Christmas Party Planning Checklist
Organizing a great Christmas party can be a headache. Use this basic check list to help you plan your event:
- Pick a date.
- Estimate how many children and adults will be coming
- Choose a venue.
- When will the party start and finish?
- Decide what entertainment you will have.
- Room decoration.
- Consider food and refreshment.
- Book Santa Claus
- Sort out presents for the kids.
Choosing a date for your Christmas Party
There are only two or three weekends in December and as the dates are usually in big demand it is a very good idea to book early unless you are holding the party on your own premises. The most popular Saturday and Sunday will always be on the middle weekend so avoid these if possible. Consider a Friday evening or mid week as an option if you can.
Estimate numbers attending
You will need to get an idea of numbers of adults and children attending and the ages of the children. It is a good idea to send out booking forms in advance to find out who intends to come. If you are spending a lot of money on the party you need to have some commitment from people that they will be there.
Knowing the ages of the children also helps when booking entertainment and food.
Choosing a venue
Here are some points to consider when looking at venues:
- Location. Is it easy to get to.
- Parking. Does it have a car park or FREE public parking close by?
- Access. Is it easy to get in and out of?
- Ground floor? Booking an upstairs room can be a real problem for discos, bands and entertainers with lots of equipment.
- Space. Is it big enough?
- Seating. Are there enough seats for the adults? Does it have any tables?
- Changing area? Is there a changing room for acts and Santa?
- Performance area. Where will the entertainment take place ie stage, dance floor?
- Does it have a kitchen or a bar?
When will the party start and finish? Consider these points:
- Allow time for everyone to arrive.
- How long will the entertainment last?
- How long will it take to feed everyone?
- How long will it take Santa to give out the presents?
- Will there be any more entertainment after Santa has gone? If so for how long?
Are you going to entertain the children yourself or will you book in a professional children’s entertainer?
Entertaining children is very demanding. If you are a teacher or have a lot of experience in working with kids and have other reliable adults to help then you could do it yourself.
If not then you will need to hire in professionals who know what they are doing and are self contained with everything required to do a really good job.
Look for entertainers who can offer a selection of entertainment to appeal to a broad age range.
Most venues will have Christmas decorations already but you may want to add to this. Balloon decorating is a great way to
create atmosphere. A few eye catching displays can transform the party room. If you do need to put in some Christmas decorations then build this into the budget and allow time for setting up. If you are employing a supplier to do the decorating find out how long they need and arrange access for them accordingly.
Food and refreshment
At the very least you will need to provide tea and coffee for the adults and soft drinks for the children. It is a nice idea to put food on if you can. Children don’t need a lot of food and sandwiches, sausages on sticks, crisps, biscuits and cakes are all that are needed. Keep it simple. For the adults a finger buffet will also suffice. Don’t arrange too much food as it may be wasted.
If your party is mid afternoon people may have eaten before they come. They may also be planning a meal at home afterwards so take this into consideration.
No children’s Christmas party would be complete without Father Christmas. You will need to sort out a willing volunteer to take on the job and a costume. Alternatively book in a Santa or ask your entertainer if they provide Santa as part of their package.
At some Christmas parties the adults provide presents for their own children in advance. At others they pay for the presents and the organizers buy the gift for them.
Sometimes all of the children receive the same present or presents can be sorted into boys or girls and then by age range.
The presents will need to be wrapped and put in a sack for Santa to carry. Alternatively place then next to Santa’s chair so they are handy when he makes his big entrance.