We have an annual barbeque for our neighbors and family every spring. We have been organizing the gathering for about ten years now and we have learned a few tricks to making the event a fun time.
Rule number one is make sure the children are entertained. The first couple of years, we were so focused on having enough food, drinks and places for people to sit that we failed to think that some kids might not be as easily entertained as others. A bored and fussy child can make it difficult for parents to enjoy themselves.
We have plenty of games and sports equipment for the kids to play with, but these activities are not for everyone. We have learned from our oversights. Now, we rent a bounce house each year, and the kids love it. Sometimes the kids are so absorbed in swimming (when the weather is nice enough) and other activities that the bounce house gets little use, but we have found that it is always a good backup--just in case. As the saying goes, better to have it and not need...
And, as the article explains, the price for bounce house rentals can be reasonable. We don't rent the really elaborate ones.