Magical Party Requirements
Recipe for a great family show: food/drinks/snacks away until the break, balloons and toys away, make space for my show, the floor for children to sit and chairs for the adults behind them.
More Party Tips
Coughlan’s Bakery – excellent for birthday cakes.
They have branches across East Surrey and South London. The majority of their cakes are collected in store but they can arrange delivery if needed.
Tel.: 020 8684 2304 Email: email@example.com
If you buy something like a sparkling candle for the birthday cake, I recommend that you buy two as sometimes they do not light properly. Traditional candles are better as they are good fun for the birthday child to blow out and it always gets a big cheer.
Pizza is the easiest food to serve and deal with. You can serve it to the children and the parents. Check for allergies/diets with parents. Avoid popcorn. It gets all over the floor and everyone’s shoes.
If you want cold drinks for your guests such as beers and wine, be aware that some venues do not have fridges and you might want to bring a bucket of ice. Put children’s names on water/juice bottles with name stickers.
Balloons look great on the walls (stick them at head height so children don’t pull them down). Put balloons on the front door/gate to welcome guests. If the venue entrance is not so easy to find, put a few balloons up to direct guests where to enter.
Blow balloons up to a round shape. If they look like a lightbulb you have blown them too much and they will pop very easily (sometimes randomly during the party or sometimes in a poor child’s face!). BANG! Tell the dads this as they normally get given this job.
Party Invitations: Vistaprint are great. Cheaper the earlier you order them.
Honeycomb Decorations like these look really stylish and are an easy alternative to balloons on the walls and can be used at parties again and again.
Balloon letters i.e. “happy birthday” with individual balloons for each letter. DON’T DO IT! They take at least an hour to blow up and often one of the letters pops or goes flat quickly after all that work putting them up.
Balloon arches I recommend hiring a professional for such a job or they can look messy and take ages to make! If you do attempt something like a balloon arch, give yourself plenty of time to get to the venue. I would recommend at least 90 minutes to do that.
If you have big helium balloons on a string with a weight, don’t let the children play with them, as quickly they will break it off the weight and the balloon will be on the ceiling. Happens every time!
Some people put helium balloons tied to all the chairs. If you do this and a child unties one, please stop them as every other child will follow and suddenly balloons will be flying everywhere. Happens every time! Have a full bottle of helium. I’ve often seen dad’s having to drive off to find a party shop selling helium 20 minutes before the party kick-off time.
If you have balloons on the walls or elsewhere, it’s best give them to children to take home at the end so you won’t have a car full of them driving home. If you do want to pop them, bring a pin and burst them at the knot end so it’s not so loud. Do not stamp on the balloons as it will give me and everyone else there a headache.
If you have not booked a venue yet; small/ medium halls or venues that do not have high ceilings are best for children’s parties. Find a venue/tips on venues here:
Large halls/venues are much noisier and are harder to decorate with bunting, honeycomb decorations, balloons etc.
No cushions or chairs are required for children (and will block the space for games/dancing) but if you do have play mats or large rugs for the children to sit on during the show, they are good. If not, no worries as children are very happy to sit on the floor.
For a two-hour party, please serve food halfway at e.g. 3-5pm party: food at 4:00 pm. When you see me start the dancing part, you will know that there is five minutes until the food break.
Bringing out the birthday cake and singing happy birthday in the food break around 15 minutes into it. I have a lovely happy birthday song/music. Let me know one-minute before you are bringing it out. Place the cake away from the performance area. The cake is best not served to eat in the food break as this will cut short the show. Best to cut it to serve at the end of the party or to take home in the party bags. Sit the birthday child near to the area you are bringing the cake from so you don’t have many steps to walk with it. Make a space on the table in front of the birthday child to put the cake out i.e. move away plates, etc. Somebody stay with him/her so they don’t run off while you get the cake! Be careful not to leave the knife out on the children’s table.
I do not entertain the children while they eat as it is an impossible feat. It is much better that I keep the show going when I have their full attention.
Toddlers often enjoy the entertainment but they should not be allowed to repeatedly wander into the performance area for health and safety and because it will disrupt the show.
“Let’s bring toys for the toddlers to play with!”
This is not a good idea as some older children will want to play with those things and I will lose their attention which is the secret to entertaining children.
Toys/colouring books/ball pits/swords/noisemakers/fidget spinners/tablets and other distractions should be put away. Other music/TVs should be turned off.
I don’t recommend giving noisemaking toys in the party bags as they will drive the parents crackers at the end of the party and on the way home.
Surprise! Some people make Ritchie’s Magic Show a surprise for the birthday child. That is fine. But the opposite is better. If you show the birthday child and siblings my photos and videos they will be familiar with me and happier to see me and less shy. The other children will also be less shy when they know me so feel free to share my video in parents Whatsapp groups and on social media.
Winter: Be careful of cranking the heating up high when you arrive and the hall is empty. When everyone arrives and is running around, it will become like an oven.
Costumes with masks and capes if given out to wear at the party, will mostly end up on the floor five minutes later.
Piñata is fun but it can be a little chaotic and create a lot of mess. It’s also quite slow and does not engage all the children as it is mostly them waiting for their turn. If you do have Piñata, keep the queue of children well behind the person swinging the stick.
Some tables in venues are quite grubby and are best to be covered.
Consider bringing table cloths or cover paper such as this one:
If you are having a team to come in to decorate, make sure that they know about the lay out of the show to allow adequate space.
- Birthday Cake
- Birthday Cake Candles
- Matches and Lighter (check it works). Best bring both just in case.
- Bluetack (some venues do not allow tape on the walls)
- Table cloths/paper (if needed).
- Knife for cake (keep it well out of reach of little ones)
- Banners if you have them.
- Coffee/tea bags
- Soya Milk
- Wine glasses
- Tea Cups
- Pin to pop balloons at the end if necessary.
- Helium canister if required
- Plates/cups/cutlery if required
- Bottle opener
- The birthday child 😉
I bring some of the smaller items like a lighter in case you forget too, so ask me on the day if you forgot something.
One of my awesome clients Lisa Looker has an awesome party supply business here:
She created a discount for anyone that I recommend her to, if they use the code RITCHIE, they will get 10% off all party decorations.
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