The 12 Greatest Christmas Movies... ever!

 Enjoy the best Christmas movies ever with our Outdoor Movie Experience

Enjoy the best Christmas movies ever with our Outdoor Movie Experience

We’ve got a tradition in our family that every Friday night in December is Christmas Movie Night. We each take a turn picking one of our Christmas faves to watch while sipping on hot chocolate and snacking on Christmas Cookies.

Of course with so many great Christmas movies to choose from how do you settle on just one? Well to make it a little easier, here’s our list of the 12 Greatest Christmas Movies ever… or at least until next Christmas when we are sure to discover a few more faves.

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Miracle on 34th Street

An absolute must view, this classic will warm your heart and fill you with Christmas cheer. I recommend the original, but my daughter loves the remake. Either way you can’t lose.

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Home Alone

Who would have thought the idea of two bumbling burglars terrorizing a child would be full of Christmas cheer? This laugh out loud (and totally quotable) movie is one of my daughter’s favorites. And for good reason. So grab a slice of pizza or serve yourself a supersized Sundae and laugh til your sides are sore. Kids, big and small, will love it.

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Elf

For cotton headed ninny muggins everywhere. Elf is such a delightful Christmas movie. We may have been late to the Elf party, only discovering this gem a few years back thanks to my Goddaughter, but since then it’s become a Christmas staple.

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How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Whilst the classic cartoon is bound to be shown on TV at least once this holiday season, it’s this live action flick that does it for us. Your heart will grow three sizes too!

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The Santa Clause

This one crept up on us and has now become one of our must watches. Tim Allen is spot on as the non-believer who has to step into Santa’s shoes and save Christmas. The Santa Clause will make you smile and laugh and remind you that maybe there’s a little Santa in us all. After all if the Santa Suit fits…. wear it (and there’s your excuse for those extra Christmas pounds.)

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The Polar Express

This has a soft spot for us because last year we helped Ella enjoy her first ever Slumber Under with a Polar Express themed party. Her reaction was priceless. And its that sense of wonder that this movies is all about. Get lost in the magic of it all and just… believe.

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Love Actually

Ok so this is my pick. And while all story lines may not be totally family friendly, for the teens and adults this one will bring laughs and maybe a tear or two.

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The Holiday

Ok, anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a sucker for a soppy rom-com. And in some Christmas spirit and how can you pass up The Holiday? It’s the feel good movie you need in your life. So curl up on the couch, enjoy a Christmas goodie or two, and enjoy.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas

Is it really Christmas if you don’t at least catch a fleeting glimpse of A Charlie Brown Christmas? It might feel ubiquitous but it’s a classic for a reason. And hey, Snoopy rocks so yeah… watch it.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Christmas film or Halloween film? Either way, this twisted tale from the mind of Tim Burton will appeal to your “too cool for Christmas movies” teens. Before long you’ll all be cheering for Jack Skellington to take over Christmas. While the stop-motion effects might feel a little dated (and that’s still part of the charm) the film’s off-beat nature is a refreshing addition to the Christmas roster, packing charm with just the right amount of creepy to make this a must watch.

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Mean Girls

So it may not totally be a Christmas movie, but my daughter won’t pass up a chance to watch Mean Girls, and the Winter Talent Show rendition of Jingle Bell Rock will have you wanting to join in and recreate the routine with the family… or so I have heard.

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Christmas Vacation

If you’re in need of some silly humor and holiday fun, this is the movie. And it’s a fun reminder that try as hard as we do, the best Christmas plans will go awry. So go with it. Besides who hasn’t watched this movie and not been inspired to totally Griswold the house with a million blinking lights?

Introducing SleepOver Buddies - the BFF slumber party.

 Introducing SleepOver Buddies - the BFF Slumber Party for 2, 3 or 4 kids.

Introducing SleepOver Buddies - the BFF Slumber Party for 2, 3 or 4 kids.

You asked. We listened. And today we’re excited to announce the launch of SleepOver Buddies - the BFF Slumber Party. For exclusive Monday - Thursday engagements, our SleepOver Buddies is a Slumber Party for 2, 3 or 4 kids. It’s the next level experience that lets you tailor a SleepOver for your child and their BFFs.

