Posted by Cris on | June 10, 2011 | No Comments
The Bug wanted an underwater theme for her fourth birthday, and we began making decorations together a month in advance: cut-out fish with cellophane panels to hang on the windows, seaweed streamers to hang on the ceiling and basic cut-outs for sea-themed crafts, like paper plate fish, for the kids to do. We also decided to put toys and goodies in a blow-up pool, tagged with paper clips, for guests to fish out using a magnetic rod. There was loads of materials to buy, and I wanted to keep costs down. My M.O was to find somewhere affordable to shop for stuff and avoid, at all costs, going anywhere near Party City.
I hate that place. I went there, unwittingly, to buy stuff for her first birthday, and walked out with a tiny bag of cups, plates and streamers and gift bags and $500 poorer for it. I could almost feel the staff laughing behind my back as I walked out. “Sucker!!”
This time, I did some footwork. There used to be a load of party shops at the old Concourse shopping mall, but that had been knocked down as part of the Concourse’s renovation. I couldn’t find anything on the Net on where these shops went, so I actually drove to the Concourse office tower (which still stands) and asked the security guard if he had any remote idea where the party tenants went. It was a shot in the dark – but it worked! He told me to try the Golden Landmark.
Sure enough, I found AZ Gift & Trading on the ground floor of The Golden Landmark on Victoria Road. It’s across the street from Raffles Hospital, which is a good thing, because I swear I pulled a muscle smiling so wide at the great deals I found.
I love that place. I bought crepe paper, hats, balloons, napkins, cups, forks, fishing rods, and loads of goodie bag fodder for a fraction of what I’d spent in past years at party shops in Singapore’s finer malls. (Warning: take cash. AZ doesn’t do credit card).
Another great place for affordable party accessories is Spotlight, at Plaza Singapura. They have a whole party section, with gift bags, decorations, hats, horns, you name it. Plus loads of beads and stuff for party crafts, to keep little hands active & busy.
Last month, Jenny Huang, founder of the former Food Allergy Singapore, took Vicky & I to Bugis to buy carnival prizes for the Allergy & Asthma Association’s annual food allergy awareness day event. We parked at the Iluma mall and walked around the corner. There, lo and behold, at ICB Enterprise House on Middle Road, were the emigrants from the old Concourse: P&G Party & Gifts, Heart Trading and a second branch of my old favorite, AZ Gift & Trading. (They even had a joint sign above, stating “We Are Formerly From Concourse”. That’s what I call co-operative marketing..)
So when you start planning your child’s next party, head down to Middle Road or the Golden Landmark. You can put the money you saved in your kid’s college fund: they’ll be pretty happy with that gift when they turn 19.
Know of any other great party shops? Please register and leave your suggestion & tips as a comment, so other readers can follow the conversation…