Planning a Large Birthday Party?

Fruit salad bowls made in carved out watermelons at a large outdoor birthday party.
Large parties can be daunting to plan, especially if there are going to be different age groups attending, such as at a family birthday party. You will want to have food and activities for everyone. This is a page about planning a large birthday party.

4 Questions

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October 6, 2011

I need to plan my youngest son's 2nd birthday party. My husband and I feel strongly about inviting our families until the age of 5. This allows our children to get to know their aunts, uncles, and cousins better. However, my husband has a very large family and once we add my family, and our close family friends, we end up with approximately 30-some kids and 20-some adults!

My other son's birthday is in June so the number of guests was never an issue because we had the party outdoors; but, my soon-to-be 2 year old's birthday is in November so it's too cold to have the party outdoors. I looked into renting our town hall, but if I do that then what type of activities would I plan that would occupy all the different ages of kids? Keep in mind, money is limited and Christmas is close. Please help.


By Momof2boysNbigfamily


October 7, 20110 found this helpful

As far as your kids getting to know relatives better, you could serve the same purpose, maybe even to a better extent, if you visited these family members on a regular basis. Once a year parties aren't going to serve the purpose. Also when there is a whole group of people, you don't really get to know anybody that well.

You could divide the parties. Have one for your husband's family one day and one for your family the next day. You could do the same for close friends, have that one the following week. Whatever happened to parties where the adults just visit and the kids just run around, playing whatever comes to their imagination.


Do you have a basement? Even if it is just plain cement, have the party there, and borrow whatever folding tables and chairs that you would need. I'm not a big fan of large get togethers of any type and never have been. The only time I might be in favor of that type of get together is if you have a really large area to have it. My thought about large parties for small kids, is that they get used to them and therefore expect them to continue.

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October 7, 20110 found this helpful

How wonderful that you want to have the families involved! Have you thought of asking if you can use your church basement? Our church members often use the basement of the church for big parties. Or does one of the other family members have a bigger house that they would share?


I wish you and your blessings and success!

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October 7, 20110 found this helpful

How about a bowling party? Several bowling establishments have party plans so everyone can bowl (you can plan some fun prizes for the "most unusual delivery", "most gutter balls", "most splits", etc.) After a game or two, the party room allows time for opening gifts, eating pizza and cake, etc.

Or, you can plan a family scavenger hunt at a nearby mall. Give families different clues about what to find (they must jot down their answers), then when they return to the meeting place, their answers are put together to solve a puzzle. Inexpensive prizes are awarded to the family who solves the puzzle first!


(The above scavenger hunt can also be done at a museum, if you have one nearby, and they may have a party room as well!)

You can also schedule a make-a-plate ceramic studio; every family makes a commemorative plate, and it's great fun for every member to contribute!

You can also do a "volunteer" project all together - what a beautiful impact that would have on your community! Check your community's non-profit organizations for ideas.

For more ideas in your area, just check local businesses - I'm sure you'll find lots to do with your large family.

Have lots and lots of fun - it sounds like you'll all have a wonderful time just being together!

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October 7, 20110 found this helpful

Sometimes your local hospital has community rooms that can be rented very inexpensively - you might check with them.

I agree with redhatterb in not planning anything - adults visit and children make their own entertainment. Otherwise what should be an enjoyable time turns in to "work" for a lot of people. There would need to be someone in charge of entertainment for several ages which would require another 4-5 people - at least - since 10-year-olds are not going to be interested in a game for a 2-year-old.


Let the adults enjoy themselves and the children entertain themselves and at present-opening time, try to keep the other children sitting back a ways so that whoever wants can get good pictures of the birthday child opening the gifts.

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May 6, 2009

I would like some ideas for a fun birthday party for 22 kids. My daughter is turning 7 in June and she has invited all her 1st grade classmates, boys and girls. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

By nancy from Canada


May 6, 20090 found this helpful

How about a carnival theme? You could make little game booths, (throw the ball through the ring, pop balloons, etc). You could have a concession stand with chips and punch, hot dogs, whatever you can think of.

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May 7, 20090 found this helpful

You could make maps for a treasure hunt. You could get some large marshmallows and play "Chubby Bunny". Each child puts one Marshmallow in their mouth and has to say Chubby Bunny. Then you keep adding more marshmallows until you can no longer say Chubby Bunny. The one who can cram the most in their mouth and still talk wins. If you have room in your yard you could have them play Red Rover. That game is fun when there are lots of kids.

