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Alcohol at Kids Parties

Mommy Dearest: Alcohol Isn't Appropriate at a Child's Party

Mommy Dearest –

Birthday season is in high gear in my daughter's preschool class, meaning that we are attending several parties every weekend. I thought I had seen every iteration of a gym, magic or cooking party, but this weekend one party stuck out like a sore thumb. At this early afternoon party, while the kids were shrieking with laughter as the clown/magician did his shtick, a waitress passed by with mimosas and sangria on her tray. As I turned to observe the other parents' reactions, I saw many reaching in for a glass and enjoying themselves throughout the party. One father commented to me that this was the best way to make it through the endless string of parties we were enduring.

I don't consider myself to be a teetotaler, but isn't it inappropriate to be liquoring up the adults at a children's party?

– Banish the Booze Mama

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Dear Banish the Booze Mama –

Alcohol and kids is always a controversial topic. Some moms are quick to offer cocktails at afternoon playdates while others don't allow their tots to see them imbibe at all. Given the celebratory nature of a party, regardless of the age of the guest-of-honor, I don't see any harm in offering adult guests an alcoholic beverage. If they aren't comfortable with the idea, they don't have to participate. That said, I would not offer an endless supply of beverages, simply having enough for everyone to have one drink should be enough.


– Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this series at the Mommy Dearest Group on our new community page.

inlove23 inlove23 7 years
As long as the adults are not getting drunk and keeping themselves in control then I think it should be okay.
Sarana Sarana 7 years
Just a few drink are ok. I do not understand why kids parties have become adult parties nowadays! Just drop off the kids at the party and pick them up later. If it is a family party most parents come in couples so they can make a decision together on who gets to have alcohol and who will drive home.
amandachalynn amandachalynn 7 years
Wow. Technically, a mimosa is champagne and orange juice which falls into the wine category. It is a spritzer. A cocktail is made from liquor. I did not attack your post, I was simply putting in a reply, which is the point of a discussion. I was also talking about parties I host, not taking my kid somewhere else. I would never take alcohol or anything else that I wasn't asked to bring to someone else's party. My math regarding blood alcohol levels is not generalization, it is fact. Most states have a blood alcohol level of .08 because that is where most research agrees impairment starts. Anyway, I was not trying to be argumentative, just having a discussion. Those usually have different points of view, and I think I expressed a different point of view in a respectful way. Sorry if you don/t feel the same.
lawchick lawchick 7 years
I don't think it's wrong to have the option, but of course it shouldn't be a requirement if the host isn't comfortable with it. I have been to one child's party where they had beer - a 4th of July BBQ. Not many people drank and those of us who did only had 1-2 beers. It just wasn't much of a drinking atmosphere! It was nice to have the option of a cold beer on a hot July day in Mississippi, though ;)
JennyJK JennyJK 7 years
Phew, no offense, but it's posts like this that make me terrified of having children
amandachalynn amandachalynn 7 years
We're not talking about serving cocktails. We're talking about beer and wine. A person weighing 100lbs will have a blood alcohol level of .04 immediately after 1 beer. This is well under the legal limit, and that is for a person weighing 100lbs! Not to mention 1 hour after eating. Your blood alcohol level also goes down as your weight goes up. We have barbecues with many adults present to celebrate birthdays. They go on for much longer than 2.5 hours. If we were to whip out the Jack Daniels or get the margarita machine going, then it's questionable. One beer or glass of wine does not make you drunk, and it has nothing to do with the drunk driving in this country. That problem comes from binge drinking, because there is poor alcohol education.
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
I think the majority's got it right. And I also wholeheartedly agree with Amanda. Kids are more likely to drink responsibly later on if they see their parents doing so. You don't need to shield children from everything.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
to the OP: I fail to see how one drink is "liquoring up" the adults. A glass of wine/ mimosa/ sangria is hardly the same as shots and keg stands. If you don't want to drink don't have one.
betty-kraker betty-kraker 7 years
we have had people show up at our kids park bbq birthday and bring a cooler of beer we didn't care for it but didn't say anything at the party but for our next kids b day party we will tell those people to please not bring the booze
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Good point about Chuck E. Cheese, amanda! I have to admit, I was surprised the first time I saw that they sell beer there!
amandachalynn amandachalynn 7 years
They even sell beer at Chuckie Cheese! One drink is not going to hurt anything, we always have beer and wine at any get together we have. It's my personal belief that kids are less likely to binge drink when they're older if they grow up seeing responsible adults enjoying alcohol the way it's intended, because it's not something that's taboo and therefore exciting.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I agree with the majority. While I certainly wouldn't expect alcohol at a children's party, I see nothing wrong with it being served. (Not that I feel entitled to alcohol at any party, but I would be a little surprised if I went to an adults-only dinner party or something like that and they didn't offer any alcohol.)
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
Geez they're not pulling out the keg and passing around Jager shots. As long as everyone sticks within their limit I think these type of drinks are appropriate.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
If the host of a kid's birthday party offered me a drink, I'd be thrilled! I would enjoy that one drink, follow it with a couple glasses of water and some playtime for my daughter, and then go home. I agree with the anonymous poster who would not serve alcohol as well, though, especially this quote: "Also, even if you don't overindulge, can you trust all the other parents not to? " So, I personally wouldn't serve alcohol, but I would enjoy responsibly if another host offered.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
i agree with babysugar too. if they broke out the beer bong, then i would start to get worried. but mimosas and sangria? no problem.
Moms Moms 7 years
I agree with babysugar's response too. We had beer and lemonade at my daughter's 2nd birthday because 80% of the guests were adults (many without children) and funnily enough, almost everyone chose the lemonade.
nicole121482 nicole121482 7 years
I 100% agree with the response as well. I see nothing wrong with making the child's party enjoyable for all who want to partake. There's no rule saying you have to drink and as long as the drinks being offerred are limited, why not? This poster does not say that the adults were running around doing keg stands and getting wasted, just enjoying a beverage themselves...absolutely nothing wrong with that.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
i agree wholeheartedly with the response! if the hosts ply the guests with an endless supply (enough to get drunk) then i would see that as a problem a mimosa and sangria on a saturday afternoon is a lovely touch, in my opinion and helps include the parents in the festivities while the children are occupied with activities
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