Words that spark dread in the hearts of most parents away from home: “I HAVE TO GO POTTY!”  Fear not, intrepid diaper-changers. Whether you’re in search of a plush mother’s lounge or entertaining distractions to buy you approximately 47 seconds of privacy, we have a few options to add to your public potty-going repertoire.

Photo: lansinoh via Flickr

Nordstrom Tyson’s Corner
Popular fashion retailer Nordstrom has more to offer than style: its Mothers Room (within the Women’s Lounge) is well-marked (with a “breast-feeding friendly” symbol) and well-appointed.  Comfy chairs for breast-feeding encircle a coffee table—the perfect resting spot for your diaper bag or chai latte. A nearby outlet serves pumping moms on the go, and there’s even a diaper-changing area on the opposite wall. Even little ones will get zen vibes hanging out in here.

8075 Tysons Corner Ctr. (McLean, Va)
Online: shop.nordstrom.com

Mobu Kids
This popular indoor playground is a great place to host your next birthday party, but its charm is in the details. Parents can enjoy free coffee while they watch their kids frolic in the padded play area.  Both the men’s and women’s bathrooms are cheerfully decorated and have diaper changing tables with free wipes and diaper disposal bags. A step stool at the sink area gives tiny tots a boost to wash their hands. The women’s room also has a nursing nook, with a cozy chair and a stack of magazines.

442 S Washington St., #A (Falls Church, Va)
Online: mobukids.com

Photo: Amy J. via Yelp

Challenge your older kids to spot the puns and grammar bloopers in the newspaper headlines that adorn the tiled bathroom walls. They “study” for their Language Arts quiz, you get a few moments to yourself, and everybody wins.

555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Online: newseum.org

P.J. Clarke’s
Even the buttoned-up institution that is P.J. Clarke’s caters to wee ones learning to wee. The urinals in the men’s room cost $80,000 and are 54 inches tall—little guys mastering their aim will have plenty of room for error.

1600 K St., NW
Online: pjclarkes.com/dc

Photo: Daniel Lobo via Flickr

Yes, they have breakfast for $0.99 (!) and an incredible selection of inexpensive, creative toys—but their family bathroom will woo you for sure. Butterfly mobiles dangle from the ceiling and colorful pop art adorns the walls. A comfy chair is nestled in the corner (next to a table and outlet), and a diaper changing station has a stash of free diapers to save you in a crisis situation. Each bathroom stall door in the men’s and women’s bathrooms also has a fold-down, strap-in chair for your squirmy cherub. So clean up, take a breather, then go decide if you want the Tarva or the Nordli nightstand.

Locations in College Park, Md and Woodbridge, Va
Online: ikea.com

Did we miss your favorite family lounge? Tell us in the comments section below.

–Katie Brown

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