Much Ado About a Party

Without venturing to District 1 or braving the crowd at the markets, is it possible to organize a kid’s birthday with all the knick-knacks within the perimeter of District 7?

BEFORE YOU GET too excited about the nitty-gritty details of your kid’s party, you have to clinch the deal first with the proper place. District 7 lacks choices when it comes to venues unless you have a villa for a home. For the majority of condo-living families in this area, party space is a major problem. Kids Yard at Thien Son Plaza is one of the more well-known venues with its play gym, toys and other fun activities that will surely keep your kid and their friends busy. They also offer birthday packages complete with cake, decorations, and food (package price starts at VND800,000).

If your child is keen on Lego, Lego Brain at Grand View D is the place for them. Kids will have a field day with all the building they can do. The store doesn’t have a fixed package; cost is VND100,000 per hour less 10 percent for 10 kids, 20 percent for 20 kids, and so on. And if you want exclusive use of the place, you’ll have to pay extra. They allow food to be brought in too.

If you can bring your own entertainment, there are other places you can check out for a party in District 7. Bizu Hotel (15-17 Cao Trieu Phat) has a conference room complete with tables, chairs, sound system, and projector. Maia Café (R2-1 Hung Phuoc 2, Bui Bang Doan) and Premium Gourmet (R4-47 Bui Bang Doan, Hung Phuoc 4) have roomy floor areas for parties. For some, with the many fast food chains that have popped up in this area – like Dominos, Popeye’s, and Texas Chicken – it may very well be more practical to just have the party there and order in food.

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Food

No party is complete without the food of course, and if your venue of choice isn’t a restaurant, you’ll have to either cook all the food yourself (yeah right!) or hire a caterer. For Western cuisine Scott and Binh’s, located in Bizu Hotel, does catering. Sometimes the best option is to call in some favors and friends, like foodie moms, Mitch and Sheila ([email protected]). This duo can whip up mouthwatering Filipino and American dishes, and for chocolate lovers, they can set up a chocolate fondue that will have your kids bouncing around all day.

Let’s not forget the centerpiece of any kids’ party – the cake. And not just any cake but the cake. The Cake Factory ([email protected]) exquisitely sculpts cakes and cupcakes that will surely please everyone.

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Keepsakes

Keeping your little guests entertained can be stressful and tiresome so it’s always a good idea to bring in reinforcements. The Magic Man, Balloon Man, Face Painter, and Clown may just do the trick. A treasure trove of suppliers can be found at Theme Parties Oi (www.themeparties-oi.com) or just contact Kim of M&N Design ([email protected]) to hook you up with your choice of entertainment.

Another fun alternative for souvenirs (if you’re too busy to assemble goodie bags), is District 7-based mobile photo booth, Photo Oi (www.photooi.com). They roll in the booth complete with backdrop, fun props, and lights – your very own photo studio. Kids can have fun dressing up and posing, and bring home memorabilia from the party. Photo Oi can also create invitation photomagnets to send out to your guests.

Heard of signature books? These are basically photo albums where guests can sign well-wishes to the celebrant. How to get one? Well, if you can’t do the layout yourself, Fujifilm (87 Hoang Van Thai) can have the layout and printing professionally done for you (price starts at VND550,000 for a six by six booklet).

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Décor

Hiring an event or set designer to dress up the party can be expensive so craft shops like Friends in Sky Garden 3 and Kiets Stationary (R2-36 My Phuc, Nam Quang 1) are great for doing it yourself. They sell balloons, decorations, and even party utensils. K&B Mart (S36-1 Hung Vuong 2 Block) is another good place where you can find popular character items from Disney and Pixar.

Party planning demands a lot of leg work and time. So spend your time wisely by keeping it in the neighborhood. It can be done!

Images by QUINN RYAN MATTINGLY

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