Duration: 2+ hours
Age: 5-7, 8-10, 11+
Guest Numbers: No limit
Venue: Local park or bike track
Budget: Under $100
I’ve done a BYO bike party for 2 of my kids now and it is one of the most requested and complimented parties I’ve done. The best part is it is also one of the cheapest and easy to prepare. As the name suggests guests bring their own set of wheels (bikes, scooters, roller blades etc) and basically the kids all ride their hearts out for the duration of the party. A local park with paths, a skate park or if there is a dedicated bike park are all perfect locations.
See what options you have in your area that can accommodate a number of noisy, active children. If you are planning on having it at a dedicated facility check that no events are happening the same day as your party. Also check if there are any costs if they want you to book.
We are lucky to have a huge biking facility near us that holds international events for road, mountain biking and BMX that is open to the public for free. This meant no booking, no fees and plenty of space for all the guests.
If you are holding it somewhere public with no bookings consider arriving 45-30min early to hold tables or set up your own.
All invitations need to include the birthday person, date, time, location and an RSVP contact name and number. I recommend adding an RSVP date so planning is easier.
For a BYO Bike party you will also need to include a note about bringing their bike and helmet.
As this party is location based when planning your invite ensure you can include the full address and/or directions on how to get there. If you plan on opening the party up to families it will need to be included here with the request to RSVP for everyone not just the invitee.
I have invitations available in my store
There really are no decorations for this party. A tablecloth and a few balloons to signal where you are if you feel like it is the extent I would go to.
Food and Drink
I’m a big advocate of having a party in the morning or afternoon, not over a meal time it just makes the food side so much easier. Because the children will all be active keep it simple with cut fruit such as watermelon, rockmelon, grapes and strawberries (or whatever fruit is in season), vegetable sticks and easy finger foods like cookies or bags of chips. There doesn’t need to be a great deal as the kids will come eat for a couple of minutes and go again.
I recommend having bottled water on hand, although you might find most people bring their own its better to be over prepared in the water department than run out 10min in. Water is great because the kids will be exercising and any extra sugar might make for a messy situation towards the end of the party.
The easiest way to do the food is just have it sitting on the table the entire time and let them come and go as they please.
I have never planned any structured activities for this party. It’s really just the kids riding and playing together for the duration
Cup cakes are easy to make or buy and mean that you don’t need to worry about remembering a knife or keeping it away from small children. You could do themed ones and make them into wheels or have bikes and helmets as decorations but lets face it, younger kids will like the icing off and older kids wont care too much so long as it tastes good.
Party Bag/Thank you
A generic party bag without a theme keeps things simple and the cost down. A few lollies or chocolates, a small sticker sheet, a balloon and a glow stick in a little bag keeps everyone happy. For our last party bag we had glow sticks left from Halloween, the $2 shop had pads of 15 sticker sheets, I got a giant box of chocolates from Costsco on sale and the kids made a key chain for each child from supplies we had at home. Including buying the bags each one cost less than $1 and we catered for 30 kids.
We opened each party up to families to stay and just asked that they RSVP with numbers. For our younger daughter most families stayed but for our older son its was mainly his firends. Any family who stayed with younger children watched their own children so there was no extra stress for us.
I recommend taking a first aid kit, or at the very least different sized bandaids in case of the dreaded skinned knee. This has only happened once to us in the over 50 kids we have taken to the park. Sun block is also good to take, not necessary but a thoughtful touch that parents will appreciate.
If you are using plastic cups or bottled water have a permanent marker handy for people to label theirs and prevent bottles being wasted if they can’t remember which one is theirs.
Use disposable trays for the food you bring to make clean up easier. Also have your own garbage bags as not all parks have bins. We have also taken but not used plastic bowls. They aren’t expensive and keep for the next party if you don’t end up using them.
Cutting the fruit the day before and storing in the fridge makes party morning a lot less stressful. In fact packing everything in the car the night before will make the morning run more smoothly. You wont be thinking “did I get that?” as you drive out the driveway because the day before you have time to do things calmly and without chaos.
To make life even easier for you I have created a printable party plan that you can write all your information on to keep in one handy location. You can download a free 2 page A4 version below or purchase the one page A3 planner in my Etsy store.