenty of places to sit and watch the children have fun and good facilities for looking after your little ones.

There was plenty of parking available and a nearby park for afterwards.

Prices

Tickets for a track party are from £6 per child, face painting £3 per child.

You can book online at http://trackparty.co.uk or find them on facebook.

Rating out of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the day and are planning to rebook for the next time they are in Basingstoke.

Small J (and the grownups) gave our experience 5/5.

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Review 2016: Nelson’s Diner: A Taste of the USA

Nelson’s Diner: A Taste of the USA

Nelson’s Diner is on the A339, on the road to Newbury. It’s next to the garage, just past Kingsclere village.

I’ve been driving past Nelson’s Diner for 20 years but we only went in when Miss NHM was born because a friend suggested it for breakfast, as they went regularly. I’d seen it from a distance but never actually got around to visiting!

Veggie breakfast
Veggie breakfast

Now we LOVE Nelson’s. They do fantastic American food and YUMMY milkshakes. We meet friends there for breakfast when we can justify the cost. However, you do need to leave your diet at the door, as the portion sizes are large.

We love the fifties paraphernalia that is throughout the restaurant and the music adds to the vibe. They frequently do music evenings, Elvis, Buddy Holly, but we’ve not been to any yet.

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Food

Is always excellent. Miss NHM loves the children’s pancakes with maple syrup.

She'd eaten them before I got a chance to take a picture!
She’d eaten them before I got a chance to take a picture!

Mr NHM is partial to the extra steak that you can buy with your breakfast!!!

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They have over 30 different types of milkshakes. The milkshakes often look like sundaes and they are yummy.

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Tips

It can get very busy on the weekends, especially if a biker group turns up. I highly recommend getting there early on a Sunday morning.

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They were one of the only restaurants that was open on Easter Sunday 2016.

They have colouring activities for little ones. We visited over Easter this year and they had a colouring competition on for little ones, which kept Miss NHM quiet for a while.

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Children’s Parties are also hosted on site.

Facilities

There are toilets on site and they also have the fifties paraphernalia throughout.

Baby Facilities

There are baby changing facilities in the ladies toilet.

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There are also several high chairs available.

Parking

Is free and there are about 30 spaces. You can also park behind the restaurant.

Prices

The meals are slightly more expensive than other places, but if you consider the portion sizes and it’s one of the only places you can get “proper” American food in the area, I think it’s worth the extra!

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Rating out of 5

We give Nelson’s Diner 5 out of 5 because we love going there for breakfast!

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Subway Parties (Chineham & Brighton Hill stores)

Kids Parties

Subway offer a healthy catering solution for any kids party and we will deliver to any party venue FREE or you can have your party in either our Chineham or Brighton Hill stores.

We offer catering for Kids parties both on and off site.

To find out the perfect solution call the stores directly and we can chat over some ideas.

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Organising Birthday Parties!

I like to think that I’m pretty good at birthday party planning. This was our fourth year of having a birthday party for Miss NHM and I’ve learnt a few things along the journey…

We always have our parties in a local church because we have a small house and we get a really good rate on the room. Now that Miss NHM is older, we hire the biggest room available, just so the kids can run around like loons if they want too.

Party Entertainment

We always hire a bouncy castle. I highly recommend JV Bouncy Castle Hire.
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I also highly recommend the team from Routine Riots. I’ve worked with Kim and the girls at several NHM events and last year we had a character visit from Anna from Frozen visit our house on Miss NHM’s actual birthday.

It was absolutely amazing and “Anna” did an Awesome job. She stayed in character the whole time and had such an amazing voice. The children were mesmerised when she was telling the story. I had tears in my eyes it was so lovely! Routine Riots do all sorts of party packages so definitely worth checking out.

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I also recommend Caroline at Neon Fairy Face Painting. I’ve worked with her before and she’s lovely and does brilliant face painting and balloon “things” (can’t remember the technical word, sorry Caroline!).

I also recommend Polly from Bopping Babies who runs party packages. Polly is a lovely, lovely lady and her Disco’s are absolutely brilliant.

We also always set up a “colouring table”. I saw at another party that they set up a “craft table” but apparently it took a couple of hours to clear up afterwards, so I don’t recommend this for children under the age of 10!

Party Set up

As part of the large room hire we have access to another smaller room and we serve the food in here. When serving food to children, it’s always best to try to limit the damage, so we don’t serve it near a carpet because that takes AGES to clean. Much better to keep it in a room where you can mop or sweep up any mess. Plus having it in a separate room means we can set up and clear up quickly whilst the main party is still going on in another room.

