Alcohol at kid’s parties {a poll}

And no, not for the kids.  For the adults, who may or may not have kids attending.  

I don’t have a lot of time, we’re actually heading out to a birthday party for Cam’s friend in a bit.  But I’m planning Leah’s birthday party for the end of September and wanted to make sure the park we’re having it at ,is ok with us having alcohol.  And then I thought…hmmm, wonder what everyone thinks of having alcohol at a kid’s party.

Last year at Cam’s party, it was at the beach.  I didn’t buy any beer.  My husband said, “we need beer.” I wasn’t so sure.  He went and bought some on his own.  And THANK GOD he did!  Almost every single person, of age, had a beer. Good call hubby! (no one got crazy and no one driving drank, fyi)

We’ve also gone to a kid’s party that had a keg – one for adults with a yummy local brew and one filled with the real-deal, Root Beer for the kids..that rocked!

I know it totally depends on the type of party. But humor me and answer this super simple poll and leave a comment if you want to give your two cents!

[poll id=”11″]


  1. What a closely contested issue you found, Sarah! I am more on the conservative side and have to agree with the nay sayers on this one. I personally, would never have alcohol at any of my children’s parties – regardless of what the party is for. My family history is speckled with alcoholics and I would not want to put that temptation back in front of that, but putting that aside, I would also not want to be responsible in case one of the parents made the unwise decision to drive home and ultimately ends up in an accident.
    .-= DelRae´s last blog ..Marriage and Children =-.

  2. I say beer, yes–mixed drinks, no! lol and that is from personal experiences!

    I am latina, our family parties ALWAYS include alcohol but we did do mixed drinks on Christmas and that was bad!
    .-= Clarissa Nassar´s last blog ..How Much Longer? =-.

  3. Getting hammered and having a beer are two totally different things. Showing how to drink responsibly is something that children can model in their ADULT life. I don’t know who these people are that would get drunk at a kid’s bday party, but why would they ever be invited in the first place?
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Chicka Chicka 123…and More DVD Review and Giveaway! =-.

  4. I never thought about this much. My hubby and I don’t drink when we go to other kids parties, and we don’t offer it at ours. However, when we’ve attended other’s parties they’ve had it there, but like I said, I never thought about it much. It’s not a big deal to us. Just something there that doesn’t appeal to us, you know?
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..done debating: we’re getting the flu shot =-.

  5. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having alcohol at a children’s party. I’ve had many children’s parties with beer, wine and the occasional margarita… never had a problem. I have fun, mature friends that are well aware they have children that they need to take care of, so they know how much to drink and what’s appropriate.
    .-= Courtney Velasquez´s last blog ..My New Fetish…PinkyToast =-.

  6. I’m the type to say you bring any booze you lose a spot at my party.. When I have kids I don’t want that at their parties.. Mainly because some people in the new family can’t handle their liquor and have ruined many children’s parties.. I think we’re there for the kids and when we are getting liquored up is it really for yourself or the children at that point? I understand adults want to have fun but this isn’t your time. It’s for the kids. Like I said this hits a sour note with me because of personal experience but if people can HANDLE their alcohol then it’s a different story :)

    .-= Courtney´s last blog ..My life, my world, my heart. =-.

  7. I don’t see a problem with it as long as the drinking isn’t ‘college’ style LOL and parents stay sober enough to keep an eye on the kids (and interact with them) As long as everyone is adult about it and not being irresponsible parents then it is no issue for me.

    My main beef is parents who show up- abandon the kids and drink at the party, leaving others to play with and take care of the kids (usually me LOL)
    .-= eve´s last blog ..Hospital Visits… Delayed posts… sick baby…. =-.

  8. If the party is for a child than NO, there should not be alcohol there. The party is a celebration for that child not for adults to drink and alcohol has no place there. To me it is promoting drinking and driving and you are putting your children at risk by taking your children to this party and then drinking and then driving the children back home. Plus you have to take into considerations the law. Here in Michigan if someone gets drunk at my house and gets pulled over or into an accident I am liable because I let them drink and then leave while intoxicated.
    .-= Shawn Ann´s last blog ..Red Wings Fans all over =-.

  9. I never really thought of it before … we have alcohol at family get togethers when it’s a holiday or something, but for a child’s birthday party, I usually don’t offer any if it’s at our house. But whenever it’s at our nieces’/nephews’ houses, there’s usually beer or wine for the adults and I’ve never thought twice about it.

    I guess it depends on your family.
    .-= Creative Junkie´s last blog ..Sunday regurgitation: Today, I shall simply take up space, in this blog and on my couch =-.

  10. My girls have only had “kids only” kinds of parties at specific venues so it hasn’t come up for me personally. I put it into the perspective of a family gathering or holiday where everyone comes and hangs out for several hours. Then my answer is provide party drinks for all ages that attend the party. I serve alcohol at Thanksgiving and everyone s very responsible about it. I say go for it
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..Football Season and the Family Television =-.

  11. I used to think….no, of course not, the parents have to drive the kids home…but then i thought, well, you have a glass of wine out to eat w/ kids with you.

