You know how it is—you register (and pay for) a class with the best of intentions, and then a sick kid here, a longer than usual nap there, and the class is over and you’ve missed half of your appointments. The beauty of drop-in activities is that you can go when you want, most of them are free, and when you do pay, it’s only for the activities that you actually attend. We’ve included some of our favorites with information on days, times, and fees (where applicable). Be sure to call or check the website before you go, as details may vary.

A different retailer sponsors stories, crafts, and activities each week at University Village Playdays. Past activities have included Curious George storytime and opportunities to either make your own kite at Pottery Barn Kids or paint your own pumpkin at Ravenna Gardens. Bonus: Playday attendees get a Playdays Pass with special offers to selected U-Village retailers. Tuesdays 10:00-11:00 am. Free. Check the website for upcoming activities.

Every item at Planet Happy is categorized as all natural, organic, fairly traded or green. The ecologically minded company offers a wide variety of free weekly drop-in activities, including magnet and button making, fragrance and lotion creation and seasonal crafts. Open Tuesday-Sunday, closed Monday. Check their monthly activity calendar for a current schedule of activities. They also have some low-cost activities that require pre-registration.

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Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park has a drop-in playtime with art and games appropriate for children up to age five, on Wednesdays from 10:00am-11:30am. This event is sponsored by the Shoreline Family Support Center; the bookstore also has storytime on Fridays from 10:00am-11:00 am. The Ravenna location has one every Saturday at 11:00 am. Free.

The Toy Place at Bellevue Art and Frame has a variety of drop-in classes and events, including free Make It Take It classes, Mondays 10:00am-11:0 am, 1:00pm-2:00 pm, where kids can create art projects to take home, Scien-tastic Art, Tuesdays 10:00am-11:00am, and Little Me Art: tactile art for the youngest of artists, Thursdays 10:00am-11:00am.  Storytime and Painting, Fridays 10:00am-11:00am. Lego meet-up every second Wednesday from 2:30pm-3:30pm, Art Club every third Wednesday from 2:30pm-3:30pm pm, Explorer’s Club for curious kids, every fourth Wednesday from 2:30pm-3:30pm. Free. Check their events calendar for specific details.

The Moonpaper Tent now has Open Studio on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:30am- 3:30 pm. $8 per child. There is no studio during the month of January 2012. For only $10 per child, you can stay as long as you like and explore the art station, play dress-up, enter imaginative play areas and more.

Twirl Café offers a stylish space, delicious, healthy food for parents and children and a play place and activity center. Play-time every morning from 8:30am-9:30 am, full play days every Monday, and storytime with Queen Anne Books on the first Friday of each month, 10:30am-11:15am. Free.

Adventure Kids in Issaquah offers a completely drop-in care seven days a week in two locations. Infant nursery, toddler area, play place, arts and crafts, karaoke, computer games, theme nights and toys. Calling before-hand is encouraged to ensure space will be available. For comprehensive hours, rates and contact information, click here.

Teachers and staff at Trettin Drop-In Preschool care for children ages 2 1/2 to 5 years, Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm. $8.50 per hour. One-time fee of $40 required to enroll. Show & tell, music time, toys, alphabet and reading development and outdoor play. For additional information and FAQ, click here.

The Nest provides friendly teachers, music, stories and play for ages 2-6, Monday-Saturday. One time family registration fee of $20 required. Extended Saturday hours until 10:00 pm offer date night opportunities. Parents of children with nut allergies will be relieved to learn only nut-free snacks are allowed. For complete information on hours, rates and discounts, click here.

Flow Yoga on Redmond offers drop-in Family Yoga on Fridays, 5:45pm-6:45pm., ages 6+, $15 per parent and child, additional children $5 each.

Lotus Yoga on 4860 Rainier Avenue South offers drop-in Family Yoga every Saturday from 1:30pm-2:45 pm. $20 per family.

5Focus Yoga offers childcare at $3 per hour, 8-12 p.m., for parents utilizing the center’s services: wi-fi, massage, yoga, reading and conversation space. drop-in kid’s yoga for ages 3-10, $15 per child, Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Did we miss one? Please add your favorite in the comments below!

—Heidi Unruh (with Genna McGahee)