When you think of children’s parties, it often conjures up images of plastic cups, balloons and single-use plastic tablecloths. Each child taking home a party bag stuffed with cheap plastic toys that either get lost of break within minutes.
Plastic Free Party
NOT Plastic Free July friendly. I’d decided that I wasn’t going to make exceptions and buy into the single-use plastic tat for the sake of a couple of hours’ party. I decided I was going to do this one differently. Ethically and supporting local businesses.
The party venue was a local place called @TheUnit. This is the perfect venue because you don’t have to worry about the weather! @TheUnit is a not-for-profit organisation providing a safe, friendly and affordable venue for local families, groups and businesses to access for a variety of uses.
Parties @TheUnit start from £70 for the standard package which includes a bouncy castle (we didn’t have the bouncy castle because Oli had an upgraded Nerf Wars party which is two hours of party (plus a half an hour of setting up time prior to your party), unlimited water/squash and they clean up the mess – there are many other things included. Here’s the link to the information so you can read it for yourself. I can rave about how good the team @TheUnit are all day. (Thank you, Tracey – You being the member of staff working made a HUGE difference to my being able to stay at the party ?).
As I mentioned before, Oli didn’t have a bouncy castle. He’s ten so loved the idea of something more grown up. We had an upgraded party which was a Nerf Wars party. It was cool as fudge and I’d highly recommend it! The guy running it was great with the children. He did a great job of keeping them all entertained for the two hours without parental input. He supplied all the equipment, guns, props and hi-vis jackets, etc. However, when the guests first arrived, there was talk of him upgrading the children’s guns if they paid extra. I nipped that in the bud because that was really unfair. This was his first party and we all learn through trial and error, maybe some parents would be okay with the upgrade option.
The man who does the Nerf wars also offers other services and has a website but, me being me, I’ve mislaid the flyer. I’m sure you can book his services through @TheUnit if you’re interested.
I assumed this was where my PlasticFreeJuly fail would take place. How do you do party food for children without crisp packets and other unnecessary detritus? The party was 6-8pm on a Saturday evening. The perfect time for pizza!! Not only could I support local by choosing a family run business, it’s also a way to completely avoid plastic!
Boss Hogs Pizza gave me a great deal. They included a few boxes of fries too. The children were delighted. We had some paper plates at home, so we served the food on those, which were then recycled afterwards. Boss Hogs are great, they do far more than just pizza (their chicken burgers are a personal favourite of mine!) and they’re always friendly and accommodating. Thank you, Boss Hogs!
I’ve been making some organic hemp cord bracelets lately. They’ll make lovely presents for LissyLu to give to her friends before she leaves Primary School forever. I thought they’d be pretty cool party favours for Oli’s party too I asked Oli what he thought, he said he liked them, but I got the impression he was being polite. I asked him if he could choose, what would he have as a party favour. He said his friends like sweets. A conundrum. Sweets come in plastic bags… Unless you live near a cute sweet shop!
We popped in and explained to the lady that we were throwing a children’s party and needed 30 bags of sweets with no plastic wrapping. She did us up lots of little bags for £15. They were perfect.
Given how last-minute we were at organising the details of the party, I was seriously chuffed that we managed to arrange the fine details 48 hours prior to the party without compromising in the plastic front.
Huge thanks to my fabulous BFF Tor for her help with the party and for making yet another delicious birthday cake!), Tracey being there and @TheUnit. It was one Oli will remember xx