In the first-ever installment of the Family Discount Card blog, we thought we’d take on the daunting task of throwing your kid a birthday party in a way that is both affordable and won’t make you want to rip your hair out!
As a child, I had some very memorable b-day parties, from making tie-dye shirts, backyard carnival games with prizes, to the more popular movie night sleep-over, but they all required a significant amount of work from my mother. And even though I look back on them fondly, they might not cut it in today’s world of extreme parties. However, throwing your kid the best bash on the block doesn’t have to break the bank; nor does it have to stress you out. In fact, if you check out our directory of participating businesses, we have a whole category devoted to “Party Supplies and Vendors”. Here, you will find everything from clowns, face-painting, décor, venues, and bakeries. And if not already obvious, when you use your Family Discount Card at any one of these businesses, you’ll save money!
The first step to planning your epic event is to pick a venue. The most cost-effective solution is to simply have the party in your house, but that also means a lot of prep, planning, and cleanup. If that doesn’t sound like fun, or if your kid simply wants to have their party outside the home, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find many indoor playgrounds on our list that can host your fete. Urban Park Playland is sure to keep the kids occupied for hours and they have party rooms for meal time and presents. This takes the hassle out of any major tidying. Already done the whole playground thing and now you’re looking for some variety? Why not try a rock climbing gym? Check out, Of Rock and Chalk, which is great for older kids. Or, if you have a child in that whole “tween, nothing impresses me anymore phase”, we bet they’ll be blown away by Axis Freestyle Academy. Here, kids can learn amazing snowboarding tricks year-round in an indoor facility. They have jumps, rails, and high-performance trampolines!
If you are going to have a backyard b-day, you’re going to need some entertainment. If you want an Elsa or Anna, we have a couple of companies that can send a princess your way at a discount. Fairtytale Land Princess Parties and My Perfect Princess Party have princesses that are sure to rival any Disney theme park. There’s also, My Perfect Superhero Party, which you guessed it, will send your friendly neighbourhood hero to your front door!
What about the old school pool party? We spoke to Family Discount Card member Rebecca B. of Toronto, who says she threw her eldest numerous swimming parties when he was younger and she gave us some great advice: “With so many little kids swimming, we decided to hire a lifeguard. Not only did parents thank us for thinking of this, but it gave me the ability to walk away and tend to other party tasks, while the kids were being watched by a professional”. Just Keep Swimming Swim School will provide a lifeguard for your special day. Co-owner Emilia Card suggests calling them at least two weeks in advance to ensure they have availability. She also suggests that for safety reasons, you have 1 lifeguard for every 10 kids and that they wear lifejackets or water wings when necessary.
Ok, so we’ve got the what and the where. Now, we need decorations and the most important item: dessert. If you want to make some fun loot bags, look no further than Dynamite Party and Novelty Supplies. And for jaw-dropping balloon displays way cooler than anything you’ll find at the chain party stores, why not have Balloon Haus deliver a show stopper to your house? Now onto cookies and cake. We couldn’t write this article without mentioning Starr Treats. Why? Because their cookies are incredible! They can make almost any popular character into a cookie and do all sorts of custom orders as well. They make perfect take-home gifts that can be individually wrapped.
We also have Simply Sweets by Susy. Susy makes a traditional slab cake and can also put any character on it that your kid is into and she suggests ordering it 2 weeks in advance, but if you want to order one of her amazing custom fondant cakes, you’re looking at ordering 30 days prior, as they take more time. Where does Susy come up with the ideas for these works of edible art? “[Parents] send me images and we mix and match, or sometimes we sketch it out”. It’s like watching one of those cake decorating shows on TV, except this time the cake is for you (well your kid, but I’m sure you’ll sneak a piece)! And Susy says that her most popular flavour of cake for kids is chocolate, but adults love some red velvet!
Now, we’ve given you a ton of helpful tips, including some outside of the box ideas for your child’s next party and with your FD Card, you’ll save money while doing so, but I completely understand if this still leaves you overwhelmed. So, I guess we’ll take care of that too! Help Is On The Way Birthday Parties, another one of our participating businesses, can plan your kid’s next b-day from start to finish. Owner Sandy Penn explains exactly what her company does: “We provide at home party services to the GTA with costumes and activities for the kids! One of the most popular parties is the spa party where we bring bathrobes for the girls, bowls for soaking hands for manis, flowers, candles, lotions, polishes, nail decals, and teen magazines to look at”. They’ll even bring apple juice and put it in champagne flutes! Help Is On The Way has over 6 fun themes to choose from for your party and you can learn more about them on their website. Sandy also suggests that you call anywhere from 2 weeks to one month ahead to book her services.
Well, that about does it. You’re now set to throw your kids a party sure to rival anyone’s on the block and you’ll have money left over for whatever toy of the moment your kid’s begging you for! Keep in mind though that this is only a small sample of the many businesses on our list and it would be impossible to include them all in one article, so check back for more blog posts and in the meantime, feel free to look at our directory for more inspiration.