You’re a mom. And that is just the greatest job ever, right? It’s the very definition of bliss. Your kid never goes rigid when you try to put him in shopping cart at the grocery store, she sits quietly in your lap while you get a mani/pedi, and they go to bed without a fuss leaving you plenty of time to yourself to catch up on your reading, have a glass of wine, and take a relaxing bubble bath.
Yeah. In opposite land.
In real life you haven’t had a shower in three days, the last time you had a manicure was a week before you gave birth, and grocery shopping is like descending to the 5th level of hell. You know what you need? A break. You need someone to watch your kiddos (maybe even FREE child care) while you get your hair cut or do some grocery shopping or even just a chance to watch a movie with your kiddo (in an actual movie theatre) where you won’t get the evil-eye when junior starts rolling around in the aisles.
PlaceFull’s got your back, mama.
I don’t know about you but my shopping trips with my kid usually involve a battle about the shopping cart (“I don’t wanna sit there, that’s where BABIES sit!”), racing through the store as quickly as possible in order to get home to fix dinner, a brief but bitter fit in the cereal aisle (“But that one has Dora the Explorer on it! I LOOOOOOVE Dora! You’e a bad mommy!”), and the agony of the checkout line (“I never get M&M’s!”) And then, more often than not, I get home and realize that I’ve forgotten something essential like butter or toilet paper. Shopping without my kid,on the other hand, is a study in relaxation….
Many of the area Fred Meyers offer FREE child care while you shop. Pick up groceries without the cereal aisle whining, browse new bedding while you imagine early bedtimes, and even sit in the cafe and sip a latte without having to fend off curious little hands. They call it “One Stop Shopping”, I call it child-free shopping at its best.
601 SW 41st St. Renton, WA 98057
Ah…the home of press board furniture and great, steaming vats of meatballs. But it’s also home to Småland, IKEA’s very own play land for tykes. Featuring a ball pit, tons of toys, cartoons, and art supplies, they’ll watch your fully potty trained little ones for up to an hour while you do your Swedish shopping thing at IKEA. My recommendation, head straight for the cafe for a plate of meatballs, put your feet up, and read a book for an hour. Find out more about Småland by clicking here (scroll to the bottom).
Go See a Movie!
I worried for a long time about bringing my daughter to a movie theatre. She is, shall we say, kinetic (this is just the fancy way of saying she can’t hold still) and that does not jive with a typical movie theatre. What I needed was a place that understood and even embraced my kid’s need to wiggle, whisper, giggle, and bounce.
700 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue, WA 98004
Bring your little one with your to one of the area’s most luxurious movie theatres. This is a chance for you to go to a REAL movie theatre without worrying about disturbing others with your kiddos. They keep the lights up a bit, turn the sound down, and they don’t mind if your kids talk or wander the aisles while the movie is playing. The best part? They’ll deliver your concessions order to your seat so you don’t have to wrangle the baby, the stroller, and the toddler out to get popcorn. Keep in mind (and this could be a plus or a minus) these aren’t necessarily going to be movies for kids so plan accordingly.
404 Park Place Kirkland, WA 98033
Every other Friday, Kirkland Parkplace Cinemas invites moms, dads, and other caregivers to enjoy a morning at the movies. Films start at 9:45 and cost just $8, kids under 4 are free. The sound is turned down and the lights are kept dim. Like Lincoln Square, there’s not always going to be a kids flick showing but for those of you with babes in arms who might just sleep through the whole darn thing, that’s not a problem!
Theatres with “Cry Rooms”
Just two theatres in the Seattle area have sound-proof, glass-walled rooms in the back of the theatre where your kids can be as loud as they darn well please: The Guild 45th and The Varsity. Call their hotlines to find out which films are showing in the auditoriums with cry rooms. Keep in mind, these cry rooms only have two seats each so this is definitely not a good choice for a mommy meetup.
Go Work Out!
Most of the gyms in the area have child care for their members which is a fantastic feature…if you’re a member. But what if you’re not and you’re desperate for a mid-day workout?
