Let’s be real: When it comes to kids’ birthday parties, the adults’ fun factor isn’t always there. But what if you’re looking for a way to cater to your child’s requests while still creating an event the grown-ups will love too? Enter Anine Bing, the celeb-loved fashion designer and mother of two who just threw her daughter the most gorgeous Hawaiian-themed birthday party. Anine’s a big believer that every party can be a fun and fabulous affair without spending a ton of money or staying up until 2am DIY-ing decorations. Think: gold pineapple cake, pink flamingo floaties and organic cotton candy. Check out Anine’s brilliant dos and don’ts (and exclusive pics of the soiree just for Brit + Co!) for hosting an affair that both kids AND adults will fall for.
1. Even if it’s last-minute, you can throw together a killer party. “My girl Bianca knew exactly what she wanted. She had been talking about a Hawaiian party for almost a year, but I’m always last-minute with everything. Ten days before I said, ‘We need to do this!’ I did a bunch of research on beautiful cakes and decorations to get an idea of what to buy. A few days leading up to the party, I found the cutest party store not too far away from my house.”
2. Let the kids craft their own party favors. “Something I’ve done for a few other kids’ parties is have t-shirts for the kids to decorate. It’s a fun activity, and they all get to take home something fun and personal to wear. Both girls and boys love to do them.”
3. The more, the merrier is the rule. “Everyone is welcome to our parties. Having two kids myself, I know that if you can’t bring the other kid, it kind of messes with your weekend since that’s the only time the whole family can spend time together. So yes, the whole family is always invited!”
4. Homemade birthday cakes are sweet for staying within budget. “Before I found Cakes by Claritza, I actually baked the cakes myself! Bakeries, like Claritza’s, can make the most magical cakes, but if you’re on a budget, definitely bake one yourself. Or if there’s not a lot of time, keep it simple and buy donuts or cupcakes. Kids love both!”
5. Send evites to stay organized. “Personally, I always use evites. If I had more time, it would be fun to send out beautiful handwritten invites, but I live such a busy life so it needs to be fast and easy to keep track of the guest list.”
6. Think outside the box for party decorations. “I love confetti, flowers and flags. Anything that makes it feel extra special. Fresh flowers are also important, but you can’t go wrong with classic balloons. I even bought my own helium tank to keep with all my party stuff!”
7. Don’t be afraid to get messy. “Last year we had the kids decorate their own cupcakes. It was such a fun activity for both parents and kids. We had a lot of plain cupcakes and different colors for icing and sprinkles. It was a mess, but fun!”
8. Stick to one or two fun events. “It’s best to keep the activities to a minimum. Younger kids really just enjoy getting together to play, and too many activities can easily overstimulate children. My experience is if you do one craft like face painting and combine it with an activity like jumping on a trampoline, that’s plenty. This year Bianca really wanted a hula dancer to come teach them how to hula. A few of the girls enjoyed it, and the rest ran off to play with each other. Don’t spend too much money or energy on too many activities!”
9. Breakfast foods are perfect for all ages. “I always host the parties mid-morning to simplify the menu. Bagels and coffee for parents and snacks for kids. Mimosas can be a nice addition too, for the grown ups. This year, I hired the local fruit truck — it was perfect since guests of all ages enjoy fruit, and he could help me serve!”
10. One special detail can add that “wow” factor to a party. “Big letter balloons are always a hit for sure. And a truly magical, special cake. Everyone LOVED Bianca’s gold pineapple rainbow cake! To help save and stick to your budget, just pick one thing and run with it.”
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(Photos via AnnaMaria Zunino Noellert)