It also took me a few years to realise that it’s best to put chairs and tables out for the adults to sit at! For the first two years we forgot this and everyone ended up sitting on the floor. Oops! So now we put out a few tables out with chairs facing the bouncy castle so parents don’t have to sit with their backs to their children playing, and we put some “treats” out for the adults.

I believe that if the parents are happy (offer of tea, coffee and some treats and somewhere to sit!) then the children are happy. Happy parents are the key to a successful birthday party! Honest! :-D.

It’s really difficult to know what the protocol is for adults having food if you have a party over lunchtime. This can really rack up expense. We used to cater for children AND adults but it meant that loads of food was left over and it cost a fortune. So these days we cater for the children with a bit extra and the adults can finish off whatever is left.

Always take a large knife with you to cut the cake. We forgot this last year, oops!

Make sure there are jugs available for squash and/or water.

Double check if any children are allergic to any foods. I forgot to include this on the invite this year, so note to self for next year!

Party bags

Last year I delegated party bags to my Mum. Massive mistake. She bought the Lego pocket toys and at nearly £4 a pop, the bill for those alone was £70!!?!!?!! To her credit, she did pay for half, but they still cost me £35!

We always stick bubbles and balloons in the party bag. When Miss NHM was one we put organics bars in the party bags.

I’ve always tried to stay healthy but this year I decided that if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them. So I made up party cones of sweets for each bag. They were really simple. I ordered the bags from Amazon, only cost £2 for 50. Then we bought some bulk sweets from Costco and I bought a huge bag of mini marshmallows from Amazon, the small marshmallows for the bottom of the cone. I put 30 together and it took me less than an hour. So the party bags probably,cost about £25 all in. Less than £1 a child, which is very reasonable.

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I also make a concerted effort NOT to include anything that could be considered landfill. So no nasty plastic toys or stuff that’s going to break in 2 minutes. I try to keep the party bags simple. This year they will have some balloons, bubbles, sweet cones and birthday cake.

Party Food and Birthday cake

I’ve also gone one step further and delegated the food and birthday cake this year. Last year we bought a “Frozen” cake from Sainsburys which went down well.

This year one of my friends is making Miss NHM a cake. Hayley from Impish Delights did a fantastic job on the food and cake and it took an immense amount of pressure off me not having to worry about either!

Party Invites

Last year I totally cheated and created an event on Facebook and invited everyone to that, rather than do paper invites.

This year we have invited all of Miss NHM’s class mates to her party so we had to do paper invites. I would love to be the kind of Mum who spends hours lovingly crafting invites, but I know my limitations and I’m not that kind of Mum. So Card Factory did me proud :-D.

Make sure to include your details for RSVP and give a date when people need to let you know if they are coming because I’ve noticed that these days people are very, very non committal. I find this extremely rude, but apparently it’s a generational thing ;-).

I hadn’t anticipated that we would get messages asking if the siblings of Miss NHM’s classmates would be able to come too,as babysitters couldn’t be secured. We had about five extra children coming along, which I hadn’t originally accounted for. This is fine for us, but something to keep in mind if you have a tight budget.

Expect at least 20% of the people who accepted your invite not to turn up. Several will pull out on the morning and blame it on child sickness, dog sickness, etc. etc. It is what it is, so don’t over cater.

Things to remember

  • Rubbish bags
  • Balloons (and a pump or some willing volunteers)
  • Sellotape
  • Blue tack
  • Knife for cutting the cake
  • Napkins
  • Tea towels and towels (they are always rubbish at community halls)
  • Scissors
  • Savlon spray and plasters (there is always one “incident” and it’s nearly always our child! lol)

Double check with your venue to see whether you can use their plates, cups, cutlery, etc.

If you hire a bouncy castle, ensure that there is public liability and insurance cover, in case anything goes wrong.

Don’t judge me too harshly, but I have a spreadsheet for party planning that I update every year, with lessons learned.

Yes, I know several of you will mock me for this, but if you want a copy of the spreadsheet for reference, just drop me an email to NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

What else would you suggest about organising a birthday party?

PS: Hilary, I absolutely PROMISE that I won’t be doing a “big” birthday party for Miss NHM again next year :-D.

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Local Mum Businesses – Cakes & Cupcakes (This is quite an old post so let me know if you find any links which are no longer relevant!)

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Kids Kan Dance Parties

Kids Kan Dance Parties

Kids Kan Dance offer Parties for Kids aged 0-10 years for any occasion – Birthday, Wedding, Christening, any occasion where you would like to entertain children.  

We offer a variety of themes and packages to suit your children’s wildest imaginations.  Take the stress out of your next event and let Kids Kan Dance entertain the children.

To find out more visit www.facebook.com/kidskandance and email kidskandance@gmail.com

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!