Are you freakin crazy??
Surely the last thing you want is an 18th at your house!
Here are our top tips for hosting an awesome (but safe) 18th at our home:
Keep the numbers below 25 – pretty strict on this
Start time: 6pm (start early…finish early and they don’t even notice!) especially if they are drinking.
FEED ME! A really important thing for an 18th is to ensure everyone eats, and more than once. We served once at 7pm and then again at 10pm: hot finger food, including mini bowls of things like pasta bake, mini baked potatoes, mini pizzas, etc. They might be crossing the threshold of adulthood, but if you do not serve fairy bread then you are doing it wrong! Feeding them is really important if they are drinking.
Have a barman! The rule was pre-mix, beer and ciders were ok, but spirits had to be given to the barman (who happened to be our eldest son who is a barman!) This way there was more responsible drinking of spirits. Anyone caught with spirits would be told to leave (no one did).
Have ‘can’t say no’ non-alcoholic alternatives. It was a cold night so we had to die for hot chocolate perpetually available. No, no one snuck in any Baileys into it. Well maybe mine was slightly ‘enhanced’…
Lots of water. Have lots of bottles of water and hand them out to everyone, especially those who are drinking.
We opted to have people stay over as we thought it safer (and a good way to keep numbers down). We set up a TV and gaming console out in the tent and after a few good feeds, a few hours of fun and a few more hot chocolates because who could say no, most settled in for chillin before midnight!
Be a good role model by having fun your self whilst still governing the behaviour of everyone. Having more than one adult is essential! Be vigilant to those who might be getting themselves in ‘vulnerable’ situations and gently intervene.
And don’t forget the cake but have some fun with it. Did you by chance let your 1-year-old smash the cake on their first birthday? If so, why not recreate it? Make it compulsory for your now adult to have to take a bite out of the cake without the use of their hands!
If you facilitate and encourage fun in a welcoming warm environment, then you will have a party that check all the boxes of fun but without the drama that is often associated with 18ths. Enjoy your baby no longer being a baby! Just be prepared to find out they did a 'shoey'- best to not know what that is trust me.