Planning a birthday party, mama? Here’s how to make it work, no matter your budget
It’s the event that strikes dread into every mama’s heart (and wallet): The kiddo’s birthday party. They just seem to get more extravagant every year, almost as if there’s a secret competition to see which mama can outdo the other, and Pinterest certainly doesn’t help with its endless stream of picture perfect celebrations. While we can’t be there in person to make sure everything runs smoothly, we’ve brought in some of Singapore’s top kids’ party planners to share their list of great and, most importantly, affordable party venues that will suit every budget and bash.
Our panel of experts includes Alicia from Happier Singapore, Delphine from Little Pixie Box, Aarathi from The Party Elves, Wynona from Red Carousel, and Lavanya, who teaches mamas how to make fab DIY birthday parties.
Well, it had to be said mama. While throwing a party at home is a little bit horrific for post-celebration clean up, it’s as cheap as it’s gonna get and it means you can focus on spending on decorations to jazz the place up. If you want to get super crafty, check out Pinterest for a number of amazing ideas or have a little chat with one of our experts to see what else they can help you with.
Movie Night in your Condo Function Room or Outside
Pinterest is chock full of ideas for this one, but key elements would include popcorn, a red carpet, perhaps a spotlight, and movie ticket-themed invitations. You can even project movies onto the wall using a mini projector with your mobile phone!
East Coast Park
This gorgeous stretch of beach is a great place for a party, with wide open spaces for more active party games, a much needed dose of fresh air and water for the littles to splash about when the notorious Singapore heat kicks in. All you’ll need to take care of is the food and entertainment mama, and if you take a bit of time to yourself for a cheeky tan session, we’ll never tell. Delphine recommends both East Coast Park and Tanjong Beach on Sentosa for a Pirate party. Aarathi points out that while parks are usually free, “If it is going to be more organised than pitching up and putting a blanket down somewhere, parks do require permission to be given ahead of time”.
Tiong Bahru Adventure Playground
Always a favourite with the kiddos (and Sassy Mamas as well), this public space is chock full of jungle gym mania and the carpark nearby doesn’t hurt either. The train-themed structure in the middle of the area is great for your Thomas the Tank-loving fiends, and if they get bored there’s a little maze and merry go round that’ll have them dizzy with excitement. We’d aim for a late afternoon fete if possible, as this playground has minimal shade. As an alternative for Bukit Timah mamas, Delphine suggests Watten Estate Playground.
$100 – 400
With something for kiddos from 6 months of age all the way up to 12 years, T-Play at the amazing 4,200 square feet HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok is one of the most interactive transportation-themed playgrounds in Singapore. Designed entirely in Sweden, highlights include ball pits, trampolines, a variety of slides and all manner of interactive play centres. T-Play also offers a variety of fab birthday party options, starting from just $330, with cute themes like “Choo Choo” and “Vroom Vroom”!
Community Club Facilities
“Neighbourhood community clubs hire out rooms for about $50-$100 per hour, depending on location” says Aarathi. “These are also nice become some have other facilities like kitchens and dance rooms for various themed parties. Just make sure to enquire early, usually 2-3 months in advance”.
Always a hit, Laser Quest makes for an action-packed birthday party for kids ages 8 and up. With special lighting and high-octane music (not to mention a new smoke machine!), Laser Quest’s team competitions like “Last Man Standing” and “Save the King” are perfect team-oriented activities for energetic kiddos. Available at both HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok and HomeTeamNS Tampines, Laser Quest birthday party packages start from $355.
Petting Party at Animal Resort
Lavanya gives two thumbs up to this cute little facility out in Seletar. Kiddos can spot fish and turtles swimming in the ponds, have a gab session with the parrots and cockatoos, feed the resident horse or pet the cuddly bunnies and guinea pigs. Rates start from $150 ($50/hr with a 3-hour minimum), with optional extras like catering and games also available.
