Taking the stress out of your child's annual celebrations!

Posts tagged ‘party entertainer’

Home or away? Where to hold your party.

A party at home? No Way!

So you have a party looming. The thoughts of twenty or so children running screaming around your house fills you with dread. Images of flying popcorn, smashed furniture and food smeared walls fill your mind. The party has to be away, there’s no way you can hold it at home. Or can you?

Of course you will save money by not having to hire a venue if you hold the party at home, maybe invest what you have saved by hiring an entertainer for  an hour or two. An entertainer can keep the calm and keep children occupied and under control without the children even realising it. Giving children something to focus on will really deal with the fidgets and stop them turning to their own devices for entertainment. Many entertainers really do not need a huge space to work in, contrary to popular belief, and having something like a puppet show will really pull in the focus and keep everyone spellbound.

Children’s entertainers really prefer working in a home environment. There is no space quite like it.

If an entertainer is outside your budget, make sure you have prepared plenty of games /songs /craft activities for the children  to make sure they are focused and amused. I shall suggest more games in a next post.

A party at home has charm, intimacy and a great atmosphere. It is perfect for younger children as they relax so much better in a home environment. If space is a problem, keep the numbers low as you will have to keep in mind that parents will be accompanying a small child. Remember if you serve alcohol to the grown-ups they will become a little naughty and loud, so maybe consider a large jug of elderflower or home-made lemonade and tea/coffee as alternatives.

No! No party at home for me! So now what? Where? …Help!


If holding a party at home really isn’t a possibility or you just can’t face the prospect, be choosy about your venue.  A hastily chosen venue can make or break a party. There are a few options available.

School/Nursery

If your child attends school or nursery, your first port of call could be the school. Nursery schools especially are great venues to host birthday parties, but remember to take some blankets to hide large play equipment and put all the nursery toys out of view if you want your party guests to focus on the party.

Church halls

are numerous and cheap(ish) but do have the distinct disadvantage usually of having terrible acoustics ( no soft furnishings/carpet etc to absorb noise) and quite often are just too big. It is hard to focus children in a huge echoing environment. A sheepdog would be  useful to round-up the party-goers! Before handing over your deposit to your local church hall provider, do have a look at( and a listen to) it. Shop around. Some church halls are better than others. Be wary of stages with swinging velvet curtains. The stage holds an almost impossible to avoid allure for children and it is really time-consuming to have to keep asking Johnny and Jenny to get down before they fall off the stage!

Family Friendly Restaurants

No, I’m not suggesting having to suffer the golden arches experience. Heaven forbid!

Italian restaurants are special aren’t they? Whether it be good old Pizza or Pasta, there is no more family friendly a restaurant than an Italian one. And what child doesn’t like the food? The staff is usually very child friendly. Many places will have a function room either downstairs or upstairs, it really pays to ask. If ordering food there is often no charge for hiring the room.

Leisure Centres/Sport Centres/Soft play Centres

A good way to combine entertainment with the venue is to host your party at one of these specialised centres all of which have their own function rooms. If you are a member of a gym/tennis club etc ask there if you can host a party at their facility. This is often a good way of finding a good size room with great facilities and none of the acoustic problems of a church hall.

Get Creative: Think out of the box  

I’ve attended parties at museums, city farms, on barges, in parks,woods and gardens. If you plan a party in the great British outdoors, remember this is England! Have a plan B for rain prepared. You would be amazed of how many times I have had clients panic call me when their park party is washed out.

London party venues: 

While by no means exhaustive, here is a list of various venues around the London area.

