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It seems very weird to start planning an Autumn celebration in the middle of a heatwave, but Arlo’s October birthday has a habit of creeping up very quickly after the summer ends.

This year, he is having a ‘big’ party. We haven’t done the hire-a-hall thing before, so we thought we’d give that a whirl (even if it’s just so that we can be resolute in our opinion to NEVER do it again).

It’s his final year at preschool, he’s very settled there and he knows everyone, so it’s the perfect time to invite all of his class along. Next year, when he is in the first few weeks of big school and probably still learning names and faces and everything is new, we know it will be more enjoyable for Arlo (and for us!) to do a more low-key celebration, perhaps a family day out instead.

The invites

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Designed by me, printed at Printed.com

The theme

This was an easy one. It had to be dinosaurs – Arlo’s favourite thing. I don’t yet know how much or how little the party will actually be themed (don’t hold me to it!) – I’m not sure how much little ones really notice themed food at that age, and it is extremely hard to theme a party properly without dedicating a lot of time and/or money (at least, by Pinterest or parent blogger standards, anyway). This one will depend on how much spare time I find myself with in the weeks leading up to the party.

The venue

A huge church hall. Space was the key here, as the top three things Arlo has asked for are plenty of ride on toys and happy hopperz so that they can have races, and a bouncy castle with a slide.

happy hopperz

The entertainment

See above. We are keeping it pretty simple, and concentrating on the things that Arlo loves most. I’m currently worrying that it won’t be quite enough for 30 or so children, but then again, I’m pretty sure most three and four year olds just enjoy having a big space to run around in. Children tend to flock to Sam where ever we are. He’s like a fun magnet, kids attach themselves to him after deciding they want to do what he’s doing. And so I am pretty confident in his ability to be able to lead a large group of preschoolers on a dinosaur hunt and maybe a few other games.

Food and Drink

When checking the alcohol policy, I was sold on the venue when they didn’t miss a beat in responding, “Absolutely. We encourage it!!” Children’s party food is all very standard and they are easily pleased. But for the adults, it’s a big plus point to be able to have the option (should they choose to) of something sparkling to help soften the cacophony of a echoey hall of hyper children. So, on behalf of the parents, thank you, Waitrose, for treating us to a supply of your Prosecco range in celebration of Arlo’s big day.

waitrose prosecco

Now all that’s left to do is to resist the temptation to get sucked into the Pinterest vortex over the next few weeks before this whole thing spirals into a party-planning beast that I have neither the time or the patience to pull off…. Wish me luck!

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The drinks for the grown-up guests at Arlo’s party have been kindly supplied by Waitrose, who wanted us to tell them how we best like to celebrate with a glass or two of Prosecco. 

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