Home > Entertainment and Activities > Parties and Gifts > Party Planning > Planning Ahead for the Perfect Party
|

Planning Ahead for the Perfect Party

I already have two activities planned—the beer tasting and the piñata. I don't think this party will go well if I try to impose a lot of structure, so I'll plan to have the beer tasting about two hours into the party, at 6:00 p.m., with dinner to follow. At about 8:00 p.m., we'll do the piñata. By that time, everyone will be loose and relaxed—hopefully not so "relaxed" that they'll beat each other while trying to break the piñata!

Although I've planned the activities for particular times, I won't stress about them on the day of the party. As guests arrive and get comfortable, I'll keep an eye on the energy level and bust out the activities when I think the party needs a boost.

My budget for Entertainment/Activities: $0!

I really wish I could have hired a Mariachi band, but I just can't afford it. Hmm...I wonder if any of my guitar-playing friends know any Mexican songs?

Don't be a Monica. Although the Friends character was organized and impeccable, she could also be a royal pain when she hosted a party. Remember the scene in which she yelled at her guests for not capping the pens tightly enough during her stuffy party game? Let your guests' energy and enthusiasm dictate when and how your planned activities happen. If no one wants to play the fabulous word game you prepared, let it slide. The activities are meant to entertain guests, not enslave them.

Choosing the Right Music
A Mexican party calls for Mexican music. I don't want to drive my guests crazy by playing nonstop Mariachi, so I'll set a stack of CDs next to the stereo and let people change the music if they wish. However, I'll get together a few theme-appropriate CDs, which I'll have playing as the guests arrive. Later on, we can switch to classic rock, which will go nicely with the atmosphere: beer, margaritas, and relaxing.

From my collection, I can pull out these CDs for the party:

  • The Frida Soundtrack
  • Mariachi from Mexico
  • Selena's Greatest Hits
  • Rough Guide to the Music of Mexico
  • Kronos Quartet, Neuvo

I don't own any salsa music, which will be good for later in the night, but a couple of my friends do. I'll ask them to bring over the CDs a few days before the party, just so I make sure I have them on the big day.

Although I won't need to update my budget sheet, I will need to add to my "I'll Need" list:

    I'll Need
  • Candles
  • Checkered tablecloths
  • Tiki torches and oil
  • Mexican flag (Ben)
  • Sombreros (Tony)
  • Mexican blankets
  • Saints candles
  • Mexican CDs
  • Classic rock CDs
  • Salsa CDs (Andrea and Kylee)

My stereo is in good shape; I'll move it just outside the back doors, which lead from the living room to the backyard. That way, my guests can hear the music in the house and in the yard. I'll keep the remote in my pocket, just in case someone puts something really heinous on the CD player. I'm all set!

Don't force your guests to listen to lame music! If you can't afford to purchase music for your party and you don't have what you need in your CD library, ask your friends to loan you a few discs, check out music resale stores, or visit the library. Your music will create constant atmosphere throughout your party, so make sure you have music your guests will love.



More on: Pop Culture

|

Reproduced from Plan a Fabulous Party In No Time, by Tamar Love, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing.

Buy on Amazon.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Surprising Sources of Caffeine in Kids' Foods
Even low doses of caffeine can have an effect on your child's health. Since the FDA doesn't require caffeine content on food labels, learn about hidden sources of caffeine in kids' diets.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!