From gymnastics to movie nights, here are some childcare options for parents in need of a night to themselves.
Are you vaxxed, waxed, and ready for a kid-free night out? Childcare options have been sparse since the pandemic first hit in early 2020, but there are places from across the Valley that offer a fun, safe environment for kids to play so the adults can enjoy a break.
To help our readers find a good fit for them, The Copper Courier staff has compiled a list of childcare options throughout the Valley that promise to implement COVID-19 safety precautions along with a night full of fun.
1. Harkins Theatres PlayCenters
For the best kind of family night out at the movies, head to Harkins Theatres. The theatre chain offers on-site child care at six Valley locations—and one in Tucson—where kids can play, snack, and craft, while the adults can watch a movie that doesn’t involve an animated woodland creature.
Kids ages 3 thru 8 can be dropped off at the PlayCenter for $6 per kid, where they’ll be supervised by childcare professionals in a secure play area. Parents will also be given a pager in case they’re needed during the movie.
2. The Little Gym’s Parent Survival Nights
The Little Gym partners with LEGO and Duplo to provide kids with a combination of physical and mental activities while parents can enjoy a night out. Offered at four Valley locations, Parents’ Survival Nights run three hours long and start at $30 per kid.
Parents’ Survival Night is held monthly at Little Gym locations in Litchfield Park, Paradise Valley, and Queen Creek, and twice a month at the Gilbert location.
3. KidsParks Drop-Off Childcare
If day dates are more your thing, and you want the leisure of having a full day ahead of you without worrying about the little ones, check out KidsPark. This group-play-focused center offers flexible scheduling, which could be a better fit for those with more open-ended plans.
KidsPark’s reservation-free, drop-in anytime policy means that, starting at $10 per hour, parents can spend hours on end—well, till 9 p.m. at least on Fridays and Saturdays—kid-free with minimal planning. The center also offers meals for $4.50 each, and posts itsdaily menu, educational focus, and COVID play modifications online.
There are currently two KidsPark locations in the state—one in Scottsdale, and one in Peoria.
4. Arizona Sunrays’ Kids Night Out
Parents may get the night kid-free, but the folks at Arizona Sunrays say it’s the kids who really get the fun night out. The Phoenix-based gymnastics and dance center hosts regular Kids Night Out events that promise pizza, foam pits, and nightly themes to ensure each visit is a unique experience.
Arizona Sunrays has two locations—one off Greenway Road and the 101, the other in Arcadia—both offering Kids Night Outs on various Saturdays. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for kids ages 3 thru 13, and starts at $30 for the first child.