Usually children’s birthday parties are 2 hours long.
Usually 20 – 30 minutes of this is taken up by a break for the children to have party food and drinks and then the birthday cake.
The rest of the time should be filled with entertainment for the kids. You can either get a children’s entertainer or do the entertainment yourself with party games, etc…
If you’re getting a children’s entertainer then you don’t have to have the kid’s entertainer there for the whole 2 hours but if you don’t, you should aim to have something else for the kids to do when the entertainer has gone.
Some suggestions of popular party formats/ timings are below:
Option 1: Have the entertainer for the whole 2 hours:
With 45 mins entertainment, 30 min break (during which time the entertainer would entertain the kids around the table or make balloons for them) and then another 45 minutes of entertainment.
Option 2: Have the entertainer stay for just 1 hour.
1 hr entertainment, then 30 mins of food, then you play some games with the kids like pass the parcel and other fun party games.
Option 3: An hour and a half – Say you have a party from 2-4. You could have the kids arrive at 2 pm, get the childrens entertainer to start the show for 2:15 pm and then entertain the kids for an hour. That obviously takes you up to 3:15 pm. After an hour the children will need a break for food and drink so you could have the entertainer stay while they eat for half an hour and do balloon modelling or entertain the kids whilst their eating round the tables. If the break for food last 30 minutes, then that takes you till 3:45 pm, leaving you with 15mins for the kids to occupy themselves before the mums and dads come to pick them up from the party.
Option 3: A third option: For a 2 hour party is to have a 15 minute period where the kids occupy themselves for a bit whilst everyone else is arriving and waiting for the party to start. Then you start the entertainment and have it run for an hour (either with your own kids part games or the kid’s entertainer). Then you can have a 30 min break for food and drink, which leaves you with 15 minutes where the kids can occupy themselves before the parents come to pick them up. E.g. a party from 3- 5 p.m. would go like this:
3 – 3:15 p.m. – Kids arrive.
3:15 – 4:15 p.m. – Games start or kid’s entertainer does a show.
4:15- 4:45 kids have tea
4;45 – 5:00 – kids get picked up by parents
The advantage to this format is obviously you save on the cost of having a children’s entertainer for just 1 hour or you don’t have to think of as many games if you’re doing it yourself.
The disadvantage is that kids don’t always take 30 minutes for food and if they finish earlier e.g. 4:30, you could have a large bunch of kids running around, full of E numbers and sugar, with nothing to do for half an hour. If that happens you’ll need to make sure you have games for them to do before the parents come to pick them up so do plan for this.