What Time Of Day Is Best For A Kids’ Party?

by Ann Mifsud


If you’re planning a special event for your kid, you surely want it to be a success on all fronts. One thing you definitely want to get right is the time of day you throw the party.

Plan babies’ and young kids’ parties for late mornings or early afternoon. Mornings to late afternoon is best time of the day to throw a party for children between 8 and 10. Most times of the day, then, are good to hold tweens’ and teenagers’ parties.

Though seemingly a trivial decision, this may make or break the success of your kid’s party. You certainly don’t want to have kids cranky at your kid’s party, simply because they are too tired. So the time of day you throw your kid’s party is worth getting right.

As a matter of fact, there are proven times of the day that greatly increase your kid’s party outcome. So without further ado, let’s go in some more detail why these recommendations to what time of day is best for a kid’s party.

In this article we’ll be covering:

1. What time of day is best for a kids’ party?

Don’t plan a kid’s party too early in the day!

Without a doubt, this applies to kids of any age. And their parents too.

10 in the morning is probably the earliest time for a kid’s party.

As the one throwing the party, you sure don’t want your young guests arriving at the party distressed because mom had been hurrying them all along…even if, all truth be told, they would most likely tend to forget all about the incident five minutes into the party.

My kids have had party invites at 9 and 9:30 in the morning, both of which were a real stress on all of us to get there on time, despite the planning from the day before. We have regretfully turned up late to one of them!

After all the preparation, you would appreciate that your guests turn up more or less on time. You wouldn’t like to spend most of the party with guests slowly trickling in. You would be caught up trying to explain whether the games have started and which group they should join, or whether they should sit at table as food is being served.

Make it easy on your guests. Allow time for them to get up at a reasonable hour and enjoy preparing for the event, cherishing the expectation and getting all excited about it.

Which brings us to the next crucial point when considering the best time of day for a kid’s party.

Age is key!

Recommended time of day to hold a kid’s party

Kids age

Time of day to hold party

0 to 1-year olds

Late morning or early afternoon

2 to 7-year olds

Late morning or early afternoon

8 to 10-year olds

Morning to late afternoon

11 to 12-year olds

Most times of the day

Ages 13+

Most times of the day and sleepovers

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2. Reasons for holding a party at particular times according to age

The best time of day to hold a party for 0 to 1-year olds

Most kids up to around 12 months of age, would generally need a couple of naps during the day. So, having the party start at around 11am will neither make it too early for them, nor too late such that they will have to miss their siesta or afternoon nap.

If you decide to go for an afternoon party for your baby, make it early, say about 3pm. This would have allowed them an early afternoon snooze before the party. It would also mean the party would be over before their typical bedtime routine. Win-win!


The best time of day to hold a party for 2 to 7-year olds

Even if there is a difference between a 2-year old and a 7-year old, by and large, late morning or early afternoon parties work perfectly well at this age.

Keeping in mind the sort of activities kids this age enjoy at parties, you can safely start your kid’s party around 11am if you opt for the morning. Some time between 3pm and 6pm works well for an afternoon party with kids aged up to 7. These options are a good guarantee for success.

Generally speaking, kids this age, especially the younger they are, don’t take a party longer than 2 hours very well. So avoid longer parties at all cost. That is, unless you are ok with meltdowns.

Typically, kids will get to the party, are welcomed and give the gift to the party boy or girl, are entertained with games or organized play for about 45 minutes or so, depending on the activities of choice. At some point, photos are taken.

They then get something fun to eat for another 20 minutes, then they gather round to sing happy birthday to the host, eat the cake and other sweets, then given the party bag…hint hint…it’s time to leave.

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The best time of day to hold a party for 8 to 10-year olds

Kids aged between 8 and 10 may be able to handle a slightly longer party. They give you more leeway in terms of planning the time of the party. You are not tied down by naps as you would in the earlier years.

So, when you are organizing a party for kids who are between 8 and 10 years of age, you can consider having it at any time between 10am and 7pm.

Provided the guests are well-entertained with fun activities and cool games, horse rides, archery, laser tag games for boys, spa treatment for girls and the ever popular pinata, kids are sure to have a ball of a time and wonder where the time has gone.

Check out our article 10 Classic Games You Need For An Awesome Kid’s Party to get inspired.

Just use your imagination a bit and get your kid involved in deciding how they would like to spend the time with their friends at their party.


The best time of day to hold a party for 11 to 12-year olds

As for the best time of the day to hold the party for a tween, we strongly recommend discussing it with them, as this depends on the activities they would like to have during their party.

Late morning, afternoon or early evening parties, can all prove to be a great success for an 11 to 12-year old.

As kids get older, the activities they enjoy during parties do tend to become longer. So a 2 to 2½-hour party for a tween is well within limits.

If you want to get inspired with some party themes for tweens, check out our article The Best Party Theme Ideas: 0-18.

Besides, keep in mind that at their age, if there are slots of around 10-15 minutes where they have nothing organized for them but just music being played, they can, more often than not, oblige.

Eleven and twelve-year olds are also at an age where their opinion on what they would like to have organized for their party is more in line with yours. Fingers crossed!

Don’t be afraid to discuss with them the time they would like the party to be held. You might find it is easier than you think.

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The best time of day to hold a party for the 13+

Most teens will know exactly what and how they want their party to be. They are usually the ones to suggest the time of day they want to hold the party at and the theme they dream of, depending mostly on what they wish to do.

So, as the adult, your role is more of an overseer and guide. Three hours of party time usually fly by for teenagers. If your kid hangs around well-behaved friends, he or she may even want to plan a sleepover party or a day-by-the-pool party.

As teens, they may still want some fancy things, even more expensive things than they did when they were younger, but when it comes to how they will celebrate their special day and for how many hours, the reigns can be more in their hands than yours. Always negotiable of course 🙂

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Final thoughts on what time of day is best for a kid’s party…

The time of the day you organize your kid’s party should not be overlooked if you want it to be successful. Whether you are a parent experienced in throwing kids’ parties or a newbie, keeping in mind certain hidden principles will have great results on the outcome of your kid’s party.

We firmly believe the best time of day to hold a kid’s party changes according to their age. In this article you will find what time of day works best for which age group, with sound reasons to support our preferences. For your ease of reference, we have presented guidelines in a concise tabular form.

Remember, children are different and sometimes what works for a group does not for another. However, if you go by our presentation above, you will more likely be looking at a successful kid’s party.

Our guidelines will save you risking. If you do risk though, make sure any risk is well-calculated. As you gain experience, you will see you can go by your gut feeling, more often than not.

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Hi I'm Ann

Hi I'm Ann

Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea.  Discover more...