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Birthday Party Planning Tips with Expert Event Planner Curtis Lovell, III

Planning a child's birthday party can be a stressful experience. Questions arise like: How many people should I invite? What time and day of week is the best? What kind of theme should I have? And the big question, what should I do with a houseful of kids? The simple answer is just be Awesome. But what does awesome look like?

Just remember, planning an awesome party at your home or local park doesn't have to be daunting. In all actuality, planning your party can be a fun and gratifying experience! It can be made even more fun if you engage the help of a party planning service like Awesome Entertainment of Columbus, Ohio.

President of A.E. Curtis Lovell, III

Led by veteran party planner Curtis Lovell III, Awesome Entertainment (A.E.) has been serving up fun for over 20 years in Central Ohio. The team at Awesome Entertainment helps plan and execute on average 2k parties a year.

Curtis has some expert tips to share on planning the perfect party.

Party Planning Tips

When to Start Planning?

Six weeks out is the ideal time to get planning into full gear. Start to gather the invite list with your child, set the budget, and PICK THE THEME! Picking the theme will be the basis of many of your decisions from decorations to entertainment, to activities. At this time, it is also ideal to contact a party planning service to help coordinate activities with you. Or if you are looking to hire entertainers or rent party equipment, now is the time.

How Long Should the Party Be?

For toddlers, I recommend parties be around 2 hours. Little ones tire out fast and need naps. There is nothing like a fussy toddler to make a parent sweat during an event. For older school-aged children, 3-4 hours is usually more than enough time for fun and wear them out.

What do you do fo 2, 3, or 4 hours?

There are plenty of activities and options to keep kids, as well as their adult "handlers," entertained. Some of the more popular entertainer options include Princesses, Heroes, and Costumed Mascots. Some other popular entertainer options include:

1.) Magicians

2.) Balloon-twisters

3.) Caricature Artists

4.) Face-painters

It is essential when choosing entertainers to ask the company you are hiring them from what tasks and activities characters are permitted to participate in. Many times characters will sing, dance, and pose for pictures with party guests. However, sometimes a costume may have restrictions on what the entertainer can do. If you have something in mind, make sure you discuss it with the party service in advance.

With entertainers such as Balloon-Twisters, Caricature Artists, and Face-painters, make sure you allocate enough time so all guests can participate. Otherwise, you may want to either extend the time of the entertainer or have more than one available at the party.


Games are an essential element of any party. Keep little ones occupied and having fun! Some of the best parties I have had the privilege of designing have incorporated a carnival theme complete with carnival-style games and prizes.

Other options are over the top, giant-sized classic games such as checkers, chess, connect four and Twister. Art activities are also trendy. Things like spin art, build-a-bear, and spin art t-shirts can be loads of fun.

Bounce Houses and Attractions

Depending on the space you have available, kids always love a good bounce house or foam pit! Bounce houses come in a variety of styles, themes, and sizes, and will keep little ones entertained and active for hours. There are even bounces houses that are designed for indoor spaces like basements and garages.

Other extremely unique options include compact bumper cars, carousels, foam pits, water slides, and hamster wheels.

With bounces houses and other large scale attractions, it is critical to make sure the company is fully insured and has the proper safety inspections on file. While bounces can get a bad wrap sometimes for safety, it is all in the hands of the operator. Bounces if used and cared for properly are safe.

Don't forget to send your guests off in style!

I have seen people get so excited about planning the party that they leave out an important element, the party favor. Don't let guests leave empty-handed. Give them a small token to take some of the excitement home.

If you incorporated an activity or entertainer that provided a takeaway like a caricature artist or an art activity, you are already covered, and you knocked out two items with one investment! Otherwise, a small parting gift like a coloring book, a set of stickers, or other small toy is more than enough.

While there is a lot to think about when planning a party, the rewards and smile on your child's face outweigh the work. And remember, there are professionals available to help you every step of the way!

For more information about Awesome Family Entertainment and their professional party planning services, visit them online at or call them at 614-224-9568.


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