Birthday Party Entertainment Planning - In a Nutshell

So you're planning your child's big day and you want everything perfect for their birthday party. You've decided on a theme, picked the day, and now you're deliberating how to make this the most memorable birthday ever. How about hiring some entertainment? But where do you begin? Here are a few suggestions to help you navigate your way through the maze of decisions and questions you may have.


What type of entertainment should you choose?

There's clowns, magicians, balloon artists, face painters, ventriloquists, character actors, puppet shows, circus acts, caricature artists, and many other options. The age of the birthday child and/or party guests should dictate who is going to fit your needs the best. Ask your potential entertainer which age groups are best suited for their show. Do they offer a variety of skills for an audience of all ages? How long is the show? Attention spans vary according to age and the length of the entertainment will test their mental endurance. A well seasoned performer will know exactly what the limits of his/her audience is. Just ask them. They're a wealth of knowledge.

Where do I find amazing talent?

Most entertainment businesses have relatively small advertising budgets so you may not find them in the usual places like phone books. You could start your search on the internet, but that's not always going to simplify things. Just because your internet search doesn't turn up any local leads doesn't mean that your town is an entertainment black hole. Consider talking to people you know. Word of mouth can be a goldmine of information. Post an inquiry on your favorite social network. Stop by your local party supply store for decorations and party favors and while you're there inquire about local entertainers. They may even have a business card to give you. When you finally decide, book your entertainer as early as possible. This will ensure that you get the day you want. Calendars fill up quickly, especially weekends. It's not uncommon to book a performance 3-6 months in advance. I highly recommend it.

What should I expect?


Entertainers are contractors just like the people who mow your lawn or clean your house. A high level of professionalism should always be expected. Arrival in a timely manner, well groomedl of

, and prepared. When you're asking about their rates please take in to consideration the amount of training, personal investment in costumes and props, and dedicati

on to their art form. Prices will vary depending on travel distance, length of show, and services rendered. A common mista
ke people make is assuming that it will always be an hourly rate. Strolling entertainment for example is usually an hourly rate versus shows which are based on package prices. Although tips are never expected, they are certainly appreciated. A great entertainer always pours their heart and soul in to every performance and a gratuity is a fantastic way to show your appreciation.

How do I prepare for the big day?

Most variety artists are self contained and will bring all the necessary equipment. Ask them how much room they will require. I highly recommend doing any formal presentation indoors. There are a million distractions ranging from the weather to your neighbor's barking dog that can ruin a great performance. Acoustics also play a very important role. A ventriloquist for example may be very difficult to hear outside but can entertain a living room full of family members easily. An area should be selected where the audience will gather for the show. Children can always sit on the floor leaving available seating for the adults. You may need to move a coffee table but remember to keep it simple. We're there to make things easier for you, not to complicate your busy day.


Sit back and enjoy the show!

Here are some tips to maximize your event planning.

1.  Avoid food or drink during the performance. Many acts require a lot of physical participation from the kids. This could very well save you from some carpet disasters.

2.  Always have at least one adult present during the show to monitor and intervene if necessary. A good performer will be skilled at audience control. However, it only takes one unruly guest to derail a perfect party.

3.  Limit distractions by turning off the television, locking up pets, and asking adults to take their conversation elsewhere.

4.  Consider having your entertainment at the very beginning of the party. This allows your performer to start and end on time which gives you more flexibility for the remainder of the party.

5.  Most of all, have fun! Variety artists all have one thing in common. We love to entertain. Our job is to help you and all your guests remember your special day forever.



Keith Ramsay is a Richland firefighter, father of 3, and owner/operator of Fired Up Magic Entertainment Services based in Kennewick, Washington. He's been wowing audiences with his variety arts skills for over 20 years. His award winning talents have earned him accolades from performers all over the world and he was recently chosen as a finalist on AMC Networks newest reality show called "Showville" which premieres this spring. To discuss the details of hiring world class entertainment for your special event please visit or call 509-438-2393.


Comment with your questions for our Birthday Party expert OR your best birthday party idea to be entered to win a birthday party package from Fired Up Magic (some restrictions may apply.)  Winner will be announced on March 31!  Good LUCK!


6 comments for “Birthday Party Entertainment Planning - In a Nutshell”

  1. Gravatar of Stacy LorenzStacy Lorenz
    Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 11:43:12 AM

    Is it appropriate to have a magician or some sort of show for a 4 year olds birthday party? Do htey pay much attention or should it be left for a later year?

  2. Gravatar of Anna DorendorfAnna Dorendorf
    Posted Friday, March 15, 2013 at 7:45:22 AM

    That would be so fun. Love, love, love magic tricks.

  3. Gravatar of KimKim
    Posted Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:00:11 PM

    Stacy - GREAT question! We asked Keith for his expert opinion. Here's what he shared with us: Entertaining pre-schoolers can be done successfully. I have performed hundreds of safety shows and birthday parties for 4/5 year olds. The key is setting expectations concerning good behavior before the show begins. Adequate parental supervision is also critical. An experienced entertainer will know how to redirect an unruly child but may need assistance if the problem persists.

  4. Gravatar of Dee Dee
    Posted Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 6:41:05 PM

    My 4 year old grandson saw a magician at the fair last year and was instantly hooked. He got a magic kit for Christmas and loves putting on magic shows. He wants a "magic show" party when he turns five. So glad I found your article!

  5. Gravatar of Danni ChavezDanni Chavez
    Posted Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 6:20:34 AM

    Birthday planning really is a tiresome activity. One could only focus on so much can he not. Throwing Kids Birthday Parties in Miami should be done through a caterer only.

  6. Gravatar of BannerBanner
    Posted Friday, October 20, 2017 at 1:40:11 PM

    Glad to see the Birthday Party Entertainment Planning in a nutshell, I might hire some to bring out the best in my party, Thanks again

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