From catering, to venue to guest list, we share 5 tips and useful contacts for planning a fuss-free, fantastic tween party.
So, the inevitable happened. Our ‘baby girl’ turned one year older and no longer counts getting balloon sculptors and magicians as essentials for her party. In fact, as a tween, she now has more opinions on how she wants to celebrate her birthday. Be it party venue, party theme to choice of food, and guests list etc., we see party planning as a yearly platform to hone her decision-making skills. As parents, it’s bittersweet but since it’s her party, we try to accommodate.
Here’s how we pulled off a fuss-free, fantastic party that was perfect to engage her bubbly friends while making sure it’s still a meaningful one. Here are 5 planning tips:
1. Choice of Guests – Let them plan their Guest List
2. Choice of Activities – Let them decide on the Programme
3. Choice of Food – No Buffet? No Problem!
4.Choice of Words – Let them say Thank You
5. Choice of Gifts – Let them Pay it Forward
- Choice of Guests – Let them plan their Guest List . Birthday guests lists are a great way to know our children’s friends. So, gone are the days when we would plan the guest list based on which parent friends we know. We let the birthday girl draft her own guest list (but cap it at a reasonable number) as a way to acknowledge those friends who have made a difference to her. After all, learning to choose our friends wisely is a good life skill to develop, esp. as a tween.
- Choice of Activities – Let them decide on the Programme . All children are active, tweens included. The difference with tween-agers is that they are very opinionated and will tell you they are bored if the party programme is too childish or long-drawn.
This is why we decided to grant the daughter’s wish to hold her 11th birthday party at TimeZone. With a smorgasbord of arcade games ranging from Bumper cars (Yes, there’s a bumper car rink INSIDE the Vivocity flagship store!) to arcade bowling; from VR games to traditional ball games; the evergreen Daytona car race to popular electronic games like Halo, it’s all here at TimeZone Vivocity.
The TimeZone Party Package comes with a 3-hours complimentary use of their sunlit party room at Vivocity (large enough to seat 20-30 pax comfortably) plus 3 hours of play. The package also includes a dedicated party host, free balloons in TimeZone colours (Red & Blue), a free birthday gift for the birthday child and pre-packed party door gifts for guests. I think this must be one of the most comprehensive, and value-for-money party package there is for tweens, and at such a centralised locale!
Party guests are each given a TimeZone Store-valued Card (in a red lanyard) to play within the time duration of the party (note: Guests can play unlimited Yellow Reader Games and 5 Attractions Rainbow Reader Games) . You accumulate tickets earned from the games, load the value into your TimeZone card which you can then use to exchange for items at the arcade’s gift store.
In fact, what is amazing is that parents (and siblings!) can also join in to play the games with the stored-value card. There is such a great variety of games to keep guests of all ages happy. Needless to say, our 4 year-old son, Buddy had a ball of a time at his sister’s party too. I too joined in to play one round of Bumper Car (my first!). It was truly a family-friendly party. I was having fun as the host. Awesome!
- Choice of Food – No Buffet? No Problem! While buffets seem to be the de-facto catering option for most celebrations, we decided to break away from convention. A 3-hour tween party with kids dashing in and out of party room in between games may not be the best setting for a buffet. In fact, it may not be good for the kids to eat too full while playing these adrenaline-inducing arcade games. The tween crowd may also prefer more novel food options.
Enter Saybons. Saybons is Singapore’s first French casual dining food boutique chain serving a delectable spread of signature Soups, Crepes, Risottos and Salads.). With many outlets across Singapore (at Plaza Singapura, Junction 8, KK Hospital, Downtown OUE Gallery), Saybons is no stranger to foodies. But what you may not know is that Saybons also provide catering in Singapore, for private or corporate events!
We especially love their handmade French-inspired crepes that are tasty, filling yet so novel that we guarantee all your guests would love it. Ours were full of praise for the LIVE Crepes Station (so deliciously yummy! so unique!) that they kept returning for seconds! Many of the Mommies and Daddies who joined us for the reception only had praises for Saybons.
