Hillier Funeral Services (Leaderboard Ad)

Let's Talk

Your Total Guide To lifestyle

The Mobility Store (Lifestyle Sponsor)

Birthdays in Swindon

When it comes to birthdays be it for children or an adult, there is always one element that cannot be ignored, the birthday cake.

The birthday cake is believed to have originated from Germany in the late 18th Century where a cake with candles was presented to a child on the date of their birth. The child received one candle, for each year they had been alive and another for the hope of living another year.

Today, birthday cakes and parties take many different forms. With home baked cakes versus shop bought or professionally hosted parties versus family led celebrations. However, you choose to celebrate, one factor should always be considered irrespective of age be it their 1st birthday or their 100th - what is best for you and the individual?

By learning to manage the expectations of both the celebrant, yourself and guests - you will achieve the birthday recipe for success.

Our top tips for birthday celebration success

1/ Start planning early.

If you are planning a professionally hosted party, good venues book up quickly and require an advance deposit. Use this to your advantage, put aside a small amount each month to ensure that when the party arrives, you can comfortably cover the cost.

Across Swindon there are some wonderful venues for hire catering for all party sizes and requirements. Whether you choose a sit-down meal and disco. Or, a buffet and live band we are sure you will find somewhere to meet your exacting requirements.

Here's some venues we'd suggest:

TGt recommends;

Planning a celebration at home? The same rule applies, buy non-perishables in advance and begin saving early. Birthdays can be expensive. The key to success is setting a budget, saving a small amount each month and maximising the materials already available to you.

2/ Food

If you'd like to provide guests at your party with a delicious treat Rays Ice Cream can bring their ice cream to you. They're well-equipped to serve indoors and outdoors for anything from 50 to hundreds of guests. For further information, or for a bespoke quote please email info@rayswholesale.co.uk 

Want some fun catering options? Desserts and More have popcorn, candy floss, chocolate kebab machines and a sweet cart available for hire! Get in touch for further details.

If you're looking for something to really set your party apart, Butterfly Occasions are sure to be able to help! With amazing party supplies and balloons, they have what you need to make a memorable event. Find out more!

The Barista Cricklade offers the most delicious foods that are perfect for a birthday party! Offering a variety of traditonal party foods like sandwiches, sausage rolls and scotch eggs as well as serving mouth watering cakes! Want to find out more, click here. 

3/ To bake or not to bake that is the question.

Let’s be honest, since the launch of such programmes such as Great British Bake off, Cake Wars and Ace Cakes. The humble birthday cake has become more elaborate. Baker or not, our advice is simple. Do what is best for you, not what you think is expected. Value your time and money against that of someone else’s and make a choice. When it comes to the cake, this is one competition you do not have to enter.

Why not order an ice cream cake from Rays Ice Cream? Ice cream cakes are a deliciously quirky twist on a traditional cake and all made with Rays' own home made ice cream, they are moulded ice cream and contain no sponge. Order online here!

4/ Entertainment

Fancy having a pool party? Then, Oasis Leisure Centre can make that happen! You can have fun in the water for an hour and afterwards head over to their coffee corner where you can enjoy some yummy food.

Want to make your child's birthday one to remember? Then, why not take them to Better Extreme where they can enjoy the brilliant party package which involves a fantastic hour of bouncing, a party host and a delicious party meal afterwards! 

Stuck on what to do to make your child's birthday extra special? Then, Better Link Centre is here to help offering fantastic ice skating party packages that include 120 minutes of skating around the ice rink and 30 minutes for a yummy party meal afterwards!

Want to do something a little crazy for your birthday? Then, why not try crazy 9 hole footgolf at the Basset Down Golf Complex! They also have an 18 hole footgolf course that makes the perfect entertainment for an incredibly fun party. They offer incredible party packages for either the 9 hole crazy footgolf or the 18 hole course with both offering hot or cold food as well as so many other fantastic features.

Fancy some crazy, thrilling and adventurous driving experiences perfect for a party that no one will forget! Drive-Tech offer driving experience vouchers that allow you to arrive and drive! You can experience their brilliant outdoors Go Karting course and put you and your friends to the test of who's better! 

