I get it, if you’re wondering, how long should a kid’s birthday party last? Because you don’t want to make it too short and on the other hand you defiantly don’t want to make it too long.

All the information listed down below is researched by our Event Managers. We have helped thousands of people with their events over the last couple of years and are bringing you all the fruits of our labor for free.

A kid’s birthday party should be on average 2 hours long, although it varies depending on age. Toddlers and preschoolers do best with parties kept between 1-2 hours. School-age kids’ birthday parties should last between 2-3 hours, and teens’ birthday parties should last 3-4 hours.

Our Recommended length of a kids’ birthday party

We have made a list, with an interval, that you should keep the length of the kid’s birthday party.

AgeAt leastRecommended lengthMax
>3 years1 Hour1½ Hours3 Hours
3-6 years2 Hours2½ Hours3 Hours
7-year-olds2 Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
8-year-olds2 Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
9-year-olds2 Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
10-year-olds2½ Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
11-year-olds2½ Hours3 Hours3½ Hours
12-year-olds3 Hours3 Hours4 Hours

If you want to dive deep into our research on how long a birthday party should last (age by age). Then you should read our postHow long a birthday party should last?”

What if the birthday party is too short?

Kid’s birthday parties mustn’t be planned too short, since there won’t be enough time for the parties.

The arrival of all the guests and the greets take longer than most people plan for. Make sure there is enough time to play, eat cake and open up the presents without feeling like a race.

If the birthday party is shorter than our suggestion for the shortest timeframe, you will end up with a birthday party that is over too fast, and you don’t have enough time for the guests to enjoy it.

What if the party is too long?

… On the other hand, if you make it longer than our maximum suggested timeframe, you will end up with a party that might go bonkers, and it can soon become the worst birthday party ever.

I’ve been present at kids’ birthday parties that were planned for way too long many times, in fact, more times than I can count, and one thing they all had in common was that the kids started to argue, cry and get restless, and instead of enjoying a fun time with the children, time was spend trying to comfort one kid after another.

If the kids’ birthday parties are too long, the kids can get overstimulated and tired, and in the worsed case you will end up with a disaster on you hands.

Justian Madensen

What is the ideal length for the perfect birthday party?

Our recommended length of a birthday party takes almost everything into account. There is time for Greeting the guests, playing games, eating cake, and opening up the presents, and still short enough, so the children don’t get overstimulated and bored.

When you are planning the birthday party it’s a great idea, to turn the birthday into small steps or phases.

It could look something like this:

Part one (15 min)
Kids arriving and making their candyfloss at the rainbow fountain.

Part two (15 min)
Tressure hunt starts in the Unicorn launch

Part three (15 min)
Cake and a secret surprise show

And so on…

Tell the guests in the invite how long the birthday party will last

It is generally a good rule of thump, to mention in the invite when the party starts, but also when it’s over. So the kid’s parents know when to come over and when to pick them up again.

It is a good idea for the first birthday party to invite the parents over as well. You need to take into consideration the age of the kids since 2-3-year-old toddlers need more attention than high-school kids.

How long should the activities be for a kid’s birthday party?

If you really want to make the kids’ Birthday party a success, then make a plan for some fun activities.