We have always been pretty hands on parents. When we plan to go out, we plan activities that include our two kids. We do movie nights or head out to the trails. We don’t hire a babysitter unless it can’t be avoided. A) It’s expensive. After springing for the babysitter, all we can afford to do it grab a coffee at Starbucks and head home! B) It’s hard to find someone that you trust. I am pretty picky about who gets to stay with my kids, and since moving from Lincoln, NE to San Antonio, TX, I have fewer options.
Given all of our hesitations…sometimes we (read: I) really need a night off.
Finding a babysitter can be challenging for many reasons. This summer I needed someone to watch the kids during the two weeks that I had to return to work before the kids started school. (I’m a teacher.) Turns out that all of the really mature and responsible high school and college age students that I would trust to watch my kids are hyper-involved and don’t have a lot of free time. Go figure. I’m sure finding a sitter for one night, as opposed to two full weeks, would be a lot easier, but the experience left me a little gun-shy, so I started looking for other options.
Here are a couple that I found:
ArtWorks Art Studio for Kids: Art Night Out. Parents can sign their kids up (limit 10) on Fridays and Saturdays form 6-10pm for a fun art experience with qualified teachers. The kids won’t even notice that you ditched them for a kid-free evening alone!
Little Gym: Parents’ Survival Night. This great kid-sized gym for ages 3-12 offers a safe space for kids to run around, play games and burn off energy while you sit down and enjoy a meal without playing referee! Spots are available on select Fridays and Saturday nights.
Create Place. Technically grocery shopping doesn’t qualify as “a night out”, but sometimes you just need a couple of minutes to shop in peace. This amazing place exists inside HEB Plus at Hwy 281 and Evans Rd. Kids get to hang out in a fun, educational setting, and you might just get home with everything on your shopping list for once!
D.R. Semmes Family YMCA: Parent’s Night Out. Also known as TriPoint, this centrally located YMCA offers reprive for parents every 3rd Friday of the month from 6-10pm for kids ages 4-13.
Local churches. Our church occasionally offers a Parent’s Night Out. They are holding one next week for those who need to get some last minute holiday shopping done sans kids. This is another great place to check when you just need a few hours to get things done, or spend some quality time with just you and your spouse.
While being in a bigger city does present some challenges when it comes to childcare, it also offers some wonderful, reasonably priced alternatives. Our kids may be asking us to go out more often!!