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

When my son was in grade one, we had a large party, although not as large as this. One thing they loved was playing dressup, as we had a large selection of dressup clothing. My older son (grade 4) organized this. Then we took a photo.

When they first arrived, we did a small craft. Easy coloring and gluing of wooden pieces bought at the dollar store. Made frig magnets or something like that.

I think group games would be good -- like the Red rover idea, also Flying Dutchman, musical chairs, also non-elimination musical chairs (chairs are taken away, but everyone has to sit on the remaining chairs/laps till you are down to only 1 or 2 chairs-- no standing on the sidelines, and good for a lot of giggles). If you don't know how to play such stuff, you can likely google for info.

For such a large group, I would suggest you get some help. I would suggest a couple of bigger kids, like grade 5 or 6, to help with the party. If you have bigger children of your own, they could help, or neighbours, or other kids from the school. Friends of the family would likely be thrilled to help, but even if you have to pay them a bit, it will be worth it, as big girls, especially, will love to organize this crowd into group games like Red Rover. If you don't know any 10 & 11 year olds, contact your child's teacher, as the school will know who would be good at this type of activity.

With such a large crowd, you could even take them to a park to play Tee-ball. Again, help is a must, I think.

Be firm about beginning and end times. I usually started my party right after school, and took them home after they had "supper" -- I'll go with hot dogs and carrot sticks with chip dip-- and the cake. Two hours is plenty, really. You will have to allow quite a bit of time for the present opening, but it might not hurt to have them doing that after they have been totally tuckered out doing something or while they are eating carrot sticks and dip. They enjoy present opening, but after their gift is opened , they may lose interest. ha ha I hope it is possible for the kids to be picked up, when you have so many, but you have more control over party end time if you deliver them home.

Don't feel that you have to go overboard with the treat bags that they take home. My boys are all in their twenties, now,and so I might be out of touch, but it seems to me that some small toy from the dollar store and some candy treats would be sufficient. I'd go for Kinder Eggs for the candy, as it combines the treat with the toy.

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April 22, 2016

My cousin and I are turning 16 this year and our birthdays are so close that we decided to do one big party. We have a couple of themes we might do, but we can't find a place to host the party. We have cousins between 2-19. We are trying to find something that will accommodate the age groups more towards the 2 year olds so they can be safe and the places we have came up with are either too crowded and loud or everyone will be separated.

We want everyone to stick together, but still do their own things like a family Easter party if that makes sense. So does anyone know a good place to hold the party if you do please let me know?


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August 19, 20170 found this helpful

reserve a shelter house at a local park and bring lots of games

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August 19, 20170 found this helpful

The VFW rents party rooms inexpensively. Have the older teens watch the youngest guests. Have games and dancing and plenty of good food.

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September 30, 2009

I am trying to plan a small family birthday party for hubs, probably for 20 or less. I don't have a clue as to what I'm doing. His dad used to do them, and he misses having them since his dad passed away. I would like to have crab legs, shrimp, scallops, some type of sausage, and maybe some crawfish. I would also like to have potatoes and corn on the cob. I welcome any suggestions. Thanks.

By Jan from AL


September 30, 20090 found this helpful

I do this daily for a living-- plan events. Picking the date and time is always #1. Then invites is #2. The rest should come pretty easy afterward. Write or you will forget something.

Food - Make the things that will last longer the day before so you are not running around trying to do everything one day prior. Seems you have an easy menu-- the only thing that take a ton of time at the corn and the potatoes. The fish items all cook fast.

Make sure you tell your guests to RSVP so you have an idea of the number of attendees. This is one of the most important things.
Don't forget beverages, and decorations (if you choose). Like I said, once you set a date, the rest should all fall in order.
Good Luck!

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October 17, 20090 found this helpful

You didn't say when this party is, so I may be late. How about a "New England Style" dinner? A take off of a clam bake? You know - boiled corn on the cob and taters, with steamed seafood? I don't know for sure, but I have seen things that incorporate all of what you want in one pot, and are served on one plate. The only timing may be when to add what to the pot? Good luck.

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