Books for Planning Birthday Parties

Archived Q&A and Reviews

September 2002

Re: Cool birthday party ideas for 11-y-o
Try You won't believe the number of bday party ideas they will surely be able to find one. Hilary

Feb 2000

I'm seeking a recommendation for a book on planning birthday parties. There are probably lots out there, but before I dive into that pool, I'd love to know if there is a good guide that doesn't focus on big bash fantasy theme parties, entertainment for hire, or Bay Area locations to go to, but rather gives you ideas for small group games/activities/crafts at different age levels for a fun two hour event at home. I plan to have modest, enjoyful birthday parties for years to come, rather than inviting the whole preschool class to some organized program elsewhere. Is there a book that fits this need?

I've had great success with the Penny Whistle Party Planner by Brokaw and ?.I'm a firm believer in unpretentious, home parties too. My 8 year old and 5 year old have nothing but good memories of the parties we planned from this book. She came out with a later version, I think it's called the Penny Whistle Birthday Book. This is equally as good. Good luck and have fun!

I like the book That was the best birthday party ever by Sharron Krull, Mary Humphreys and Ann Williams. I attended a lecture by Sharron and was very impressed. The ideas are fun and inexpensive, and she suggests things for every age range. My favorite part is the games section, where she suggests variations on classic party games so that no one loses or has to feel left out. Denise

Local Guidebook For anyone planning a party I highly recommend the 'Here Comes the Guide' book. I used it for planning my wedding and it rapidly became The Book! I found a reception hall, caterer, photographer, and cake maker through it. The editors are really careful about checking EVERY reference a business lists which number something around 80 per business. The venue section is divided into geographical locations and gives information regarding capacity, costs, parking facilities, kitchen facilities, contact people, and whether you can bring in your own caterer or if you must use theirs. It is a wonderful resource that is published here in Berkeley. You can find it at Barnes and Noble, probably Codys, or simply head to the Oakland Public Library. I think it is a great resource for anyone planning a party of ANY type whether its a wedding or a retirement party. Good luck! -- Jeanette (6/99)