Clown or Magician: Who Should You Hire for a Kid’s Party

Clown or Magician: Who Should You Hire for a Kid’s Party

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Clown at a Kid's Party - clown or magician
Do you need a clown or magician for your little monster’s coming birthday bash?

Are you in the middle of conceptualizing a birthday party for your kid? What to do and where to start? Is it better to hire a clown or magician?

First, ask yourself what type of entertainer your child wants. If you are planning to hire a clown, do not forget that clown makeup should be seen from a distance at the circus. Up close, it might be scary to kids.

To boost a child’s comfort level with an entertainer, get a photo and post on the refrigerator beforehand.

If your two or three-year-old has a favorite character, remember that before you hire a real-life version, a six-foot-tall Clifford, Barney, or Elmo can seem overwhelming.

In addition to that, you must know that the best entertainer for a crowd of kids who are three years old and below is someone who plays the guitar and hosts musical games. You could also hire one who uses puppets.

Look for somebody who can manage children’s short attention spans and who will be flexible about occasional interruptions from kids.

If you are looking for a magician, kids aged three to seven year old react best to one who is funny and silly. Straight magic fascinates less. Actually, children aged eight and up likely prefer an adult-style magician.

Whether you will hire a clown or magician, he or she should have solid experience with your kid’s age group.

Clown or magician: What do they actually do? 

As we already know, clowns are not just a decorative figure for a kid’s party. They are not like other characters that just have to be photographed and roam around your guests.

Even so, from a clown, we all can expect the contrary. We expect he or she to do or say something and mainly to be funny and make his gestures seem animated and exaggerated.

Hence, regardless if he or she is a clown or magician – they can do a wide variety of acts for events and parties.

Not only will children be amazed by mind-boggling magic, but they will also end up bend over with laughter, and it’s pretty amusing for any adults watching too!

If the party is for your special little one, he or she will end up feeling like the star of the show as he or she participates in it. In addition to that, older kids may also learn how to perform a few magic tricks.

Types of Party Clowns

The Clown – Magician

This type of clown will be best entertaining to children aged five to nine.

He is part of this special team of entertainers that aside from laughs and the very comical appearance, he will interact the most with your guests by also performing impressive magic acts—cards, magic sticks with flowers, and rabbits from his hat. 

This is a great kind of performer, but only if he is a good comedian and magician, too.

The Clown – Juggler and Acrobat

This entertainer can juggle and perform acrobat tricks.

If your invitees are children who are six to ten years of age, this type of clown is your best option.

This type of clown once boomed in circuses. Not so much for his skill to balance items to his head. What the crowd liked most were impressive falls and damages he caused.

The Clown – Storyteller

Got a crowd of younger children? Then hire this type of clown.

This might be the sweetest version of a clown because he can show his comedy characteristics when telling stories and fairy tales, and give an amazing performance that everyone will admire!

Also, this kind of clown has no age restrictions and everyone likes his stories.

The Clown – Mime

In this case, your entertainer will be appropriate for any possible crowd and any type of occasion.

Plus, the performance will last much longer than any other types of clown-entertainer. That’s because both on stage and among the crowd, a pantomime is an interesting and funny act.

The clown mime will not say a single word. But still, he will capture your guests with his moves, no matter what age they are.

The Clown – Face Painter

Apart from the clowns’ funny performance and his presence amongst children, this clown will provide another popular entertainment which is face painting.

If he is a good painter, this combination is truly proven to keep a kid’s party audience really happy!

The Clown – Balloon Twister

Balloons are one of the most popular and timeless children’s toys. So, if a very funny clown is able to create amazing balloon creatures for every child at your party, then it’s one of the great deals for entertainment you could ever have.

How long does a clown’s performance last?

Of course, there is no exact answer to this question. Clowns are very flexible. That means they can adjust their repertory, depending on the type of event you are organizing.

They can possibly play all kinds of games with the kids throughout the whole time of the party. For example, ride a one-wheel bike all around the places all night and make everybody laugh or they could just go on stage for a 30-minute performance. 

You could also split their performances into 3 or 4 separate shows according to your guest’s age groups.

How long should a magic show last?

magician doing a trick of two doves - clown or magician
A magic show’s duration is usually relative to its audience.

The duration of the show totally depends on the audience’s ages.  

For instance, if you are searching for a kid’s magician to perform at a 4-year-old birthday party, then the show would probably be about 30 minutes and then followed by balloon sculptures making. 

Yet, if the crowd is kids around 7 to 10 years old, the show can last for 45 minutes. 

So, when planning your next party, be sure to tell the clown or magician about the crowd’s details.

They will be able to present you a good idea of how long the show will run. They might also offer you other enjoyable options that could help entertain for a longer period of time.

