My husband and I went out to Louis Benton this weekend. We had a gift card AND an Entertainment Book coupon, so it only cost us $20. That is quite a steal there.
We try and have a ‘date night’ once a month, but frankly both are lazy about acquiring a sitter for our kids. We’ve found a few solutions and want to share with those of you that run into the same problem.
First, Calvin College has a jobs board that you can post for a sitter on it. Apparently they are teaching negotiation skills in college these days, because I have yet to encounter one who can’t wheel and deal. Most of them have cars so that is a plus. Other area colleges and universities probably have jobs boards as well, but this is the one closest to our home.
Second, you can go onto Craigslist and look for a sitter. You can either post what you need, or go through the people who have made a post with their availability. They typically list the per hour/per kid price so it’s nice to know ahead of time.
Third, try care.com. You can search by your area to see if there are any sitters available. The Basic service is free, but you can pay $20 to join at the Premium level if you want background checks and full provider profiles. I think this is worth it.
Then there is the YMCA. Check with the branch near you (a link is here) to see when their next ‘Date Night’ is. You drop your kids off at a specified time and pick them up when it (or your date) is over. They keep the kids very busy and entertained. The kids think they are the ones having a special night and they get to play with other kids. If they are 5 or above, they get to use the pool (supervised, of course). You don’t have to be a member, but the pricing is a little more for non-members. The compromise is that they are up later than usual, but if you don’t have any big plans the next day it’s not such a big deal.
Valentine’s day or not – it’s good to get away from the kids for an evening and remember that your spouse is intelligent, funny, and charming. Or at least have a good, peaceful meal 🙂