The NMSG Birthday Planner Guide
Updated: Jul 31
We know organising birthdays can be a daunting prospect, especially if it's your little one’s first party, but even if not, many of us are out of practice since the pandemic. So in honour of celebrating Singapore’s birthday this month, we wanted to give you a helpful birthday planning guide - Where to start, Where to go, Who to use, including our tried and tested recommendations for cakes, photo shoots, venues, decorations, entertainers and links to lists of other suppliers!
The top ten things to consider:
1. Theme - From your standard themes to your child’s favourite book, tv show, movie, nursery rhyme or toy! Pinterest is your best friend for birthday theme ideas so start googling!
2. Budget - Things can add up quickly so it’s good to have a budget in mind for the total you want to spend, then prioritise the things you want to spend money on.
3. Guest list - This one I always struggle with as I want to include all of my lovely friends and family. But it can be hard to do so. So first decide if this is an “everyone” party where you will invite family, friends and kids, or a “kids only” party - where it's just kids and their parents.
4. Venue - Find a venue that will best suit your guest list. Whether it will be a large condo club room to accommodate lots of people, or an indoor playground to entertain the kids, there are lots of options out there to suit your budget.
5. Birthday cake - A birthday cake can really set a theme and be the centerpiece of a party. For me this is the most important thing, so I always go a little mad and have a special themed birthday cake on the actual birthday, then cupcakes and themed biscuits for the party.
6. Photos - A highly trending activity for a baby’s first birthday is a smash cake, which many get professionally photographed. But even without that, having some special birthday memories captured on camera is a wonderful addition, as if you are like me, you’ll be so busy buzzing around the actual party - you’ll forget to take them yourself! My cheat is usually one of my besties on photoshoot duty who captures all the important ones!
7. Entertainers - If you’re choosing to host a kids party at your home or condo club room, having an entertainer really takes the pressure off entertaining the kids yourself.
8. Party bags - The little gift bags at the end of a party which you hand out to your guests as thank you gifts. They can be as big or small as you wish - my top tip - better to do a couple of nice things than cram a bag full with lots of little things. Also sending the themed cupcakes or biscuits home helps to fill the bag and saves a treat for later!
9. Decor - I love balloons! I just do! I know they are not eco-friendly but nothing says “kids birthday" to me like balloons! There are so many great ways to add birthday decor from backdrops, bunting, themed tableware and of course, balloons!
10. Invitations - Now back in the day, when I was little, I remember sending out little hand written invitations, however these days the easiest way is whatsapp and use a personalised themed digital invite.
11. Where to find everything - A list of recommended stores to help you find everything you need for your birthday setup.
I could spend hours listing themes, I’m party obsessed! But I will keep it to a minimum and focus on themes for 1-2 years, as after that your little ones are telling you which theme they would like.
● Twinkle Twinkle Little star
● Farm (Old Macdonald)
● Guess how much I love you
● Winnie the Pooh
● Wild one (jungle themed)
● Over a rainbow
● Little Prince / Princess
● Some bunny turns one
● We love you to the moon (Rockets, space)
● Peppa Pig
● Baby Shark
● Thomas the Tank Engine
● Paw Patrol
● Two wild (jungle themed)
There is no rule of thumb as to what to budget for a child’s birthday party. So my advice is to set an amount you are comfortable with, and highlight the things you want to prioritise to spend money on. There are always cheaper options available for the less important things, store bought items rather than custom made. From making the cake yourself or ordering a store bought cake and decorating it with toy figurines, to buying decorations from Shoppee, using cupcakes to fill out the party bags, designating your bestie to be in charge of photos!
3. Guest list
Guest lists can be tricky. A helpful tip is to try to list various groups first; family, adult best friends and their children, prenatal/postnatal groups, baby classes, childcare, and condo friends. Then work from there.
It doesn't matter whether you host your party at home, in the condo club room or at a venue. And I have done all three in the past and am equally happy with all of them. Each offers their own advantages. At home it is cheaper as it's free and can offer a more intimate environment where your little one is most comfortable. A condo club room gives you the convenience of being nearby but greater space, plus isolates the mess away from your home! And a venue can provide child friendly activities, decor, entertainers to ease the burden, plus you don’t have to clear up any mess!