North London venues:

Cafe’s /Restaurants  
Pizza Express      (A good size upstairs room )
Abbey Road
NW6

Cafe Rouge ( upstairs)
Hampstead High Street
NW3

Sports Clubs/Recreation/Play centres
Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club  http://www.cltc-hcc.com/public/index.aspx
25 Alvanley Gardens
NW6

Regents Park Tennis Club
York Bridge Road
NW1

Treetops Softplay
Talacre Community Sports Centre Dalby Street , Kentish Town
www.camden.gov.uk/talacre

Halls and Community Centres
St James’ Hall
11 Prebend Street  email:  hall@stjamesislington.org
N1

Highbury Roundhouse
71 Ronald’s Road, London N5 1XB  http://www.highbury-roundhouse.org.uk/roomhire/index.php

St Augustine’s Church Hall
108 Highbury New Park
N5 2DR

Muswell Hill Community Centre  email : youth.office@haringey.gov.uk
Hillfield Park
N10 3QJ

St Augustine’s Church Hall  Fr Philip Goff
Langdon Park Road N6 email: saintaugustine@blueyonder.co.uk
St George’s Centre Hall
Crayford Road
Tufnell Park
N7

Whittington Community Centre   020 7272 1847
9A Yerbury Road
Tufnell Park N19 4RN

St Lukes Church Hall
Kidderpore Avenue
NW2
http://www.stlukeshampstead.org/

Primrose Hill Community Centre
29 Hopkinson’s Place,
Fitzroy Road,
London, NW1 8TN
Phone: 020 7586 8327     Website: www.primrosehillca.org.uk



West London Venues

Cafe’s and Restaurants

Pizza Express
36 Earls Court Road
W8

Cafe Pasta (downstairs)
Kensington High Street  email: kensington@cafepasta.co.uk
W8

Riverside Studios Cafe
Crisp Road
W6

Charlies Portobello Road Cafe
58 Portobello Road
W11

Leisure/ Sports /playcentres
Seymour Leisure Centre
Seymour Place
W1

Avenue Youth Centre
37, 3rd Avenue
Queens Park
W10 4RA

Cathnor Playhouse
Cathnor Road
W12

Halls
St John’s Parish Hall
Hyde Park Crescent
W2

St Stephens
Westbourne Park Road
W2

St Mary’s Catholic Church
Moorehouse Road  W2

St Michaels Centre
Elmwood Road
W4

Scout Hut
Prebend Gardens
Wilson Walk
W4

The Labour Hall
Dorset Road
W5

Salvation Army Hall
Dalling Road
Hammersmith W6

Christchurch Vestry
Victoria Road
W8 5RQ

St Mary Abbots Hall
Vicarage Gate
W8

The Maida Centre
221 Lanark Road
W9 1NX

St Helen’s Church Hall
St Helen’s Gardens
W10

Westbourne Grove Church Hall
cnr Ledbury Road
W11

St Johns Church
Lansdowne Crescent
Notting Hill
W11

Victoria Hall
Becklow Road
W12

Holy Trinity Church Hall
Brooke Green
W14

East London

Mudchute Park and Farm
Pier Street
Isle of Dogs
E14 3HP

The City

Coram’s Fields
93 Guilford Street
City of London, Greater London WC1N 1DN 020 7833 0198

South West /South East London

Cafe’s and restaurants:

Pizza Express
Kings Road
SW3

Pizza Express
Moreton St
SW1

Pizza Express (downstairs)
363 Fulham Road
SW10

Pizza Express (upstairs)
Beauchamp Place
SW3

Pagliaccios ( Downstairs room)
Wandsworth Bridge Road
SW6

Maloca
287 Putney Bridge Road
SW15 2PT

The Depot
White Hart Lane
Barnes
SW13

Cafe Plum
189 Munster Road
Sw6

Play/ Sports clubs and Leisure Centres:

Gambados Chelsea

Imperial Wharf

Townmead Road

SW6

Putney Leisure Centre
Driburgh Road/Upper Richmond Road

Canons Health Club
Burr Road
SW18

Sands End Playcentre
247 Stevendale Road
SW6

Hurlingham Play Hut
Hurlingham Club
SW6

Eddie Catz
Putney High Street

Battersea Park 1 oclock club
Near Adventure Playground
Battersea Park
020 88717541