How much do kids’ party entertainers typically cost?

Each and every parent wishes for their children to have a wonderful birthday party, regardless if they hire a clown or magician.

Facts say that 86% of parents throw big and organized parties for their little ones. On the other hand, more or less 65% hire a particular character or a clown to take charge of the birthday party.

Getting professional help in planning a magical day for a child is vital if you want to enjoy this special occasion with your kid without worries and hurries. 

These entertainment professionals are artists and actors who appear in parties and other special events to entertain guests of all ages. Mostly, these event professionals are hired for children’s parties to give the feeling of magic to the event.

Birthday party entertainers can be magicians, costumed actors, movies and cartoon characters, clowns, and any other experts in the field of entertainment. The usual cost of hiring birthday party entertainers is $120–$250/hour of work. 

The lower price ranges match the cheaper services such as balloon twisting or face painting and can cost as low as $65/hour. The higher price relates to magicians and clowns who offer the whole event management. It may reach even more than $350/hour. 

If you really want to hire a birthday party entertainer, whether it’s a clown or magician, you must consider these five things

Tips for hiring a birthday party entertainer

a funny clown who's screaming - clown or magician
He may be fun and cheap to hire, but is he right for your party?

To help you find the perfect clown or magician, here is a list of a number of factors that you should consider. These tips will help you get the most value out of hiring one.

1. Who is the audience?

There are two broad audiences: kids and families. Each group requires a different form of entertainment. Evaluate which option is the best for your party.

Kid’s show

If you’re holding a kid’s show or activity, the parents are welcome to attend, but the concentration will be on the kids. The perfect age for these shows is mostly between 3 and 8 years old, depending on the type of show or activity. 

However, if the age variety isn’t specified on the entertainer’s website, be sure to double-check that it is appropriate for the age involved. For example, you might hire a princess entertainer for your child’s 5th birthday party.

Family show

In a family show, it is intended to entertain everyone in the family. Suppose the children are older than around 8 or if they are a diverse age group, a family show is normally a better option.

For instance, you might want to hire a magician to do a family show at a communion party.

2. What is your preferred format of entertainment?

Based on the entertainment you book, the format will be different. We’ve listed here the most common show formats:

Stand-up shows

The entertainer does a 30 to 60-minute show. Think of mini-festival shows with audience participation the whole time. Majority of clowns, magicians, circus acts, and puppet shows prefer this format.

Mix and mingle shows or activities

As the name proposes, through this format the entertainers mingle with the audience. For a kid’s show, the entertainer might gather all the guests together for fun activities.

Otherwise, for a family show, the entertainers may move between groups, to ensure that everyone is having fun.

Entertainer stands

In some cases, entertainers will provide their own stands. These stands might be just a table on the side or a separate room. For example, a face painter will normally have a stand where kids can line up to have their faces painted.

3. Does your party place fit the entertainer?

If you have a house that doesn’t have enough space, you can always book a function room for your special occasion. As a general rule, search for a venue first, followed by the entertainment. This lets you deliberate how the performer fits in with the venue.

4. Entertainment quality

Confirming the quality of an entertainer is always complicated. Therefore, watching them perform is clearly the best guide. If this is impossible, aim to search videos of them performing online.

5. What does the fee include?

Do not rush to understand what is included in the entertainer’s fee. Entertainers will usually have different packages, which will include different options.

It’s also essential to understand what is not included in the package. Some performers offer additional services, which you may not be aware of. For example, some magicians might also make balloons.

If this information is not specified on their website, you have to directly contact the entertainer. 

6. Availability

When you have already decided, check for the entertainer’s schedule and availability. An entertainer’s calendar fills up right away, particularly during the holiday seasons. If the entertainer isn’t free, ask if he or she knows another entertainer they could endorse. 

7. Have a contract or an agreement

Once you have made your booking, professional entertainers should present you with a contract or agreement.  This contract, or written agreement, is necessary as it covers all the specifics. It will also explain what happens in unexpected events. 

8. Always stay in touch before the party

Once you have booked an entertainer, get in touch before the day of the occasion. This will help you make the final arrangements and checking details. Think about how the entertainer fits in with the rest of the party. A single email or a text message will do, but a short phone call is the best idea. 

9. It always pays to have a back-up plan

Having a back-up but not wanting to use it is always the best result. Unfortunately, unanticipated events do happen.

As a result, arrange a backup plan for the booking service you availed or the clown or magician you contacted.

For example, will they be able to send another clown or magician if the performer you booked cannot make it? If you have to withdraw the party, can you expect a partial or full refund? Or can you reschedule the party to another day?