Here are some of our tried, tested and recommended venues, should that be what you’re looking for:
The Rocking Horse Playhouse
Located at 100 Turf Club Road,
#01-02M Horse City, Singapore 287992
We used this fun venue for our youngest’s second birthday. It has a great set up with a pantry area, kids table and easy space to decorate. The Rocking Horse Playhouse offers a safe environment for babies to crawl and explore and toddlers to play with high quality toys. So it is perfect for first and second birthdays. All the parents and kids were able to mingle and chat and play. It also enabled both my daughter’s friends to play as there are toys suitable from birth to preschoolers. We set up our own decorations and food and drink which was easy enough to arrange, and the staff kindly helped us to do so. All our friends loved it and many went on to book their birthdays there too. Their birthday package includes 2 hours play for 30 pax and costs $580.
Located at 9 Mohamed Sultan Rd, #02-01, Singapore 238959
My friend used this beautiful venue for her baby shower and her little one’s first birthday. If you’re looking for something super stylish then this is your place! It's a great space to mark a personal milestone, with a team who will do all that they can to make sure your event goes smoothly while being stylish! They’ll take care of the big details and the little ones, leaving you free to get caught up in the fun! This is particularly a fab venue if you have a special theme in mind you would like help with! Their venue rental is $350 for 3 hours or their comprehensive package costs $1350 and includes a 3 hour rental, cake package, activities for 10 children, balloon garland and staffing.
NMSG Member discount: You can enjoy an NMSG member discount at Host too! Just quote “HostNMSG10” when making your booking to enjoy a 10% discount!
Located at UE square mall 81 Clemenceau Ave,
#02-12, Singapore 239917
We used Powerkids for our eldest’s second birthday. It was a fantastic set up with enthusiastic entertainers engaging the kids with lots of games and obstacle courses. The final activity was the zoom rocket which the kids adored! They are able to take care of the setup, decorations and of course, the high energy activities. For us we wanted a Peppa Pig theme so decided to provide the decorations ourselves, which they helped to set up. Their current standard party package costs $750, which includes 2 hours of play for 20 pax on the gym floor. So this could be 10 kids and 10 adults, or if the kids are ok on their own then 20 kids. Previously they did include balloons and party tableware but this is currently unavailable at the moment.
NMSG Member discount: You can enjoy an NMSG member discount at Powerkids! Just quote show them your NMSG membership card when making your booking to enjoy a $55 discount!
Kid-zy-way is a fun indoor playground which has swings, slides, climbing apparatus, ball pits, trampoline and more. It’s major appeal for little kids is that it is small so it's easier to keep everyone together playing - no lost little tots! Our friend hosted their son’s party here and had the best time and the owners were more than helpful and attentive. Their weekend party package costs $320 and weekday party package costs $275 .This includes 2 hours of play for 10 kids and 5 adults with balloon decorations, there are optional extras you can include also for an additional fee such as themed decorations, party host, pinata, and goodie bags.
NMSG Member discount: You can enjoy an NMSG member discount at Kid-zy-way too! Just quote “NMSG2022” when making your booking and show your membership card to enjoy a 10% discount!
For more venue ideas, you can check out this helpful article focusing on birthday party venues below by Honeykids - https://honeykidsasia.com/best-kids-birthday-party-venues-in-singapore/
5. Birthday Cake
This is one of the most important parts of any birthday! Whether it is homemade, from a home- baker, a customised cake or cupcakes or store bought - these three bakers are awesome! And all come recommended from members on the NMSG committee including myself! If you are one of those talented parents who can bake themselves - then party hats off to you! I’m in awe!
Baking by Sammy
Baking by Sammy supplies beautiful bespoke birthday cakes, cupcakes and cakesickles(cakepops). I have used them many times for my daughters’ birthdays and every time no matter the theme, her cakes have come out superbly. They are always full of fun, flavour, colour and a stunning design. She can even supply the cupcakes in individual boxes - perfect to hand out at school! Check out some of the amazing creations she has done for me below - from a Mermaid party, ‘Snails” class cupcakes to a Cocomelon birthday!