Brixton Tennis Club
35a Killieser Avenue
SW2

Vauxhall City Farm                                      
165 Tyers Street, London, SE11 5HS
Tel: 0207 582 4204
Web: http://www.vauxhallcityfarm.org

Invicta Children’s Centre
Invicta Road
SE3 7HE

Pippa Poppins
165 New Kings Road
SW6

Waterside Centre
26 Avenue Road SE25

Halls
St Xaviers Church Hall
Pimlico
SW1

Napier Hall
Hyde Place
SW1P 4NJ

St Barnabus Church Hall
14 Ranaleigh Grove
SW1
Pimlico

St Michaels Church
Chester Square
SW1

St Luke’s Church
St Luke’s Street
SW3

Hall of Remembrance
Flood Street
SW3

National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road
SW3

St Michaels Church Hall
1Pond Road
Blackheath
SE3 9JL

St Pauls Church
Rectory Grove
SW4

Wilberforce Centre
Clapham Common
SW4

Contact Centre
60 Hambalt Road, Lambeth, London SW4 9EH

Brompton Library Meeting Rooms
210 Old Brompton Road
SW5

Mission Hall
Cnr Parsons Green/St Dionis Rd
SW6

St Matthews Church Hall
Peterborough Road/ Wandsworth Bridge Road
SW6

Kings Hall
Chipstead Street
SW6

St Elthelredas Church Hall
Cloncurry Street/Fulham Palace Road
SW6

St Barnabus Church Hall (Howard Hall)
Addison Road /Melbury Road
SW7
St Michaels Church Hall
Stockwell Park Road
SW9

St Luke’s Church Hall
Redcliffe Gardens
SW10

Chatham Hall
Northcote Road
SW11

St Andrews Church Hall
Altenburgh Gardens
SW11

Battersea Spiritualist Church
46 Beverly Road
SW11

Balham Library Room

St Stephens Church
Weir Road
SW12

St Lukes Community Hall
Thurleigh Road SW12

St James Community Centre
Ouseley Road
SW12

St Thomas’ Church Hall
Radbourne Road
SW12

St Lukes Church Hall
Ramsden Road
SW12

Montgommery Hall
Harleyford Road
Oval
SE11

Kitson Hall
Kitson Road SW13

The Shene Hall
Queen Elizabeth Walk
Barnes
SW13

St Michael and All Saints Church Hall
Embank Gardens
Barnes SW130NX

St Mary Magdalene Church
61 North Walpole Way
Mortlake
SW14

St Mary’s Church Hall
Putney High Street
SW15

Broomwood Hall
3 Garrards Road
SW16

Holy Trinity Church Hall
Trinity Road
Tooting Bec
SW17

Southfields Baptist Church
Wimbledon Park Road/ Purbright Road
SW18

Brathway Hall
Brathway Road/Merton Road
Southfields SW18

St Anne’s Church
St Anne’s Crescent
SW18

Scout Hut
22 Lyford Road
SW18

Earlsfield Library Hall
Magdelen Road
SW18

Merton Hall
Kingston Road
SW19

Sacred Heart RC Church
Edge Hill
SW19

St Mary’s Church Hall
Arthurs Road
SW19

Holy Trinity Church Hall
The Broadway
SW19

St Matthews Church Hall
Spencer Road
SW20

Christchurch Hall
16 Copse Hill
SW20 0HG

St Saviours Church Hall
Church Walk
Grand Drive
Raynes Park
SW20

St Stephens Church Hall
College Road
SE21

St Barnabus Church Hall
40 Calton Avenue
SE21

St Saviours Church Hall
Herne Hill Road/Finsen Road
SE24

Herne Hill United Church Hall
Red Post Hill l
SE24

Village Hall
off Bute Ave/Sudbrooke Lane
Petersham
TW10

Grrrrr!

Children’s puppet show person , party entertainer and face painter, Diane  says Grrrrrrr.

Painting shy children as a tiger brings out their courage.

Diane was once a shy child, what happened?

Meet Diane!

Well this is me. I look forward to showing you a bit of what I do and some of my friends.

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