Sure, some kids are scared of clowns, but you know what scares most parents? Their kid high on cake and ice cream and 20 minutes past nap time. Even scarier? Being the host of the party where there are 20 kids like that. Last week we looked at how long a party should last to avoid meltdowns. This week, we'll tackle what time of day. Generally, for kids four and under, a morning party is best. Even if the child no longer naps, they tend to be fresher and a little more enjoyable in the morning. Parents will thank you as well since nothing is worse than trying to keep a four year old who knows he's going to a party occupied until three in the afternoon. The ideal time is 10-12, this avoids interfering with guests or siblings who may have morning naps, and you don't need to serve a full lunch.
For older children, your main considerations are the availability of the entertainment, and whether or not you want to serve a meal. An afternoon party from 1-3 means your guests have already eaten lunch, which may be better for serving cake. Parties from 11-1 or 12-2 imply that lunch will be served. A late afternoon party from 3-5 also works well for kids between the ages of 5-10. If most of your child's friends play soccer or T-Ball, you may want to consider game schedules as well. For older kids (pre teens and teens) a party at dinner time is also a possibility. But, if you don't want to serve dinner the party should end before five, or start after seven. Unless it's a slumber party, parties for kids who can't drive should end by nine o'clock. This leaves parents time to take advantage of the free time and go out to dinner, but still gets the child home before bedtime (that's the parents' bedtime obviously).
What's your favorite time to throw a kid's party?