This past fall, we were hired to bring a photo booth to 3 different birthday parties that stand out to me as amazing.
They were in the basement of modest homes.
None was lavish or opulent.
Each had the guests entertained the entire night.
One was for a 16 year old boy; the theme was glow in the dark. One was for a 13 year old girl; the theme was movie night. One was for 10 year old twins; the theme was Hawaii.
The parents were well prepared for these parties. Here is what they did to make the party fun last.
EventSmith was hired as the photo booth. For these parties, we set up about a half hour after the guests were to arrive. This was based on budget as well as planning. As I spoke with the parents during the planning phase, I advised them that this was a good plan because when guests first arrive, they typically want to mingle and get settled. They rarely want to jump into fun.
Below you can see the itinerary of these parties.
The first ½ hour.
In the first half hours as kids arrived, the parents had the food out and ready to go. The kids hung their jackets, found their friends, got a snack and took selfies.
The next 1 hour.
For the next 3 hours, the photo booth was available for them to use. Both sets of parents announced the opening of the photo booth. For the first 1 hour, we had a steady stream of kids, even though these parties only had about 30 kids present.
We were able to provide a steady hour of fun because we made sure the props were age and theme appropriate.
At hour 1.5
At the 16 year old’s birthday party, they were still into the photo booth, but mom brought out a bunch of glowing balls and glow sticks and some kids started a dance party- popping up to use the booth when they needed a break
At the 13 year old’s party, after about one hour, the father came down and threw a bunch of glowing and weighted alien balloons. These were hilarious. The kids were bopping them around and using them in the photo booth. Even I was cracking up at the sometimes random appearance of an alien floating down into the pictures.
At the 10 year olds’ birthday, a hula dancer showed up and gave lessons. Then she came to the photo booth and the kids took pictures with her.
At hour 2
At hour 2.5
At the glow in the dark party, mom set up a chocolate fountain and kids still stopped by the photo booth.
At the movie night party, the mom brought down twister and a few other games. This created lots of laughter, but it also seemed to bring new groups of kids together, prompting them to get pics in the photo booth with each other. This is a sign of a good party. New friendships being formed!
At the Hawaiian party, they started a game of Let’s Make a Deal where one child ended up with a foam head, which of course became the star of the photo booth. Still some of the creepiest pictures ever taken in our photo booth, and we do adult Halloween parties!
At hour 3.5
Often times at house parties, I have to tell guests that I am closing the booth. This is because when hosts spend money on a photo booth, they assume that is the only activity they need. While that is the case at larger parties with closer to 100 guests, when you have less than 30, there are only so many pictures you can take.
At both of these parties, none of the guests noticed because 15 minutes before I was to shut down, their next activity was planned.
At the glow in the dark party, these teenagers were happy to just hang and chat with each other in the basement. I heard lots of laughter coming from down there; I can only imagine.
At the movie party, dad came down and set up the projector that took up an entire wall and the kids started a Let’s Dance competition.
At the Hawaiian party, the face painter and caricature artist showed up.
Each of these parent hosts planned engaging and inexpensive activities; I could see in all of their eyes how tired they were. It is a lot of work.
At EventSmith, we are happy to set up activities for kids’ parties. Call us!
Last summer, we launched our paint and/or craft parties, tie dye parties and lawn game parties. Our staff comes to your location, sets up one or more of these activities (we are also open to other activities, let’s plan together!) and we assist the kids.
At these parties, parents are able to concentrate on being part of the fun, preparing the food (unless they have hired us to do that as well) or subtly fading into the background to give the older children the idea of unsupervised fun.
I write this blog to combine my 2 favorite things- writing and partying. I believe parties are meant to bring people together for fun, and really nothing else.