Expert Questions & Answers Hiring an entertainer

Have a question about getting organized, preparing a will, planning a party – or anything else you’re dealing with in your life as a parent? Come ask the experts what you want to know! A selection of answers to your questions will be posted on the site each week.

The 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!

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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.the end

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