KEEPING the kids entertained during the school holidays can prove to be an expensive exercise for families.
Mother of two young sons Leonie Connelly said for many families it was about making a choice and choosing special times for treats.
After forking out $54 to take her five and seven-year-old sons to the movies this week, she said that was probably the only trip to the cinema the boys will experience during the holidays despite the line-up of top children’s films scheduled.
“By the time you buy them a drink and some popcorn the money really ads up,” she said.
“It’s cheaper to buy a DVD and play it over and over - they don’t get tired of it.”
Mrs Connelly said alternatives were finding activities that don’t break the family budget.
“When it’s fine we’ll just take them out on their bikes to burn off some energy,” she said.
PCYC manager Geoff Potts said the organisation hosted a number of low-cost activities during the school holidays designed to limit costs for parents.
“We try to keep our costs down as much as possible and we just want to cover our costs,” he said.
Mr Potts said the PCYC ran a school holiday program to offer entertainment and activities for children while their parents worked or needed a break.
He said while many families relied on grandparents to entertain and care for children during school holidays, there was a limit to what they could provide.
“It is hard for working parents,” he said.
“Most people only get up to six weeks holiday a year and kids get around 10, so it can become an expensive business trying to entertain your kids during the school holidays,” he said.
Mr Potts said the PCYC tried to cut costs for children’s entertainment by asking parents to pack their child’s lunch and morning and afternoon teas.
He said the PCYC had an arrangement with some agencies to provide opportunities for children to undertake activities in the school holidays who otherwise would be denied the experience.