It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. OK, it's unlikely that anyone will actually lose an eye at your child's birthday party, but multiple meltdowns aren't out of the question, especially if the party goes on too long. But how long is too long when it comes to a kid's party? Glad you asked! Generally speaking, an hour and a half to two hours is plenty of time for a kid's party, from preschool through grade school. Older kids having an evening party might want up to four hours, and of course, there are also slumber parties.
When setting up your start and end times, think about what you want to do at the party. Will you be eating a meal? Is there an epic game of Capture the Flag planned? Are you having professional entertainment? If you are planning on hiring an entertainer, make sure to talk to her about how long she needs for her act, and where in the party the act best fits. Because small children and their attention spans are unpredictable, it's always best to have one extra activity in mind that you can pull out if you find yourself with an extra half an hour to fill.
How long do you think a kid's party should last?