Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Andre's Incredible 2nd Bday: Party on a Budget

We successfully celebrated Andre’s 2nd birthday last year through an Incredible’s Party at Mcdo. It IS possible to put together a unique, enjoyable party at fast food chains such as KFC, Jollibee and Mcdo. All that is needed is imagination and careful deconstruction of the standard party package.

Important Items to Consider:

1. Venue. Assess the various locations available for accessibility and privacy. As much as possible, get a venue which only has one function room. I’ve attended children’s parties where the noise from one party cuts across to disturb the party next door. We chose the McDo branch at the Fort because the entire 2nd floor was made exclusive to us. It was located in what was then a quiet neighborhood with ample parking across the street.

2. Time.
The parties usually last for an hour and a half. I suggest that you get either the first (1030) or last (530) time slot. It will also help ensure your guests are in the right frame of mind (most young kids have afternoon naps). We chose the first slot because it gave us ample time to prepare plus we could reasonably expect all our guests to be in time for lunch. =)

3. Décor.
Hassle free. Most restaurants with party packages will provide invites, balloons, backdrops, posters etc. What we just did to ensure consistency with the theme was request that the balloons be either red or yellow.

4. Party Host and Games.
The party host sets the mood for the guests. We sneaked a peek at one of the parties being hosted by the person who would be assigned to Andre. Mahirap na kung hindi namin siya ma-dig (read: no osto-osto please!). We also asked for a list of the standard party games, picked the ones we liked the best and added a few of our own. While it is ok to be creative, remember that there are some “oldies but goodies” such as the longest “Happy Birthday” game to which most kids look forward.

5. Prizes and Lootbags.
Mcdo had a nice range of prizes available. We just asked that they make sure that loot inside the bags were relatively consistent with the theme. We also bought additional prizes from SM (although I think you can get a lot also at reliable Divi).



6. Food.
Have you been to parties where you didn’t like the food being served? Because our guests had diverse dietary requirements, we tried to give them a wide range of choices. We analyzed the various food packages available along with inclusions (cake, pabitin etc) and realized that it would be cheaper for us to order individual value meals. Since we were expecting roughly 70-80 guests, we guaranteed a set number of Quarter Pounder (10), Fish Fillet (5), McChicken (10), Chicken Nuggets (10), and Chicken w/ Spaghetti Meals (15) -- with the understanding that we could order extra meals with people wanted more. We then made little meal flags which people would pick as they entered and display at their tables. The flags were numbered so the crew would know exactly how many orders of McChicken to cook. All the kids were given Chicken w/Spaghetti Meals and OJ. Everyone had fries and ice cream. It was bit complicated and our angels were kept busy cutting and pasting but the end result was worth it. Everyone, including our male cousins with bottomless stomachs were happy.




7. Mascot.
Siyempre, since this was an Incredibles party held at Mcdo, who else could our mascot be except the Hamburgler. =)

8. Cake.
For some strange reason, the staff at the Fort told us that Goldilocks (official cake supplier) did not have Incredibles themed cakes. Impossible! I asked our tried and tested suki Art Cakes but unfortunately, they did not have the license from Disney. Kink Cakes was too expensive. Finally, in quiet desperation the day before the party, I called the Goldilocks commissary located at Pasong Tamo. Jackpot. Not only did they have the Incredibles line of cakes, our cake could be ready by 7am. Not bad for P800. Morale of the story: Information on hand at the various fast food outlets may be dated.

9. Photographer.
One learning from Andre’s baptism. Hire a photographer to take pictures on the day. It doesn’t have to be expensive, any enthusiast will do. Just make sure that the day’s activities are recorded for posterity. We hired John Aguas and were very happy with the pics we received.

Well, that’s about all folks. Party on a budget and create memories of a happy family gathering. =)

1 comment:

Chompy said...

Hi!

We're planning a surprise birthday party for one of our friends, who's *ahem* may not be young, but still is a kid at heart. :D

As with most people, budget is a very important factor for us, and reading your entry gave me a lot of ideas (thanks lots!). But could you share with us a quotation for how much a McDo party package costs? I tried their site, but it wasn't there, and I haven't been able to drop by any of their stores because of work.

Hope you could help! Can you please email me at chompy @ i.ph (w/o the spaces).

Thank you very much!!