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How to hire a birthday party clown or magician

Party entertainment

Birthday ClownThe question:
I'd like to hire an entertainer for my child's party. I was thinking of something like a clown or a magician. What other options are there, and how do I make sure I get a good one? How much should I expect to pay? Thanks for your help. - Dorothy, Milwaukee WI

The Party Planner Answers:

Entertainment for a party has come a long way. Besides clowns and magicians, you can opt for one of the following choices:

  • Face painters
  • Puppeteers
  • Jugglers
  • Storytellers
  • Costumed characters

Most entertainers charge about $65-$80 an hour. However, you may be able to find services that provide clowns who juggle and do magic tricks, so you get more for your buck!

Consider entertainers who have been recommended by friends or relatives. Other great resources are the Yellow Pages or local parenting publications.  One thing to keep in mind for younger children: do not let the entertainment be a surprise. Some children may be scared when seeing the entertainer in person.




Some hiring considerations:

  • Ask for names and phone numbers of satisfied customers you can use as references.
  • Be sure the entertainer is used to working for children (they will be prepared for lack of attention or sudden outbursts).
  • Let the entertainer know of any expected guests that may be handicapped, allergic reactions to animals, etc, so he can adjust the show accordingly.
  • Prepare the children for the type of entertainer. Show a videotape of such entertainment to get them ready for what they might see and hear (the entertainer might also have such a videotape).
  • Ask the entertainer what age group their service targeted for.
  • Try to meet with the entertainer or obtain a photograph. A personal visual of who will be making your child smile is well worth it!

Not all kids want -- or are ready for -- an entertainer. Be sure your child is involved in this decision.

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