Mum asks an important question on Mumsnet, “What happened to old fashioned home parties?”

MrsD79 wrote on the forum, “With two birthdays ahead of us and two pestering kids pleading for parties, the impending cost made me think why oh why oh why is it such a huge palava?”

She adds, “Every single invite my kids have had is for a party in a hired venue with an entertainer!

We never had that. It was at home in the front room, mum made a trifle and sandwiches and the cake. We didn’t have entertainment!

My query is why is it now the norm to hire a venue etc. It costs a bloomin fortune!

Is it wrong to take a trip back to nostalgia? After all if it was good enough back then, what’s the problem now?

(Is it because) We don’t want people in our homes, we don’t want to be judged, we are scared, germs even, or we just want to show off?”

One member replied, “It’s not the 1980’s anymore. But you should feel no pressure, just do whatever you want to do and what fits in well with your family. Every party is different and there are plenty enough that are held at home too.”

Another said, “I had a party at home once. Never, ever again. The planning was way more time consuming than I thought it would be, I spent the whole party running around sorting out arguments, and doing food. Plus, the mess at the end was unbelievable. Much easier to go to a soft play place for a couple of hours and relax while they sort everything out. Money well spent IMO.”

One mum said, “It’s because I work so don’t have the inclination to spend the spare time I’ve got catering and organising games like my mum did, plus a group of small boys are hideously lively and need space to rush around, which we don’t have (and have winter birthdays). I’d rather pay someone else to clear up and not have the house trashed.”

Lules said, “I live in a flat so there would be no space for a children’s party.”

SecretNutellaFix replied, “Modern houses are a heck of a lot smaller than the house in which I grew up and there is next to no outside play space for kids to run around if it’s not pouring with rain?”

MoM says:

I personally have done a mix of both. But I always keep it to a minimum of 6-8 kids. None of this whole class business! Now my boys are getting older they prefer to take a couple of mates to laser tag or something similar. Parties are pretty much done for us.  Wahhhh… I do love a good party theme! You can check out some of my boys parties here.

As a child I can only really remember one of my birthday parties, it was with a group of friends at home. My 18th birthday was also in our rumpus room at home.

Do you prefer to outsource your kids birthday’s or do you still have them at home?

Share your comments below.

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  • I think what has probably changed most is the child’s parents giving out goodie bags to the kids when they are leaving. One parent I know put a small toy in instead of so much junk food


  • Home parties are the best! So much fun to organise and allows you to showcase your ow creative flair!


  • I prefer to outsource my kids parties for convenience and less mess to clean up.


  • well it depends on expenses and themes as well. it can be cheaper to have a party at home but do you want to do all the work that goes with organising it etc? parties at venues are easy but costly and at the end of the day, the children are getting older and you are celebrating another milestone with them so just enjoy it


  • Home parties provide the best memories both down the track and as “memories of home” which is so good to look back on as a child. Parties at external venues are ok but should be the exception not the rule in my mind.


  • I’ve always done home parties & love it. Although this years I didn’t because of limited time & it’s was also great to sit & relax. Home parties are very time consuming & can work out just as expensive but very rewarding. As long as your child has a ball, do what’s best for mummy too x


  • Maybe it’s a city thing. In a rural area like we are in, almost all party invitations my children receive are at home (one did hire a jumping castle). My children have been allowed one or two friends over, but we haven’t worked a whole big party for them yet. When we do, it’ll be at home.


  • I have been asking that same question for years.


  • We only got one party on our 10th birthday in my family when I was a kid.


  • I organized numerous birthday parties at a nice nearby playground where my kids could invite the whole class and extra friends and mums dads and siblings were welcome to hang out with us with a picnic rug. All I prepared was the food and drinks ( with tea / coffee / wines for the mummies and daddies). Those parties were the best !


  • I know some parents who have them at a place so they don’t have to clean up the mess afterwards. I know one family who have practically no yard for the children to play in had their childrens party at a play centre. The price included entry fee for the kids to play one the large area of equipment, food for a set number of children, and the parents paid a small amount for nibbles for the parents of the children. The birthday girl had her choice of room for the meal. It wasn’t as expensive as I expected it to be.


  • so far we have done all home parties – and my girls have loved it – we have played old school party games, pass the parcel, pin the tail and incorporated our own made up games to suit the themes we were having. We even had 6 girls stay for my daughter’s 10th birthday which we made special and made into a slumber party with a mad hatter theme and a super large tent in our lounge room – it was great fun for everyone.

    I think it is nice to be different and not just do the same as everyone else – parties at the same playcenter can get pretty mundane if everyone in your social circle uses the same one! – be original and individual and create a party that your kids would actually want to have rather than what just suits you best -is my honest thoughts on throwing parties for kids, it’s their memories and you want them to enjoy it and feel really special and proud


  • My daughter had a combination of home parties and parties at venues – both lots of fun.


  • We go to venues sometimes, and sometimes at home. Venues don’t have to be expensive, though – we hired the local play group hall for $50, self catered, and the kids had a ball with the extra space nd classic games.

    • I agree – we have been to places that are not expensive.


  • A mixture of both for birthdays – at home and special places both worked out well.


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