Bridge the gap with some celebration ideas that appeal to all ages.
It’s easier than you might think to organise a multi-generation party that’s enjoyable for everyone from 9 months to 90 years old. Here are Manor By The Lake’s golden rules for throwing the perfect party.
Busy lives, work commitments and distance often put paid to family gatherings that involve absolutely everyone. Coming up with celebration ideas for an event that the entire family can attend can be tricky, but it’s not impossible, and if you arrange a party to appeal to every age group, you’ll have a full guest list before you know it.
Location, location, location
Pick a venue that’s accessible to the majority. It’s a lovely idea to hire a remote Scottish castle in the Highlands, but if half the family is based in Devon, you’re not going to make yourself very popular! Try and choose a location that is an equal distance from everyone, and if that’s not possible, then at least go with a venue that is close to motorways and train stations to make it a viable option. At Manor By The Lake we’re close to all the major road networks, and for guests travelling a distance, we’ve 12 gorgeous guest rooms so there’s no excuse not to make a night of it!
Even if you’re not planning a hugely formal affair, it’s still nice to receive an invitation, and it makes it more likely that the all important date will be pencilled into everyone’s diaries. There’s no need to spend lots on a printed invite, just create an e-vite using one of the many free websites available. This way, the younger members can’t claim to know nothing about the party as you can email them directly and know they’ll pick it up on their phones instantly! For the older generation, you’ll score points for being green and considering the environment.
With a wide range of age groups to cater for, the menu can be one of the trickiest things to plan. In general, it’s always a good idea to keep things simple. A buffet allows guests the opportunity to pick and choose, and is a good way to satisfy children with finger food such as mini pizzas, sandwiches and fresh fruit. Adults can enjoy more elaborate salads, mezze, antipasti and summer favourites like poached salmon and coronation chicken. At Manor By The Lake we have award-winning chefs who are always happy to discuss menu choices with you.
Outdoor food and barbecues are always great celebration ideas and are popular with every age group, but remember, whatever you opt for, make sure you check everyone’s dietary preferences and allergies. Shellfish, gluten and nuts are problematic for many people, so do your homework in advance to make sure everyone’s needs are covered and there are no dining disasters on the day.
To accommodate everyone’s needs can seem like a huge challenge, so try and think practically when booking. One of the best celebration ideas is to utilise our attractive gardens which always appeal to older relatives, whilst space to run around and let off steam without harassing the staff is also a good plan for your youngest guests.
Manor By The Lake is a fine example of a venue with lots of reception rooms, you’ll find the party naturally splits into quieter and louder pockets of guests after the food has been served. If you’re having entertainment, you may find that Granny would prefer a quiet corner in which to retire. Of course if Granny prefers to lead everyone in the conga around the dancefloor, then we’re not about to suggest you stop her!
Choosing somewhere that has accommodation and ample free parking means you don’t have to worry about taxis at the end of the night, which is a real bonus.
Don’t be put off by the expense of hiring entertainment. Whilst a 6 strong band for a wedding may set you back a small fortune, there are plenty of cost effective options that will appeal to every age group. Why not use the venue’s sound system to play a pre-prepared playlist and this way, you can make certain there’ll be tracks from across the decades to keep everyone happy and on the dance floor. We’ve found that a magician is one of the best celebration ideas and will almost certainly involve the audience in his show. Choose someone who is used to performing in front of children to ensure a performance that is suitable for everyone.
If you’ve got lots of young children to amuse, we can supply colouring paper, crayons and games to distract them. Older children can be kept happy for hours with an iPad to watch movies or play games, and teens will flock to a room with a Playstation or X-Box. Everyone enjoys the outdoor games we have if the weather is fine. If you’re planning to party into the night, book a babysitter and pack the smallest ones off to bed so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of the event, uninterrupted.
Hopefully we’ve given you a few ideas for planning your family gathering, but we’d love to talk you through the many options we can offer here at Manor By The Lake.
For lots more hints and tips on planning a successful family party, call Tina at Manor By The Lake
on 01242 245 071.