Perfect for a midweek holiday hang, SleepOver Buddies let’s your child and their friend enjoy a night they’ll always remember. With a configuration of two, three or four tents, SleepOver Buddies can be easily set up in a bedroom, family room, or games room with minimum fuss. And best of all, we do it all for you.

It’s the ideal solution for the holidays and when school’s out keeping the kids entertained with their own private space to be… well, kids.

Our SleepOver Buddies package offers all the fun and excitement of our larger SleepOver experience, with Hand Crafted Tents, Deluxe Mattresses, all bedding and blankets, and all the little touches that makes a WonderTent Parties SleepOver so Wonder-ful. And of course, SleepOver Buddies is available in all our most popular themes.

As with all our experiences, we deliver, set up and style, and then collect the next day. No hassle, no fuss memories in the making. 

We like to think of it as a mini-version of our signature SleepOver that’s still big on fun.

Give the gift of Wonder

Looking to share the wonder these holidays? Now you can with our exclusive range of WonderTent Parties eGift Cards. Send a gift instantly via email in any amount you choose and bring a sense of Wow to your gift giving.

eGift card amounts can be used towards any WonderTent Parties experience from our 5-Star SleepOvers to our glamorous GlampOut events or any of our wow-worthy add ons like our Movie Experience or Dining Experience.

Send instantly or set it to be delivered on a future date like a birthday or anniversary. And if you listen closely you’ll hear the screams of “OMG! OMG! OMG!” when they open it. It’s the perfect way to give a memory making experience to be cherished forever.

So go on and stuff that digital stocking with a WonderTent Parties eGift Card

PLAYLIST: A Hearty Thanksgiving Mix

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To create an unforgettable Thanksgiving there are a few things that are must have. Great food. Great company. And Great music. While we can't help with the Turkey, we've got the music covered.

As you'll see from our "Feast On This" playlist we've got over two and a half hours of songs inspired by family, being thankful and of course food. They'll be songs to bring a smile to your face and songs to raise a toast to. Songs to sing along with and songs to make you happy to be home.

So whether you're celebrating with family or friends, this set of hearty tunes will satisfy all your Thanksgiving cravings. 

Enjoy and Thank You.

PLAYLIST: A Thrilling Halloween

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With Halloween just around the corner and everyone picking out their costumes, we thought it was time to unleash our Thrilling Halloween Playlist. Jam-packed with spooky tunes and killer grooves this collection of songs will bring any party to life. And best of all it's suitable for ghouls of all ages.

From Halloween classics like "Monster Mash" and "Purple People Eater" through to the quintessential Halloween track, "Thriller" there's something to keep even the most stubborn of ghosts and goblins grooving. And just so your kids don't think these are all songs taken from the crypt, there's modern favorites like "Heathens" by Twenty One Pilots and Fifth Harmony's "I'm In Love With A Monster." So to get your party going, just load it up and remember to play it loud enough it wakes up the dead.

And of course, for the perfect Halloween party why not throw a spooky Sleep Over with our WonderTents and some deliciously spooky treats.

Next level Sleepover and Glamping Experiences

We loved sharing our story with ABC7's Eye on LA tonight and are proud to be included on their list of "Must-Do Experiences in LA." At WonderTent Parties we always strive to bring magical, memory-making sleepover and glamping experiences to you. All of our experiences, from the ultimate slumber party with our SleepOver and SlumberUnder parties to our next level glamping with our GlampOut or GlampIn experiences, give you, your kids and your family memories they will cherish forever.

Here's what they had to say,

Love slumber parties but dread cleaning up afterward? WonderTent Parties to the rescue! They create five-star sleepover experiences for children AND for adults. Whether you choose glamping in or out, WonderTent Parties includes everything you need for a truly memorable event. They deliver everything to your home, set it up and style to your liking, and then come back to collect it the next day - it’s that easy!
— Eye on LA

See how we bring the wonder below.

