As a full-time professional magician in New York City I get to entertain at all sorts of parties. Some are better than others. Here are a few tips on how you can make your next birthday party more fun.
1. Don't Over Invite. If your child is under the age of six - keep the invite list to under 10 kids. Really. Don't worry about snubbing kids in your child's class. It really, really doesn't matter. Less kids means less crazy.
2. Don't Over Plan. I get so many neurotic mothers calling me over and over on the days leading up to their child's birthday party. I believe the strike on Bin Laden involved less planning than the typical Upper West Side mom stressing out over a simple child's party.
3. It's A Kid's Party. It's not a coronation. It's not a treaty signing. Let it go.
4. Don't Try to Impress. Easy to say. There are a good chunk of New Yorkers who are obsessed with conspicuous consumption. They don't plan to make their child happy - they plan to keep up with their friends.
5. Keep it Short. Two hours is plenty of time for a child's birthday party. Sure, if you're inviting grandma and the cousins who are travelling a good distance you'll want to make it a four hour party ... but that doesn't mean all the kids have to stay for the full four hours.
6. Plan Smart. Hire a great magician. Start the show 30 minutes after the party starts. A good kid's magic show will run about an hour. After the show is over you have another 30 minutes to serve cake and hand out the goody bags. Don't make it complicated.
7. Go with a Pro. Yes, you can hire a part-time party entertainer. But I've heard too many stories from parents who hired a cheap part-timer and were very disappointed.
8. Plan Early. The sooner you start planning the cheaper the party will be. Not to mention less stressful.
One last thing. If you book a magician for your child's party - let them run the show! Don't interrupt the show by serving food. Don't hang behind the magician taking pictures. Kids have limited attention spans.
Book the NYC Magician for your party!