It can be a hassle, and expensive, to hire a babysitter for the night so you can get away with your partner for a few hours.
But making time for one another and adult conversation is important. These drop-in childcare resources make even weekend errands and spur-of-the-moment date nights a little easier.
Arizona Sunrays Kids Night Out. Ages 3-14 (must be potty-trained). Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance hosts a drop-off Kids Night Out from 6-10 p.m. the first and third Saturdays of each month at the original Phoenix location and monthly at the brand-new Arcadia facility. It also hosts occasional sleepovers. Supervised, themed activities include gymnastics, a foam pit, trampolines, bounce house, obstacle courses and organized games. A cheese-pizza dinner and juice are included for $30; $25 for each additional sibling. Advance registration required. 15801 N. 32nd St. (Phoenix) or 3923 E. Indian School Road (Arcadia). 602-992-5790 or arizonasunrays.com
Harkins Theatres PlayCenters. Ages 3-8 (must be potty-trained). This idea is genius. We only wish there were more Harkins Theatres with PlayCenters. For $6, kids can eat popcorn, watch kids movies, play with toys, do arts and crafts projects, read books or play video games while Mom and Dad enjoy a film that isn’t animated. PlayCenter staff members are childcare professionals who are background-checked. Walk-ups are welcome, but reservations are recommended. Five locations in Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Avondale and Queen Creek. harkinstheatres.com/playcenter
KidsPark. Ages 2-12. This drop-in daycare facility in Peoria and north Phoenix offers weekend hours, so you and your spouse can enjoy a dinner that doesn’t involve chicken nuggets. KidsPark typically offers themed events — from dance parties to talent shows — on weekends. $8-$9 per hour for one child, with discounts for siblings. 7337 W. Bell Road (near Arrowhead Towne Center), Peoria, 623-878 -2411 or 48th Street and Larkspur Drive (next to Best Buy near Paradise Valley Mall) in Phoenix, 602-788- 2445. kidspark.com
Parents Night Out at Flip Dunk. Ages 5 and up. This Phoenix trampoline park will keep the kids busy from 6-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. $22-$30. It also offers occasional Preschool Parents Night Out events for younger kiddos. 1515 E. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix. 602-277-0067 or flipdunksports.com
Parents Night Out at Impact Gymnastics Academy. Parents can occasionally enjoy a night out while kiddos, ages 4 and up enjoy games, open gym, the ninja zone, foam pit and more! The fee includes two slices of cheese pizza and lemonade. 6-10 p.m. $35-$40 per child; $30-$35 for each additional sibling, depending on how soon you register. 7812 N. 12th St., Phoenix. 602-870-7574 or impactgymAZ.com
Parent Survival Night at the Little Gym. Ages 3-12. The Little Gym locations in Scottsdale/Paradise Valley and Gilbert offer kids supervised play time from 6-10 p.m. on select Saturday nights. Trained instructors lead kids through music, games, and Lego-building activities. $30-$40. thelittlegym.com
Småland. You can’t leave the building, but if you sign your child into Ikea’s free supervised play area, you can enjoy an hour of sanity while shopping and a salmon or Swedish meatball dinner in the cafeteria while your child plays in a ball pit or has fun with Ikea toys. 2110 W. Ikea Way, Tempe. 888-888-4532 or ikea.com