For Brooklyn Parents: New Babysitting Ideas

Carl's Masquerade

That lovable Rottweiler, Carl -- babysitter extraordinaire.

I’m not talking nannies or daily childcare options — I mean date night or I-need-to-go-shopping-or-I-will-self-destruct coverage. You know, a couple of hours here and there.

Here are a few fresh ideas from great sources.

TimeOut New York Kids

TONY Kids did an article this summer on alternatives to the traditional babysitter — something beyond you pay a person to come to your home, feed your kids dinner, and put them to bed. Instead, you drop your kids off and then head out to have your own fun. A couple of the places were in Brooklyn, and they were news to me.

NY City Explorers: Movie Date Night — I knew about NY City Explorers in Prospect Heights, but didn’t know they offered babysitting for date night. Awesome. Kids use the play space, make crafts, watch movies, and chow down on Blue Marble ice cream (which occupies the front of the NY City Explorers space.) Fridays and Saturdays from 6 – 10pm. $40 per child; $30 sibling. (nycityexplorers.com)

New York Kids Club: Pajama Party — Choose from one of six locations around the city, most in Manhattan, but one in Brooklyn Heights. Put your kid in his favorite jammies, and drop him off for a themed PJ party (a recent event was an “Under the Sea” night, for example.) Kids get a pizza dinner while they party. Every other Friday, from 6 – 8 pm. $40 per child; $20 sibling. (nykidsclub.com)

See the full TONY article for more deets.

But note…. TONY includes Brooklyn Arts Exchange in the article — BAX is in my ‘hood and I was psyched to see it in the piece! Alas, when I called for more details, it turns out the babysitting they offer isn’t drop off; it’s an inexpensive, on-site service that allows parents to catch a BAX perf they’d like to see without having to shell out big bucks for a sitter. A great service, but sadly, no help for date night.

Momfilter

Momfilter is a new lifestyle site coming this fall from former Cookie magazine editors — their tag line? “The right information in the age of too much information.” Right on, sisters. Can’t wait! In the meantime, you can find them on Facebook, where I noticed their recommendation of Care.com as an excellent source for finding new sitters.

They say they’ve been using it for part-time babysitting and think it’s “fantastic. The candidates are great, vetted by an army of moms who work from home.” And, “they do background checks, which is a huge plus.”

Alrighty, then — time to put date night on the calendar.

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