Parties in Cornwall
A birthday is a momentous time in a child’s year.
After all it’s the day when they are likely to be showered with gifts, attention, cards and a pile of treats.
Unlike Christmas, a birthday is unique to them, when they become centre-stage, which depending on your child’s nature, may overwhelm them or they may absorb all the attention with glee.
Nevertheless, we all want to make our children feel special on their big day, and this heightens the importance of the birthday party.
As a result, many parents adopt a multi-faceted role where they become party planner, supreme cook, lively entertainer, room decorator, present giver and childcare supervisor. That’s quite a list, which, unsurprisingly, can seem a little daunting.
Yet, there are many alternative options that will help to lighten the load.
Outside caterers can be used, charismatic children’s entertainers can engage a room full of children for a couple of hours, and party bags can be supplied by an outside provider.
Local attractions also offer party packages and take care of all the arrangements making it an appealing option for many time-constrained families.
Currently, there are strong trends in pamper and makeover parties; Nerf, Laser Quest and science parties; and action related parties such as trampolining, go karting, outdoor pursuits, dancing, climbing – even assault courses.
Yet, parties are as individual as each child, so to assist you in the decision-making process, we’ve included a mass of ideas and tips on this party page.
Remember to keep returning to this page for when it’s your turn to arrange a party…
Party Check List
Sending invitations - Don’t leave it to the last minute to issue invitations. Send out invites approximately three weeks before the date of your party. The invite should contain all the information the guest’s parents need to know.
A Piñata - A relatively recent addition to the party circuit but these days no party is complete without one. The Piñata is a papier mache shape (often a donkey as they originate in Mexico) containing sweets.
The Piñata is hung up and the children take turns at bashing it while blindfolded. It’s a lot of fun, but be warned, stand back once it splits and the sweets come out. Piñatas are available from many supermarkets. You can also order them online.
Entertainment - If you hire someone, be sure to call them a day or two before the event to confirm they are coming.
Party Bags - The contents of an individual party bag may seem relatively cheap at first but by the time you multiply it by a classroom of children, the sum quickly adds up.
Finding an affordable alternative suddenly becomes a desirable option. Sweet tables, where jars of confectionary are lined up, similar to a candy cart, enable the children to fill their party bag with a small treat before returning home.
Alternatively, sweet cones are a popular option. These are cheap and easy to make, and look like a piping bag filled with sweets.
Sorting Food - Keep it simple and non-fussy. Just make sure there’s plenty of crisps and enough birthday cake for everyone. Provide your guests with plenty of water, you can get individual small water bottles from supermarkets for little expense.
Making a keepsake of the occasion
Make the party extra memorable for your child by making a keepsake that can be etched with the names of the party guests. Get a Teddy Bear, a canvas, or a group photo signed by the children attending the party. In years to come this will be a cherished gift and remind your son or daughter of their childhood friends.
Five Pound Gift Ideas
Does it seem like your child is attending a different birthday party each week? Needing suggestions for generic party gifts that won’t break the bank? If you are super-savvy you will have already stocked up on a number of general items in the Sales, if not, here are some ideas for a fiver:
- Colouring-in sets and basic craft kits
- Travel and Pocket games
- Top Trumps
- Books, jotters or notepads
- Pamper packages filled with hair bands, bobbles and snazzy hairclips
- Nail art kits
- Superhero action figures
Quick and Easy Chocolate Hedgehog Cake
- Buy or bake a round sponge cake.
- Divide the cake into three parts, the middle should be slightly bigger than the two sides, which should be the same size as each other.
- Cut a V-shape at the end of the middle piece of cake (this is the hedgehog’s nose). Discard the two smaller pieces. Or eat them.
- Cover the middle piece of cake with thick chocolate icing.
- Place the two remaining pieces of cake on top of the iced piece, round side up, for the Hedgehog’s hump.
- Liberally cover the entire sponge with thick chocolate icing.