    If a parent cant regulate themselves with alcohol present, its not the alcohol they should be worried about but moreso the fact that they shouldnt have had kids.

    .-= trisha´s last blog ..Working on a new theme =-.

  12. I think you need to know your crowd. My oldest son has a summer birthday, and when we have a party for him it’s just a big cookout with friends and family. Each year it’s ended up being more like a kegger than a kid’s party. There are always people who don’t drink, but no one has gotten out of control so far. Our family and friends know well enough when they’ve had too much and either someone who’s not been drinking drives them home or they sleep at our house. Usually the ones who sleep over have made arrangements beforehand. What we do is buy beer. We tell everyone that when it runs out, that’s it, and any liquor is BYOB because that could get expensive. I don’t think we’ve even gone through 2 cases at a party with up to 50 people.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Health Care =-.

  13. They serve alcohol at Chuck E Cheese. Nuff said :P
    .-= Matthew´s last blog ..Free 2010 Wildlife Calendar =-.

  14. The birthdays you are talking about seem to be “get together’s” with family and friends of all ages… like a cookout. I think it is definitely ok to have alchohol at those type of gatherings. In that type of atmosphere people usually know how to act: ie: not get to crazy and drink too much if kids are present. I know a TON of people who like to have a few drinks…. especially wine or beer.
    @nightowlmama We aren’t talking about a college party here. Parents know their limits and need to be SMART. If one parent has a few drinks.. than the other should drive. If you know that one glass of alchohol will affect you, then don’t drink. I don’t think the parents that got in that alcohol related accident with their kids were responsible.
    .-= Emily Roemmich´s last blog ..Giveaway: 500 Business Cards from Busy Mom and UPrinting =-.

  15. They have a beer garden at Disney’s California Adventure. And yeah I had one :)

  16. Stef, I saw that story in a magazine. So sad. And you bring up a good point that no-one could tell.

    I wonder if geography has anything to do with it too. Where we live birthday parties are an all day event, a family/friend gathering. 1st birthdays compete with weddings – with how many you invite. So they are super celebrations.

    Not so average – I agree. and yeah, no keg stands or quarters…those days are long gone, (thank goodness!)

  17. You know what is odd though…they serve Beer at Disney on Ice…what’s up with that? :P
    .-= Not So Average Mama´s last blog ..Project Arrowhead Word From The Mayor =-.

  18. No way you will be able to bring booze to a park in Orange County. But I’m sure you knew that..:)

    We never have alcohol at Caden’s parties. BUT, it seems that we ALWAYS have an after-party every year. His birthday is in May. It’s the end of the Season for most organized sports. We always have family and friends who have prior obligations. So there’s an after party, which usually consists of some kind of BBQ, and drinks..
    .-= Julie @ Angry Julie Monday´s last blog ..Rocky the Squirrel =-.

  19. It is possible (as demonstrated in other countries) to enjoy a drink for the drink it is. Alot of things are bad if not taken in moderation. I think drinking a beer or a glass of wine is no big deal at all. the majority of adults are not drinking to get their buzz on, but enjoying a good drink because they simply enjoy one. I see no issue. Over indulgence…well yea, a drink? No biggie.

    I take it y’all wouldn’t be doing keg stands or playing quarters right???

  20. I said ‘nay’ only because you never really know how much someone at the party will drink and if it’s a kid party then they will have their kids with them and will have to drive home later with them. There was just a news story about a mom that had some, got drunk (even though no one thought she was), got into the car with her two kids and three neices and ended up in an accidnet that killed a total of 8 people; herself, three nieces, daughter and three other people in different cars. VERY sad! :( But my point to that is, nobody thought she was drunk! She hid it very well!

    If it is a neighborhood party then I would say ok b/c then everyone can walk home. Or if it was something like a non alcoholic “drink” like Heinekin (or is it O’Dools?) then I would be fine with that also. I think drinks need to be kept kid friendly for many reasons. You don’t want people getting out of hand in front of kids if they have too much, they have to drive home and drinking too much and having fun in front of kids (IMO) sets a bad example. Of course we do have a drink on occasion but we never make it look fun or yummy in front of our kids. We don’t want them to think it’s cool and want to start asap. Just my opinion of course! Have fun with whatever you decide.
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..The Studio (Danielson Designs) Giveaway =-.

  21. I’m not a fan of the idea at all and would certainly leave a children’s party that included alcohol. Birthday parties are meant for the kids and it’s not setting the best example to be drinking in front of them. But that’s my personal take, I don’t drink very often (like once a year) and would be happy to see alcohol go into the illegal category of drugs.
    .-= Cat @ 3 Kids and Us´s last blog ..Rainy Day fun with Wii Accessories and PDP Review =-.

  22. This is more of a controversial subject than I would have thought! I definitely think it’s ok to serve Beer or Wine at a kid’s birthday party (no hard alochol). I would assume people going to a child’s bday party would know it’s not a “Raging” event :p Personally, whenever I go somewhere social, if it’s with my husband, only one of us will have a drink or two and the other will drive. All friends that I know do this as well. Also, maybe make a brief announcement to the party to let people know that if they are drinking, to please be safe and smart (a friendly reminder never hurt). Only you know your friends and it should probably be situational and different for each type of event. Good luck!!