NMSG Member discount: You can enjoy an NMSG member discount at Baking by Sammy too! Just use the code “BBS22” when making your booking and enjoy a 10% discount!
Nikki bakes specialise in eggless, gluten free, and vegan cakes, cupcakes and sweet treats.With a gluten intolerant Mum in law - she has saved the day for many birthday celebrations! Helping to create a delicious moist and light chocolate birthday cake for her, to gluten free cupcakes for my youngest's Peter Rabbit themed first birthday! Plus she makes delicious biscuits which are really reasonably priced which we have given as teachers gifts and preschool celebrations.
NMSG Member discount: You can enjoy an NMSG member discount at Nikki Bakes too! Just quote “Nikkibakes10” when making your booking and enjoy a 10% discount!
Piece Of Cake
One of our committee members swears by this store for reasonably priced birthday cakes! Not only do they have fab designs and taste delicious but easy on the budget too! They specialise in birthday cakes and macarons. She bought a beautiful digger themed birthday cake enough to feed 12 kids and 8 adults for less than $50 and still had cake leftover!
For more cake suppliers, you can check out this helpful article focusing on birthday cakes below by Honeycombers https://thehoneycombers.com/singapore/birthday-cakes-in-singapore/
I have lived here over 10 years and there is only one photographer that we use for all our family photo shoots, from themed Christmas shoots, newborn photo shoots, to the whole family outdoor photo shoots to intimate at home photoshoots. He is amazing with kids, super fun and beyond patient and more importantly his photos are incredible! Even better, he does smash cake photo shoots too! So if you’re looking for that memorable smash cake photo check out his details below.
Dan Parker is the man behind the camera and his cake smash sessions take place in his home studio where there is lots of space and he is able to use perfect lighting, coloured backgrounds and his cake smash props. You provide the cake and baby’s outfit and balloons, but he has lots of props to use also like wooden lettering, bunting, banner, chalk board, stoll, cake stand etc.
The cake smash package costs $900 and although the focus of the photos is on the cake
smash he also takes family shots too. The session usually takes an hour and includes 50-60 fully edited photos.
If you are looking for an entertainer for your little one's party it can be quite overwhelming as who does what and what age range it would be appropriate for, so here are a few of our tried and tested birthday entertainers!
Both my kids have thoroughly enjoyed attending Lucy Sparkle classes and parties! Lucy Sparkles provides a great birthday party package to help entertain the kids at your home or condo club room. A 45 minutes entertainment session for up to 20 kids aged 0-2 years is charged at $275, and 1 hour’s entertainment for up to 20 kids aged 0-6 months is charged at $350. They also provide additional options for extra pax, extra time, a digital birthday invitation, pass the parcel and glitter tattoos for an additional charge.
NMSG Member discount: You can enjoy an NMSG member discount with Lucy Sparkles too! Just quote “NMSGXLS23” when making your booking and enjoy a 10% discount!
For more entertainer ideas, you can check out this helpful article below by littlestepsasia
Cherry & Friends
If you were lucky enough to get a spot and attend our NMSG Summer Party Teddy Bear’s Picnic then you will have encountered these guys who helped with face painting and balloon sculpting on the day. Cherry & Friends is a group of fun loving friends providing entertainment services to all kinds of events and parties. They focus primarily on the art of face painting and balloon sculpting! They are super talented and reasonably priced!
NMSG Member discount: You can enjoy an NMSG member discount with Cherry & Friends! Just quote “NMSG” when making your booking and provide proof of your membership card to enjoy a 5% discount on individual packages or 8% discount on combined packages!
Derek is a tried and tested party entertainer by one of our committee members and loves to entertain children and make them laugh. He has over 10 years of experience and expertise to entertain with magic. Derek’s magic show is packed with lots of fun, comedy and magic that kids and adults will love and enjoy. A simply magic birthday packages is priced at $300 and best suited for 5 years and above. He does however have many other packages from balloon sculpting, game hosting, workshops and more.
