Summer can be a very expensive time for those with young children. Parents can either find themselves in the position of paying for childcare for six weeks, or face the uneviable task of trying to keep children occupied day-in, day-out. And whilst the sunny days can be passed relatively cheaply in local parks, the damp, drizzly and rainy days can prove costly.
Westfield Merry Hill Centre consulted members of their parent group, Mummy Mornings, and found that some parents spend as much as a staggering £1000 over the period of the six weeks holiday. With this in mind, the centre created a programme of free or cheap events, and I went along to one of those events last week.
The Octonauts were the stars of a live show in Central Plaza, a brand new story that featured two of the most popular characters, Captain Barnacles and Quarsi from the CBeebies show. A special stage area was set up, almost like a mini arena for the young children and parents, with tickets being allocated at special help points in the centre. The tickets were free of charge and the show took place at regular intervals, ensuring no youngsters were left disappointed.
My son Joe was enchanted with the show, which lasted about 25 minutes in duration and was extremely interactive, with singing and dancing to join in with, and lots of questions that the little ones could answer. I was also impressed that all the young audience were given a very special Octanauts money tin when they left Central Plaza.
There are two more events left at Merry Hill if you are interested in taking your youngsters along this Summer. This Tuesday(20th August) sees Dora the Explorer in the centre, whilst on Friday 30th August there is a ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ Cupcake workshop running from 10- 4pm. For more information, visit the Westfield Merry Hill website.