- Use chocolate buttons or flakes for the Hedgehog’s spines.
- The Hedgehog’s eyes and nose can be made using Smarties or similar.
Don’t forget the candles for the cake. They are often overlooked with all the other preparations.
Needing party inspiration?
Search for the Primary Times Pinterest pages for quick and easy inspiration. Find everything from face painting designs to quick party hairstyles for the restless child.
Here are some details about party providers and entertainers close to you:
Tel: 01726 815553
Kidzworld, the award-winning children’s play centre, offer amazing value birthday parties. Children of all ages can enjoy the indoor and outdoor play including slides, ball pools, mini golf, dodgems and, for the more adventurous, the exciting Skytrail.
For older children, there are laser tag parties, where the party children get exclusive use of the indoor play area which they use as the battle arena, using completely safe laser guns to outwit and defeat each other. Tasty party food is served in one of four themed party rooms namely, the Disco Room, Avengers Room, Dolphin Room and Fantasy Land Room.
There is a choice of hot and cold food options and the unlimited squash is a welcome treat for all thirsty party goers. All parties include a choice of present for the party child and a take home party bag for every child!
Tel: 01637 882400
Jump, splash, bounce, climb and slide at Retallack Resort’s huge 'total wipeout' style floating inflatable Aqua Park, which will be four times bigger for 2017! Take on the challenge of the giant trampoline, catapult, water wheel, 'stepping stones', climbing wall, slides, blast bags, balance beams and lots more.
Race your friends around the course, watch them wipeout, try and beat the obstacles and hurl yourself into the water – it’s more fun than you could dream of! It’s a really cool place in Cornwall for a party, with packages from £13pp including an hour’s session, wetsuit, food and drink.
The Party People
Tel: 01208 851733
The Party People are award winning local entertainers ‘Timbo’ and Dianne, who are dedicated to providing first class children’s entertainment throughout Cornwall and Devon. They offer a 2-hour package which makes for a stress-free party with entertainment taking place from start to finish.
They offer magic shows tailored to the age range of the party group which evoke a real pantomime atmosphere. Also provided is a mini disco, a party game involving all of the children all of the time, tattoo painting, balloon modelling and party dance fun with the ‘Funny Bunny’. There are no limitations to the maximum number of children invited.
Tel: 01736 850209
Now that school is back, Country Skittles is a great place to have some fun and enjoy great food at the weekends - or any other time! Country Skittles is also a great fun choice for your child’s birthday party.
There is an excellent birthday package available in the afternoons suitable for younger children, which offers amazing value at only £10.50 per head, with no minimum number of party guests required. The package includes bowling, a main course, ice-cream, a soft drink, and a go on the mini crazy golf as well as balloons and banners around the party child’s table.
Tel: 01822 833409
Rope adventures and zip wires at Tree Surfers make for a truly memorable birthday party for children aged 4 years and upwards. To spice things up a little, the party guests can add archery or Leap of Faith as an extra. Tree Surfers can take care of food too – just ask!
A two-hour adventure always puts smiles on faces and costs from just £24 per child. Exclusive use bookings for party groups are also available. The lovely staff at Tree Surfers will keep everyone safe and excited, but minimum heights and group sizes apply.
Mark’s Ark Wildlife Encounters
Tel: 01736 333293 or 07761 810900
Party time at Mark's Ark is sure to enthrall the children! Mark takes his unique wildlife experience to parties, bringing the world of nature into your home or a venue of your choice. The show has an educational bias - it's interactive, fun, fact-filled, hands-on and second-to-none.
Where else can you get close-up and personal with beautiful owls, crazy bugs and fantastic reptiles? Mark's Ark offers children his passion, knowledge and hopes to inspire the naturalists of the future. Reasonably priced and fully insured – call for a no-obligation quotation.
