Party & Event Tips

Planning For The Perfect Party

The Party Shop - Party Checklist

Even the most organized person might have trouble juggling all the details of a well-planned party. Here is a checklist of party planning tips so a ball doesn't drop.

3-4 weeks before your party

  • Choose a party theme from The Party Shop.
  • Create the guest list. Guests generally range from friends at daycare, school or the neighborhood, and then add close relatives.
  • Pick the party date and time. Parties are generally 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours long.
  • Buy party supplies, decorations, party favors, activities and prizes for games. Be sure to buy enough tableware for the adults that will attend, as well.

2-3 weeks before your party

  • Send the invitations. It is best to ask guests to RSVP to get an estimate of how many children to expect.
  • Decide on activities and games to play.
  • Consider the age of the children and plan games and activities accordingly. Plan more games than you expect to use in case you run out of activities before the party is over.
  • Plan your menu.
  • Arrange for extra help on the party day from friends or relatives.

1 week before the party

  • Order cake from a bakery if you are not baking your own. Bake cake and freeze it, if making your own.
  • Make any other foods that can be made ahead of time and store foods in the freezer.
  • Write out a final schedule of activities for the party. The Party Shop provides Free decorating tips and party game ideas.
  • Confirm any orders placed for the cake and/or party entertainment.
  • Let siblings invite a special friend over for the day so they won't feel left out. They can either play apart from the party or they can be helpers.

2-3 days before the party

  • Buy remaining food for the party. Buy film and/or videotape.
  • Check batteries for the camera and/or camcorder.
  • Get an exact guest count. Call those who haven't responded.
  • Arrange to have balloons filled with helium to pick up the day of the party. It is fun to have each guest go home with a balloon.

1 day before the party

  • Finish decorating the cake, or pick up the cake from the bakery.
  • Make sure you have plenty of candles and matches.
  • Child-proof the party area.
  • Decorate any indoor areas (save outdoor decorating for the day of the party).
  • Prepare food that can be made ahead of time.

Party day

  • Pick up helium-filled balloons.
  • Prepare foods and beverages that could not be made ahead of time.
  • Take plenty of pictures and videos to commemorate this special day.

Remember, young guests will be excited and mishaps may occur!