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What time do think is the best time to schedule a bday party on a Saturday? Afternoon or evening? It's a small party of 6 or 7 girls, about 4 hours total. We're going to make our own pizzas, go to an amusement center for a couple of hours and then come back to eat cake and ice cream. I'm wondering if I should schedule it for 1pm - 5pm or 4pm to 8pm. (or some other time). We never really plan things for Saturdays, so it wouldn't matter much to me either way. Some parties are in the evening, some afternoon. Most parents will be traveling from about 45 minutes away to bring their kids here, as we live a long way from dd's school. The parents would not stay for the party, but we have plenty of things to do around here (shopping, eating, book browsing, etc.) so they may stay in the area.
 

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how old are the kids? Do any of them have younger siblings that still nap? That could affect things for them...I would go with 12-4 personally, especially if you are providing a meal.
 

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They're 8 or 9 years old. The parents would not want to drive home and then come back to get them, so they are going to be committed to hanging around the area for a few hours (or at least, I think so). That's kind of why I didn't want to take up the whole day for the party.

Thanks for the response.

ETA: I don't think any of them have young, napping siblings. Some have siblings, but they are older.
 

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How well do you know the group of girls? Is is possible to send out a quick poll about which time works better for people? I did that for my twin's birthday party last year because it was right after the 4th of July weekend and we did not know who would be around.

Personally, I would lean toward an afternoon party. 8pm and driving 45 minutes means it will be 9pm before many of them get home and then even later for bed. I know I would think twice about my DD going (but would probably let her and regret it later). Also at that length of party, even at a 45minute drive, I would probably drive home unless I had an errand which I had to do in that area anyways.
 

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That sounds like a really long time to me, too, especially if parents aren't invited to hang around. I don't have an older kid, so maybe I don't understand the social dynamic, but... I work out of the house all week. The weekend is the only time to spend extended time with my family and to get chores done around the house and to do things that I want to do. I wouldn't be very inclined to give up nearly 6 hours of my Saturday for a birthday party (including the commute).
 

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I have a 10 year old and I would say that about 1/2 the parties here are about that long -- the other half are sleep overs.

Does your child attend a school where kids come from all over (e.g. a private, charter, or magnet school), my son does and honestly distant parties kind of go with the course, you know when you sign up you'll be doing more driving for social interaction. On the other hand if it's a local neighborhood school, but your child happens to live elsewhere then I'd assume people would carpool. Either way I don't think it's a huge thing to ask, especially since you're only inviting a handful of kids, who are likely close friends.

I'd vote for the midday time 12 - 4, or 1 - 5. With that schedule lunch first makes sense to me, and if the family has younger siblings 9 might be late to get home.

Have fun!
 

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I also say 12-4. I would be happy to go out w/ dh and browse the book store and have a nice meal alone! If the party is too long for anyone, they can always leave early or get there late. It's not that unusual, everyone knows that some may have other plans
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Momily View Post
I have a 10 year old and I would say that about 1/2 the parties here are about that long -- the other half are sleep overs.

Does your child attend a school where kids come from all over (e.g. a private, charter, or magnet school), my son does and honestly distant parties kind of go with the course, you know when you sign up you'll be doing more driving for social interaction. On the other hand if it's a local neighborhood school, but your child happens to live elsewhere then I'd assume people would carpool. Either way I don't think it's a huge thing to ask, especially since you're only inviting a handful of kids, who are likely close friends.

I'd vote for the midday time 12 - 4, or 1 - 5. With that schedule lunch first makes sense to me, and if the family has younger siblings 9 might be late to get home.

Have fun!
Yes, it's a private school in the city and most people live in the suburbs. We are all used to traveling a ways every day to get to school.

The reason we are making it longer and not having it at the amusement center is because about half of the kids have severe (anaphylactic) food allergies, so we can't eat at the amusement center.

Thanks for the responses.
 

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could you do it even earlier, like 11-3? That way the pizza will be ready at about lunch time and the cake won't ruin their dinner. the parents will also have time to make dinner after picking up the kids. If it ended at 5, it would be hard to plan dinner around that.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GoestoShow View Post
Really? All of the birthday parties I attended as a kid were 5 - 6 hours. Some were all day affairs. If anything, 4 hours sounds about right for all the activities the OP has prepared.

And I think some of the parents may enjoy a bit of the afternoon "off" from parenting. I imagine some would take the opportunity for a nice lunch out and a movie or something. I know my parents did that when the four of us were at parties that they didn't need or want to attend.
So, considering the drive and all OP, I think 12 - 4 or 1 - 5 is the best time. I'd avoid anything in the evening, even for that age unless it was a sleep over party.
Yeah it is a long time ....the ones we have attended for my 7 year old are at the most 3 hours ...and if I have to drive 45 min each way and hang around somewhear for 4-5 hours ...nope .....
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by weliveintheforest View Post
could you do it even earlier, like 11-3? That way the pizza will be ready at about lunch time and the cake won't ruin their dinner. the parents will also have time to make dinner after picking up the kids. If it ended at 5, it would be hard to plan dinner around that.
I agree with this. If the girls are making the pizza it's going to take some time to get everyone into the house, making the pizza, pizza in the oven, etc. If the party starts at 1 then that would have them eating at maybe 2, which is too late for lunch (so girls might have eaten before they came or they will be STARVING). That would also put cake time right before dinnertime, which some parents would have an issue with. I vote 11-3.
 
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