Lavish children’s parties are going downscale, reports ABC News.
Linda Kaye, a New York-based party planner for over 25 years, said that lately she’s seen parents — who had typically not batted an eyelash at $1,500 price tags for their kindergartener’s party — less willing to “go all out” on their tot’s celebrations.
. . . “Before [the economic crisis] they’d say, ‘Johnny wants Barney at the party, I don’t care how much it costs,’ and now they’re settling for Barney on their child’s birthday cake instead,” she said.
. . . Jessica Gottlieb, a mother of two from Los Angeles who contributes to the Silicon Valley Mom’s Blog, said she’s shown up at birthday parties and been “aghast” at what she’s seen.
“For one 2-year-old’s party, the parents brought in an entire theme park,” Gottlieb recalls. “They did pony rides and a little roller coaster and a carousel. And it was catered.
“It must have cost more than my wedding,” she said.
I raised my daughter in affluent Palo Alto during the boom years. I never met anyone who spent that kind of money on a little kid’s party. It’s wasted: Kids don’t want catered food. They don’t need Dad to rent out a theme park for their party.
My party specialty was muffin pizzas with each guest customizing her own. For simplicity, I served ice-cream cake. There was a treasure hunt with rhyming clues and sometimes Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Goodie bags contained stickers. Little girls love stickers. No clowns, magicians, face painters or folk singers. Our venue: The back yard.