We all loved birthdays as kids – I mean the entire show with buntings, balloons, cake and gifts. And how we all dreamed of parties ripped off from fairy tales or with our favorite toy characters. Well, it’s only now, as parents that many of us understand the immeasurable amount of effort that goes into planning, creating and celebrating a special day.
So, to help everyone get ideas and to find ways to put it to practice, we met up with Olga Valko of www.voyagepraguekids.com – a start up that makes ‘dream birthday parties’. Olga and her husband Konstantin have been living in Prague for over 18 years and are parents to three lovely boys, Ivan who is 12, Sasha who is 6 and Tosha, 3 years old. They own 2 businesses, a travel agency and a corporate event management company. “VoyagePrague kids, is just a hobby that is now fast becoming a business,” says Olga. From Superheroes, Pirates and Cowboy themes to Hummer, Harry Potter and a Circus theme Olga has done it all! “We have over 50 theme ideas in our party book, which we have already hosted,” she explains proudly. Olga’s party album, has a host of party themes that anyone would want to have at their child’s birthday. The company also hosts creative children’s holidays or activities if booked in advance like, Shooting a film with kids, Fishing, Golf, Flying planes, and even an Etiquette school course.
So how did the idea for this kind of a hobby / business come about?
Well actually quite by accident. I first created a pirate party for my son Ivan and I enjoyed creating it more than anything else. And this was the first start.
How many parties have you organized till date and how is each one different?
I’ve organized over 200 themed parties. And each one is special in its own way because we try to imitate the real thing. For instance, we have an actual Hummer pick the kids for the Hummer party and a Hummer ride. Or I recall the fashion show party for a girl, where we actually had the girls dressed up, trained to catwalk, put up a ramp and hosted a show for parents in 3 hours. Our circus party has actual clowns, acrobats and animals for kids. Or our Royal life party includes a carriage ride, golf course, falcon show and real ballroom dance disco! And we are not stuck to our ideas, if you have a great idea and want to make a party on a specific theme we will definitely go ahead and create it. The idea is to make dreams come true. A girl once wanted to be a princess and so we got her a costume, dressed her up, we had a couple of actors dressed as King and Queen who gave her gifts. It was adorable. We love to stretch our imagination while making dreams come true.
What kind of parties are in vogue these days?
Actually this depends on the season. In winter for instance its usually indoor themes that work like Fashion show party, or Ninja turtles, Minions, Batman and Spiderman, Cooking show, Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig for the little ones. Girls usually like Pajama parties, or a Challenge party where kids have to take up different challenges like touching a worm, breaking eggs over the head, singing a song. In summer it’s usually outdoors, like Spy and Detective, Hummer party, Circus or Knights & Princesses.
What is the most important thing in a kid’s party – Food? Games? Venue?
Well, in children’s parties food is the least important. Because kids hardly eat anything at a party other than cake. The overall feel of the party is very important, the ambience, the space in the venue, and how the kids spend their time. It’s also important to be really quick so they don’t get bored. Children have a really short attention span and we can use this to our advantage by packing in a lot of great activities. If you observe kids in a group, they have a tendency to collect energy and then release during the course of a certain duration of time. So it’s important to be a good facilitator to give direction to this energy. Another important thing is the concept, props and accessories. This adds the surprise factor for both kids and adults.
What is the lowest budget party you have organized? – how was it fun? What is the highest budget party you have organized?
I have created parties from as low as 6000 CZK and the largest budget has been 10,000 Euros. In low budget parties we have just one or two party performers in costumes. But in a bigger budget, we create a larger ambience with props. If there’s a good budget, we can rent a great venue or space for the party. Maybe a bouncy castle for a princess or a medieval tournament ring for a little knight.
Can you give some tips on how to organize a low budget party at home for kids?
See, if you are sure you want to do a theme party on a low budget, it is possible if you plan early. Make a list of everything you want to have at your party and pick them up at stores. If you start early, it gives you time to scour many stores. Go on the internet for ideas related to your theme and make a list of items that are workable within your budget – cake, costume, ambience, actors, decor, return gifts – whatever goes with your theme. Preparing in advance is the key to a budget party. You can also ask for help from friends or family members. All adults have been kids & probably would love to reminiscence their birthdays! It also helps to get together the family. And honestly there is no limit if you have the creative potential. After all it’s the detailing that matters!