There was a time not too long ago when your kiddos would sit quietly in the shopping cart (or better yet, sleep) while you were free to shop around the store. Now, your kiddos are mobile and need either constant supervision or entertainment before you can start tackling that long list of errands. Lucky for you, there are lots of great stores that offer playspaces and childcare for those times when you just need 30 minutes to grab groceries or an hour to pick up those last minute gifts from the toy store. We’ve rounded up some picks on where to shop for everything from kids’ clothes to performance outerwear with your kids in tow. Talk about a win-win!
While kids might have fun wandering up and down the aisles pushing their own mini shopping cart, you might be better off dropping them off in the play area for up to one hour (for toilet trained kids ages 3-9). Ikea also offers a family parking area and $2.49 kids meals available at the ever popular food court, where their meatballs are a must-try-at-least-once kind of treat.
601 SW 41st Street
Land of Nod
A favorite for all things baby, Land of Nod has plenty to keep your little ones occupied while you shop for cute gifts, baby essentials, or furniture for your kid’s room. And you won’t have to worry about keeping your kids busy because they will be plenty occupied testing out (nearly) every toy in the store. Stick around for story time on Thursdays at 10:30 am.
2660 NE 49th Street
Kids will love the giant tree house (pictured), and you’ll love the sale racks full of the latest outdoor gear. Children ages 5 and up can scale the rock wall (reservation required; $13 members, $23 non-members). 1 hour free parking.
222 Yale Ave N
Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park
Grab some lunch at one of the five restaurants in the commons (we love the Honey Bear Bakery) while the kids play in the gated play area. Then pop into the book store and get your purchases gift wrapped for free. For the kids who can entertain themselves, they have an amazing selection of kids books and even a few locations around the store to set up and read for a while.
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, Wa
Top Ten Toys
One of the best toy stores in Seattle welcomes play and has a great selection of creative, educational toys. And since you’re in a toy store, everything is hands on for kids to play with and explore while mom gets her shopping done. Just don’t be surprised if your kids have a hard time leaving.
104 N 85th Street
University Book Store
Peruse the well-stocked children’s section while the little ones entertain themselves on the giant Lego table. This spot is also super convenient for those last-minute shopping trips during the holidays–they’ve got great stocking stuffers as well as other one of a kind items for book nerds. Free parking for 30 minutes and free gift wrapping.
4326 University Way NE
Shopping Centers: Bellevue Square, Alderwood Mall, Southcenter Mall, and University Village all offer play areas where you can let the little ones burn off some energy in between purchases.
Grocery Stores: QFC in University Village , Top Food & Drug in Woodinville , and Fred Meyer locations in Ballard, Bellevue , Redmond ,and Lynnwood offer free childcare while you shop.
Where do you go shopping when you’ve got kids in tow?
— Jenny Miller