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Costumed performance professionals are available for children’s parties and other special events special. Many factors go into the cost of hiring a costumed character. Many charge by the hour. As professional entertainers, many costumed performers offer detailed and specific price lists for the various additional services they provide, such as clowning, magic, face-painting, balloon art, characters, games, singing, juggling, unicycling, temporary tattooing and more. The ultimate price depends on what the performer does, where they perform and the number of people for whom they perform.

Consultation

Many entertainers offer free phone or in-person consultations to discuss what a customer is looking for and how much it will cost.

Contract and deposit

Most performers will ask you to sign a contract to ensure that both sides know exactly what the services entail. Many performers request a deposit upfront before the date of the event. For example, Pristine Princess Parties of Wonder Lake, Illinois, requires a $50 deposit. Many performers also have a cancellation policy requiring partial or full payment, depending on when an event is cancelled. These details should be spelled out in the contract.

Flat, package or hourly

Some costume performers charge by the hour for their services, while others charge a flat rate. Many entertainers offer packages with multiple services beyond costumed entertaining, such as face painting or magic shows. For example, Party in Pink Events of Delray Beach, Florida, charges $175 for a one-hour appearance including a meet and greet, autographs, story, photo time and singing performance. All-in-One Kids Entertainment of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, charges $225 for one hour and two characters who provide a crowning ceremony, face painting, balloon twisting, cotton candy, interactive games, a magic show and bubbles for up to 10 kids.

Number of party guests

Some costumed performers base their fee on a certain number of guests and then charge extra for each partygoers over that limit. Most performers can recommend a time length for their entertainment services based on the number of partygoers.

Travel fees

Many performers charge extra for gas, mileage and tolls if they need to travel beyond a certain radius to get to and from an event.

Peak times

Some costumed performers charge an additional fee during times when their services are in particular demand, such as weekends or holidays. Some offer discounts for nonpeak times. Some will offer discounted hourly rates past an hour or two of entertainment.

Tipping

It is recommended that you tip a performer about $20, especially if the performer works for an agency with multiple performers.

Cost-saving strategies

When negotiating for multiple services, inquire about all-inclusive package deals. Try to hire a performer who is close to the event so as not to incur travel costs. If possible, avoid weekends, which is when demand and pricing for these performers are at their highest.

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Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.