5 Best Stores For Having Playdates While You Shop

Image courtesy of (David Bivins)

To all the parents of young children out there who are constantly wrangled into making playdates for your kid(s). Just because you’ve scheduled a playdate for your little one(s), it doesn’t mean you can’t also get in some all-important shopping while the youngsters amuse each other for a few hours.

Over at BadPlaydate.com, she breaks down the five best retailers for playdating (is that the proper term?) while you browse the aisles:

“If you’re feeling frumpy, this is a great place to meet up with other moms for a playdate,” writes BadPlaydate. “You’ll get to glam it up for free and paint your face with high-end cosmetics that you can no longer afford now that you’re on a budget… Take the perfume spritzing papers for your kids and come up with a counting game. They can play with those while you’re tramping yourself out.”

The key is apparently to get to Sephora before 5 p.m.: “You don’t want to compete with women who are picking up products on their way home from work.”

It’s a big store, so BadPlaydate says to head to the home furnishings department first. “The kids will enjoy trying out different couches and chairs,” she writes. “You can sit with the other parent and chat a bit while the kids play. They’ll enjoy pretending they have 50 different living rooms.”

Because they’re children, the kids will eventually get bored. But kids are also easily amused, so go for a couple rides up and down the elevator and then head to check out the luggage: “Kids like trying to pull bags around that are bigger than they are. Finish the playdate up with a pillow fight in the bedding department.”

Petland Discounts:
“Zoos and aquariums are expensive, crowded and usually not as close as a pet shop,” explains BadPlaydate. “Your child will enjoy looking at cats, rodents and fish. For free!” And though there are toys for kids to mess with, try to steer the youngsters away from the squeaky ones, because that will just annoy everyone.

Barnes and Noble:
Just like the library, there are all sorts of books for the kids to explore, but the bookstore chain has some big advantages over your local library. “There is a Starbucks for you and your fellow mom and milk boxes are for sale for the kids. The bathrooms are large and clean. There aren’t any librarians to yell at your children for running and not whispering. Your kids can get a good game of hide and seek going in the children’s section.”

“If you’re feeling lazy and too tired to pack lunch for the kids, head over to Costco around 11:45am and fill up on free samples,” advises BadPlaydate. “You can make a meal out of it and get to have dessert too. The kids will enjoy being in a giant warehouse. Make a game out of looking up and counting the number of items stacked way up high. Also, they’ll get a kick out of the giant boxes of cereal.”

And even though you might think that a huge, brightly lit warehouse is not conducive to a child’s imagination, BadPlaydate suggests, “Make up a game that Costco is where giants live. You won’t be too far off. They can also play house in the sheds that are usually for sale. If they get bored, take them into the super cold produce section. That’ll wake them up.”


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