2120 116th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 Every Monday from 9 to noon you can join in this playgroup for mommas! Moms rotate the supervision of the kids on their own sandy vlleyball court while the other moms get to have fun playing games of beach volleyball. You have fun, your kiddo has fun, what’s not to love about this place?!
East Beach Volleyball is closed as of 2/14/2013
1621 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103
In Seattle’s Wallingford Neighborhood, Sutra Yoga and Wellness features a Wednesday and Friday Noon-time Prana Vinyasa class that comes complete with the holy grail of workouts, child care. Check out their website to register for the classes and find out more about their studio.
6019 California Ave SW Seattle, WA 98136
Located in West Seattle, Limber Yoga has a great drop-in lunchtime yoga class on Tuesday and Thursday with child care available provided by Limber staff and volunteers. They also offer a full complement of mommy & baby as well as kid-centric yoga classes AND a super-awesome kids’ open gym on Thursdays from 9:30 – 11 am.
7534 NE 175th st Kenmore Wa
Cross Fit is the fitness craze du jour and good GOD if it isn’t one of the most challenging and rewarding workouts you’ve ever done. Lucky for you the good folks at Kenmore Cross Fit have a gated-off area for little ones who can entertain themselves while mom or dad works up a sweat with the kettlebells and tractor tires.
Go Get Pampered!
When you’re a busy mom the last thing that gets taken care of is you. And, lady, that’s just not right. You know how, in airplanes, the emergency cards all say to put on your oxygen mask before you help anyone else with theirs? That’s because you need to be able to breathe in order to help others. And sometimes breathing means getting a massage or a pedicure. It’s okay. You deserve it.
221 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
5001 25th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105
On Mondays the Bellevue and University District Julep Parlors provide a big toy box and a child care professional to keep an eye on your little ones while you get your nails soaked, filed, buffed, and polished. But more than that you can enjoy their full range of skincare services and waxing, all while the kiddos are being entertained.
4455 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007
Drop your bambino off at the licensed child care facility at the Pro Sports club, bypass the spin class, and head straight for the relaxation of the spa and salon. Non-members are welcome to book services and use the child care, just make sure to reserve your child care when you call to make your appointment. Enjoy a couture cut, a blissful massage, or even a little Botox (we won’t tell anyone) and know that someone else has an eye on your child.
11200 SE 6th St, Bellevue, WA 98004
Imagine, if you will, laying warm in a dim room with soft music, the feel of strong hands kneading the tension out of your shoulders, your back, your arms. Imagine getting a facial and cleansing your pores, bringing youth back to your tired skin. Imagine getting a long-neglected bikini wax. And now imagine that you can do all of this while your child is having fun under the watchful eye of a childcare professional in the same building as you. THIS is the Spa at the Bellevue Club and their onsite child care. A-MAZING. For only a few dollars an hour your kid will have a blast while you slip into a spa-induced coma. Bellevue Club members and their guests only.
Go Do WHATEVER You Need!
There are some days when all you need is a nap. Some days when you’re desperate for a girls lunch without the kids. Some days when you absolutely have to get something done and it would just be SO much easier if you didn’t have to wrangle children. THIS is why drop-in child care was invented and we love it.
4515 16th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105
$9 per hour for up to 5 hours and conveniently located in the heart of the University District, Trettin is perfect for kids aged 2-5. It’s a play-based curriculum (really, this just means that your kid gets to play while you’re away) and they’ll even provide a morning and afternoon snack. Want to check them out? The have tours every and Friday at 9:30 am.
3205 148th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007
Have things to do and you’re on the Eastside? Dizzy’s Bus Stop will take your rugrats off your hands for a few hours for the low price of $10 per hour. They’re open all the way till 6 pm which means you’ve got time to sneak a happy hour “lubricant” before you bring the kids home for dinner.
17530 132nd Ave. N.E., Suite B Woodinville, WA 98072
Woodinville’s The Nest is a busy mom’s dream. Flexible hours, reasonable rates, Parent’s Night Out packages EVERY Saturday, and a nut-free environment make this one of our favorites! They’re super close a movie theatre, tons of restaurants, shopping, and just a short distance from Woodinville’s famous wine country.