If anyone knows about parties, it’s Aisha Leitner. As the founder of party supplies website Party Camel, Leitner sources a stylish and ever-expanding range of party supplies, decorations, games and gifts for both adults and children. And being a mum too means that parties aren’t just a day job. We wanted to hear her insider tips, so we sat down with the expert to find out how to plan the perfect day…
What do you think makes a party special and memorable for children?
Getting your children involved in planning the party and getting them to 'help' makes the whole process special. From deciding on a theme together to packing party bags and choosing the design of the cake. They will feel involved and will enjoy the planning as well as the actual party much more – and will have lasting memories to cherish.
What kind of location choices do we have in the UAE?
When it comes to birthday party locations we are very lucky as Dubai has so much to offer.
From fully-equipped party venues, local parks, beaches, indoor play areas, to 5-star hotels, the choices are endless.
What tips do you have when deciding a theme and picking décor?
Let the child pick the theme – after all, it’s their big day. Birthdays are supposed to be fun, so choose fun and stylish décor that matches your child’s character or the theme they have chosen.
How about entertainment?
For younger children, painting activities work well. Set up easels with white canvases and let the kids work their imagination. This activity can also double-up as your take-home gift too.
Older kids love treasure hunts. There are different ways for how you could set this up, depending on the age. You can order our Eggnogg colouring treasure hunt cards from our online shop and the kids have to find what they see on the cards and have fun colouring in when they find the item, or you could set it up yourself, with hidden treasure at the end. Both options can also easily be done indoors or out.
And the cake?
Show your child options of cakes in their chosen theme and let them pick. For smaller children, purchase a character cake they like and it’ll be a big success.
When it comes to goody bags, what have you seen given away that has really made the kids smile?
If your budget allows, it's nice to give one small gift per child, such as a stationery set.
Otherwise small goody bags are fully appreciated. Choose from a few small pocket-size toys and just one piece of candy.
Any tips for cutting costs?
If you are on a budget, choose a venue you can bring your own food, décor and party bags to. This way you can control some of the cost and try to keep within your budget.
The temptation to go overboard will always be there, but for the child as long as they are with their family and friends, and having a good time, it really doesn't matter where you are and how much you have spent.
Party Camel, online company, delivery available across the UAE. For more information on party ideas, supplies and gifts visit www.partycamel.com.
From Zabeel Park, to Safa Park, to Al Barsha Pond Park, a shaded spot on a cool morning makes the perfect party venue. Unless you are planning a small family affair, you will need to book with the park’s security team. Once that’s sorted, you are free to hire entertainment and book catering – and
most importantly, have some fun in the great outdoors.
Price: Small entrance fee to the park.
Location: Various, across Dubai.
Le Petit Palais
The parties at Le Petit Palais offer beautiful styling within your chosen theme, delicious catering via Lafayette Gourmet next door, and lots of free play time in the charming mini-village style play area. The prices are competitive too.
Price: From Dhs75 per child (excluding food).
Location: Level 2, Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall, www.lepetitpalaisdubai.com (04 382 733304 382 7333 Ext 2754).
The Fire Station
If your child dreams of sitting in a fire truck and meeting his or her heroes, booking the Fire Station is a safe bet. You need to head to the station in person to book, but the good news is that the hire is free of charge. You will need to hire tables and chairs, entertainers and caterers – and if the fire trucks aren’t in service, little ones will be invited inside, before the hoses are switched on for some splashing good fun.
Price: Free of charge (location only).
Location: Civil Defence Station, Al Manara, Sheikh Zayed Road.
Cheeky Little Events
Founded by a team of British female entertainers with over 15 years' experience in the children’s entertainment industry. The company will take care of everything – from organised games, goody bags, play equipment, and even an inflatable cinema screen for fun movie parties.
Details: www.cheekylittleevents.com (04 388 611404 388 6114).
From magicians to balloon benders, to bouncy castles to face painters (and so much more), this Dubai-based company promises to make your party memorable.
Details: www.kiducationparties.com (056 138 5357056 138 5357).
Tumble Time Dubai
If you are after inflatables, Tumble Time Dubai is place to contact. You can hire everything from mini toddler-sized bouncy castles to a range of pool inflatables, to giant waterslides.
Details: www.tumbletimedubai.com (050 352 1212050 352 1212).
A great option if you want to decorate your own cake but don’t have the baking skills to pull if off. Take your pick from a delicious range of cakes (including rainbow, chocolate, vanilla sponge, and more) and then choose the colour of the icing. You can order online and get delivery to your door, with a range of different sizes available.
Details: www.hummingbirdbakery.com (800-HBIRD).
Whatever your theme, Cindulge can pull it off. Contact the company via Facebook with your ideas and they will send back a quote based on the size of the cake and work involved.
Pat A Cake
Pat A Cake pat A cake, baker's man, bake me a cake as fast as you can. If you fancy designing and baking your own cake for your little party prince or princess then check out The House of Cakes for an extensive line of rolled fondant, cake decorating supplies, professional cake pans and more They can even bake you something amazing if you run out of time.
With everything from cake decorations, to banners, to table settings, to ready-filled goody bags, this website is your one-stop shop to everything you need for a DIY party. The range is extensive and you’ll find stylish items and unique ranges not available anywhere else.
If you’re planning a character party, this is the website to log on to. From Peppa, to Frozen, to Minions, you can buy everything you need, from plates, to napkins, to decorations – all at affordable prices.
A party bag adds that extra little sparkle to the festivities. You can pack yours with lots of treats and favours in one easy step. Theme it to Mickey Mouse, Sofia or the big favourite Frozen. Online ordering and delivery makes it even more of a charm.
The talented team at The Studio can capture your party on film or video so you remember the day forever. For added fun, they can also supply a photo booth so your little (or adult) guests can have some fun taking their own pictures with props.