Special Promotion of Free Delivery within our Standard Los Angeles Delivery Zone expires 9/9/18

7 Ways To Keep The Romance Alive Beyond Valentines Day

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With Valentine's Day fast approaching it often feels like there's a big push to dial up the romance. We buy flowers, special gifts, write heartfelt cards, maybe hit one of the city's top restaurants and for the night we are "in love" and more than happy to celebrate it. But then the 15th rolls round and we're back to our lives of being parents. The flower and cards are quickly replaced by homework and school drop offs and the reality of being Mom or Dad.

But it's important for our own wellbeing, the wellbeing of our relationship, and the example we set our kids, that declarations of love aren't just restricted to a 24 hour period.

So here to help extend the romance beyond Valentines Day are 7 little things you can do to make sure the spark that set your heart aflame keeps burning brightly.

Take Note

Why save how you feel about your SO for just one or two cards a year? Surprise the one you love with the unexpected Post-It that expresses how you feel about them. It can be naughty, nice, lustful or loveful, just write it down. Let them know what they mean to you, or how you miss them. Then stick them in unexpected places like their journal, on the driver's seat, on their coffee mug, on the bathroom mirror. Just don't kill the joy by asking them if they got it. They may not mention it (for they might want to surprise you by lifting their romance game too.) Just do it to express how you feel without the need for validation or reward. 

Of course, you don't need to restrict it to Post-Its. Scrawl a message on the mirror, trace a message in the steam of the shower, or send them an unexpected text. 

Dial Up The PDA

Sure your kids may scream "Gross" or decry how embarrassing you are, but showing affection freely and often will help you both feel more connected. From holding hands while you walk to kissing on a crowded street to just cuddling on the couch while the family watches TV.  It might sound simple but so often we back off from being a couple because we're assuming our Mom or Dad roles. But showing affection towards each other models for our kids what a healthy, loving relationship looks like, and removes any question the kids might have about the safety and stability of your relationship.  

Go Off Grid

Unplug the phone, tablet, and computer, turn them off and put them away. Replace FOMO with FOMU - Fear of Missing Us -  and spend an hour staring into each other's eyes rather than staring at a screen. Take the time to talk about stuff that matters to the two of you (keep convos about the kids to a minimum.) Share how your day was, ask about theirs and really listen to the answers. You'll be surprised just how intimate it can be to hear and be heard. Also feeling this close you never know where it might lead. That email or cat video that seemed so pressing an hour ago is now the last thing on your mind.

Protect Date Night

We've all heard about the importance of "Date Night" but how many of us actually adhere to a weekly or monthly night out just for us. We tried it and we weren't overly successful. Our plan was to dine at all the Top Chef restaurants in LA over the course of a year, one a month. We got as far as 3 in the year. Now 3 is better than none but it showed us how easily we let "life" get in the way of "love". We also let ourselves off the hook by letting a trip the movies or hanging with friends count as our date night. But ultimately we knew we were robbing ourselves of "us time" so we refocused and now commit to a date night a month come hell or high water.

Date Night should be treated with the same kind of commitment as our kids' soccer games or dental appointments. It shouldn't be allowed to be replaced by something else. And if, if, if we have to reschedule do it within 7 days. And take turns planning the date so all the pressure isn't on them or you to make it work. Have fun with it. Do a class together. Revisit your favorite restaurant. See that movie. Go to that exhibition. And get dressed up for the occasion, this will help you switch out of parent mode and into partner mode.

Whether you decide to carve our weekly or monthly date nights stick to it. It will be easy to swap it out with more important stuff but nothing is as important as spending time together.

Plan A Getaway

There's nothing like the thought of getting away for a few days (ok, even a few hours) to make us feel blissful. So start planning your dream getaway together. Scour some websites, gather some brochures and start thinking about what it will be like to just get away from it all. It doesn't have to be that lofty trip to the Maldives (though that does sound nice). Even planning a night at a local hotel where you can gorge on room service and each other can hit the spot. Like they say, the destination is important but even more so is the journey, and the time you spend together making plans will go a long way towards making them come true.

Bust Out The Sexy Superlatives

We all love getting a compliment. So don't be stingy when it comes to giving them either. Every day give your SO a compliment that makes them smile, blush, or want to race home. Let them know you're grateful for what they do and how good they are at it. Let them know they are the best, the be all and end all, the one. Compliment the way they look, the way they make you feel, and the things they do for you and the family.

