The average child's birthday party now costs over £200, as parents come under pressure from "pester power" as well as trying to out-do other families, research suggests.
Nationwide Current Accounts, which commissioned the survey, said the findings suggest that inviting a few friends round for jelly and ice-cream and a game of pass the parcel no longer seems to "cut it".
The survey of 2,000 parents of children aged up to 18 found the typical party now costs just over £218. This includes around £77 spent on hiring a venue, £33 on party food and £15 on a birthday cake.
More than half (52%) of parents surveyed admit to blowing their original budget, with 8% of over-spenders saying they caved in to pester power.
Nationwide's Phil Smith said: "For kids, the best parties are often more about spending time with their friends, rather than a lavish event, so parents shouldn't feel under pressure to over-deliver."