Choosing to invite children to your wedding is an important decision. For many couples with children, it makes perfect sense to include them in your wedding. For those without kids, you still don’t want to offend your friends and family who do have children. If you ultimately decided to invite little ones, keeping them entertained will make all the difference in ensuring things run smoothly.
“Just as kids might need entertainment waiting patiently at the airport or in line, it's helpful to provide activities for them at a wedding to ensure they also have a great time,” says Aleah and Nick Valley, owners of Valley & Company Events. “Even if you only have one child present at your wedding, taking an extra step to ensure they feel welcomed and well taken care of will be appreciated by the kiddo as well as their parents.”
Meet the Expert
Aleah and Nick Valley are the founders of Valley & Company Events, a wedding and event planning, design, and floral company based in Seattle, Washington.
Below, find 13 things for kids to do at weddings to consider as you’re mapping out all of the details for your big day.
Get on the Dance Floor
Welcoming kids to join you on the dance floor is sure to make them feel special. Aleah and Nick Valley suggest having the band play a few kid-friendly hits early on in the evening. That way, they can dance and have a great time with all of your other guests before the party is kicked up a notch.
Wow Them With Welcome Bags
Welcomes bags, especially if you’re hosting a wedding weekend, are such a special touch. Be sure to put one together for each of the little guests joining in the celebration. “We love to create welcome bags for kids as well filled with crayons and coloring pages, bubble wands, pinwheels, puzzles, and snacks,” says Aleah and Nick Valley. The kids will love having a special bag just for themselves, stocked with items to keep them entertained.
Make It a Movie Night
Hoping to entertain the kids for an evening reception? Turn it into a movie night! Set up an outdoor movie space at your venue, or check on the possibility of using a specific room for that purpose. They’ll love being able to curl up with big pillows and popcorn for a film.
Set Up a S’mores Bar
Let’s face it, this one isn’t just for the kids. Setting up a s’mores bar can be such a great alternative to traditional wedding dessert options. It’s interactive and fun, and everybody on the guest list can get involved. Set up unique options such as different chocolates, chocolate graham crackers, and flavored marshmallows. The kids (and adults!) will love choosing their perfect combination.
Create a Children’s Tent
No adults allowed! For an outdoor wedding, set up a children’s tent. A white-cloth tent will look lovely on the lawn, and the kids will be able to have their own space to play. Set it up with blankets, pillows, and plenty of activities.
Create a Card Station
Let all the kids say congratulations with a beautiful card. Set up a station with blank cardstock and crayons, markers, and colored pencils. The kids will love putting together a special card for the couple, and they can sit on display for everyone to enjoy.
Serve a Kid's Meal
Chances are, kids aren’t going to love the food you’re excited to serve, and that's okay. Ask your caterer to put together a few kid's meals with approachable options for them to enjoy as well.
There’s nothing like a sparkler exit! And the kids are sure to love partaking in the magic as well. Include them in your send-off for an extra special touch.
Set Up a Kid's Bar
No cocktails, wine, or beer here, of course! But that doesn’t mean kids' drinks can’t be special. Set up a bar space with a variety of juices. We love the idea of multiple drink dispensers or a special tin cooler with juice boxes and other favorites.
Bring in Entertainment
“Entertainment acts like a magician or balloon artist are super clever activities for kids to stay entertained,” says Aleah and Nick Valley. Set up an area for the kids to get cozy and enjoy the show.
Play Lawn Games
Lawn games are a great way to include the kids for a casual wedding. Set up giant Jenga, giant Connect Four, a ring toss, or even a mini golf course. Both kids and adults will love playing a game or two.
Set Up a Kid's Table
Kids' tables aren’t just for family get-togethers for the holidays. If you want to set the kids apart during your reception and make them feel special, plan to put up a kids' table with white or brown craft paper as the tablecloth. Place crayons and other small toys at each place setting, along with a place card, for an extra special touch.
Host a Scavenger Hunt
Allow the kids to discover all of the highlights of your wedding day. Set up a scavenger hunt and include things like the cake, flowers, and people on the dance floor on a card. Pair the card with an instant or disposable camera and let them play photographer. They’ll have so much fun roaming the reception to spot each item on the list!