Birthday Party Shakedowns

Suzanne Murray
7

toddler birthday cake
Photo by LexsiesMommy
My daughter's favorite thing, aside from kitties and her Gee (grammy): birthday parties. Fortunately, we've got a lot of them in our future.

We've already been to some pretty creative parties: one was held at a museum, another at a horse farm complete with pony rides, and another at a jumping palace place. These were parties for two-year-olds; I can only guess that they'll become more elaborate as the kids get older.

It's great to be invited, but what happens when the party-thrower starts to charge what amounts to admission?

That's the question someone asked Miss Conduct.

It seems that some parents are in the practice of holding their kid's birthday party at a really cool place or providing fun entertainment, but expect the guests to pony up cash to attend. For example, they throw a party at a movie theatre, but ask the guests pay for their own tickets, or they have a party at their home, but ask everyone to chip in for the clown.

As the party-holder, I'd only throw my child a birthday party for which I could cover all the costs. As a party-goer, I'd pay for my child's movie ticket or pizza or whatever, simply because I wouldn't want my daughter to miss out on all the fun.

Of course, that means my daughter better not be hanging out with anyone who thinks that having a Madeline-themed tea party in Paris for a three-year-old would be fun -- because that's one party my daughter would have to miss.

What's your take on guests having to "pay their way" at birthday parties? Would you bring your child to a party that charged "admission"? What if you couldn't afford it?

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