Think you can’t afford things like hiring a DJ or renting a bounce house for your next kids’ party? The fact is that some expenses, like hiring an entertainer, renting party equipment, or paying a babysitter to help wrangle kids, can not only be well worth the money but in some cases--like having a sitter--downright invaluable when you’re hosting a party. Here’s a list of the top things you may want to spend some of your party budget on the next time you throw a party for your child.
One of the most invaluable things to have at a kids’ party may well be a good sitter. When you consider the cost of a babysitter (anywhere from $10 to $15 per hour for one child), having an extra set of hands and eyes keep kids in line; help them get food, drinks, and whatever else they need; help younger kids to the bathroom; and so on will seem like a priceless benefit that’s well worth what you spend. You’ll need to negotiate a price that works for you and the sitter (or sitters, depending on how many kids will be at the party); a good ratio is around 5 to 7 kids per sitter.
These inflatable structures of ready-made fun for kids will provide hours of entertainment. (Another big bonus: All that jumping around will allow kids to spend their endless amounts of energy, making them nice and tired at the end of the day.) Bounce Houses can cost around $75 to $200 to rent, depending on how big it is and how many hours you want to rent it for.
(NOTE: For safety, be sure the Bounce House is tied down securely, don’t let bigger kids bounce with younger and smaller children, and never, ever leave kids unattended without an adult supervising. And always rent from a reputable company, be sure to read reviews on GigMasters and ask for references.)
Hiring a pro to handle the music isn’t a bad idea if you are planning a kids’ party with a large number of children, especially if you’re planning to set aside an area for dancing. A DJ can cost anywhere from around $278 to nearly $500, depending on where you live, according to GigMasters. A live band will charge much more, from around $500 to over $1,200. If you’re thinking about hiring a professional DJ or musicians, be sure to go through an event-service provider like GigMasters so that you can check out the customer reviews and ratings before you book them for your party.
Face Painter/Balloon Twister/Clown/Costumed Character
Hiring an entertainer is also a great idea for a kids’ party, and many are surprisingly affordable. According to GigMasters, a face painter can cost about $126 to slightly over $200, depending on your area. A balloon twister is about the same ($150 to $270) and clowns are a bit more expensive ($132 to about $340). Younger kids particularly love the idea of having a superhero or a princess come to the party, and having someone come to your child’s celebration in costume can run you anywhere from around $137 to $230. For parents, not having the pressure of coming up with ideas to entertain kids can be a huge relief. Leaving the entertainment to a pro can be well worth the cost.
Because it’s a bit pricier than other things you can rent for a party (the average cost is around $300 to more than $600, depending on where you live, according to GigMasters), you may want to reserve this for a big-event kids’ party, such as a Sweet Sixteen, a Quinceanera, or a Bar Mitvah or Bat Mitzvah. But whatever kid party you rent this for, a photo booth will be loads of fun for everyone, adults and kids alike! Plus, you can leave some homemade photo books made out of cardstock paper on a nearby table for guests to put photos in and take home after the party.
No matter what service you decide to use for your party, think about what your own personal needs are and what your budget is. If you really dread the idea of finding ways to entertain kids, renting a bounce house or hiring entertainment may be what you need. If you're hosting a huge, milestone birthday bash, a band or DJ may be the way to go. And if your guests will include lots of young children running around, a sitter will be an invaluable asset. Think about the cost-benefit ratio for your individual situation (and what will save your sanity), and book some assistants through party pros like GigMasters.