Birthday Party Template & Checklist

Madagascar Party PackIt’s time to celebrate another birthday! No matter how old your birthday boy or girl may be and no matter what theme or interests they want strewn around the chosen celebration space, birthdays, at their core, are all the same. Don’t believe me? Just like that birthday cake you’re so diligently planning (or should be!), birthdays themselves also follow a proven recipe for success. Whether it’s a birthday big or small, take a moment and follow our handy birthday party template and checklist to gather ideas and make sure you have all the right ingredients to fashion together an unforgettable event for everyone involved.

3 weeks prior:

  • Create a guest list
  • Create a party budget (Don’t be afraid to limit the guest list if the budget becomes too high.)
  • Select a theme or decorative pattern
  • Select/customize invitations (If guests are younger, traditional mail invites are always a special treat to receive.)
  • Decide on the menu & drinks (Keep in mind any food allergies. If need be, contact the parents or individual to ask.)
  • Plan activities and time table (Ex: 12:00 - 1:00 scavenger hunt, 1:00 - 1:30 food, 1:45 - 3:15 movie, etc.)
  • Create a party supply shopping list (Tableware, balloons, decorations, gift bags, favors, party games, prizes, etc.)
  • Create a grocery list (Make sure to add extra garbage bags, foil & plastic wrap to your list.)
  • Book entertainment
  • Enlist party helpers

2 weeks prior:

  • Send party invitations
  • Purchase non-perishable and freezable groceries

1 week prior:

  • Call non-RSVP guests
  • Order/pick up party supplies (Tableware, balloons, decorations, gift bags, favors, party games, prizes, etc.)

2-3 days prior:

  • Order/bake cake (Cakes freeze well, so making the cake ahead of time is acceptable, even encouraged! Just remember to take it out of the freezer to thaw for a few hours before it’s served.)
  • Confirm entertainment
  • Clean home (It’s always nice to have a clean home, but especially if this is your chosen party space. This is also a good time to check for any extra household supplies you may need.)

Less than 24 hours prior:

  • Put up decorations
  • Arrange party favors
  • Set up games and activities
  • Prepare food that can refrigerate well overnight

A few hours prior:

  • Defrost cake
  • Pick up ordered party supplies, if any
  • Set out tableware
  • Prepare perishable food

Party time:

  • Secure pets as needed
  • Smile and have a great time!

Lastly, don’t forget to take lots of photos! No matter if you follow this template or not, a birthday is a celebration to remember. For ideas on how to enhance and capture those unforgettable moments check out Creating Keepsake Party Photos.