Party in the park

BIRTHDAY parties are always lots of fun, but the worst uninvited guests are inevitably stress and pressure on the parents.

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Your main priority is ensuring your child has a great day and that his or her friends leave thinking “wow, that was pretty cool.”

If you can keep the sugar high to a minimum so the other parents have a relatively chilled out time – at the party and at home later that afternoon – then even better!

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Truth be told, all this can become overwhelming at times.

With perfect weather most of the year, outdoor birthday parties are a win in Australia.

Choosing to host the party at a public park is an even bigger win if you’re lucky enough to have some decent play areas nearby.

The biggest plus is that you don’t have to clean your house before your guests arrive and you don’t feel like your home is under scrutiny from the other parents.

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Choosing to party in the park also comes with already built and functional play equipment (organiser’s tip: choose a park with age appropriate play equipment), BBQs if you’re planning to include a meal and plenty of parking.

While sun shades and benches are common at most public parks, you might require some equipment of your own if you don’t get to the venue first on the morning or afternoon of your kid’s big day.

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I’ve heard stories of how dads have been sent to parks a couple hours before the starting time with a picnic basket in hand to ‘secure a spot’ in case the chosen venue is already buzzing.

It’s pretty difficult to let your guests know an hour or two before the party that you’re relocating the whole thing.

Take along your own gazebo and a camping table and you’re good to go.

Other pieces of outdoor equipment that make your day that much easier include camping fridges, a fold-up chair or two and a picnic blanket.

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Classic party games like pass the parcel are also easy to plan – especially if you have a Bluetooth speaker and data on your mobile phone. Just remember to charge your phone and speaker!

You can read the kids’ reactions to the songs and select tunes that will work (organiser’s tip: create a birthday playlist on your phone in advance so you don’t have to waste time and concentration levels on song choices).

Throw a few bin bags in the folding wagon in case the communal one at the park is full or a bit of a walk from your set-up and you don’t have to worry about keeping your area tidy.

Beach wagons are also great to transport snacks, drinks, lollies, cakes and party packs to and from the car.

Most importantly, have fun with the birthday boy or girl!

This article was originally published on Shaun Ryan Media on 30 September, 2020.

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