It’s that time of year again. The time where you work furiously to distract your kiddos with fake Santa sightings and flying UFOs (Look! Over there!) just so you can slip a little tree-worthy extra into the shopping cart especially for them. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to play those reindeer games? Well, you’re in luck. These 10 drop-n-shop (aka parents’ night out) programs will quite possibly be the best gift you’ll receive all season!

Penny Pumpernickel snowmen shot

The Jungle Gym
Trampolines, zip lines and trapezes, oh my! The activities at the Jungle Gym in Burien are hard to resist. And while we know you might be tempted to stay and play with your littles, this kid’s night out is the perfect time to get that shopping done. With three hours of free play, games, pizza and a movie, your wee ones won’t know what hit them. And we guarantee that they’ll fall into bed, ready to dream of dancing sugar plums so you’ll have time to wrap the stash. Parents can register their mini tumblers online, via email (at or by phone. But whatever you do, do it fast because spaces are filling up quickly!

The Jungle Gym Trapeze

Where to shop: The Olde Burien Shopping District is where it’s at south of the city. Be sure stop by for some local shopping while you’re in the area.

The Jungle Gym
15220 2nd Ave. S.W.
Burien, Wa 98166

Dates: December 13 & 27
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Cost: $25/child
Ages: 3-12

Pacific Science Center
Drop your mini explorers off for an arctic adventure at the Pacific Science Center while you brave the downtown shopping district. These curious adventurers will be divided into age groups, and then unleashed (Not really. They’ll be supervised by the experienced PSC staff.) on the museum, where they can explore and create. Among the day’s projects will be blubber gloves, penguin races and sticky ice. Sounds like a cool party! They’ll also get to chill out a bit in the IMAX with the Titans of the Ice Age 3D documentary before digging into some liquid nitrogen ice cream. And that leaves you the whole day to shop, eat and enjoy the holiday season. This gift is on everyone’s wish list!

Live Science Stage Pacific Science Center

Where to shop: After dropping off the munchkins, hop on the monorail and hit the downtown shopping district. We’re pretty sure it doesn’t get any easier than that!

Pacific Science Center
200 Second Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98109

Date: December 7
Time: Drop off between 10 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. Pick-up between 3 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $50/child (members); $40/child (non-members)
Ages: 5-12

Seattle Bouldering Project
Drop your monkeys off for a 2-hour holiday climb at the Seattle Bouldering Project the weekend before Christmas. While you’re out to play, they’ll get two hours of supervised climb time that includes mini games, climbing exercises and guided route climbing. It’s totally off the wall (or more like on in this case)! Be sure your lil’ climbers are dressed in comfy clothes and send them with a snack and a water bottle. They’ll definitely work up a thirst and an appetite at this awesome climbing center!

Seattle Bouldering Project Kids Area

Where to shop: The bouldering studio’s central location (just off Rainier Ave. S.) makes it ideal for city shopping. Just head north to shop Capitol Hill or drive south to hit the Columbia City shops. Total win-win!

Seattle Bouldering Project
900 Poplar Pl. S.
Seattle, Wa 98144

Dates: December 21, 22, 28 & 29 and January 4 & 5
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1 p.m.–3 p.m.
Cost: $40 non-members, $30 members
Ages: 6-13

Seattle Parks and Recreation Community Centers
What’s not to love about Seattle Parks and Recreation? They give us beautiful parks and playgrounds, vibrant community centers, and kid-friendly programming that doesn’t involve a screen. Well, get ready to fall in love all over again, because this season select community centers are providing a little Shop-n-Drop time for parents and their charges. Both the Ravenna Eckstein Community Center and the Meadowbrook Community Center will entertain potty-trained kiddos (sorry babies, no diapers allowed) for 3 hours, so that the p’s can get their shop on and maybe their nosh too. Crafts and playtime will keep the tot lot entertained, while pizza and fruit will fill their tummies. Can you say bed-ready at pick up? Bring jammies for the ride home!


Where to shop: Enjoy the shopping districts in Ravenna and Green Lake or head over to nearby U Village. Choices, choices…

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
6535 Ravenna Ave. N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98115

Date: December 13
Time: 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
Cost: $15/kid, with a $5 sibling discount
Ages: 3-10

Meadowbrook Community Center
10517 35th Ave. N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98125

Date: December 20
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Cost: $15/kid
Ages: 3-10

Center Studio
Register your young yogis for some mat time at Center Studio’s Kids’ Night Out in White Center. Drop off the kidlets for some yoga, games and dancing while you hit the town to start checking off that wish list. They’ll also have pizza to fill those tiny bellies on a cold winter night. Yum! Be sure the kiddos are dressed comfortably and pack a water bottle so they’ll stay hydrated. Yoga and dance really takes it out of you! Space is limited for the evening, so please email to reserve space for your mini me. Isn’t it time the kiddos had this playdate?

Where to shop: Head over to the West Seattle Junction for a little local love while the wee ones are otherwise occupied.

