Your child’s birthday is coming up, and you want to plan the best celebration possible. Instead of searching for venues, why not celebrate a birthday at home? Planning a stay-at-home birthday party gives you more control over the event and plenty of convenience. No need to lug your decorations, food, presents and family to a party venue — you’re already there.
So where do you begin when you want to throw a home birthday party? That’s where we come in! Learn how to plan a stay-at-home birthday party and find useful tips below.
Make a Budget
The first step to planning any party is figuring out how much you can spend. Luckily, an at-home party cuts venue costs out, giving you a bit of wiggle room. When you plan a budget, you’ll need to instead factor in party essentials like:
- Food and drinks
- Rental seating and tables, if needed
- Games and entertainment
Think of creative ways to stretch your budget where possible. For games, use what you have around the house or find free printouts online. Make DIY decorations instead of buying ones to save money, and borrow seating or tables from neighbors, friends or family instead of renting.
A virtual birthday party will be even more budget-friendly. You won’t have to spend as much on food for guests, but you should still treat the birthday kid to their favorite meal and cake on their special day.
Organize a Guest List
It’s not a party without guests. And knowing how many people will come to your stay-at-home party will help you figure out plenty of things. With a guest list made, it’ll be easier to determine:
- How much space you need
- How much seating you need
- How much food to prepare or order
- How many drinks to buy
- How many favors to put together
Since you’re throwing a birthday party for your child, think about whether you’ll only invite their friends or friends and family. You may even have two separate parties if you want to go all-out — one for friends and one for family.
Once you have your guest list, you can send invitations. Try to send them between a month to two weeks before the celebration. That’ll give your guests close enough notice to know their schedules, and it’ll give you enough time to plan and gather everything you need. In the invitations, include details like:
- The date of the party
- The start and end times
- Your address
- Identifying landmarks near your home
- Details about what to wear, like costumes or swimwear
If you’d like, you could include a note in the invitation that parents are welcome to stay. That will let you socialize, and you may even get an extra hand in setting up party games or food. If your child and their friends are young, parents will probably want to stay anyway, so extend the offer.
Send physical invitations for a fun, but more time-consuming, way to invite guests. You could also go with digital invites if you know the parents of the guests personally. Use email or social media to get the word out about the birthday party.
Digital invitations work best if you’re having a virtual birthday party. Create an online hangout or meeting link and send it in the invite. Include specific times and a timeline of activities if that’s applicable. You should also understand how the video chat service works and offer help to parents who may have trouble using it.
Pick a Location
A stay-at-home birthday party will, by definition, happen at your house, but where will it take place? That’ll depend on different factors. As you decide where at home to have a birthday party, think about the following.
- How much room you have inside or outside: If you have a large backyard, that could be the best spot for the party, depending on other considerations. You could have a party inside, even if you have a smaller space. Rearrange some furniture as needed and work within the room you have. Depending on the layout of your home and backyard, you could host people inside and out. Ensure you have a good flow for traffic and that the spaces connect well.
- Guest list size: Smaller parties work well inside, even if you don’t have that much room. If you have a long guest list, a backyard party may be more comfortable. Your guest list size will also help determine how many tables and chairs you need. That will make it easier to plan what area of your home has enough space for the party.
- The weather: Keep an eye on the forecast leading up to the party and the day of the event. If you’re having the celebration outside, you won’t want to have it on wet grass. And you’ll need a backup plan if it rains or gets too cold to be outdoors. Plan a rain date or move the event indoors if you have the room.
When you’re hosting a socially distanced birthday party, you’ll want to choose an outdoor location and keep the guest list small. For a virtual birthday party, you won’t need to worry too much about the site. Select a place where you can set up your phone or computer to video chat with guests and decorate the background.
Pick a Theme and Decorate
Decorating is such an enjoyable part of throwing a home birthday party, so be sure to include it in your plans. The theme you pick and how you decorate will depend on whatever your child’s preferences are — it’s their birthday, after all, so they should get to choose the theme. Kids of all ages will love at-home party themes like these:
- The circus
- Arts and crafts
With a theme in mind, decorating gets that much easier. Find plates, cups and napkins printed in colorful patterns that fit the motif. Order or make a cake decorated with the theme in mind, and use streamers, balloons and wall decor for it to feel like a birthday party. Pick a design before you send invitations to send an invite that matches your decorations.
If your child is a bit older or doesn’t have a theme preference, go with a color scheme instead. You can still hang streamers and blow up balloons, just with subtler nuance. You can personalize the decor to your child’s preferences, since they can choose their favorite colors.
Be creative with what you put up for birthday party decorations, as well. Since the party’s at home, feel free to go all-out. Make a “Happy Birthday” sign and write unique things you love about the birthday child all over the banner. Get other members of the household involved in the celebration.
Plan the Food
Because you’re planning to celebrate a birthday at home, don’t forget the menu! Pick options everyone will love for crowd-pleasing party favorites. You’ll want to offer a variety of things to eat, especially if your guests have any dietary restrictions or allergies. If you’re not too familiar with everyone’s needs, include a note in the invitations. Parents can then let you know if their child has any food restrictions. With that in mind, offer three main types of things to eat.
- Snacks: Have snacks out if your party will start an hour or two before you offer the main meal. Offer a mix of indulgent snacks and fruits and veggies for healthy options. Get creative with themed snacks if you’re brainstorming stay-at-home birthday ideas for kids.