How to throw a party if you have a tight budget

kids enjoying a party with food and balloons
You can still throw a fun and memorable party if you just use your smarts.

When you are aiming to throw a birthday party on a budget, it’s easy to feel like you are not able to pull it off or have the world’s lamest party.

Worry no more—we’ve gathered some tips to help you throw an inexpensive celebration minus sacrificing the fun!

As much as possible, keep your guest list small.

There’s no rule saying you have to invite your kid’s entire class, soccer team members, and park playground friends to their birthday party. It’s a good thought, but it’s not practical.

Aim to limit your guest list to fewer than 10 kids. Keep in mind, you’ll possibly have parents staying around too, and that can bang your food and cake budget plan.

If your child only wants to invite one or two friends, maybe it’s worth spoiling them with a bowling match, a trip to the zoo or an afternoon at the play center.

Create your own invitations.

We now live in a digital world, so take the benefit of it. Your kid’s fifth birthday isn’t his wedding day, so there is no reason for you to shell out $200 for printed and glossy invitations.

What you can do, however, is to create your own invites online and send them out thru email or text. This way, you save time, energy, and money.

Instead of buying, you can use free printables as decorations.

You no longer need to go to the local party store to provide adornments. There are many free printables to choose from online. All you need to do is take some time to search around the web. Find and print whatever you need.

Have the birthday party at your house.

There’s nothing wrong with having a birthday party in your own living room, dining room or somewhere that doesn’t need you to pay for it.

If you want to have a birthday party on a budget, that’s how you do it. Why spend $300 to rent a trampoline park when you can just hold a party in your own backyard?

Do not have the party during mealtime.

If your party starts at 5 p.m., be ready to feed your guests. Same goes for lunchtime. If you invite guests over at the time they’re used to eating meals, then they will expect food. But don’t worry.

You can solve this by offering them finger foods and choosing an off time when no one expects to eat, like 10:30 in the morning or 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

Regardless of what time of day your party is, offer your guests something to eat. No one will enjoy a party with no snacks. Plus, a room full of hungry kids is certainly not a good idea.

Bake and decorate your own cake.

We know—baking your own cake at home can be really difficult. But don’t get really upset if your kid wants a customized cake. Buy a generic cake at the grocery store and put one of your kid’s favorite cartoon or superhero figures on the cake.

Keep your party “old school.”

Visit your local craft store and get wooden figurines, photo frames or even custom letters for your guests to paint. It’s an affordable birthday party idea that will make and keep the kids occupied for an hour, and they will all leave the party with a hand-painted item.

And don’t forget about the simple joy that old school birthday party options, like musical chairs, hot potato or silly string fights, can give.

Party games like these have been good enough for birthday parties for generations. Bring together the party guests, let the games start, and prepare small prizes on hand for the winners.

Bottom line

Whether you’re aiming to get a clown or magician, make sure they can deliver.

You have got quite a bit to think about, from invitations and a venue to food and decorations, but a professional children’s entertainer can take a lot of the time and make sure that everyone really had fun. Even better, it doesn’t need to be complex, or expensive.

Yes, it is true that children nowadays can be a tough crowd to handle. If your little ones and their buddies already enjoy plenty of activities in the form of karate classes, music and sports lessons, swimming club, television and Xbox, you might be questioning how you will keep them interested at your party.

But then again, you would be amazed by how much kids will enjoy the more traditional experiences offered by children’s entertainers. After all, these are talented professionals who do this regularly, and they know a thing or two about keeping children’s attention.

Kids’ party entertainers provide a festive mood to any party. There are a lot of different types of party entertainers to match your child’s favorites and interests. 

The average kid’s party entertainers cost $120-$250/hour where the lower end involves balloon twisting and face painting ($65/hour), and the higher end is for a clown or a magician ($350/hour).

Related Questions:

1. How much does a clown cost?

Clowns offer both flat rate and hourly fees depending on the agreed service. If you would like to hire a clown who will be the host of your party, then a flat rate is more common. The flat-rate cost differs significantly depending on the package of services and the number of children.

On the other hand, if you only request a professional to entertain children for a couple of hours, then an hourly rate of $190-$240/hour applies for parties below 20-25 people.

2. What is the cost of a magician?

Magical tricks for children on average asking price between $150/hour and $230/hour; but these are magical programs for kids in the form of a small show. More complicated and elaborate magical presentations cost about $250-$300/hour.

3. Do I need to tip my party entertainers?

Normally, tips are expected even though not mandatory for this type of service, particularly if you hired a professional from a larger company. $20 per entertainer is the average tip for the industry. Still, a larger tip will not go unappreciated.

Related article: Do You Tip Birthday Party Entertainers

Ideas For Kids Parties is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc.

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