Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Feeling the Pinch at Holiday Time? CASH-STRAPPED Families Have Halved Their Easter Spending with Expensive Treats and Foreign Breaks out the Window as EMMA GREENHALGH Reports

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Feeling the Pinch at Holiday Time? CASH-STRAPPED Families Have Halved Their Easter Spending with Expensive Treats and Foreign Breaks out the Window as EMMA GREENHALGH Reports

Article excerpt

BORED children may be in for a reality check this Easter as financial forecasts show parents have squeezed the entertainment budget.

Met Office predictions also show a rainy weekend ahead, so it could be a case of battening down the hatches and staying indoors.

According to a recent consumer survey - conducted with 5,000 parents by Travelodge - spending on kids over Easter has dropped from pounds 386.76 last year to pounds 178.95 this year.

The stark drop has been blamed on the rising costs of living.

And a whopping 48% of parents were also said to be too scared to drive over the Easter holidays in fear of fuel shortage.

More than a third (36%) of families quizzed have been scouring newspapers and websites for money-off vouchers for two months now.

So while the little darlings may be forced to kiss goodbye to theme parks and foreign holidays - good old fashioned fun is back on the cards.

Norton mum-of-two Kerry Herriott runs a business called Funky Kids Party and is an expert in keeping children out of mischief.

The mum of Jack, six, and Charlotte, 11, said: "From a mum's point of view I understand how hard it can be to keep kids entertained but I don't think that I need to take my children out to be able to entertain them.

"We do lots of things at home - basic cooking skills, making birds nests and messy crafts, papier mache and planting sunflowers."

The 35-year-old, who is married to Hartlepool Power Station worker Daniel Herriott, 36, held an Easter event on Norton Green last year.

She was shocked by the survey figures because she said they are busier than ever with 10 parties booked every weekend.

Kerry said: "It's who can have the biggest and the best party."

A quarter of mums surveyed backed up her theory, saying they are under extreme pressure by other mothers to out-do each other to ensure their children have an action packed time whilst off school.

Mum-of-eight Sonya McGhee, 45, knows all about how expensive children can be. …

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