Where should we host our next event?

Where should you host your next event?   Do we have it at home, local community center, or go to a preexisting entertainment site, such as Chuck E. Cheese, bowling alley, etc?  There are pros and cons to every choice and we are going to address a few here.

Home parties are a great idea.  You are in your element, know where everything is, and there is no running back if you forgot something.  You can set up and clean up at your leisure.  No worries about rental fees, cleaning deposits, or paying for damages.  Cons are, you have people running all over your house.  Even an outside event will need access to bathrooms and such.  Decorations are not as easily placed in a home already furnished and games are hard to plan.  Small gatherings are the best for this type of event.

Local Community centers, churches,  etc. can be perfect for a themed party.  Usually a blank canvas, you can decorate the area to fit your party theme and needs.  These areas lend themselves to open areas for games and tables and chairs are usually on the premises.  Some things to consider are, how long you can have the space, is there a rental fee, are there any deposits. 

Finally there are entertainment venues.  These can be all inclusive leaving you to enjoy the party.  Themes can be worked around the center, such as 50’s theme for a bowling alley, or a disco theme at a skate rink.  Considerations, can you bring in outside food such as cakes and goodie bags.  Where is this located?  Is it close enough to homes that people will be able to have transportation to and from the event?  What about privacy?  Is this an open area or are there private rooms available?

Some things to consider wherever you are hosting your party are:  Price, space, facilities, supplies, distance.

1. Visit the venue twice if you can—once during another party and once when it’s empty. Go check it out before you get your heart set on it and before you put down a deposit (that may or may not be refundable). Take a camera, paper and pencil with you so you can take pictures and draw out a rough sketch of the room.

2. What will the total cost be? Cleaning deposit, rental fee? Are you responsible for clean up?  How long do you have the venue?  Do you need book 3 hours for a two hour party to allow for set up, early guests, clean up, and late parents. Factor that into your rental cost.

3. What’s included?  Ask if tables and chairs are available. How about a kitchen? Are there bathrooms connected or close by? What else do they provide?

4. Can your guests find it easily or will you provide transportation? Don’t pick someplace too far from your home.

5. The fine print. Can you bring your own food?  Can you light candles? (Some fire codes restrict this.) Is there a freezer for your ice cream? If you’re renting a hotel room, does the hotel allow birthday parties in their hotel rooms?

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