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.
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.
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.