Entertaining Ideas

adult only party - polite way to word invite?

We host an annual holiday cocktails & desserts party in December. When we started this annual party, very few of our friends had kids, so it wasn't an issue, but now a lot of our friends have kids.

We'd like for this party to be for adults only, how do we word the invite to make that clear without offending the parents in the group? Anyone have a clever line we could use? Or is it just best to say something direct like "book your babysitters now, this party is just for the grown ups."

Last year, we figured that since the party didn't start until 8pm and the invite clearly said that it was a cocktail party, that no one would bring kids. Most people "got it", but we had several friends RSVP for themselves + kids. I didn't want to be rude, so I just let the kids come. But having kids there definitely changes the dynamic of the party, especially when it's late and the kiddies get crabby because they should be in bed. And the parents never fully enjoy the party when they're running after little ones the whole time (nor do the hosts!).

I'll add that we're not kid-haters or anything. We host dinner parties & BBQ's all the time and always include kids of our friends. It's just nice to have an adult-only party once in awhile, and we thought a holiday cocktail party was a good time to do that.

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Mr. Sammy Dog

Re: adult only party - polite way to word invite?

  • I like the wording about booking a babysitter now.
  • We did this for our wedding.  I think I worded it something like...

    Adult cocktails, dinner and dancing. 

    But I love the book your baby sitter suggestion.  I would totally go with that.

  • I think the book your babysitters now line is great!

    I totally understand you on the no kids at a cocktail party thing, I can't believe people brought their kids last year!

  • I like your line, may use it myself...last year we tried gently suggesting it and it didn't work...people asked if they could bring kids (at least they asked), I tried to make my response discouraging and said to two women "it's an adult party with adult food and adult drinks, but if people need to bring their kids that fine, just know I won't have anything specifically for them" Both of those moms asked me as soon as they walked through the door "do you have juice boxes or anything for the kids" and then rolled their eyes when I said I did not.

    One

  • I like your line, may use it myself...last year we tried gently suggesting it and it didn't work...people asked if they could bring kids (at least they asked), I tried to make my response discouraging and said to two women "it's an adult party with adult food and adult drinks, but if people need to bring their kids that fine, just know I won't have anything specifically for them" Both of those moms asked me as soon as they walked through the door "do you have juice boxes or anything for the kids" and then rolled their eyes when I said I did not.

    One

    of th
  • I like your line, may use it myself...last year we tried gently suggesting it and it didn't work...people asked if they could bring kids (at least they asked), I tried to make my response discouraging and said to two women "it's an adult party with adult food and adult drinks, but if people need to bring their kids that fine, just know I won't have anything specifically for them" Both of those moms asked me as soon as they walked through the door "do you have juice boxes or anything for the kids" and then rolled their eyes when I said I did not.

    One of

  • VJC, As someone with a child, I never expect anyone to have anything for him, that's my job.  

    The baby-sitter wording is cute.  If someone is offended, that's their problem, not yours.  I love a reason to go out as a couple, rather than parents.  Good luck!

  • image sjb&apa:

    "book your babysitters now, this party is just for the grown ups."

    I love that line!

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  • When a lot of people in our social circle started having children, we started getting invitations that had some sort of built-in babysitting option -- the hosts would hire a couple of teens to play with the kids downstairs/next door while the adults had their party. I'm not suggesting this is in any way your responsibility, just something I have seen done when others wanted to guarantee an adults-only experience.
  • i just threw an over 21 halloween party and i called it
    "Over 21 Halloween Party"

    no one asked if they could bring their kids. everyone had fun.

     

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  • I love the "book your babysitters" line!

    Wouldn't this kind of follow the etiquette of wedding invitations - i.e. you can put on the envelope who is invited?  John and Amanda Smith, rather than The Smith Family (specifically excluding kiddos)?  Or do people not understand that when it's a party invitation?

  • Not that this is probably a good suggestions, but i saw on desperate housewives the other night that the lady handing out inviations to the halloween party put a trike (or you could use a stroller) with a cirlce and line through it at the bottom of the invite. :) just kind of funny!
    ~basquing in the wedded bliss~
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