Our warehouse and service center is in Portland Oregon. We serve all of the Portland Metro area- Including Oregon and SW Washington.
West Portland – Northwest Portland
Beaverton, Hillsboro, Rock Creek, West Haven – Sylvan, Northwest Heights, St. Johns, Scappoose, St. Helens, Skyline, North Plains, Banks, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston
South Portland - Southwest Portland
SW Portland, Southwest Hills, Raleigh Hills, Multnomah Village, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Metzger, King City, Durham, Tualatin, Sherwood, Newberg, Yamhill, Carlton, McMinneville, Newberg, Dundee, Dayton, St. Paul, Donald, West Linn, Wilsonville.
Northeast Portland – Southeast Portland
NE Portland, N Portland, Maywood Park, Mt. Scott, Gresham, Fairview, Wood Village, Troutdale, Corbett, Damascus, Happy Valley, Sunnyside, Clackamas, Oregon City, Canby, Sandy, Estacada, Beavercreek, Redland, Spring Water, Mulino, Mollalla, Colton, Mt. Hood, Mt Angel, Woodburn Hubbard, Aurora, Gervais.
We Also Serve:
Bend, Corvallis, Albany, Eastern Oregon, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Medford-Ashland, Oregon Coast, Portland, Roseburg, Salem.
Vancouver, WA - SW Washington
Vancouver, Camas, Mill Plain, Camas, Washougal, Five Corners, Orchards, Battle Ground, Brush Prairie, Ridgefield, Woodland, La Center, Kelso, Longview, Amboy, Kalama, Castle Rock, Centralia, Chehalis, Napavine, Mossyrock, North Bonneville, Stevenson, Goldendale.
Salem – Kiezer – Albany
Four Corners, Brooks, Hayesville, Amity, Willamina, Grand Ronde, Monmouth, Independence, Silverton, Stayton, Turner, Jefferson, Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Brownsville, Sweet Home.
Bend – Redmond
Prineville, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Warm Springs
Eugene – Springfield – Ashland – Medford – Klamath Falls
Salem – Kiezer – Albany
Central - Eastern Washington
Yakima, Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, Tri-cities, Spokane, Ellensburg, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, Spokane, Spokane Valley, and more.
Post Falls, Coeurd'Alene, Sandpoint, Lewiston, Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Twin Falls
Every year kids turns a year older, which means another birthday and another birthday party. It is easy to spend a lot of money on parties: inviting all of your kid’s friends, renting a venue, buying a cake, hiring entertainers, getting play equipment, and piling on the presents. Unfortunately, while we can dream about holding a huge birthday bash for our children, the reality is that most parents are on a budget, and as much fun as that big birthday party sounds, the mortgage or rent has to come first.
It is possible to hold a great birthday party without spending a lot of money. To do so, you need to figure out what your budget is, decide what is most important and prioritize. Find ways to cut costs without cutting the fun out of the party.
First consider the guest list. As tempting as it is to just invite everyone your child knows, who is most important to the kid? See if you can narrow the guest list to a handful of your child’s best friends. Will the kids bring their parents and families? Younger kids probably should bring their parents (you’ll appreciate the help), but older kids may not. If you are paying a set cost for each attendee at a venue and an uninvited sibling or other family member of a guest wishes to intend, you can ask that they pay their own admission. If any adults are attending with their children, recruit them to help with the party.
You may or may not decide to invite your child’s extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) as well. If the party is aimed at kids and you are trying shorten the guest list, you can always have them over for cake another time. On the other hand, they will probably appreciate the invitation, and they may provide valuable help.
Pick an affordable venue for your party. Lots of birthday parties are held at the family home. The nice thing about having a party at your house is that there is no venue rental fee, no firm timeline, and set up can be simpler since you don’t have to transport things. The negative is that you are limited to the space you have, you will have to clean before and after the party, and sometimes things get broken in kids parties.
Another option is to have a party at a city park. Parks have lots of space for events, you don’t have to clean your house for the party, and parks have play equipment for kids to entertain themselves on. If the party is small, you can usually just show up and use whatever facilities are available. For larger parties, you will probably want to reserve a picnic shelter or group picnic area. The rental fees at city parks are generally pretty affordable.
The big drawback with having a party outdoors at the park is that you are at the mercy of the weather. Portland has pretty unpredictable weather, so make sure you have plans in case of rain. Getting soaked at a birthday party isn’t much fun unless you are swimming in a pool! Using a picnic shelter or tent is one possible solution. Picnic shelters are often reserved in advance. If your party is during a quiet time midweek, you may not have to bother with reservations, but if your party is during a busy weekend, it would probably be a good idea to rent the shelter. If you plan on putting up a tent at a park, you will need a permit to do so. Some parks also have indoor event facilities available to reserve for parties.
Having a party at your house or at a park means that you will have to do a lot of work setting things up, supervising, and cleaning up after the party. You may decide that it is worth spending the money to have someone else put together the party for you. There are many places that offer birthday party packages including the Portland Children’s Museum, the Oregon Zoo, and Inflatable Kingdom. You will probably spend more money on a party this way, but it will be a lot less work. Often all you have to do is send out the invitations, then bring a cake, presents, and the birthday kid at the designated time.
