The scenario: You’re all set to have an amazing kid-free coffee date with one of your favorite mamas, but suddenly your totally grownup plans are thrown out of whack by an unexpected school or daycare closure. Your grownup mom date has suddenly become a family affair and you have to plan a playdate.
So what now? You have these kids in front of you, itching to get some energy out. Meanwhile, you and your bestie have exactly zero energy and were hoping to get some energy in, preferably in the form of a double espresso and a cake pop that doesn’t have someone else’s spit on it.
A lot of us, me included, would probably just opt to stay in because the mere thought of rounding up the kiddies, stuffing everyone into car seats, and herding them into a restaurant or café just seems nuts. But here’s an argument against staying in: You’re going to go utterly nuts if you have to stare at your own four walls for even one minute more.
Here are four ideas for kid-friendly mom dates… because I’ll feel personally responsible if you actually do lose your mind.
Un Cafe S’il Vous Plait
There are a ton of kid-friendly coffee shops that have play corners with toys or books or board games. Finding them could be as easy as doing a little googling. The great thing about this option is that you’re in an enclosed space that has expressly demonstrated children are welcome. You can even look away for 30 seconds without fearing your tiny Flash will dash. Pro Tip: Avoid caffeinating your crazy kids.
Don’t Shun Lowbrow Fun
Sometimes you just have to suck it up and hit the McDonald’s PlayPlace, even if that’s not usually your thing (and we’re not judging if it is because mmm, fries). Again, this is an enclosed space – sometimes there is even a gate – so you can actually relax and focus on your friend for an hour or two instead of micromanaging the littles. And hey, fries!
Worth the Price of Admission
You can also get fully enclosed indoor fun without the fries for about $8 at the kind of chain playgrounds you find in malls. Some of these indoor playgrounds even cater to grownup needs with lattes and snacks geared toward the adult palate in addition to juice boxes and fruit snacks. Other ideas include art centers and gymnastics gyms where you can even have someone else supervise the kids for the next two hours.
Get Your Science On
Well, let the kids get their science on while you get your convo on at the closest interactive science museum. This is not the time to lead the way. The goal is to let the group of kids in your care be your guides – you trail behind at a safe distance, chatting it up while they get their fill of hands-on learning. Of course, this isn’t the place to take your eyes off your little ones, but at least they’ll be occupied.
Where are your favorite places to take the kids when what you’re really jonesing for is some grownup conversation?