Of course you can organise all of the usual party games yourself, but why not add the wow factor to your party with Ultimate Occasions?

They can provide discos, karaoke, kids zones, bouncy castles and even a fun photo booth with all the props!

If you fancy a little challenge with your friends and family on your birthday then why not book Incarcerated! They have live escape rooms that are set to challenge you!

Why not check out Haydon Centre for a fun, safe and spacious bouncy castle party for your child's birthday!  (Please note: Food not supplied by the site)

At Dorcan you can have tons of splashing fun in their swimming pool with floats and inflatables! Once you've had 2 hours of fun in the water you can then enjoy some delicious food and play games in one of their private rooms.  (Please note: Food not supplied by the site)

Come and have a Bouncy Castle Party with Croft Sports Centre! Giving you 2 hours of bouncing fun and then one of their private rooms to sit and enjoy your food.  (Please note: Food not supplied by the site)

Did you know Delta Tennis Centre do incredible Tennis Parties! They include an hour coaching session and space in the bar for food afterwards. (Please note: Food not supplied by the site)

Ever wanted to know how to make beautiful flower crowns or floral wands? Then, why not have a magical and creative party with Blossom Lane! Allowing 10 friends to create gorgeous flower crowns and floral wands that are created with real flowers and follages. Lasts for 1hr 45 and offers the following; Invitations provided with envolopes, Cocktails and cookies on arrival, Pizza provided for all children attending, allowed to take home your creation and a cone full of sweets and the party family will receive a personalised book with the complete set of polariod photo's that were taken at the party.

5/ Invites

When it comes to invites, an attendee list is your top priority. Make a list and stick to it. Be realistic with the numbers that you can host and if a children’s party, be clear if parents and siblings can stay. It is easy to be misled into thinking that hosting a party at home allows flexibility with invites. Refer to your budget and calculate the cost per head. Even with small children, it is important to remember the additional costs, i.e. party bags, games etc.

Young children are likely to be overwhelmed easily and expect very little from a birthday. It is beneficial to bear this in mind when planning and writing your guest list. Small family gatherings may be conducive to success.

However, older children and adults differ, depending on the individual. Do not be coerced into increasing your budget to accommodate additional individuals. Instead look to send out the first wave of invites early. Then if required utilise the spaces freed by declines to invite extra guests.

6/ Party bags and favours

When it comes to party bags and favours, keep it simple. Most are happy with a thank you and a slice of cake. Cater to your audience. Young children expect little and older children less. They came for the party and need not be rewarded for their attendance with unnecessarily expensive gifts.

Our suggestions:

  1. Sweet cones, their parents may not thank you, but a suitable alternative to a party bag that requires no assembling.
  2. A slice of cake and fun size pack of sweets.
  3. A token stationary gift i.e. erasers, pads etc. Most stores offer a fun range of stationary with great deals for bulk purchases. Kids love them, and parents will thank you for the alternative to sweets.


Sweets Galore located in The Brunel is a traditional family run sweet shop which offers a wide range of sweets, including retro sweets and a range of American sweets, which are perfect for party bags. They can make great Sweet Hampers, Boxes and bespoke gifts and also have a Sweet Cart which can be hired.

7/ How to be PART of the day

Whoever you have planned your birthday party for it is inevitable that they value your attendance as much as all the other guests. So, try to be present at the party by calling upon the support of family and friends.

Be in the picture not behind it, for at least one moment to allow the recipient to remember their celebration with you.

  1. Designate small roles to willing family and friends
  2. Prepare as much as possible in advance.
  3. Take time for yourself leading up to the event to avoid burn out.


By Emma Smith

If you enjoyed Emma's article, you can read more on her site here!

The Mobility Store (Animated Ad)
Hillier Funeral Service
Jurys Inn Animated Ad
Boom Battle Bar (NEW Animated Ad)
Hall & Woodhouse
inSwindon (Wharf Green Market Animated Ad)
Mindcanyon (Animated Ad)
Life Lounge (Animated Ad)
Lydiard House Museum (Animated Ad)
Better Swindon (New Year Animated Ad)

Weather in Swindon