Football Party at Premier Pitch Turf City
Sporty tykes can let loose on one of Premier Pitch’s multiple soccer fields (bonus for parents: the seating area is covered). Packages start at just $159 for 60 minutes on the small pitch (off peak), including one carton of isotonic drinks and one carton of water. Coaches are also available to keep kids motivated and playing together.
Pasta-Making Party at Jamie’s Italian
If your munchkin’s a budding chef, Jamie’s Vivocity do pasta making and focaccia making parties (min 8 kids). Its $45 per kid (best for ages 4-12) and you get a 2.5hr session at Jamie’s Italian Restaurant, where kids will learn how to make focaccia bread – that’s hands on mixing, kneading and tasting focaccia plus a demo on pasta making, a go on their pasta churning machine and ending with a little chat about herbs overlooking their herb pots. It also includes a Kid’s meal and fruit infused water, complimentary birthday brownie for birthday kid, and an Activity Kit. Talk about sorted!
We’re the Furballs (WTF) Cafe
Lavanya recommends this dog-lover’s heaven on East Coast Road for smaller parties of kids 10 & up (the age limit is strictly enforced). Kiddos can play with the cute, cuddly resident dogs, and the food is quite reasonably priced (and not bad!). Just note that there’s a maximum ratio of three kids per adult to make sure little ones don’t get into trouble!
$500 – 1000
Wynona from Red Carousel says you can do any variety of gorgeous garden parties at Singapore’s hub for all things floral and botanical. Both indoor and outdoor venues are available, including the tranquil Balinese Garden (starting at $525 off-peak or $695 on weekends), the shaded Exhibition Gallery ($963-$1177), or the sprawling Event Lawn ($535-$669), which can hold up to 900 people!
Kid-friendly eateries like Cafe Melba on the East Coast get a unanimous thumbs up from our experts (everyone loves their giant lawn and inflatable bouncy castle), while other pretty spots around town include Spruce, Marmalade Pantry at the Stables, and Skyve.
Pro tip: these places are best during quiet weekday hours (who’s more free on a Tuesday afternoon than a bunch of preschoolers?); otherwise you’ll have a high minimum spend on the weekends.
$1, 000 and up
All manner of indoor playground parties are available across Singers, but with swanky new 4D party rooms (the first in Singapore!) and a variety of play areas catering to toddlers through pre-teens, this one takes the cake. The “Classic Party Package” for 15 kids starts at $888 including invitations, decorations and event host, but their bread-and-butter theme parties range from $1,109 – $1,509.
The Pavilion at Shangri-La
Originally built as the Hollandse School way back in 1928, this indoor/outdoor facility just opened up in January following a $2million renovation. Nestled amidst 15 acres of lush tropical gardens on the sprawling Shangri-La property, the facility’s got huge windows and glass doors to maximise the gorgeous setting (while still allowing for air conditioned comfort!).
Raffles House at Fort Canning Park
Wynona recently put on a stunning first birthday party at this lovely house atop a hill in Fort Canning Park. With a gorgeous view of the Singapore city skyline, air conditioning, and an outside lawn for frolicking, it ticks all the boxes for an exclusive Singers-style party. Rental rates start at $1,800.
The Singapore Flyer
This one’s an option probably better reserved for tweens and teenagers. The Singapore Flyer has a pretty cool celebration package for up to 28 people that’ll literally have the kiddos soaring with their own private party capsule. It’s not cheap at $1000 per half hour rotation and an additional $500 for food or additional half hours, but it’s a unique one that’s absolutely unforgettable. Check out their site here or ring (+65) 6854 5211 for more details.
So there you go, mamas! This should give you years’ worth of birthday party ideas. Just remember to always book as far in advance as possible, and keep in mind that food, decorations and entertainment should also be budgeted for on top of event space hire. Have fun!
Featured image sourced via Pinterest; image #2 sourced via Pinterest; image #3 sourced via Pinterest; image #4 sourced via Flickr; image #5 sourced via Premier Pitch Singapore; image #6 sourced via 1-host.sg; image #7 sourced via Chope; image #8 sourced via Amazonia; image #9 by Mita Kelder via Red Carousel.