5 Tips for Park Parties
Park Parties are awesome and as cheap as chips. Parks are ideal locations for hosting your child’s party. Not only are they a free venue, parks can have great play equipment, space to run, catering facilities, amenities and parking. This leaves your suburban street free of congestion and your home free of mess. There are however, five key things you need to consider before hosting a park party;
Theme of the Park Party
Deciding on a theme can be really helpful when selecting the right park for your party. Many of Brisbane’s parks offer a diversity of nature walks, gardens, play and water equipment, even wildlife. You can use these to create the central theme for your child’s party from ‘Mad Hatter’, ‘African Safari’ and ‘Pirates’ to ‘Fairies’ and ‘Water Fun’.
Facilities in Parks
After theming, the second most important factor is the general park facilities on offer. Are there toilets, BBQ’s, fenced areas if in close proximity to a main road, ample parking, shade, tables and seats? It’s always a good idea, if the park is unfamiliar to you, to scope out how busy the location is on the days and times you’re looking to host your party. This will give you can idea of how much additional equipment, such as chairs, picnic mats and tables, you will need to bring with you.
Plastic picnic mats are a fantastic option for clean sitting and eating space. Not only are they light to carry from the car, but easy to clean.
Catering a Park Party
Due to transportation, park party food needs to be either pre-made at home or easily cooked on a BBQ. Cold finger foods such as mini sandwiches, slices, cupcakes, savoury muffins and pikelets are all great choices. For hot foods nothing beats BBQ sausages, chicken kebabs and mini meat patties with sauce. It’s also a good idea to organise someone other than yourself to do the BBQing, it’s impossible to cook and entertain party guests simultaneously.
If using council facilities, do yourself a favour and check the park BBQ’s are operational the day before the party. It’s much easier to organise a portable BBQ from a friend or family member the day before, rather than at the eleventh hour.
Decorating & Games in the Park
Being outdoors, there are some limitations to decorating a park party. Balloons, streamers, potted flowers for colour and table covers are generally the extent of what can be achieved. Remember, whatever you put up, needs to be pulled down at the end.
A little breeze can also cause havoc with your table décor, sending paper plates flying and table clothes flapping. To limit the destruction, a paperweight on plates is useful and use gaffer tape to tape the tablecloth.
Depending on the park you select, games maybe completely unnecessary, with enough entertainment already provided. However, pirate treasure hunts, daisy chain making, fairy butterfly spotting and water leapfrog are easy games to add to your party list. With a few fun prizes to keep them entertained.
Wet Weather Plan
Hosting an outdoor party can be stressful if rainy weather sets in. It’s a good idea to have a pre-determined wet weather plan, before you even send out party invitations. Wet weather instructions can be included on the initial invitation or passed onto the RSVP’s. Your wet weather plan may include; cancellation of party for an alternate date or moving the party to an alternative location, an undercover area or your home. A short SMS to your RSVP mobile list, advising of location change will make everyone’s life a little less ‘teary’.
10 Best Party Parks in Brisbane
Adventure & Discovery themes
- Pine Rivers Park – Strathpine
- Hidden World – Fitzgibbon
- New Farm Park – New Farm
Garden, Princess & High Tea themes
- City Botanical Gardens Playground CBD
- Glindemann Park – Holland Park West
Waterpark & Nautical themes
- Wynnum Water Park Wynnum
- Rocks Riverside Park Seventeen Mile Rocks
Animal & Nature themes
- Calamvale District Park – Calamvale
- Stoneleigh Reserve Park – Waterford
- John Goss Reserve – Chermside
By Renee Gusa
This article was featured in Issue 46 of our printed magazine, published June 2019.