Your ultimate guide to throwing an epic kids' birthday party
It’s no small feat, planning the ultimate birthday bash for your kids each year. From the theme, to the guest list, to figuring out what to feed the crowd, to finding a venue - the list goes on!
We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and unwrapped the best kids’ party ideas, as well as where to find everything you need at Westfield Manukau to plan the ultimate party. That way, you can spend more time enjoying your child’s special milestone as they blow out their next round of candles.
1. Pick a theme
From princesses to superheroes, space explorations to a jungle jam, it’s time to get inspired by your child’s favourite TV show, movie, hobby or - if all else fails - their favourite colour. Once you've picked the theme, shop for matching recyclable plates, cutlery, lolly bags, decorations and a piñata from Lotsa Goodies and More for Less.
2. It's all about the cake
Image source: @fergusonplarrebakehouses
If you’re no Martha Stewart, or you're just short on time, Gloria Jeans and Countdown have you covered with a wide variety of cakes - whether you’re after a rainbow unicorn topped with sprinkles, a frosted green dragon, or a classic triple choc extravaganza. After something different? Create a donut tower by picking up a fresh batch from Countdown.
Image source: @itszoehayes on @krispykremeaustralia
3. Get the snacks flowing
Food is an important factor for any party, and while there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of fairy floss and ice cream, it’s also possible to make healthier party food that will have little hands reaching for more.
Looking for flavour without compromising on convenience? Popcorn (lightly salted or drizzled in dark chocolate), fruit skewers, crackers and carrot sticks dipped in hummus or smashed avocado, mini English muffin pizzas topped with tomato sauce, and mozzarella and ham are all easy snacks you can whip up in seconds. Kids eat with their eyes, so try using cookie cutters to cut sandwiches and fruits into fun shapes, or pop a selection of finger food into colourful party cups for a minimal-mess way to serve.
For more easy recipes for them to sink their teeth into, see here
4. Let’s dine
Don’t have time to get busy in the kitchen? We've got kid-friendly restaurant and takeaway options to satisfy every appetite.
5. Let’s hit play
Let the kids burn that energy in centre at the playground near ASB Bank. If you’re hosting at home, JB Hi-Fi and EB Games have all kinds of games to keep them entertained for hours. Mix it up with party classics like ‘Pass The Parcel’, ‘Musical Chairs’ and a good ol’ scavenger hunt.
Image source: @timezoneaustralia
If your little one likes to get creative, check out these fun craft activities made easy for little fingers >
6. Nobody says no to the movies
Book a session, settle the kids (with popcorn and choc tops) and sink into those plush seats at Event Cinemas. For older kids, take it up a notch and treat them and their friends to a Gold Class experience. Contact Event Cinemas to find out which function packages they have available and how they can make your child’s day extra special.
Find out what’s new in cinemas for little ones, big kids and grown-ups here >
7. It’s present time
Finding the perfect birthday present for kids of any age takes time and research, so here’s some gift-spiration that will hopefully make choosing one a little easier.
0 – 3 years
For little ones, grab a gift that will help build motor skills and brain development, such as a jungle gym play mat, a baby walker, a kitchen or barbeque playset, or other activity sets equipped with lights and sounds. Available at Farmers or Cotton On Mega
4 – 7 years
Get their creative juices flowing and let their imagination run wild with gifts like LEGO, a craft activity set, a dollhouse, a mega marble run or a buildable car track. Available at Farmers.
8 –12 years
Games are a great pick for something they can enjoy with family and friends - think classics like Monopoly, UNO and Cluedo or a gaming console like a PS5 and Xbox Series X. For something portable, a Nintendo Switch will keep them entertained while you’re on the move. For your little fashionista, a new jacket or shoes will do the trick. Finally, if you’ve got an aspiring athlete on your hands, head to Stirling Sports and Kids Foot Locker.