I've always been jealous of people with summer birthdays, or people whose kids have summer birthdays. The party options always seemed so much more varied than my December birthday, or my kids' January & February ones. They also seemed so much more secure, since there's no worry of a blizzard canceling you cookout. But, this summer's nationwide string of storms, rain, and power outages have me rethinking that. A friend had to quickly move her son's ice cream sundae extravaganza to a park when the ice cream store lost power in a storm. Another friend fretted over how to save her outdoor Star Wars' party (which involved a complicated scavenger hunt to the park to locate Princess Leia), when it became clear that thunderstorms were going to be worse than the Death Star.
As with any outdoor party, the number one tip is to have a back up plan. Whether that plan is an alternate venue, or a rented tent, you can't rely on Mother Nature to provide your perfect venue at all times. If you've hired entertainment for you child's party, make sure that you not only have the entertainer's contact info (including cell phone number) in an easy to find location, but that you have a good sense of what the entertainer needs in order to work. If your entertainer needs electricity, moving to an outdoor location may not be a good idea. If your entertainer needs room to walk on stilts or tumble or you're having pony rides, an inside location may not work. When signing a contract or agreement with the entertainer, make sure you both understand the financial impact of a change of location, or an emergency cancellation. Knowing these things ahead of time will help you think of some possible alternatives before the crisis hits.
Try to give both the entertainer and your guests as much notice as possible, setting up a phone tree so that you don't have to make every phone call yourself. Finally, don't worry! The great thing about kids' parties is that they tend to be short, and kids tend to be easy to please. Your pint-sized guests honestly won't care if things don't go according to plan, as long as cake is served and fun is had!