Tel: 07775 446254
Molly Music offers fun Music and Movement classes for 0-5 year olds in Bodmin, St Austell and Truro. Sessions are split into three age groups - Babies, Toddlers and Tots - and incorporate musical instruments, action songs, puppets, colourful props, parachute play and bubble time experience.
Book a free trial session for your child to sample a fun class. Birthday parties are really special too. Do get in touch with Helen if you would like Molly to star and entertain little people at your child's party.
Kernow Party Karts
Tel: 07794 053996
Kernow Party Karts offer an exciting range of mobile party entertainment for children of all ages with Go-Karts, Laser Tag and a variety of inflatable attractions, and will go to a venue near you in Cornwall.
Its range of Laser Tag arenas suit children aged 7 years+ to adults – so mum and dad can join in too! Be thrilled by Go-Kart racing or try to be the Last One Standing on Wipeout. A range of drop-and-leave party options are available too, which can help to lower the price; this includes an Inflatable Toddler Playzone.
Raze the Roof
Tel: 01326 377481
One of the great perks to a Raze the Roof annual membership is getting 15% off the cost of parties. This works out to be fantastic value as all parties include soft play, a choice of food, unlimited juice, free adult entry, plus a return voucher for the birthday child. Laser fun and a character theme can be added too!
There are three awesome, themed and decorated rooms to choose from or grab a decorated table in the restaurant. A range of packages are available, suitable for children aged from one to twelve years of age.
Tel: 01736 753365
Paradise Park offers a choice of four themed party rooms with the birthday child’s name displayed on the door. Party packages include healthy party food, free printed invitations and all the fun of Paradise Park and unlimited play in the JungleBarn indoor play zone.
Party guests will receive free entry into Paradise Park during normal opening hours. Two supervising adults are admitted free with each party, and there is a discounted price for any other adults attending.
Tel: 01208 850382
Celebrate your birthday in style with Hengar Manor! Each party is designed to ensure maximum fun for a minimum price! Run by skilled instructors, sessions include Waterwalkerz, Body Zorbs, archery, plus many more.
For younger children, there are Pirates Paradise and Robin Hood parties. A swim and party food is included in the price of a party. Prices start from £7 onwards. Email: email@example.com.
Rollers Roller Disco
Tel: 01209 211895
Skate over to Rollers Roller Disco for a party you’ll never forget. It’s an ideal venue for kids’ birthday parties, staff parties, Hen nights, school reunions and charity fundraisers. Children have a thrilling time at the Roller Disco Parties and with 10 party packages available there are plenty of options to suit all ages and budgets.
The Rinkside Cafe and Bar is a wonderful retreat for parents; they can sit back and watch all the fun if they decide not to get their skates on and join in the fun themselves. Party prices start from £6 per person and include skate and safety pad hire. Find Rollers Roller Rink at Unit 14, Pool Industrial Estate in Pool, Redruth, TR15 3RH
Tel: 01626 332241
iBounce is the perfect location for hosting your child’s birthday party - a party with a bouncing difference that’s ideal for 5 to 12 year olds! Your child’s guests will love the experience of dodgeball, trampolining and launching themselves onto a giant Airbag.
With a free T shirt and park revisit for the party host, an iBounce party is a truly memorable event. Find iBounce at Unit 11A Callywith Gate Industrial estate, Launceston Road in Bodmin, PL31 2RQ.
Little Kitchen Magicians
Tel: Lizzie 07968 606580
Little Kitchen Magicians offer unique cooking parties for children aged 2 years+. Mums and dads are able to enjoy watching their child having a great time with their friends, safe in the knowledge that there is no clearing up for them to do at the end.
The party lasts for approximately 2 hours and is takes place either at Heartlands near Redruth or at a venue of your choice. All ingredients, equipment and decorations are included in the price. All parties can be tailored to the party child.
Jules the Children's Entertainer
Tel: 07779 306497
Jules is a professional ventriloquist entertaining audiences all over the country and on TV. The amazing Jules thrills audiences with her characters namely, Oswald the chicken and the ever-popular Monkey.