8. Party Bags
I love making up party bags, personally googling all little themed gifts and window shopping for them is so much fun! But I know it’s not for everyone. Luckily some venues offer this service which is super helpful to those who don’t wish to do it themselves. Top tip - it's better to have 2 or 3 nice items than 10 cheap items that kids don't even play with. If you are doing them yourself however here is a list of ideas for party bag fillers!
Top party bag filler ideas:
● Mini art activity packs (eg. Grab n Go Activity packs which include colouring in, crayons
● Playdoh and cutter (It’s easy to make your own and easy to theme)
● Small toys and figurines (mini dolls, mermaids, ponies, cars, dinosaurs, cocomelon character etc)
● Bath Squirters
● Mini book (Little board book collections which usually come in packs of 4 or 5)
● Dress up accessories (hat, mask, headband etc)
● Themed t-shirt or bib
● Small stuffed toy
● Snacks (raisins, mini biscuits, yoghurt drops, chocolate lollipop, hello panda, pocky)
With birthday decor you can go as big or small as you wish. There are lots of vendors out there that can provide balloon garlands and party set-ups. But I have always done my own which proved cost effective and pretty easy to do!
I head to pinterest for ideas as to what items I am looking for; bunting, garlands, balloons, backdrops, also ideas for homemade decorations, then it is easier to envisage the look I am going for. I always purchase a themed backdrop about 3ftx5ft in size from either Shoppee or Amazon, these can cost between $10-$30 and are a cost effective way of setting a theme. Then I coordinate the balloons to match, which I buy from either spotlight (higher quality latex balloons) or foil balloons from Shoppee (as helium in them lasts for days), together with a helium canister from Spotlight. I have looked at having foil balloons inflated at shops but the charge is always shocking and the hassle of transporting the balloons a nightmare! Now if you are feeling brave you can also attempt a balloon garland yourself - it takes time but worth the effort and can be as
cheap as $25! I buy mine on Amazon and have set up simple pastel balloon garlands, mermaid tail balloon garlands, rainbow balloon garlands and dinosaur theme garlands - all simple to do! You just need to blow up a lot of balloons and attach them to a balloon strip (roll or tape with holes in it)- then we hang the garland using ribbon and stick on hooks to the wall. As for tableware again I always buy on Shoppee but if you want a physical store then Spotlight is great for block colour assortments or Gift Greetings or Children's showcase for themed designs.
Gone are the days of paper invitations or at least it feels that way to me. Instead I used a digital invite which you can either create yourself on Canva and set up a free account. Or like me purchase a themed digital invite from Etsy. That way it can match my theme and I can personalise with a photo of my little one! It saves paper and is more efficient!
If you do prefer handwritten invitations then Gift Greetings and Tango Mango offer a decent range to choose from.
Where to buy and shops you can find them all these things!
● Spotlight - Decorations, party bag fillers, balloons, party tableware, cake tins, icing
decorations and helium.
● Daiso - Decorations, party bag fillers, stickers, balloons and party tableware.
● Redmart - Snacks, mini sweets and biscuit multipacks, party tableware and party bag
● Amazon - Backdrops, balloon garland kits, foil and latex balloons, decorations, party
tableware, paper invitations, party bag fillers figurines, mini books, bath squirters, mini
● Times Bookstores - Grab n Go Activity packs, mini books and stickers,
● Childrens showcase - Themed party tableware, decorations, party bag fillers
● Gift Greetings - Balloons, decorations, party tableware, paper invitations and party bag
● Shopee - Backdrops, balloon garland kits, foil and latex balloons, decorations, party
tableware, paper invitations, party bag fillers: figurines, mini books, bath squirters, mini
● Lazada - Backdrops, balloon garland kits, foil and latex balloons, decorations, party
tableware, paper invitations, party bag fillers figurines, mini books, bath squirters, mini
● Party & Gifts - Balloons, decorations, party tableware, party bag fillers
● Party Joy - Banners, balloons and bunting
● Wow! Let’s party - Balloons, decorations, party tableware, party bag fillers
● SKP - Party tableware, party bag fillers, balloons
● Party City - Balloons, decorations, party tableware, party bag fillers
● Kidz Party Store - Balloons, decorations, party tableware, party bag fillers
● Tango Mango - Paper party invitations
Contributed by Hannah Beth Richardson