And be willing to take a compliment too. There's nothing worse than brushing off a compliment so take it in and let your heart swell when you hear it.

Break Out Of The Routine

We all know what it feels like to be in a rut. We also know the only way out is to do something new or unexpected. Now I'm not suggesting you go skydiving - unless that's something you'd like to try - but doing something new, thrilling and exciting is just the thing to spring you both back to the loving couple you are.

A new activity brings you closer as you both have to rely on the other to navigate your way or share the experience. It can be a great way to connect like you used to when everything you did together was new and exciting. 

A Bonus: Our Romantic Nights GlampOut

Becuase we can all do with a little help in the romance department, we've created this exquisite and intimate Romantic Nights GlampOut. Spend the night with your loved one under the WonderDome and dedicate time to the two of you.

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These are just 7 ways you can rekindle that romance in your relationship. Of course, we hope it leads to discovering many other ways the two of you can connect and grow as a couple.

Galentines Day is coming.

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Sure, Valentine's Day may get all the glory when it comes to declarations of love, but hot on its heels - in super fierce heels of its own - is Galentine's Day, a day to celebrate the wonderful women in your life.

Originating in the very funny Parks and Recreations show back in 2010, Galentine's Day was decreed to fall every February 13th (yep, one day before Valentine's) to celebrate your girl squad. I'll let Amy Poehler's character in the show, Leslie Knope explain:

"Oh, it's only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas."

Since its inception in 2010, Galentine's Day has taken on a life of its own. It's inspired Memes, Galentine's Gifts, and we think a day when you get to hang with your best girlfriends is a day worth celebrating.

So bring the squad together and celebrate a day of sisterhood. To help you get into the mood we've curated a playlist of unstoppable Girl Anthems. Over 2 hours of tracks guaranteed to have you all screaming "This is my JAM!!!!" over and over again. So turn the volume up, sing even louder and celebrate the great friendships that only girlfriends can bring to your life.

And if you really want to celebrate Galentine's Day in style, why not book a GlampOut for the amazing ladies in your life. Enjoy an unforgettable night together under our WonderDome with a SpaJama party of mani-pedis and glass after glass of bubbly.

And don't worry, you don't have to celebrate your superstar sisters only on February 13th. The way we see it, every day is Galentine's Day.

Resolve To Experience More

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With a new year upon us, we all tend to think about what we want to achieve for the coming year. What our career, health, lifestyle and family goals are. One of the things I always try to keep in mind when it comes to my family goals is a resolve to Buy Less and Do More.

You see, when I look back on my childhood growing up in Australia most of my memories are filled with things we did as a family rather than things we had. Sure, I loved getting a hula-hoop that smelled like bubble gum one Christmas but my most cherished memories of childhood are the games I would play with my sisters or the driving holidays we would take as a family.

I'd imagine you also have memories that center more around things you did rather than things you had. Cherished memories that are about the people who were with or the new things you experienced.

Which is why when it comes to gift giving, I tend to err on giving my friends and family experiences rather than things. Whether it's dinners out, challenging them to the latest Escape Room, a first-class movie experience, or a Cooking Class, it's about giving them memories they will talk about for years and years.

It's one of the reasons WonderTent Parties came to be. To give friends and families experiences they'll never forget.

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Whether it's hosting a GlampOut Girls Night or treating your kids to a SleepOver like no other, we strive to create spaces where bonds are made and memories are created. We know that these are the experiences that last. These are the ones your child and their friends will look back on for years to come. We know these are the ones that will have your squad roaring in hysterics as you recount the stories of "that night" for the 100th time. We know these are the "Remember when..." moments. It's why we work to make each WonderTent Parties event so unforgettable.  

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So, whether it's a driving holiday, or a hike up to the Hollywood sign, a day at Disneyland, a special Sleep Over, or baking cupcakes together, strive to do more experiences with your kids, your family, and friends. Big or small, these will be the memories that last. The time spent together that will stay with them long after the moment passes.

Making Resolutions That Stick

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New Year's always brings out the raft of resolutions in me. If you are anything like me as midnight strikes you're filled with good intentions and determination. As the final chime of midnight sounds I hear myself saying, "This is going to be the year that I X, Y, and Z!" And I mean it. I am filled with conviction, determination, and optimism. Of course, jump to a few days into the new year and my resolve has been taken over by the demands of real life and that diet I was going to begin can wait until Monday to start... or maybe next Monday.

