It’s the weekend and it’s hard to tell who is more excited about having a night out – the kids or the parents?
With the combination of house chores, work responsibilities and taking care of the kids, it can be hard to carve out time for a date night — and then to find a reliable babysitter. But a growing number of play centres and daycares are offering on-site babysitting so parents can have their “us time” while their children have fun, too.
Le Petit Gym on the West Island offers what it calls “Parents’ Survival Night” twice a month, and Valerie Grodinsky has been taking her daughter, Willa, for over a year.
“I like that I can go across the street for dinner and a movie and not have to worry. She’s safe and she’s having fun,” Grodinsky said on a recent weekend as she dropped off her daughter. Willa was excitedly waiting for her friend Sydney to show up so they could play together. “I wish they had it more often,” Grodinsky said, “Like every Saturday night.”
Andrea Simmons and Avi Spector were dropping their daughter Emily off for the first time. They just recently moved to D.D.O. and hadn’t found a local babysitter yet. Despite it being Emily’s first time, she was already dancing to the music before even entering the playroom.
The main drawback for many families is bedtime. “If she was at home, she could just go to bed and stay there.” Simmons said. “It doesn’t necessarily replace a babysitter every time, but I think it gives parents a great alternative.”
And even if you don’t use it for a date night with your significant other, it is a service that can be used if you need to run a few errands or want to grab a coffee or glass of wine with a friend. Here are some of your “Parents’ Night Out” options across Montreal:
Le Petit Gym
2355-D Transcanada High., Pointe Claire
Ages 3 to 12. Children get to jump, climb and play in the gym area and then watch a movie. Members pay $25 for the first child and $15 for the second. Non-members pay $30 for the first child, $22 for the second.
Le Petit Gym also offers this service at these locations:
Laval: 59 Samson Blvd. (450) 314-0535. Members pay $25 for the first child and $20 for the second child, non-members pay $30 for first child and $24 for the second child.
Mount Royal: 100 Rockland Rd. (514) 733-1735. $25 for members, $35 for non-members; 10 per cent off for the second child.
St. Laurent: 1936 Thimens Blvd. (514) 331-1496. $25 for members for the first child, $10 for each additional child. $30 for non-members and $18 for each additional child.
Brossard: 7200 du Quartier Blvd. (450) 445-2345. $24.95 for members $29.95 for non-members, 10 per cent off for the second child.
Vaudreuil-Dorion: 110 Joseph-Carrier Blvd. (450) 455-4111. $25 for members for the first child, $20 for 2nd child. $30 for non-members for the first child, $25 for the second child.
4497 Westpark Blvd., Pierrefonds
Ages 2 to 12. Ethan’s Playground refers to its service as “PJ Party”. The staff will prepare supper, and offer arts and crafts, games, snacks and a movie. Cost is $20 for the first child, $15 for the second child and $10 for the third child. Email email@example.com to receive an official invitation. Reserve your spot before 10 a.m. the morning of the PJ party.
4850 Sources Blvd., D.D.O.
Ages 4 to 12. Kazoom indoor play centre offers this service the first Friday of every month. $30 for the first child and $20 for the second. Children can enjoy organized activities at Kazoom between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Call to reserve.
76A Brunswick Blvd., D.D.O.
Ages 4 to 7. Attend a princess movie night with homemade pizza and popcorn. $17 per child. English movies are shown the last Friday of the month, French movies on the middle Friday of the month, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Register online or by phone.
On the first Friday of the month, your child can join the princess academy and learn all about a special princess character. $14 per child. 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tyler Anne School of Dance
5800 Cavendish Blvd., Cote St. Luc
Why should you be the only one to dance the night away? This new dance school will soon be offering ‘Parents’ Night Out’ services. Call for more information.