How to Throw a Pizza Party Your Kids Will Remember

February 5, 2016 by | Comments Off on How to Throw a Pizza Party Your Kids Will Remember

Sometimes pizza parties just pop up. You’ve got a ton of mouths to feed and lots of different tastes and what better way to celebrate than with a food most everyone can enjoy? Sometimes, however, the event calls specifically for pizza and you want to make this a much more memorable occasion. Whether it’s a birthday, first group sleepover, special movie night or a celebration you want your kids to remember, you have some planning to do.

Where and how much?

The atmosphere you’re trying to shoot for depends 100% on what kind of celebration you’re having. Do you need decorations? Is this event going to be at home? Do you want this to feel like it’s spontaneous?

Say you’re planning a birthday party. If you’re inviting every classmate and teammate or bandmate and next door neighbor, you might not have the space in your home. Can you rent space or are you going to brave a local park? You need parking and you need to make sure you consider the size of the family for each invitee.

What you have to do is come up with a solid number. Why?

It helps you decide where to have the party

If you can’t fit 50 people in your house, you have to consider holding it elsewhere. If it’s a celebration just for family, you still have to consider what your parking situation is going to look like and what time of day. If you’re planning a memorable pizza party for just your children, you might consider making the pizza yourself. Pizza preparing can be a terrific memory maker.

Do you know how much pizza to buy?

Do you? You have to have a specific number, because you have to overshoot it. The good news is you might have leftover pizza, but you don’t want to undershoot and you probably don’t have enough space in the fridge for 6 boxes of cheese pizza. Generally you want 2 slices per person, but having an extra pizza for every 5 people is a good idea. It will depend on age, because two teenagers might polish off an entire large by themselves where you might end up with smaller kids struggling to make it through one slice. A nice trick can be to ask for “extra cuts” so that each slice is slightly smaller, but that’s something that’s hard to ask for if you’re planning online. It’s a good idea to call and confirm with the pizza place. Large pizzas tend to have 8 slices and if you’re having a party and you’re not ordering at least a large pie, I hope it’s because you’ve got a great deal on medium sized pizza!


Setting and playlist

Now that you know how much pizza you need and where you’re having it, the next step is deciding on the atmosphere. Certainly, if it’s the sort of party you need decorations for, then selecting the right ones will depend on what you have to work with at the party site. If you can’t hang a banner, then it’s best to know that beforehand.

If you’re having a movie party, you’ll want to make sure you have a way to watch and set an atmosphere that will match the movie theme. If it’s not a film and food fest, then take a cue from movie makers and consider the soundtrack to your party.

Music is a great way to set a mood, yes, even for a kids party. You may not particularly enjoy the music yourself, but is the party for you? If you’re trying to make the party memorable, you have to consider the focus and if it’s the kids, then you may have to have some tunes they’ll enjoy. If it’s a movie, you’re going to want to select something that everyone in the group can enjoy.

Maybe instead the music or movie is just background. If that’s the case, pick a classic. It will be much better to have a wall-to-wall action movie or a classic comedy so that it’s not drawing all the attention away from the fun.

Have fun things to do

Speaking of paying attention to the fun, you need to have something to entertain the kids. Yes, you’re making memories, but let’s just go ahead and assume that you’re not trying to have it be a traumatic or miserable memory.

First and foremost, it has to be age appropriate. If you’ve got young kids, you may want to come up with participatory games. No matter what time of day, you’re going to want to wear young kids out, but that’s especially true if you’re having a sleepover. There’s one thing to make sure of, however. The activity must be before the pizza is eaten unless you want to clean up a disgusting mess.

If it’s slightly older kids, you might want to consider introducing a new game. Playing a game for the first time can be truly memorable. You can always take a game you played as a child yourself or modify some rules from an existing game. The more effort you put into the fun, the better, so if it means coming up with a way to play a version of “the wheel” in your own home, then put the effort into creating a working game wheel and letter board. You might be tempted to go the video game route, but consider this—those are likely so common as to not be memorable and you’re going to have a lot of kids waiting for their turn, which is the opposite of fun. A lot depends on how many kids you have and your venue, but the fun has to be front and center. First the fun, then the pizza.


Pick good pizza

Look, price is of course going to be a concern. It’s unavoidable. That said, I don’t think you have an oven large enough to cook pizza for 50 people and have it all ready around the same time. If you do, congratulations, but then you’re probably not reading this because you’ve got someone else catering and you can ask your party planner on retainer for ideas, right?

It’s a simple choice—delivery. Yes, even if you’re having it at home, but especially if you’re considering going elsewhere, you want delivered pizza. The only caveat would be if you’re having the party at a pizza restaurant. You’re getting their pizza. No question. If your party is a small one for just a few kids and you’re making the pizzas, then of course you don’t need delivery (although having a back-up should be something you consider, especially since leftover pizza can be terrific!).

You have to consider dietary concerns. There might be a “gluten intolerant” guest or someone who just can’t stand meat on their pizza. I dare you to put olives on pizza for young kids. Sure, some kids like ’em, but if they haven’t seen black olives on their pizza before, good luck.  Older kids might even be more picky with their pies. You have to have cheese, that’s a given, but how much and what else?

Delivery pizza does a few things for you. You don’t have to worry about the cooking or the clean up. If you’re having pizza, you are getting a large garbage bag and putting paper or even plastic plates into that bag at the end of the party. Plates need to be sturdy and paper towels plentiful. Even the least “greasy” pizza on the planet is going to soak through flimsy paper plates, so pick plates that make clean up less of a chore.


Consider clean up

The faster you can clean up, the better. Delivered (or carry-out pizza) makes things pretty simple, but you don’t want to be worrying about the mess. If you select a venue outside the home, that’s probably part of the conditions for rental, and if it’s a park, you don’t want to worry about paying a fine.

Make a checklist. It sounds silly, but it does a couple of things. It helps you in planning, because it’s easier to see if you’re missing something if it’s in writing in front of you, but it also helps you see what you have to clean up. The more simple you can make the party clean-up, the more time you’re likely to have to plan the fun. The best way to make it memorable is to concentrate most on making it something worth remembering and being able to laugh and have great pizza. Make sure to take care of the loose ends—like place settings, cutlery, reservations, and food quantity well in advance. This will give you the time to focus on the important aspects of the experience and the more creative the fun, the more memorable it’s likely to be.

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