I'm planning my daughter's 2nd birthday party and have come up with a question for this board. I always appreciate how tactful you ladies are, so I know you'll have an answer.
DD's birthday party will be at an indoor children's playground (similar to a Chuck E Cheese). I'm inviting her playgroup friends which comes to about 25 kids if everyone shows up. I have the space rented for 2 hours. My plan was for kids to come, play for a bit, eat, eat cake, then do presents and leave (or play more if there is remaining time). However, I have been to toddler birthday parties where gifts are not open at the party--they are opened later to allow children more time to play. Additionally, after these parties I always received a thank you card, so I never felt slighted that my gift wasn't opened in front of everyone. These "non-opening" parties make up about 1/3 of the kid parties we've been invited to (by this same group). I have never heard anyone say a negative word after the fact, and this group of women would talk about it if they found it tacky.
I can see the convenience in not opening presents at the party. It will give the kids more time to play. And, since she's 2, it avoids a potentially awkward gift opening situation. Also, the guest list is a bunch of 1-4 year olds and they tend to get antsy. However, I do not know if etiquette demands that she opens gifts at her birthday party. I want to teach my daughter proper etiquette and to do what's right, even when it is not convenient--I just don't know what it is in this situation.
With that in mind... Should I have her open gifts at the party?