Birthday Parties in the park...Private Playgroups...even a very special personal Story Time for just you and your friends! Books and Cookies POP-UP parties and events are on-the-go. And while we miss our previous event and retail space, we are super excited for the opportunity to branch out and bring Books and Cookies programming to a larger community.
Private Events and Birthday Parties have always been a huge part of what we do. We may be primarily literacy and child enrichment focused, but we know how to throw a BASH, and we love to do it! We are part of a parent and kid centric community who knows that kids' birthdays are a pretty big deal. We also know that planning for them each time around can be a daunting occassion for some, especially for first time parents, and especially for the first few birthdays.
For many, there is a lot of hype surrounding bump to baby occasions (baby showers to 1st birthdays and beyond), and after the fact there always seem to be things they'd wish they had thought of ahead of time. Books and Cookies events are lead by a team of party veterans. We are ready make sure your kids' party is a smashing (and stress-free) success!
Our most recent Pop-Up Birthday Party was held at Crestwood Hills Park in Brentwood. We had a BLAST, and the kiddos did too! The event celebrated twin 2nd birthdays with a Little Miss and Mr. Had a Farm theme. The farm animal tie in was super cute for a party in the park, and lent itself well to decorations and themed outdoor activities!
When planning a party in a park, do have a few tips:
Look for a park near you that allows for advanced reservations. Reserving you party zone ahead eliminates any stress about steaking out your territory (and ensures the morning doesn't start at 6 AM!). Reserving a space can come with park fees, but these are usually minimal for simple outdoor picnic area rentals. Parks with available indoor OR outdoor space for rent is a plus, in the event of the unspeakable (rain).
Ask about park regulations. Some locations limit the size of your party, or have noise or time restrictions, or require permits. We prefer to set-up "structures," like tents and roll-out carpets and hanging decorations. Some locations are more flexible about how far you can transform a space.
Allow at least 30 minutes for set-up and breakdown. We always arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of a party, allowing closer to an hour or more for fully catered party packages. Getting the finishing touches and decorative details just right can make a huge difference in making an outdoor public space feel intimate!
Bring all necessary clean up tools. When using a public space, what goes in with you must come out with you! Depending on the location, sometimes the public trashcans just don't cut it, so we always bring extra garbage bags for load-out. Some other items you don't think of- wet wipes, paper towels, plastic wrap or foil, extra tupperware. Remember, you have to transport dirtied cake knives and unwrapped leftovers home in the car with you!
Have a flexible party timeline, and don't pack your party full of structured activities. For a two-hour outdoor party, we plan about 45 minutes of structured activity that requires all kid-guests at attention. The remainder of the time stays engaging with free play, interactive games, open activities like crafts or coloring, and of course snacks and dessert. The great thing about a park party is it is naturally (...no pun) entertaining.
We like to keep our party timeline slightly more flexible with outdoor events. Depending on the group, we may split programming into two shorter sessions (i.e. Story Time 30 minutes into the party, break for free play and lunch, then open games like parachute play), or plan a single longer engaging activity in the middle of the event (after lunch, before cake). We plan based on what's age appropriate- groups ages 1-3 typically need a break between activities, while older children can come together for longer periods of time. A great aspect of having a dedicated team of party staff from start to finish is making sure the kids are always engaged and having fun!
Books and Cookies can host or pop-up at YOUR next family event. Click here to find out more about Books and Cookies party packages and private event hosting, and bringing Books and Cookies to you!
By Samantha, Store Manager