Drop-In Childcare to Add to Your Speed Dial…STAT

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A good babysitter is hard to find (we know, we’re totally preaching to the choir). And sometimes, when you need him or her most, she’s downright elusive. If you have pressing errands to do and no childcare, or you just are overdue for a date night, these trusty drop-in childcare options provide a last minute solution for a nominal fee.

datenight.orgPhoto: Community  Church via flickr

Your wee ones will have an umlaut of fun at this Swedish outpost. Children must be between 37” and 54” tall and potty trained. At the College Park, Maryland location, children can play for up to an hour. At the Woodbridge, Virginia location, play is restricted to 30 minutes.

Online: ikea.com

Family KidCare
Located at the Pottery Barn Court at the eastern end of the Westfield Annapolis mall, this play space offers supervised playtime for a nominal fee ($7 per child for two hours). For $50 a month, you can participate in their membership program which offers two hours of daily care for up to four children.

Online: westfield.com

Child Watch
The YMCA offers a Child Watch program that is free with membership. Age restrictions vary by location. Centers offer care ranging from 90 minutes to 2 hours. Parents must remain in the building while enjoying this free service.

Online: ymca.net

Ida Lee Park Recreation Center
If you don’t want to commit to a gym, but would enjoy a good stretch (and a dip in a pool), this Leesburg, Virginia facility offers childcare for children ranging from 3 months to 10 years of age for a rate of $5 for two and a half hours. Town residents pay $5.50 to use the facilities; non-residents pay $7.50

Online:  leesburgva.gov

Community Church Date Night
Is it too early to plan for a February date? We don’t think so! This Ashburn, Virginia-based church offers free babysitting every Saturday during the month of February from 6 pm to 10 pm. Volunteers conduct camp-like activities to entertain your offspring while you enjoy four hours of kid-free bliss.

Online: datenights.org

WKids Fun Center
Enjoy 90 minutes of free childcare at the Dulles Centre Wegman’s in Sterling, Virginia. Children must be between the ages of 3 and 8 and must be potty-trained. Wegman’s offers on-site dining as well as a cafe-style lounging area. Kick your feet up, enjoy an on-premise slice of pizza while your kids have a blast in the play area.

Online: wegmans.com

Do you have any drop-in childcare secrets to share? Tell us about it in the comments section.

–Meghan Meyers

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