What food are you planning on serving at the party? One option to keep things inexpensive is to make sure the party is not near mealtime and just serve cake. You can buy a cake at the grocery store for a pretty reasonable price, or consider baking your own cake. Homemade cakes may not be as pretty as the store bought alternative, but they usually taste better, especially when you make them from scratch. Making a cake will save you a bit of money, and if you are not much of a cook, good cake mixes are easy to use. You can buy or make icing (it tastes better and is cheaper if you make it) to decorate the cake. I personally like to use a chocolate ganache which is pretty simple to make: just melt chocolate chips with whipping cream and stir (the only real challenge is getting the consistency right so it is not too runny). If you have a hard time making a cake look nice with just frosting, use sprinkles or other cake decorations to give the cake a little color. I have used Oreos, raspberries and strawberries to hide all sorts of faults in my cakes including sunken centers and mismatched edges. Plus, these decorations taste good too.
If you want to serve other food, besides cake, pick something easy to prepare so you can concentrate on the kids at the party. Pizza and sub sandwiches are popular choices. Get soda or juice in large containers and pore the drinks in cups. Anytime you give little kids cans of soda, you can expect to find lots of half-empty cans at the end of the party. If you are worried about spills, you might want to invest in cups with lids and straws or for little kids, sippy cups may be in order. You can buy multi-packs of semi disposable sippy cups, which would be ideal for parties.
Dollar stores, like Dollar Tree, are wonderful resource for parties. They sell all sorts of party supplies including table clothes, plates, cups, silverware, party favors, balloons, birthday candles, decorations, invitations, wrapping paper, and cards.
Mailed invitations are a nice touch. You can buy blank ones pretty inexpensive and fill them out yourself. If you are really on a tight budget or just don’t have the time, emailed invitations, Facebook invitations, or phone calls may suffice. Just make sure that everyone gets the invitation. Have all the invitees RSVP so you know how much of everything to provide. You want to be sure that you have enough of everything, but no need to spend money on stuff for people who are not coming. If you have not heard back from individuals, contact them before the party and double check whether or not they are coming.
Kids are pretty good at finding ways to entertain each other, but you will want to have some games and entertainment at your party to keep them busy and out of trouble. If you are at the park, the park’s play equipment might be sufficient. If you want to have inflatables at your outdoor party, rent them instead of buying them. Kids can also play games like tag and hide and seek. For indoor parties, you can play a favorite age appropriate movie, do a craft activity, or play party games. Entertainment does not need to be expensive to be fun.
When the party is winding down, get any adults who are attending and kids who are willing to help straighten things up. This way, hopefully, you won’t be left with a mess when all the party guests go home.
Have a great party!
My family is large, but they have always been very close. My grandmother hosts monthly birthday parties for whoever is available to attend along with holiday parties at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Since I moved out of state, I have not been able to join the family for most of the parties, but I do make a point to see as many people as I can whenever I visit. My grandmother is turning ninety this year, so we are going to have a big birthday party for her. While most of the family lives nearby, this is a party that those that live out of state will be traveling in for. After all, people don’t turn ninety every day.
Every family is different. Some are small, some are large. Some live close together, and some live far apart. Some visit regularly, and some only visit on a rare occasion. For small families who live close together, planning a family get-together can be a pretty simple event. The larger the family and the further apart they live, the more complicated it can be.
Perhaps the first thing you need to decide on when planning a reunion is when you are going to have the reunion. The earlier you pick a date, the less likely people will have already conflicts. The more people you are including, the harder it will be to pick a date that everyone is happy with, but if you pick the date early enough, most people should be able to work their schedule around to come. Is the reunion going to last a few hours or a few days? If people are traveling a long ways or don’t visit often, they will probably want the visit to last a while. On the other hand, if everyone is in town and they see each other often, a short party may be sufficient.
After you have determined when you are having your reunion, you need to determine where you are going to have it. If people are coming from all around the globe, the party does not need to be in your home town. Consider finding a central location or a destination where everyone would like to visit. For instance, since I live in Portland and my parents are in Reno, sometimes we visit in Klamath Falls which is about half way between us.
If you are planning on having your reunion in Portland, consider where you are going to hold the party. Is the whole reunion going to take place at the same location or will there be multiple locations? If you are having an outdoor event such as a picnic for your reunion, be sure that you have appropriate shelter, or rent tents to protect guests from the rain.
If guests are traveling for a multi-day reunion, you will probably want to have all the guests stay in the same hotel. Hotel’s often have meeting space available for events and many hotels have restaurants that offer catering services. Restaurants can be a great place to hold events too and the food is sure to be a success if you pick a good restaurant.
How are you planning on keeping the family entertained? Perhaps guests will want to take a tour of the area as part of the reunion and visit attractions like the Oregon Zoo and the Portland Art Museum. Pick activities that allow guests to visit. If there are children involved, don’t forget about them when you are planning. After all, if the kids are entertained, they are less likely to be causing trouble. Bounce houses and other inflatables can be fun options for events.
There are lots of other details that will need to be planned with any event, but hopefully this has started you thinking about how you want to plan your own family reunion. Be sure to contact Events Unlimited with all of your party rental and entertainment needs.
Do you watch game shows on television and shout the answers out to the television? Do you ever wish you were the contestant instead of whoever the show picked for the week?
Why not host your own game show? Game shows make great entertainment for parties and events or set one up as a fund raiser or stand alone function.
So what games can you play? A variety of games are available. Like Family Feud? Try the family friendly “Fabulous Feud”. Are you a fan of Wheel of Fortune? Give “Spin to Win” a spin. Tune in regularly to Jeopardy? Try your luck at “the Challenge”. Like to watch “Who Wants to be Millionaire”? Check out “Take the Deal”.
Don’t see the game you want to play or have an idea for a unique game? Events Unlimited can help you make your idea into a reality, whatever game show you want to play.