Hanukkah is a challenge for most parents, as children are on vacation and adults usually work normally, looking for ways to entertain the little ones on vacation.
The expenses around Hanukkah are many – hosting candle lighting, performances and festivals, donuts and Hanukkah fees, with most of the expenditure on this holiday centered around entertainment. Does the experience of spending time with the children on Hanukkah necessarily mean participating in an expensive pastime? Is the children’s memory of spending Hanukkah more significant when a family gathering to light candles or going to a two-hour show that can cost the family hundreds of shekels?
Advertisers offer us attractive suggestions for memorable activities, but we at Paamonim believe that significant children’s experiences and memories are not directly related to their cost.
So how should we choose activities that will ensure that money is in our control?
4 things to consider in order to succeed in saving on Hanukkah entertainment expenses:
Free festivals – Entrance to many festivals is free of charge, but many times they offer expensive attractions that will excite the children and make it difficult for you to refuse. Keep in mind that free is sometimes expensive, so it’s a good idea to check the festival program in advance to see what activities cost money, and decide ahead of time what you’d be willing to allow and what you’d not. Children who know in advance what is expected and what is possible will cooperate more easily.
Location of the activity – the place where the activity takes place is critical to the total expected expenditure. Activity in a place that neutralizes other environmental attractions will cost you less. In contrast, an activity located in a mall, even if it is free, will likely result in many unexpected expenses such as shopping and fast food and will create many frustrations, for you and your children, due to the need to refuse the purchase.
Travel and parking at the place of activity – sometimes participation in the activity is offered for free or at a low cost, but getting to the place of activity or parking the car for a few hours will make the pastime very expensive. Skip activities that involve high travel costs or expensive parking.
Food – At some point during the outing, the children will always be hungry. Bring attractive food and drinks from home. Buying a candy, ice cream or popsicle for dessert will be much cheaper than feeding the kids an entire meal purchased outside.