Local Love: Date Night WITH Kids!
I usually write about Date Nights without the kids, but some times you just can't get a sitter. Or maybe you are the type who loves hanging with your kids EVERY weekend night (good for you, just not for me...I need at least one night to myself). When our friends invited Bart & I to an event at Growth Spurts in Wilmette, we jumped at the chance to socialize with them while our kids played. Win win.
Since this is a rather welcoming yet cozy space, the adults could socialize while keeping an eye on their kids. We caught up over pizza, wine and craft brews while our children ate play-dough (Charlotte), played house (Charlotte again) and dressed up to their heart's content. It is an all-inclusive package- one price per kid for play, dinner and drinks (milk and juice for the under 21 set, wine and beer for moms and dads) and adults are able to tag along at no additional charge.
Starting May 8th, Growth Spurts will be hosting a regular Pizza and Play night on Friday nights. WOW have times changed from the wristband parties of old, but as long as there are cocktails, friends, and enough stuff to entertain my kids, I am more than ok with it! For more info, check out their Facebook page here.
This amazing space is perfect for daytime play as well, and they welcome kids from birth to age 5 (which is lovely, because it means that your tot won't get trampled on by a 12 year old). The owner, Emily, is quite possibly the sweetest, most amazing human being out there. She remembers my kids names, inquires about their latest adventures, and genuinely cares about her customers. It is like Cheers with organic milk and Annie's Bunny Crackers.
The emergence of play cafes is a trend that pretty much every parent is more than on board with- during the day we love sipping our lattes while our kids test drive new toys. They can expend all of their pent-up bad weather indoor energy playing on climbers or getting down to some amazing musical accompaniment by a local legend, Mr. John. (If you ever see that Mr. John is performing, you MUST be there. He has a sense of humor that entertains kids as well as adults. He has worked with children with autism for over ten years, and was able utterly entrance my squirmy 3.5 year old).
What a wonderful idea to open it up to families at night so we can feel like we have a life again!
If you don't have an amazing play cafe like this in your area, I suggest hosting your own pizza and play night at home. Order in pizza, grab a karaoke machine for the kids, and crack open some wine while they sing Frozen on repeat. I remember feeling like life would never get back to normal again when I first had Bryson. Slowly, we have made friends with similar aged kids and can trade war stories. Make time to connect with your friends, even if it means talking in code while the kids are present. Like that Sex and the City episode where they talk about coloring...classic. Time to go outside the lines and live a little, my friends!