December 20, 2013
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Cool bar mitzvah party ideas for 2014

The hottest party trends of 2014

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The first thing parents realize when they start to plan their child’s bar mitzvah is the overwhelming amount of choices when it comes to food, music, invitations, decorations, and entertainment. The right decisions may seem difficult to make with so many options.

Fortunately, event planners specialize in making such decisions, and they shared their expert advice with us. There are five factors that will be trending during the upcoming year and if you follow these suggestions, you’re sure to please your child, wow your guests, and — most importantly — take the pressure off yourself.


The idea of “go big or go home” is the prevailing concept behind invitation design, and we can only expect more of this in 2014.

“Invitations are becoming more and more amazing and detailed,” explains Maya Kalman, CEO of Swank Productions. And recently she’s seen some pretty remarkable stuff.

“One girl had an actual clutch purse designed to open and reveal the invite info on its lining,” says Kalman. “I’ve also seen a mini guitar with info imprinted on it, and an [invite that was a] mini soccer field — with Astroturf included.”


There are several catering styles that are becoming quite trendy.

“It’s becoming popular to order food from each of the kid’s fave spots,” says Marla Mase, CEO of Party Poopers. “The kid might like burgers from here, ribs from there. And they’ll serve different foods from several places.”

Parents are also opting for elaborately decorated, miniature food.

“Foods are continuing to get smaller and cuter and more detailed then ever,” Kalman shares. She thinks people enjoy food that is bite-sized because it’s easier to eat, making it more comfortable to mingle.

If you want to get some really cool mini-food ideas — from mini grilled-cheese sliders to Pop Tarts on a stick — click here!

The trends don’t end with food, either — drinks are getting cooler, too.

“Food and drink pairings are also continuing to be a big trend,” says Kalman. “Also, mocktail bars are continuing to be a fun place for kids to be able to try new flavors and feel more adult-like.”


Parents are opting to eschew a DJ or cover band and are going with options that are a little more original.

“Dancing is still big, but people are getting more funky with the music. Instead of just a DJ or cover band, they bring in cool, indie, hip types of bands. Bands that actually tour and play at clubs,” Mase says.

Kids and guests are also choosing to perform the music themselves.

“Karaoke with a live band instead of recorded music is also big,” says Mase. “People have done that over the years, but it’s getting even bigger now.”

Games and entertainment

Parents are interested in making their special event stand out.

“They want to do different things, like a circus warehouse,” says Mase. “One recent event had people learning circus skills, like the trapeze. Another mom had a scavenger hunt boot camp with real Israeli soldiers come in and run the kids through the exercises.”

There is also one particular game leading the pack.

“Laser tag is big,” says Mase. “It’s really booming right now.”


Popular television shows are all the rage.

“Cable is really big with these kids now. Kids are into a ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ and ‘Mad Men’-type-of thing,” says Mase. “The look of the show becomes the look of the event. Or we base a mystery on it, like ‘Where is Walt?’ ”

Like snowflakes on roses and whiskers on kittens, girls’ bat mitzvahs tend to reflect their favorite things — or brands.

“I’ve seen girls that love Sephora, the GAP, or Abercrombie, who want us to use that brand’s style elements as their design theme,” says Kalman.

Now that you know what will be trending in 2014, planning your upcoming simcha should be a cinch! Mazel tov!

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