  23. Night Owl Mama – so do you think alcohol shouldn’t be served at any party where kids are attending or any party that you are throwing, to be safe?

    And what do you all think about having a drink at dinner when you are with your family.

    I am not a drinker, I don’t like alcohol actually, but at most dinners, family dinners, people are having a glass of wine with dinner. And at most weddings. And most parties -4th of July etc.

    Interesting topic and love hearing what everyone has to say!

    And when we threw the party and everyone, that wasn’t driving, had a beer we bought a case (I think that’s 24, right?) and so no one had more than two tops. I’m not making excuses, just saying if you don’t buy much, much cannot be had, either.

    I also think it’s up to each adult to act responsibly. If my husband has a drink, I don’t, so that I can drive etc.

    Anyhow, keep the convo going, it’s great to see all sides of it! Thanks, Sarah

  24. We discussed this topic the last time we planned our toddler’s party. I am firmly against having any kind of alcohol at a child’s party. My reasoning behind this is that there are plenty of other family gatherings (picnics, 4th of July, etc) that alcohol is fine to bring/have. But at child’s birthday party? Eh, it just seemed not something we would do. The focus of the birthday party and of the day should be on the child (even if the child is really too little to know what is going on!) and I just don’t think alcohol is appropriate when you think of it this way. There are many other parties that your child will be in attendance that alcohol would be ok (like I stated before, picnics, etc) but not their own birthday party.

  25. Hi Sarah,
    My husband and I do not drink however most of my extended family are big drinkers. After family get togethers with most everyone a bit tipsy, I alway wondered if the people driving off with kids in the back seat were really 100% with their thinking and reaction times. As an old granny LOL! I’d have to say…if children will be riding in the vehicles of the people who have been drinking…then the party shold be alcohol free. :)
    .-= Cathi ~ The Way I See It Too´s last blog ..Puff of Black Smoke =-.

  26. No never these parents need to get back in the car with their children and drive. How would u feel if they got in an accident on the way home.

    Few yrs ago some friends served alchol and the family got into a accident putting one of the kids in the hospital
    it was the talk of the school for over a yr and still comes up in coversation

  27. Depends on the venue and the friends, but we generally have alcohol when it’s a BBQ in our backyard and the parents are attending too.
    .-= Aimee Greeblemonkey´s last blog ..Obama to address kids in schools about education – and everyone flips their lid? =-.

  28. Erin, I don’t think it’s a matter of needing it. And am sure they can go a few hours without drinking…they aren’t alcoholics, lol, but I think maybe it also has to do with just being social.

    I think it totally depends on the type of party. And perhaps it depends on the age of the kids?? I mean, when we had a 1st birthday party it was mostly all adults and we had beer and wine and it was more an adult party but for Cameron.

    Now that as Cam gets older and it’s more about the kids and less like a cocktail party but with a 1 year old thrown in, it seems the alcohol could be done with. hmmm

    BUT, I do know that many parents use a birthday party to reconnect with friends and enjoy a day long party at the beach, so a cold beer sure is nice on a hot day!

    We just got back from the party and I did open up a beer. I didn’t drink all of it, I never really do, I am not much of a drinker. But it sure did taste good, the little bit that I had.

  29. I didn’t vote because I need a “doesnt matter” option. LMAO. I’ve bought beer for the kid parties, had beer brought when I didn’t buy and had no one drink when I have bought it. That last one was the most recent. So I don’t think I’ll buy it anymore. Not too many people drink it seems? So why waste money. So it’s not that I think its improper … I guess it just depends whether your friends really want/need it or if they can survive a couple hours with just pepsi/coke/soft drinks. KWIM?
    .-= erin´s last blog ..What’s Buzzworthy: Back to School =-.

  30. I think it’s fine to offer it at a party. You know your friends and if you think everyone is responsible then there should be no harm in offering alcohol.

    I have heard about mom’s having playdates with the occasional glass of wine, so why would this be different. I say, go for it!
    .-= Kasey´s last blog ..Green Tip – Share Your Breakfast With A Friend =-.

  31. We don’t drink, so we would not have alcohol at our children’s birthday parties. However, if you offer everyone one beer or one glass of wine, I don’t see that it would be a problem. As long as you have a responsible crowd of family and friends, then I wouldn’t worry about it. I just wouldn’t want to be put into a position for having to carry the guilt if something happened as a result of someone drinking at my child’s party.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Gratitude 09.05.09 =-.

  32. I don’t think it’s a big deal as long as the adults are being responsible about it. We’ve always had alcohol at kids parties in my family and there’s never been a problem with kids not being watched etc.
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Recipe of the Day – Low Cal Beef Stroganoff =-.

  33. I dont’ think it is a huge deal to offer beer or something simple. I normally have our kids parties earlier in the day so never serve alcohol. But everyone knows where they can find the beer! DH usually has some if he is off and so does his dad and my dad. As long as they are well behaved I don’t see a problem.
    .-= Gena Morris´s last blog ..Putting a Face On Cervical Cancer…Melissa Wood =-.


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