The ever-changing world of children’s birthday parties has a new craze – camping sleepovers.
Cash-strapped parents, fed up with spending hundreds of pounds hiring professional entertainers and caterers, are opting for a night under canvas and the excitement of the great outdoors to get their children in the party mood.
The new “camp-over” trend has boosted sales of pop-up tents at Halfords, with parents snapping up the new Gelert Liberty Rock, which is covered in a trendy pink and lilac floral pattern for girls’ do’s and Halfords’ two-man camouflage print for boys’ camping sleepovers.
Other accessories that have seen a surprise jump in sales due to the garden camp-outs have been fold up chairs and stools that come in pink and blue from £4.99 each.
Halfords Camping Expert Paul Fensome said: “We are delighted that our new eye-catching pop-up tent designs have proved to be so appealing to children and their parents.
“Of course, the added bonus is that the products are so competitively priced that they won’t break the bank and you can bring them out year after year for more sleepovers.”
Wiltshire mother of two Caroline Walker, 40, said: “My 13-year-old son had the time of his life at a friend’s birthday camp-over recently. They pitched their pop up tents in the garden in seconds and sat around with their torches telling ghost stories all night.
“They loved the food, hot dogs and burgers cooked on a BBQ outside and it was great to see them away from their computer games for once. It was more of an awake-over than a sleep over, but they all enjoyed it.”
A recent survey by children’s charity Lumos, set up by Harry Potter author JK Rowling, revealed that four out of ten parents spend up to £500 on kids birthday parties, with 67% admitting they found them stressful to organise and a third confessing they had to stretch their finances to pay for it.