For me, the only resolutions that have actually stuck have been ones that are true to who I am and what I value, and don't require a huge overhaul. As a girlfriend says, it's the difference between liking the idea of something and actually liking the idea of doing what it takes to achieve it. For example, I might like the idea of playing piano, but I don't like the idea of having to practice an hour a day for two months just so I can play 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' flawlessly. Or I might like the idea of losing weight, but I don't like the idea of having to get up each morning at 6 to hit the gym for an hour (especially if I'm not a morning person.)

The trick I've found is finding a resolution you like the idea of doing. One that all the hard work, practice and time needed to actually do excites you. So if you actually enjoy helping others, then resolving to do more charity work will come true. If you actually enjoy pushing and challenging yourself, then hitting that fitness goal will happen. If you actually value the time with family and friends, then resolving to spend more quality time will happen and finding that time will become a breeze.

A resolution that works also needs measurable goals. Little milestones along the way. So if you want to spend more time with family make it a tradition to spend the first Friday of each month together watching a movie and take turns picking what to watch. If you want to get fitter then hitting realistic milestones along the way will help you reach your final goal. And if you do want to learn piano then having a song in mind to master is the way to stick to it. 

Whether you make lofty resolutions or little ones, just remember to resolve to be kind to yourself. If you stray from the goal that's ok. Just refocus and get back on track. And if you find that resolution really wasn't you after all, then be kind to yourself and let it go. You actually learned something in the process, even if it is that trying to conquer American Ninja Warrior isn't what gets you up in the morning (quite literally.)

And remember, you can always make a resolution to not make any resolutions at all. 

Happy New Year.

The Big Reveal To Melt Your Heart

Part of the joy of doing what we do is knowing we are taking the hassle out of organizing and setting up a sleepover or event. The downside is that our job is done well before the festivities begin so we don't often get to see the moment of "Wow" when the guest of honor sees their setup for the first time.

So it was a true joy to share in little Ella's reaction when she saw the set up for her SlumberUnder (our mini-sleepovers for kids not yet ready to spend the night.) Working with a genius "Polar Express" theme established by Ella's Mom with gorgeous boarding cards and golden tickets we were delighted to help provide a little extra wow. As you'll see Ella LOVED it.

Make It A Night To Remember

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If you're hosting a New Year's Eve party no doubt you are already feeling the pressure to make it THE GREATEST NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY IN THE HISTORY OF PARTIES!!!!! And while your mind may be filled with fountains of endlessly flowing champagne, the world's greatest fireworks display and well, basically pure extravagance, chances are you're just like the rest of us mere mortals and have a budget to stick to and reality to adhere to. So here are a few of our favorite party tips that will make sure your New Year's party goes off with a bang.

Keep It Down

No, not the volume, but the number of invites you give. Sometimes the best parties are made with a smaller group of friends rather than every one of your Facebook friends. We've hosted parties with over 100 guests and done several with just 10 or less and no matter what, quality always wins over quantity. If you go big make sure you think of inviting friend-clusters, that way pockets of friends remain self-sufficient and you limit the number of people feeling left out.

Of course, a small and intimate group of friends can make for a more inclusive collective and it means you spend more of your night with the people you care about and less fussing about being hostess.

Pump It Up

Music will be key. Depending on what type of soiree you are hosting will depend on the kind of music you want. The more intimate the party the more recessive the music should be. Think of it as being mood music that supports conversation. Of course, if you want people up and dancing with a positive vibe going all night then having a great playlist will get everyone moving.

To help out, we've created a 2017 hit heavy playlist for you to use that builds from soft to dance-mania over the course of 5 hours. It includes the big tracks from 2017 plus some all-time party pleases. All you need to do is load it up and turn it up.

Light The Way

Lighting sets the mood for your event. The aim should be to create a warm, welcoming environment that lets your friends relax and feel at ease. Too bright and it will feel cold and sterile. Hit the dimmers or turn off those overly bright ceiling lights and try to use more ambient lighting. We're also huge fans of indoor fairy lights which are great to create that party atmosphere and give a little magic to the night. 