Jules also provides a disco with lights, a zany, interactive magic show and for the older children, a pop quiz, games, party dances. In fact, the complete entertainment package provides a magical adventure that even the adults will enjoy. But the star of the party will always be the birthday child…
Party Checklist: For parties at home
- Decide on the timings and date of the party
- Decide on how many children you can comfortably accommodate in your house
- Send out the invitations
- Sort out the entertainment if it’s required. Book the entertainer, face painter, bouncy castle
- Plan in the fun factor or create a theme
- Sort out a music playing device
- Select party games for the children to play
- Source decorations, party tableware, balloons and party hats
- Purchase the food and drink
- Get the birthday cake
Party Checklist: For parties at a venue
- Sort out party numbers
- Create a small list of your child’s favourite party venues in preferential order
- Check the availability of the venues and if there are any special deals
- Book a date and time with the venue. Pay the deposit
- Get the name and telephone number of the main party organiser at the venue
- Get the party invitations from the venue and send them out
- Sort out the food with the venue and establish whether a birthday cake is supplied
- Confirm numbers with the venue prior to the day
Party game ideas
Traditional party games always go down a treat. Here’s a list of some of the most classic children’s games:
- Pass the Parcel
- Musical Statues
- Musical Bumps
- Musical Chairs
- Chinese Whispers
- Blind Man’s Donkey
- Animal Charades
- Treasure Hunt
And here are a few new party game ideas –
- The Tray Game
- Dead Ants
- Doughnuts on a String
- Marsh-mallow Bobbing
- Piñata Games
Remember to stock up on prizes to award to the winning children.
Party food ideas
- The birthday cake!
- A choice of sandwiches with simple fillings such as plain ham, cheese and tuna. Mix some salad leaves into some of the sandwiches – if the children don’t like it they can always take out the salad! Think about supplying some healthy options which are visually appealing and tasty.
- Chopped up vegetables such as carrots, mangetout, peppers, cucumber with cream cheese or houmous for dips
- Cheese straws
- Potato wedges
- Pizza slices
- Mini sausages and sausage rolls
- Cheese and pineapple on sticks (or uncooked sticks of spaghetti)
- Crisps and popcorn
- Chopped fruit
- Mini-sponge cakes
- Jelly Boats made from scooped out and quartered oranges. (Halve an orange, scoop out the fruit, fill it with jelly. Once set, cut into quarters)
- Drinks: Either orange and blackcurrant squash, fruit water, fruit juice, milkshakes or plain water
Party bag ideas
- Books or small colouring-in books
- Glitter Tattoos
- Small packs of pencils
- Small bag of sweets
- Finger puppets
- A paper glider
- Decorate your own paper party bag
- Cake Pops
- A piece of birthday cake or a cup cake
Party politics - Invitation RSVP etiquette
For the party hosts
- Hand out the invites in plenty of time, ideally about 3 weeks before the party date.
- Include detailed information on the invitation such as the date, the start and finish times, the venue’s full address and postcode, and the name, email address and number for them to RSVP.
- Include a RSVP date to help you confirm final numbers prior to the day. You may wish to use words to the effect of: ‘As the venue requires final numbers prior to the party we would appreciate confirmation of your child’s attendance by (add RSVP date). If we do not hear from you by this date we will assume that your child is unable to attend’.
- As a second measure, about a week beforehand, you may wish to politely chase up parents who have not as yet RSVP’d.
For the guests
- RSVP as soon as you can, whether your child can make it or not.
- If something happens on the day of the party, and your child can no longer attend, let your hosts know ASAP.
- If you are running late, or need to leave early then let the hosts know in advance.
- If you have not RSVP’d then don’t just turn up uninvited.
Don't Forget Items!
- Candles for the cake
- Candle holders
- Cake knife
- You may wish to include party bags for unexpected additional guests or young siblings
- Printable directions, including the postcode of the party venue