- The meal: Your stay-at-home birthday party will likely coincide with lunch or dinnertime. Plan something for a meal and consider feeding your guests something everyone will love — pizza! It’s the ultimate party food, and you can order delivery, pick up your pies, buy frozen or check out catering. At Giordano’s, we offer all those options for partying pizza lovers. We also have starters, salads and other selections if you want to serve more than pizza.
- Desserts: At a birthday party, everyone will expect a cake. But you could also serve different sweets or desserts anyone with a sweet tooth will enjoy. Have ice cream or other frozen treats for warm-weather parties, or serve hot chocolate with a topping buffet in colder weather.
Ordering food and desserts or getting the party catered are perfect if you’re short on time. Request a custom cake designed to fit the party’s theme and enough food to feed a crowd, all without stepping foot in your kitchen. You could then redirect that time and energy into making games and decorating your home.
Having a stay-at-home party catered is ideal because you won’t be at a party venue. Many venues offer catering or have commercial kitchens that make it easier to feed a party. Your kitchen won’t give you that convenience, but hiring a caterer or ordering delivery will.
If you’re planning a virtual birthday party, organize with guests to eat the same foods to feel like you’re together. Send links to order frozen pizza online and give a specific time to virtually eat together so parents can prep the food. As a bonus, everyone gets to pick the toppings they prefer. Or, of course, everyone could also enjoy whatever they like while participating in a digital celebration.
Get the Guests Involved
For stay-at-home birthday ideas for kids, break out the games! Activities are the best way to get guests engaged in the party, especially if the celebration is for a younger child. Consider games and activities like these to keep the fun going at your stay-at-home party.
- Costume party: With a themed costume party, let guests know in the invitation, so they arrive dressed up. You could also have accessories and dress-up items for guests to rummage through and put on. Have a costume contest and award prizes or let the kids have fun playing in their costumes.
- Scavenger hunt: A scavenger hunt is fun for kids of all ages. Create a simple game for younger kids with a straightforward list, or give players a challenge by using clues and riddles. Design the scavenger hunt to match the theme of your child’s birthday party if you can. Call it a treasure hunt for a pirate theme, use shells and ocean items for a mermaid theme and get creative with other birthday party ideas.
- Bingo: Bingo is a simple game to set up and customize for a stay-at-home birthday party. Whether you play a classic game of bingo with numbers and letters or make it themed, everyone will enjoy the friendly competition. Give prizes to the winners and play multiple rounds for endless entertainment.
- Sports: If you’re having a backyard birthday party, take advantage of the space and get guests moving. Set up sporty games, whether you break out a volleyball net or make the space for kickball. If you have a pool and you’re planning a party in warm weather, you could even suggest guests play volleyball or water polo.
- Musical chairs: This activity gets kids moving, but will be fun even for guests who aren’t sports fans. You only need to set up chairs, play music and stop it as players run around and try to claim a seat. Alternatively, you could play with floor cushions or spot markers on the ground for quicker setup and cleanup.
Quarantine Birthday Activities
For quarantine birthday ideas, scavenger hunts and bingo are fun options you can adapt to be virtual games. Send parents the scavenger hunt lists or bingo cards before the party so they can prepare. Talk with parents before creating a scavenger hunt list about items everyone has at home that would be fun for kids to search for.
You can even get guests involved if you’re throwing a socially distanced birthday party. Consider drive-by birthday ideas where guests create a parade and drive past your house, honking and wishing your child a happy birthday from their cars. Create signs, play music and encourage parade participants to decorate their cars for the celebration.
For a different drive-by birthday idea, take the birthday child for a drive. Let friends and family know of your plan and ask them to decorate their lawns or craft birthday signs. Let your child dress up, decorate the car and head out playing music. Your child will be delighted to see their friends and family celebrating their special day.
Don’t Forget Gifts!
With an at-home birthday party, you’ll want to set up a gift table and schedule time for the birthday kid to unwrap their presents. Opening gifts is usually part of the fun during the party. But if you have a packed agenda, have your child open presents once the party is over. Keep track of who gifted what, so you can send specific and thoughtful thank-you notes later.
If you’re considering shelter-in-place birthday ideas, send your address to friends and family members who would like to mail a gift or order one online to send to you. Wrap these gifts if they aren’t already, especially if unwrapping presents is one of your kid’s favorite parts of a birthday celebration. Record your child’s reaction as they unwrap presents and send the videos to the gift-givers.
While this celebration is for your child’s birthday, you’ll want to thank everyone for coming with favors. Match them to your theme and include candies and small toys, depending on guests’ age. If you’re having a virtual birthday party, you can send out favors if your budget allows. Combine favors with thank-you cards and send them after a virtual celebration.
Throw a Home Birthday Party With Giordano’s
Need to feed a hungry crowd of partygoers? Let Giordano’s take planning the menu off your plate! From our iconic stuffed deep-dish pizzas to a variety of other mouthwatering eats, our menu has it all for your child’s birthday party. We’ll bring the party to you with catering, ship frozen pizzas from our oven to yours or provide the delicious delivery or carryout you need. Fill your guests’ plates with our Chicago-style deep-dish pies, thin-crust pizzas, starters and more.