The West

Parents spare no expense for kids parties
Let's party: Brody, 5, Declan, 3, , Trevor, Jordan, 1, and Diana get ready to celebrate Jordan's first birthday. Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

Sitting on the floor in the middle of his family's home, Jordan Tollis seemed oblivious to the frantic party preparations going on around him.

As his mum rushed between the kitchen and the backyard, the one-year-old wrapped his fingers around a new toy and let out an excited shriek.

Jordan may have been content with just a toy and a piece of cake on his birthday but his parents Trevor and Diana Tollis had bigger plans for the milestone.

Parents from across Perth are now spending thousands of dollars on their children's parties as they splash out on everything from presents to entertainment.

Gone are the days when a plate of fairy bread and a game of pass the parcel would suffice, with party planners and elaborate lolly bags now the norm.

Perth mother-of-two Lisa, who did not want her surname used, goes "a little bit crazy" when it comes to birthdays.

She staged a big carnival party for her daughter's third birthday last year, which set her back about $5000. "I even ordered M&M's with my daughter's face on them from America," Lisa said.

The Tollis family spent more than $1000 on their circus-themed party for Jordan, organising a lolly buffet, jumping castle, marquee and professionally made cake.

"My kids have a party like this where we go all out every second year but this is probably the most detailed one I've had," Mrs Tollis said.

Scarlet Events owner Jorja Knight spent about two hours at the Tollis house styling the lolly buffet ahead of Jordan's party.

Mrs Knight, who has been planning events for about five years, said the amount of money people were spending on children's birthdays was creeping up.

"I get a lot of inquiries for people wanting halls with ceiling silks - stuff you usually do for weddings," she said. "It's crazy the amount of money people want to spend on birthday parties these days."

Earlier this year, Jay-Z and Beyonce reportedly spent $200,000 on a lavish party for their one-year-old Blue Ivy.

Though parties in Perth are yet to reach such dizzying heights, event planners say there's no denying they are getting bigger.

Milpip Party Perfection owner Samantha Bates said it was not uncommon for parents to fork out $1000 or more on a birthday.

It takes her almost three days to make tiered cakes for children's parties, which can cost more than $300.

"They look a little bit like wedding cakes with a few tiers and all of the child's favourite characters on it," Ms Bates said.

The booming industry has resulted in Jack and Jill's Garden owner Caroline Harben booking about eight parties a week at her Nedlands venue.

'It's crazy the amount of money people want to spend on birthday parties these days.'"Scarlet Events owner *Jorja Knight *

The West Australian

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