Children's birthday party etiquette: The timing
April 29, 2009
While most parents will be on the ball with their child's birthday party in terms of party decorations, food and goodie bags, one issue that some may forget is the time: namely when and how long.
For babies and toddlers, parents should factor in precious nap time, which means ending a first or second birthday party by noon is probably a good idea. In terms of length, these events shouldn't last more than an hour.
Older children can benefit from an afternoon party, but be sure to end around 4 p.m., which is enough time to get everyone out before dinner. For children aged 5 and older, a party lasting an hour-and-a-half to two hours is perfectly acceptable.
However, make sure you announce a specific block in the afternoon, such as 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., for the start and end time for the party. This can be clearly stated in the invitation.
Once children start hitting the double-digits in age, then parents may want to allow the sacred tradition of the slumber party.