Another way of celebrating a child's birthday is to take a group of friends for a day out - to the Tower of London, a theme park, a theatre matinee…
- This is another option that ensures that the children are kept away from your home - no risk of disturbing your domestic tranquillity.
- It's a good excuse to restrict numbers. Outings are normally quite expensive (transport, entry fees, refreshments) so you can argue that numbers should be kept down.
- Shepherding a group of children around for a day can be a bit of a headache. You'll need to be organised about timings, transportation, refreshment breaks. It's probably a good idea to enlist the help of friends, to ensure that there is a ratio of two children to one adult.
- Children who are out and about will plague you for drinks, refreshments, souvenirs. Lay down some ground rules at the outset. Perhaps give each child a small amount of money to spend in the shop (this could replace the party bag). Bring your own soft drinks and snacks.
- Hungry children will get very fractious. To avoid unpleasant scenes, do your research in advance. Go online and find a suitable restaurant and book a table - you may even be able to negotiate a group discount. Then when the kids begin to complain you can reassure them that they will be fed shortly.