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Last year was the first year we did a combined kids and adults party. It was great and people had a lot of fun, but we definitely got a different crowd, atmosphere, and the majority of guests left around by 10:30-11.

This year, my husband and I are torn between what to do. We want an adult only party, but we are wondering if there might be some way to split the house and have two separate parties going on - all adult on one end, kids on the other.

So, I guess my questions are: How do other folks handle "mixed" parties? Is there an age that it works better for? (e.g. teenagers have no problem not mixing with the adults, but younger kids constantly wander over?) What sort of things to keep in mind when trying this? What works and doesn't work?

Any thoughts, guidance, and insight is appreciated! :D
 

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Probably not the solution you are looking for, but our adult party is Sat night, Sunday night the kids get to have one. (we just re-arrange all the left over food on clean plates and pick up all the beer bottles.... ;-)
 

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Ravenous Zombie
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When you invite kids and their parents, it's guaranteed that the vast majority of them will leave around 10 pm - you're lucky they even left at 10:30 pm/11 pm. We always hold a mixed party and after weeks of decorating and planning, we are always disappointed when almost everyone leaves before 10 pm - meaning they only stay for like two hours after all that work we put in. I think you should hold an adults-only party if you want a party that lasts longer. I did think of holding a kids party earlier like at 6:30 pm with the adult party starting at 8:30 pm or so. Not sure if that'll work though. A friend of mine suggested inviting people in waves - one group invited to arrive at 8 pm, another at 9 pm, so you end up a constant stream of new people coming in. It all depends on the activities and games you have planned too. Let me know what you end up doing. We've been having the same problem for years. Thanks.
 

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Im doing the adult party Friday and the kids on Saturday. Both are witches wingding parties so the decor will stay in place. I just hope I dont have a hangover!! lol
 

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I was in the same quandry. I have decided to keep it adults. I go all out for the kiddies on Halloween night. I am however telling some of my friends with older teens they can come. I thought about mixing it, but alot of my friends have young kids like me, so it would be crazy!

For me when you are at a party with your kids you never get to relax. I always feel like I am chasing them around all evening, so they don't kill themselves or break something. It becomes more stressfull than fun.
 

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I'd agree with most of the stuff on here. I'd probably go with earlier for the kids and later for the adults. You'd figure the sun starts setting around 5 or so in the fall, so you could do like 6 to like 8 for the little kids, then have your adult friends over from 9 and on.

Really it would depend on the ages of the kids. I would never endorse a mixed adult/kid party with children 13 and under if Alcohol is going to be present. When dealing with kids running around in costumes and having too much fun to really look out for themselves its good to have as many 'clear headed' adults as possible.

Older teens, like someone else said, can kind of do their own thing and in that instance a mix might not be too bad. They can make friends with other guests children. But keep in mind, if you get a bunch of 15 or 16 year old kids together .. they are going to conspire to get their hands on some of those beers. I know that's what I tried to do when I was a kid. So keep you're eyes peeled haha.

But yeah, I'd vote for two seprate parties, either an early and late or Friday and Saturday.
 

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I would do what most people suggested, have an adult party one night and a kids the next. However, if you have teenagers I would NOT invite them to the adult party. Most teens will argue they're not children, but if they're not of age to drink, they WILL find a way to sneak liquor if you have any at your party,unless of course you're ok with that...
 

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When our kids (and all of our kids friends) were younger we did a combined party. It worked great....I hired 2 or 3 teenage girls from the neighborhood to watch the kids who had their own food/games/crafts/movie activities. The girls were told to keep the kids AWAY and they always did a great job. One year we set up tents outside for the kids, and one year we set up the garage and driveway. We had so many things planned for the kids to do that they never even wanted to join the adults. At the end of the night I put out a little jar (I let everyone know in advance I would be doing so) and lots of parents contributed to the sitter fund. They were happy to do so and have a night to themselves! The kids had fun, the parents had a great time, and the babysitters always went home with good money, and trays full of goodies.
We did this arrangement for several years with great success.
 

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Great idea!

When our kids (and all of our kids friends) were younger we did a combined party. It worked great....I hired 2 or 3 teenage girls from the neighborhood to watch the kids who had their own food/games/crafts/movie activities. The girls were told to keep the kids AWAY and they always did a great job. One year we set up tents outside for the kids, and one year we set up the garage and driveway. We had so many things planned for the kids to do that they never even wanted to join the adults. At the end of the night I put out a little jar (I let everyone know in advance I would be doing so) and lots of parents contributed to the sitter fund. They were happy to do so and have a night to themselves! The kids had fun, the parents had a great time, and the babysitters always went home with good money, and trays full of goodies.
We did this arrangement for several years with great success.
This is the best idea yet! I would so do this....Love it!
 

