Planning a children’s party can be hard work. There’s so much to consider to make sure your child has the perfect birthday party.
One of the main things you need to decide is what time your child’s party should be. And how long should a children’s birthday party last? Choosing the best time for a children’s birthday party depends on loads of factors.
What type of party is it? Where is the venue? Do you need parents to help out?
Your decision should mainly be based on the age group of the children. So we’ve outlined what the best time to have your child or toddler’s party, and some other factors you should consider when deciding.
That said, we think that 2-4 pm and 11 am- 1 pm are the best times for most children’s birthday parties.
Take a look at our ultimate children’s birthday party checklist to find out everything you need to know about planning a children’s birthday party. And don’t forget to check out the best 15 children’s party ideas!
Choosing the Perfect Time for your Child's Party
The best time for a children’s birthday party depends largely on the age of the child or toddler. But we know that life can be a bit hectic and you might not always be able to stick to the best times.
That’s why we’ll go through all the factors to consider so you can choose the best time for your child’s party.
What is the best day of the week for a children’s birthday party? This of course dictates what time your child or toddlers party will be. Weekends are usually best for everyone.
Most people work Monday-Friday so hosting your child’s party on a Saturday or Sunday is usually the preferable option. It gives you the most freedom to choose a time that suits you and is often the easiest way to avoid clashing schedules.
But what if your family has an action-packed Saturday and Sunday week-in-week-out? In this care, you can host the party on a weekday, but this usually works best for older children.
Should you Avoid Mealtimes?
One thing worth considering before we jump into the best times, is will you be serving food? Avoiding mealtimes and hosting your child’s birthday party either mid-morning or mid-afternoon, can be a great idea to cut costs.
This way, you can get away with just serving some light snacks to keep the kid’s and parents going. So bear the food in mind when choosing what time you should host your child’s birthday party.
Best Time for a 1-2 Year Old's Birthday Party
First, consider what time your toddler usually naps and eats and try to avoid these times.
A 1-2 year old’s party should usually last around 1.5 hours so it’s easy to fit it in around your toddler’s schedule. Don’t hold off feeding your child until the party. If your baby is tired and hungry, they won’t enjoy the day!
Once you know what slot is best for your child, narrow it down to a specific time by talking to your other guests.
Since a 1 or 2-year old’s birthday party will mostly be made up of family it’s a good idea to consult them when choosing the time. What’s great with this age group, is that you don’t have to consider school or nursery times.
This gives you a bit more freedom to choose a time which suits both your toddler and your guests.
Best Time for a 3-4 Year Old's Birthday Party
With 3-4 year old’s, you definitely have more to consider than with toddlers when deciding the best time for your child’s party.
Weeknights are probably still not the best option with this age group as any time after 5 is likely to be a bit late for a young children’s party. Remember to avoid nap times at all costs to make sure your child doesn’t fall asleep half way through the party!
We think that 2 hours is a good length for a birthday party for this age group. So the best time slot for a 3-4 year old’s birthday party is usually around 2-4 pm.
It gives you plenty of time to prepare so you don’t have to rush in the morning to get everything ready in time. It’s also a great slot for avoiding mealtimes so you can save money by just offering snacks for your guests.
Best Time for a 5-7 Year Old's Birthday Party
With 5, 6 and 7-year old’s, Saturday and Sunday are the best days to hold your child’s birthday party. Weeknights are doable, but you run the risk of your child and their friends being too tired to enjoy themselves as much as they would with a weekend party.
If you can’t go for a Saturday or Sunday, a Friday night can work well too. Try to start the party no later than 5 pm and finish before 7 pm. For 5-year olds, a 4-6 time slot is usually fine for weekdays. Any later, and you run the risk of having sleepy guests!
The best weekend slot if you’re going for a mealtime is around 11 am – 1 pm. It gives you enough time to get prepared in the morning, and still leaves plenty of the day left.
With a 2-4 pm slot you can just serve some light snacks to keep your guests happy. You also don’t have to worry about sorting any last minute details, as there’s plenty of time in the morning to sort things out.
Best Time for an 8-11 Year Old's Birthday Party
With 8, 9, 10 and 11-year old’s, you don’t really have to worry about nap times. You can also have your child’s party on a weeknight if this suits you best.
Try not to host the party too later if you do choose a weeknight though. 8 pm is a good cut-off point for your child’s party. Friday is always a preferable day as you don’t have to worry about getting up for school the next day.
We think that an 8-11 year-old’s birthday party should last from 2-3 hours. So if you’re going for a weekend, 2-5 pm is a good time slot to avoid mealtimes. Or 11 am – 2 pm can work well if you want your afternoons free.
Other Things to Consider
Although we’ve given you the best time for a children’s birthday party, there are still some other things to consider. And don’t worry if you can’t stick to the times we suggested above.
As long as your child is happy, and it works for you and most of your guests, you should be fine! But here are some more things worth thinking about!
Some venues aren’t as flexible as you might like when choosing the time for your child’s birthday party. So you might have to work around this if you’re 100% set on where you want your child’s party to be. Having said that, most venues will try to be accommodating if you’re hosting during a quieter period of year.
If it’s a really busy time of year, you might struggle to book the entertainer you’re looking for if you pick a popular time.
For example, Christmas is a super hectic period for entertainers and the best ones will be in high demand. This means that you might have to be a bit less picky than if your child’s birthday than if it was in January for example.
Hosting your child’s birthday party on a weeknight might be a better option if you’re booking last minute. Some entertainers even offer reduced rates for weeknights compared to weekends, so it can also be a great way to save money.
If you’re looking to ask some of the parents to help out with your child’s party, it’s best to pick a convenient time for the adults as well as the kids.
Weeknights might be a bit of a struggle if you need some help from the adults, unless you go for a later time of 6-8 pm. However, some parents might still be a bit reluctant to volunteer if they have to get up for work the next day.
If you’re going for a weekend, you’ve got more options. An 11 am – 1 pm slot is good because the parents can still have a nice lie-in, but also have plenty of the day left.