The LIVE cooking station comes with a chef who serves up our choices of sweet or savoury crepes on the spot! We catered piping hot mushroom soup (seriously good!) as well as ice-cold lemonade to complement the crepes. Setup for the LIVE station was relatively simple and it didn’t occupy too much space. The cooking was quiet and did not cause any smoke or oily residue. In fact, the aroma of the delicious crepes, added to the whole party atmosphere! Besides the LIVE Crepes Station, you can also supplement it with party platters, LIVE Pasta Station, LIVE Paella Station and International Buffet Catering, all from Saybons!
With the recent spate of mass food poisoning cases, LIVE cooking can minimise food safety lapse that occur when food is left in chafing dish buffets before consumption. It also minimises food wastage. Having a LIVE station with a chef adds to the interactive feel of the party, encouraging conversations as our guests mingle and wait for their crepes.
We think Saybons’ menu appeal to tweens (and guests) who are not into carbs heavy food (like sandwich, bee hoon, fried rice etc). Their crepes are made with fresh milk, flour and fresh eggs so they are healthier than the usual party fare (such as nuggets and pizzas). Overall, we are very impressed with Saybons’ service and food quality and will certainly engage them again for future family celebrations.
- Choice of Words – Let them say Thank You. Our kids are blessed to be able to hold birthday parties (a luxury we never had growing up). We started a ‘birthday practice’ since our daughter was 5 years old. That is, she has to thank all her friends personally with Thank You Notes and Thank You Speech. This is a family tradition that we have not broken since. The notes are handwritten and pasted on each birthday favor. The speech is short, but heartfelt and delivered before the cake cutting. The birthday girl represents us, her parents, to express our sincere thanks to all guests for taking time to celebrate this milestone with our family.
- Choice of Gifts – Let them Pay it Forward. With the daughter entering tweenage-hood, we want to be more intentional about character-building. For the 2nd year now, with her willing consent, we have requested that our guests make a small monetary donation to a chosen charity of our choice in lieu of buying birthday gifts. We are so thankful all our guests have been very supportive and happy to do so. We hope this will go a long way in teaching our daughter to pay it forward the blessings God has bestowed in her life and to always remember to help the needy.
Birthday parties are great ways to celebrate the birth and coming of age of our children. While we undoubtedly want it to be a fun and happy occasion, we can extend it as a platform to instil gratitude and maturity.
Useful Party Contacts
Venue: TimeZone Vivocity
TimeZone Birthday Party Package
Only available at Timezone Vivocity
S$640 for 10 Pax includes:
– 1 Birthday Present for the Birthday Kid or Teen
– 3 Hours in a private party room
– 3 Hours of Play
– 1 Fun-Champion Party Host
– Online Invitation cards
Each Invited Kid or Teen will enjoy:
– Unlimited Yellow Reader Games
– Any 32 Games
– 5 Attractions (Rainbow card reader games)
– 1 Goodie Bag
– Balloons and candies
Download Birthday Party Flyer here.
PaPasta Live Station
Singapore’s favourite carbs given an upgrade. Bring your guests a taste of Italy!
9 delightful French Asian inspired dishes for your event !
Be spoilt for choice when you pick from our range of food platters to curate your own hosting menu! Add these food platters to a Saybons live crepe station for a unique party catering!
Birthday Invite: Etsy
Balloons and Decor: Balloon Blasters
Unicorn Cake and Cupcakes: Yume Patisserie
Unicorn Tee: The Elly Store
Dessert Table: Gluten-free snacks from Marks & Spencer
SPECIAL EASTER GIVEAWAY:
Thanks to our caterer Saybons, we are giving away a Saybons Family Hamper Set (worth S$50) to 2 loyal readers so you can try their premium soups, cooked from scratch, without preservatives. Each Family Hamper include Saybons 510ml Soups, Serving Tray and a Cooler Bag. To win, simply click on the Rafflecopter widget below and complete the steps:
This giveaway ends 4 May 2019. Winners will have to self-collect the hamper from Saybons designated outlets at Plaza Singapura, Bishan and OUE Downtown Gallery. All entries will be verified to have fulfilled all mandatory conditions and winners will have 24 hours to reply with contact details, failing which a new winner will be drawn. Facebook accounts with very little authentic human interactions will be disqualified. All the best.