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The Goddess of Screams
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Ah, our parties are always mixed!!

But, it's always adults outside, kids inside. and that usually works fine - they have 3 tvs inside - Playstation on one, XBox on one, and scary movies set on the 3rd. I have them their own party snacks and drinks.

We are outside, b/c so many of my friend smoke, and it's just were we end up, spills don't matter, etc...

We are in and out using the bathroom and checking on kids through out the night - by midnight they are usually crashed all over the place!! couch, recliner, beds!!

We hosts parties at our house, usually once a month, so we do this all the time, and it works perfectly.
 

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Considering 90% of our guests have kids arount the same age as ours, we hire a couple of teenagers and have a separate kid's party in the "dungeon". If you want to bring your kids to the party, it's $2.00 each for the night to pay for the sitter team. We set up a separate buffet table, movies, games, Wii, and kid-friendly decorations downstairs. We also have several huge beanbags and an inflatable mattress for them to crash on for the night. Most of the kids have to come upstairs at some time during the night to check out the other decorations but generally keep to themselves. They have too much fun to hang around with the adults.
 

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The Goddess of Screams
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yes, a babysitter is a great idea - I should have said in my post - we have good range of ages - 8-15 year olds. So, my 3 that are 14 and 15, are the sitters kind of. But all the kids are like family, and they all know I beat their butt if they get rowdy!! LOL No, they are all really good kids, we are all very close, so I have no problems out of them.
 

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Shadow Crosser
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My concern would be the parents driving the kids home after the parents have been drinking. I would do a separate party for each group.
 

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im with bev, we have mix parties a lot for holidays. the key is to have some lvl headed teens (thank their mom) that watch the younger ones while the old people have their fun outside. On halloween, we let the kids stay up late, watch movies, games or w/e, and crash all over. Of course thats what we all do at the end of the night, but we're always careful to keep the upstanding adult image while they're awake :D

edit.... u have too much fun, u stay
 

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badgirl has the right idea. Hiring teens to corral the younger ones is the way to go. I did this for 4 years and it worked great. I provided crafts for the little ones. Later, I did a trick-or-treat "pumpkin trail" using the adults in costume to give out the candy. I've also done a carnival using the parents/hired teens as carnies. Kids area was in my basement, adults upstairs with the food, and alcoholic beverages outside.

If you want your party to go on much later, invite people with no small children. Have them come to the party later (8pm or so), while the people with small children come at 6.
 

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I'm planning to put the keg of beer in the back yard and use clear plastic cups for kids, blue and red cups for adults. That way it will be conspicuous if a kid is drinking something out of a non-see thru cup. The keg will be monitored anyway. At the end of the party, I am taking the tap with me.
 

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The Goddess of Screams
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Good idea Sir! :)

We have tons of room for peeps to stay. I usually pop our large tent up outside - let the kids crash out back - that even adds to the spoooooky atmosphere, after they've stayed up watching scary movies!!

That gives us 2 more beds then, to let adults crash on. My friend brings their large travel trailer - that sleeps 8.

Then the next morning we all get up - and I have help cleaning up even! BONUS! LOL
 

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We usually have one party but invite family and people with kids over earlier and then the big partiers and people without kids at a later time.

That way there's some overlap everyone gets to see everyone else but everyone's on their best behaviour still. The parents & kids plus those who don't like to stay late can leave early and then the hardcore partying lasts on into the night. :D
 

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mixing kids and adults at parties

My daughter is 12 and my son 10. There is no way I could plan a party and not invite them. They would never forgive me! The last two years I hosted a Pirate and Vampire party. I never saw the kids except when we played bobbing for apples, or did the Mummy Wrap game with both kids and adults. On the invitation I put " kids are welcome, but not encouraged". I knew a few would come and that was enough to keep mine entertained while I entertained my guests. The youngetst kid, however, was 8 years old which makes a big difference. The kids played with each other and ran around in the backyard and had a spooktacular time! This year it is all about Zombies! I say if the kids can handle little guts and gore and not have nightmares when they get home then let them come!
 
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