Birthday Party Planning Timeline

When planning a birthday party, it's best to think ahead. We have birthday preparation ideas that will keep you organized leading up to party day. Plus, get our best birthday party ideas.

Planning a birthday party shouldn't be stressful! Let this party planning timeline serve as your birthday party checklist. If you follow this schedule, you will throw a perfect party and keep all of your ducks in a row. Everyone will be invited, the food will be tasty, and each guest will have an amazing time. It just takes a little forethought and some birthday preparation. Sticking to one birthday party theme makes planning your party a breeze. 

Get our best kid's birthday party themes. 

Six to Eight Weeks Before the Birthday Party:

Six to eight weeks out is the decision-making period. Decide on a theme, a guest list, a venue, and the entertainment. If you are planning this birthday party for someone else, discuss the people they do (or don't) want at their shindig. If you are planning a surprise party, you will have to find a way to ask covertly. Once you decide on a birthday party theme, order decorations and invitations. When thinking about birthday decoration ideas, consider your venue, the size of your party, and what activities you'll have during the party. Six to eight weeks before the birthday party is also the ideal time to reserve a venue and book entertainment.

Two to Three Weeks Before the Birthday Party:

What's a birthday party without guests? Two to three weeks before the party is the time to send out invitations. On the invitation, be sure to let your invitees know that they can RSVP by phone call or text. Keep the list of who has RSVP'd somewhere you won't lose it, like in the notes of your phone or posted on the fridge. By this time, the entertainment and venue should already be booked, so figure out what other activities and games you want the party to have. Maybe a craft or a pinata? If you aren't baking a cake yourself, be sure to order one, along with the rest of the birthday party food. Create a quick birthday party checklist so you can stay organized. 

Check out free printable invitations!

Two to Three Days Ahead:

In the days leading up to your party, shoot a text to any guests who have yet to RSVP. You want to make sure you have the right head count for the rest of your birthday party preparation. If you are doing the party food yourself, this is the time to hit the grocery store. Pick up the groceries you need, candles for the cake, and candy for party favors or to fill a pinata. Gather your pals to help you with the birthday preparation, they can assemble party favor bags and decorations.

One Day Before the Birthday Party:

The day before the party, go through the birthday party checklist from the weeks before and confirm booking with the entertainment, venue, and any food delivery service (like pizza). If the venue is your own home, some of the final birthday preparation will be cleaning. Make sure anything dangerous or fragile is put away. Once the party area is clean, it's time to make a mess in the kitchen. Prep any party snacks or appetizers and start baking the birthday cake. If the birthday party is for a younger kid, make sure they are prepared to say "thank you" for every gift.

Bake up a creative birthday cake.

Party Day: Four to Five Hours Before Guests Arrive

Before guests arrive, set up all the party decorations, fill up (or pick up) balloons, set up the crafts and activity stations, and finish the party recipes that will keep in the fridge. Use balloons to mark which house the party is at by tying them to the mailbox or front porch. If your party is at a venue hosting multiple events, mark your area with balloons that match the theme of the invitations so your guests know which party is yours.

One Hour Before the Birthday Party

As the party gets closer, think of the details. Do you need to put pets away from the party area? Is the birthday boy or girl dressed and ready? Is the pinata hung? Are the candles and matches ready for the cake? Make sure all of the food is set up, as well as the first birthday party activity. Once all of that party preparation is done, get ready to just enjoy the party.

Now that you've hit every mark on the birthday party checklist, you can just facilitate and enjoy. Make sure the crafts station has clean-up supplies and that you are operating at a good adult-to-kid ratio. Simple. Now wait for all of your friends to ask you all about perfectly planning a birthday party.

Try these summer birthday party ideas. 

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