Join (or found) a babysitting co-op

“We started a co-op in my neighbourhood, and we currently have about 25 families signed up. Everyone starts with 80 points, and sits are four points an hour. So when you sit, you earn points; when you go out, you ‘pay.’ I’m having a sitter twice next week!” —Alexia

Do playdate swaps with other families

“My moms’ club set up a system where all the kids have a long play date at one family's house while the other moms get to go out and have fun. Each set of parents get three or four hours to themselves every week.” —Rebecca



Bring your baby along to an outdoor event (where crying should be less of an issue)


“When she was little, we took our daughter to drive-in movies. She’d fall asleep in her car seat and we could watch the movie. It was a great way to get out of the house.” —Nancy

“My son napped in his stroller through an entire outdoor Joan Jett concert at a state fair. We just put in earplugs.” —Roseanne



Seek out a baby-friendly happy hour


Many bars in large American cities are hosting special afternoons with kids’ activities in order to attract families during slow times. “Nectar Bar [in New York City] does a monthly Friday happy hour with appetizers and babysitting. It’s how we get out of the house!” —Sarah

Attend a kids’ event that also offers grown-up fun

“We started going to Baby Loves Disco [a family dance party that tours all over the U.S.] before my baby could even crawl. But we liked the retro music, and there was tons of stuff for parents, like massages and cocktails, so my husband and I had a blast, too.” Similar kids’ club events are taking off in Australia and Asia. —Jessica

 
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