Published : 17/01/2013 00:54:15
Categories : Party Planning and Entertainment
A few weeks later my son was invited to another birthday party. Honestly, at 7 years old they have better social lives than us parents. Anyway, this particular birthday boy's parents decided to book a well known local children's entertainer and magician. Yes, the same one.
Now, some of the children were different, and hadn't been at the first party, but around half of them had seen him only very recently. In the world of magic one of the golden rules is not to repeat a trick. On top of which should be the rule, never perform magic for children if you can't take criticism. Of course many of the tricks and routines were interrupted by loud shouts helpfully explaining to the magician what was about to happen next, and what the punch line was going to be to his next joke.
A few weeks later, and another party invitation comes home in my son's schoolbag. I turn up with my son, armed with the obligatory present which almost certainly the birthday child has already got four of, and is about to receive another nine. And oh look who's here to entertain the children. A well known local children's entertainer and magician. The children were way ahead of him this time, ready for every joke, ready for every trick, and helping him along every step of the way, ensuring no surprises and no unexpected punch lines.
The look on the magician's face when he saw most of the same children was priceless. This is one of the problems of planning a child's birthday. On the one hand you want them to be able to have a party which is every bit as good as the ones he's been to recently, and to which his friends will have been, but on the other hand you want to make sure that it's as different as possible from those other parties.
Striking the balance isn't easy. Of course if you book up your child's party well in advance, which you often need to when booking party venues and children's entertainers, you can't also wait to see what everyone else has booked and arranged, and then do something different. So if you've booked up an entertainer, and then in the intervening few months your child sees that same entertainer half a dozen times, there's not a lot you can do apart from kiss your deposit goodbye and try something else.
Well, you could elect not to have a children's entertainer at all, and to run the whole thing yourself, with games and activities for everyone. Or you could book a children's entertainer from out of town. Or you could get together with the parents of the other children in your child's class and organise who's doing what, when. I actually know three sets of parents whose children all have birthdays within three or four days of each other, and rather than competing for attendance at their children's parties they club together each year and organise one huge event for them all.
Children's entertainers can be terrific, and children certainly do enjoy them, but do watch out that the same entertainment will be seen by your child and his or her friends several times. Planning the party and running it yourself does have many advantages, one of which of course is cost. Children's entertainers aren't cheap. You could also call the entertainer in question and ask them candidly about bookings for other shows in the area, and whether they can provide something that's tailored specifically to the theme of your child's party if needed. Many will be happy to do this, and understand the potential problem.
Then again, you might just want to give it a go yourself. After all, how hard can it be sawing someone in half with twenty four spring flowers up each sleeve and a rubber chicken stuffed down your pants?