The one and ONLY birthday party planning checklist you’ll ever need.

So, you’re planning a birthday party, or maybe you were “voluntold”, and now you’re wondering…What should I prepare for a birthday party? What’s even needed for a birthday party checklist?

Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Big Time Entertainment, we’ve compiled a list of 10 simple to-do’s to help you prepare for a birthday party that everyone will remember.

Grab your notebook and pen, and let’s get planning!

Big Time Part Planning Checklist | Big Time Entertainment | Windsor

1. Determine Budget

We know this isn’t the most fun place to start, but having a clear number on how much you’re able to spend allows you to determine the location of the party and what exactly you’ll be able to do. There’s so many exciting elements to a birthday party, so don’t view a budget as a limitation, but rather a helpful tool to prevent overspending. You can still have fun and make great memories while being mindful of how much you’re spending.

At Big Time Entertainment, we offer budget-friendly packages, and are always happy to help you plan a party that is BIG on fun, while still being mindful of how much you’d like to spend.

2. Outline Guest List

Is this an intimate get together or a “more the merrier” type of party? Keep the birthday person in mind – who would they like to celebrate with? Again, having a clear idea of what your budget is may also influence how many people you will be inviting.

3. Find a Venue

Staying in or going out? Are you willing to host a birthday party at your place? Or would you rather find a venue?

Depending on the time of year, some warm days are perfect for outdoor parties and activities, and in the cooler months you may want to stay indoors.

The venue you select also determines what activities you can do. A restaurant is great to grab something to eat, drink and chat (maybe check out some places that have some live music). If you’re looking for a spot that spices up the party with some high-energy group activities, at Big Time Entertainment, we offer Glo-Golf, Laser Tag, Indoor Go-kart and more. There will never be a dull moment!

4. Choose a Theme

The age of your birthday person will influence the type of theme you have. Even then, having a theme is totally optional, but if you do opt for a theme, make sure it’s one that reflects the personality and interests of the birthday person. Themes don’t have to be complicated – it can even be a colour! Have someone that loves the colour blue? You can incorporate blue balloons, napkins, plates, and table decor. Again, themes are optional, but they do make your decoration planning a bit easier and cohesive.

5. Send Invitations

Mailed invitations are fun, personal and a bit more formal, while e-invites (electronic invites), are quick, simple and budget-friendly. Regardless of the type of invitation you choose to go with, aim to get your invitations to your guests at least 1 month before the event so they can put it in their calendars.

6. Plan Food and Drinks

If you’ve chosen to host an at-home birthday party, you can either cook the food yourself, hire a caterer, or even make it pot-luck style if you’re on a tighter budget. If you’re in charge of the food, keep in mind the birthday person’s food and drink preferences, as well as any severe allergies or diet restrictions your guests may have. Also, deciding if you’ll have a sit-down meal or just finger-foods will impact the type of food you serve. If you’ve decided to go out to eat for the party, our birthday packages at Big Time Entertainment offer mouthwatering pulled pork or beef sliders, chicken wings and even hand made pizzas – who doesn’t love pizza?

7. Order a Birthday Cake

If you’re a great baker, you can just skip this part and bake your own cake, but for the rest of us, there’s plenty of options for birthday cakes or cake alternatives. If you’re choosing a theme for the party, you can go with a cake that matches it (don’t forget the candles and lighter). If you’re opting for an alternative to cake, some ideas include cupcakes, cake pops, pies, gourmet cookies, or an ice cream bar!

8. Prepare Decorations + Party Favours

Again, if you’re going with a theme for the party, it’s a great guide as to what kind of decorations to get. If you want to keep the decor simple, stick with themed napkins, balloons, and tablecloths – you can also get creative with some unique table centerpieces. Another fun way to “decorate” is to have all your guests dress up as the theme of the party. For example, if you’re going with a sports theme, everyone can dress up in a jersey of their favourite team. It’s an entertaining way to make all the guests feel involved and get on board with the theme!

Party favours are completely optional, so don’t break the bank trying to get your guests a lavish favour. Keep it simple – a wrapped up yummy treat works every time!

9. Hire Party Entertainment

If your budget allows it, hiring a professional entertainer is an exciting way to elevate your party. For an all-adults party, consider a live band or comedian. For a kids party, a balloon artist, face painter, or magician will always do the trick! (Did you catch the  joke there?). If hiring an entertainer isn’t your cup of tea, you can get creative with scavenger hunts and board games, or outdoor activities in the summer.

Our attractions at Big Time Entertainment offer a variety of activities for both kids and adults, so while you’re planning the rest of the party, we’ll take care of the entertainment. Your guests will love our laser tag, glo-golf and 5D Dark Ride Theatre!

10. Enjoy the Party!

*Sigh*…You can finally take a breath after all that planning and switch to party-mode – you definitely deserve it! You followed our birthday party checklist, and the party was a hit! Congrats on becoming a pro party planner!