Caring For Our Kids

Drop-off childcare for Valentine’s night out

Drop-off childcare for Valentine’s night out

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so there is no time like the present to start planning that much-needed date night. Any parent will tell you the key to a successful night out is planning what you are going to do and how the kids will be cared for. So before you book that coveted dinner reservation, make sure you have the childcare covered. The good news is that Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, so many places are offering drop-off childcare for either Friday or Saturday night. Here are a few places to check out to ensure you have a nice evening out and your children are well taken care of:

Peekadoodle: Get a jump-start on Valentine’s with a dinner on Friday night. Peekadoodle, located in Ghirardelli Square, is offering a parents’ night out on Friday, Feb. 13 from 5–9 p.m. Children ages 2 and older will have their own Valentine’s Day fun filled with art projects, pizza, and a movie. They will even get the chance to decorate a sweet treat for dessert. If you are a member of Peekadoodle or the Golden Gate Mother’s Group (GGMG), the cost is $45 per child and $20 for additional siblings. The nonmember cost is $55 per child. You can sign up by calling 415-440-7335.

Destination Art: If going out on the actual holiday is more your style, try Destination Art. This neighborhood gem located in Russian Hill is a great find. They will be hosting a special extended movie night on Feb. 14 that will start at 6:30 and end at 11 p.m. Children will get to make their own pizzas for dinner and enjoy an evening of crafts, games, and a movie. The movie is age appropriate for the youngest child attending with a separate “big kid” movie showing in a separate room. There are no age restrictions — all children are welcome, so it can be a one-stop drop-off for your whole crew. You also can’t beat the price: $15 for the first child and $25 for a family. You can register by calling 415-350-4396.

AcroSports: If your older children are looking for something more active, try the AcroFun night at AcroSports near Golden Gate Park. They are offering a Valentine’s night drop-off for children ages 6–12. The night runs from 6:30–10 p.m. and includes a pizza dinner. The kids will enjoy organized games, and AcroSports’ popular zip line and bungee rides. There is definitely something for everyone, and the kids are sure to come home exhausted. The cost is $35 per child with a maximum of 25 kids, so it is best to register in advance at or 415-665-2276.

Presidio YMCA: If you want to avoid the prix-fixe menus and reservation stress of Valentine’s weekend, try the parent date night at the Presidio YMCA. Every first and third Friday of the month, they offer drop-off childcare for ages 2–8 from 4:30–8:30 p.m. The kids will enjoy some outdoor time, crafts, and games and then wind down the night with a movie. Due to allergy concerns the kids do have to bring their own dinner. The cost for facility members is $25 per child and $50 per child for program members. The good news is if you have three children you only pay the price for two — a virtual steal in the babysitting world.

Whether you decide to go out and enjoy a nice dinner or movie or stay in and just relax, it is important as parents to remember to make time for each other. Not just on Valentine’s Day but everyday. I also think it is healthy for our children to see us modeling that relationships are work and need time and attention. They may not understand that now when they are screaming as you walk out the door, but someday they will. In our house, it works best to have a “fun” option for the kids if we are going out, and I hope the places listed above provide just that for your crew.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Liz Farrell is the mother of three young children. She was formerly a television producer in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. E-mail: [email protected]