Let Them Eat Cake And Other Yummy Morsels

What's a party without food, right? The secret is in easy to nibble on party food. The last thing you want to do is spend the whole night in the kitchen so grab some easy to cook and easy to serve nibblies from the store, pop them in the oven or straight into serving dishes. People tend to go through the following phases at a party when it comes to food & drink - drink, nibble, drink, food, drink, nibble, drink, drink. So make sure there is a steady supply of snacks to eat through the night and then a serve of a more substantial mini-meal within the first few hours.

Drink and Be Merry (But Responsible)

Make sure you have enough drinks AND enough ice. Balance the amount of alcohol you serve with non-alcoholic and soft drink options. New Year's is an excuse to let your hair down after a big year so be sure that while people are drinking up there's also food available. We also HIGHLY RECOMMEND encouraging your friends to UBER or LIFT their way to and FROM your little shin-dig. Also be prepared for that one or two guests who might need to spend the night - might we recommend a WonderTent setup! If you think someone has had a little too much, make sure they either spend the night or get home without getting behind the wheel. 

Clean It Up

Good times often equals a big clean up at the end of the night. So get a head start by using paper plates and plastic glasses and cups for big groups and have designated bins around the party. Another handy hint is to do a quick clean once or twice as you go as it cuts down the workload at the end of the night but more importantly will enrol one or two guests to help out as well. 

Prop It Up

The whole aim of New Year's is to have fun so spend a little on some props for the night. Hit the local discount store for supplies like party hats, streamers and poppers, and photo props. Don't spend too much, after all its just for one night, but a few little fun options will get people in the mood sooner.

It's Time

Figure out in advance how you're going to countdown to midnight and be sure to have a clock in clear view so everyone won't be asking you, "What time is it?". A great option is to have the TV on and watch the Times Square ball drop. If you don't want to be the official timekeeper, designate someone in advance to lead the countdown.  

And if you have little ones check out Netflix who, for the fourth year running, has just published a slew of videos that offer a "fake" countdown clock to midnight. The genius idea here is that the videos can be played at any time. So your kids can join in on the New Year's Eve festivities and still get to bed on time. This year’s videos include characters from “True and the Rainbow Kingdom,” “Larva,” “Pororo,” “Beat Bugs,” “Word Party,” “Puffin Rock,” “Skylanders Academy,” “All Hail King Julien,” and “Trollhunters.” Just search for "New Year’s Eve Countdown” or “Countdown” to locate these videos or get quick access via the "Kids" row on the Netflix menu.

Keep The Kids Entertained

Speaking of kids, if you're looking for a way to keep them entertained why not treat them to a wonderful SleepOver or GlampOut experience. We can help set up a SleepOver in your living room to get them set for the night and keep them entertained with a movie or two. Or celebrate in the ultimate of style with our GlampOut option and have the kids camp out under the WonderDome while the "boring old adults" get to party with their friends.

And yes you can book a SleepOver or GlampOut for you and your friends too for that truly memorable New Year's experience. They're also a great solution if you're expecting you might need to have space for a few friends to spend the night. 

Remember To Enjoy The Night Too

As the host it's best to lead by example. Have fun and your guests will too. Don't take on too much to do during the party. Where you can pre-plan activities and make food a breeze to prep and serve. Give yourself ample time to just enjoy the night being surrounded by friends and family.

So, however you celebrate we hope you enjoy a memorable night.

From all of us here at WonderTent Parties we wish you a very Happy New Year and hope 2018 brings you everything you could wish for, and then some.

Party Like It's 2017

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Well, here we are folks, at the end of another year. And that can only mean one thing. Time to get your New Year's Eve on! And the guarantee of a great New Year's is a great playlist. So to help you get the night off to a great start and keep it going, here's a selection of our favorite tunes from the past year plus some all-time party stompers to get everyone moving.

This specifically curated playlist starts off with some of the more chilled songs from the year and then ramps up into full-on party mode. With over 5 hours of hits, this playlist will have you seeing in the new year with tunes to keep you dancing into the early hours of 2018.

So tune in, turn it up and party like it's 2017.