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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Sad clown alert! Parents now pulling back from big blowout kid birthday parties



Tears of a clown
Poor Ooopsy the Clown. In 2008 she took in $126,000 playing kids' birthday parties in South Florida. Last year Ooopsy, aka Amy Tinoco, saw her income drop to $80,000.

"It's a huge difference," she told the Associated Press. "I have a lot of people telling me they are having a party, they are just not having entertainment and catering."

It's been less than a year since we ran a post here lamenting the rising cost of kids' parties, after a Tampa mom blew $3,000 on her 1-year-old's bash.

The executive editor of Parents magazine said many kid birthday parties had gotten so huge they were more like mini weddings.Children's parties were so out-of-control that parents in St. Paul, Minn., formed a citizen action group to urge greater restraint. 

But now that the economy is struggling and unemployment is rising, parents are pulling back from those blowout birthday parties. Smart parents have always known there are ways to have a nice party and still save money -- say by baking the cake themselves or holding it at a public park.

Maybe the thing to bear in mind, in good times or bad, is what Harvard child pyschology prof T. Barry Brazelton once said are the main ingredients for a successful children's shindig, especially for a 1-year-old:

"All he needs is familiar faces and one or two small children to play with."

[Photo: gallery]

--Sherry Robinson

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:05am]


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