Late-over Parties :: An Alternative to Sleepovers

I’ll be the first to say that birthday parties for kids have gone completely off the deep end these days. And I’ll go so far as to admit that I have fallen into that trap a time or two, even when I thought I’d learned my lesson. But there has been one new party trend to come out of the make-everything-magical Pinterest explosion that is actually less stressful than its original version.

The Late-over Party!

A few months ago, my oldest was turning seven years old and asked to have a slumber party. My first sleepover party was my seventh birthday, so I told her I would consider it. That’s when another mom clued me in on the “late-over” party trend. It’s the same concept as the slumber party. Your child gets to hang out with their friends until late into the evening with all the same shenanigans as a sleepover, but everyone leaves before bedtime.


Why did it take so long for this to become a thing!?! Of course, they should leave. It’s in the best interest of everyone involved.

Candy-themed cake for a bunch of 7 year-olds? It doesn’t bother me.

You get to stay the cool mom. 

Listen, we all have vivid memories of our friends’ parents reaching their threshold for sleepover merriment. If the party guests leave before bedtime, then none of your kids’ friends will get to witness your 3 am bra-less, Medusa-haired, and hallway-backlit self threatening to call everyone’s mom if they don’t go to sleep. You’ll remain the super chill mom that lets them act like maniacs for six hours straight without so much as a peep of disdain. Little do they know that you are only capable of this level of chill because you know that they are all going home soon.

Nothing good happens after 2 am. 

There is a reason hardly anything is open after 2 am (except Taco Bell – see next sentence). The wee hours of the morning involve very tired people making decisions to do things they normally wouldn’t do (ie. eat Taco Bell). I would prefer not to have a bunch of children that don’t belong to me bonding over not-so-smart decisions under my roof. They need to go home and do that to their own parents.

Parents are more willing to let their kids go. 

There are parents that don’t feel comfortable sending their kids to another house to spend the night and children that aren’t quite ready to be away from their parents for that long. This can leave some kids feeling left out. There is only so much bonding between friends that can happen on a school day. True friendships are created while spending hours on end together. It’s how they develop inside jokes, share their secrets, and find out they aren’t alone in their weirdness. By taking away the sleepover portion of the night, it’s more inclusive, and parents don’t have to make that difficult decision.

Everyone gets to sleep. 

And I don’t just mean you and your spouse. The kids get to sleep too. The nightmare that is a child with only 4 hours of sleep should be avoided at all costs. They can barely stop whining after sleeping for ten hours. Lack of sleep officially sends them into catastrophic meltdown mode that can only be cured with more sleep. But they have a soccer game, another birthday party, and dinner at your in-laws to get through first. See? You’re already starting to twitch.

So, we had the late-over birthday party, and it was a hit. I witnessed all the same elements of my old sleepover days. They sang and danced, giggled and screamed, did each other’s hair, and wore out the rest of the house. Then, her friends went home, and we all went to sleep. I’m not sure how long I will be able to hold off on real sleepovers, but for now, you better believe I will only be hosting parties where EVERYONE LEAVES.

Mandy grew up in Baton Rouge and graduated from LSU with a degree in Anthropology. In an attempt to figure out what do with an Anthropology degree (seriously, what do you do with it?!?), she moved to DC and received a masters degree in Forensic Science at George Washington University. Still at a loss for what she wanted to be when she grew up, Mandy moved to Austin, TX. Over the course of seven years, she built a successful(ish) jewelry design business, met some of her favorite people ever, imported her now husband from Baton Rouge, and made the decision to move back to Baton Rouge to start a family. Since then, Mandy has worked for a jewelry designer, a CPA, and now a financial advisor. And in between, she was a stay at home mom to three feisty, but sweet daughters, two of which are twins. Her girls love to dance and sing just like their mom, and Mandy's dream of a possible girl version of the Hansons or a Judds-like situation is becoming more of a reality every day. In the meantime, she is pouring her creativity into her writing which can be described as honest, funny and little bit snarky, just like Mandy. You can check out more of her musings at Tantrums and Twirls.


  1. Hi Jess! I found a Late-Over invitation on Evite. I put the end time for 8pm and described what we would be doing in the Message section. I just googled “lateover invitation” and found some cute ideas if you want to make your own invitation. Hope this helps!


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