Center Studio
9611 16th Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98106

Date: December 14
Time: 5 p.m.– 8 p.m.
Cost: $20/child (cash only)
Ages: 3-10

Yoga Kids Party

Seattle Gymnastics Academy
Get ready to rejoice because two Seattle Gymnastics Academy locations are offering play time for parents to shop (or not) this year! Little tumblers will flip for time in the foam pit and spring for tramp track time at the Columbia City SGA Drop-N-Shop camp. They’ll also have crafts and games going throughout the day, so kids can quite literally bounce from one activity to the next while they’re there. Parents choose times in two-hour blocks and no pre-registration is necessary (nor is a membership). So you can drop them off for 2, 4, even 6 hours for those serious lists or window shoppers. Remember that preschoolers (ages 3-5) max out at 4 hours and they must be potty trained, too. Dress them in comfy clothes, pack some food and plenty to drink, and you’ve got yourself an awesome good time!

Where to shop: Hit the shops in Columbia City or head down to Southcenter Mall to find everything on your list. With customizable hour options you’ll find time to go just about anywhere.

SGA Columbia City
5034 37th Ave. S., Suite 200
Seattle, Wa 98118

Dates and Times: December 21, 2 p.m.–6 p.m.; December 22, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; December 23, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: $25/kid for a 2-hour block
Ages: 3-12

Seattle Gynmastics Academy Colubmia City from FB

The Ballard location makes coupling date night and shopping a no-brainer with their winter Parent’s Night Out hours. The only choice you’ll have to make is which comes first, shopping or dinner? Drop off your monkeys and let them burn off all that energy they didn’t get a chance to earlier in the day on balance beams, bars, and bouncy floors. Plus, they’ll play games, munch on some pizza and finish it all off with a G-rated movie. Sounds like a plan!

Where to shop: This SGA studio is right in the heart of downtown Ballard, so you’ve got plenty of time to browse and shop at these local retailers. Enjoy!

SGA Ballard
1415 NW 52nd St.
Seattle, Wa 98107

Dates: December 7, 21
Times: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Cost: $35/child
Ages: 5-12

Seattle Athletic Club Northgate
If time to Shop Till You Drop is what you need, bring the kiddos to the Seattle Athletic Club Northgate and then get your shop on. They’re offering discounted childcare the week before Christmas at their Kid’s Court, so parents can either work out, or shop, or both (yep, it’s okay to leave the building)! While they’re there, the kidlets can play and craft so you can shop in peace. And with no drop off/pick up schedule it’s easy to plan your day without disrupting the routine, which is truly awesome.

For those who prefer the simple beauty of the “two birds, one stone” concept (and what parent doesn’t?), there’s Parent’s Night Out Winter Wonderland. Call it a date night, call it much-needed shopping time, but whatever you call it, there’s plenty of time during this 4-hour chunk. And while you’re away, your little elves will enjoy pizza and hot chocolate, a Christmas craft and a holiday movie. It’s the more the merrier this time of year!

Seattle Athletic Club Northgate PNO

Where to Shop: There’s plenty of shopping to be done at the Northgate Mall, which is just a quick block walk away from the Seattle Athletic Club Northgate. See, you can get a workout in too!

Seattle Athletic Club Northgate
333 NE 97th St.
Seattle, Wa 98115

Dates: December 16-20
Time: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Cost: $7/hour per child ($5/hour for siblings) for members; $13/hour per child for non-members for Shop Till You Drop; $28 plus tax ($18 plus tax sibling rate) for members, $38 plus tax for non-members for Parent’s Night Out Winder Wonderland.
Ages: 6 weeks–12 years

Penny Pumpernickel Pants Playcare
Penny Pumpernickel Pants Playcare is a popular in-home, educational playcare center on the north end. And Ophelia (Mrs. Penny herself) opens her doors to parents in need of a little shop time on two separate occasions in December. Each playdate lasts for 4 hours and runs through lunch, which she provides. So all you need to do is drop and go shop while the tot lot plays the afternoon away with arts, crafts, sensory play and even a little yoga. Or, you can even book a holiday Parents’ Night Out at Penny Pumpernickel Pants. All you need is a few good friends (and their minis), a few dates to choose from, and then it’s 4 hours kid-free for shopping, dinner, or whatever you’d like. Parents usually book from about 5 p.m.–9 p.m. and the cost is $32 per kiddo (cheaper than a babysitter makes it doubly awesome!). Book weekend playcare online and call Ophelia for a PNO possibility. Talk about Christmas wishes!

Penny Pumpernickel Pants Playcare Morning Out

Where to shop: The better question is where couldn’t you shop? Penny Pumpernickel Pants Playcare is super close to the Northgate Mall. Or you can make a quick getaway to Green Lake, Ballard or Crown Hill to hit up some boutique shops. Thank goodness you’ve got 4 hours away!

Penny Pumpernickel Pants Playcare

Dates: December 7 (Holiday Doorbuster) & December 14 (Holiday Party)
Time: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Cost: $34/child
Ages: 2.5-4

Adventure Kids Playcare Bellevue
Parents with babes in arms, get ready to get excited because Adventure Kids Playcare in Bellevue offers drop-off care for the littlest munchkins. They take minis as young as 6 weeks to make your shopping just a little bit easier this Christmas. There’s lots for the Littles and the Bigs at this awesome center that has rooms and activities for all ages. Toys, crafts and climbing structure that would make even the monkeys jealous are just some of the kiddo perks. And their long hours make it easy to find the right time to drop your bunch. Stay during a meal and they can provide it for just $4 per kiddo, or bring your own from home. Piece of cake! Adventure Kids gets busy during the holidays, so reservations are recommended (membership has its privileges here!). Signing up is easy and it’s a membership you can use all year long. Check one more thing off your list!

Kids Climbing Area Bellevue Playspace

Where to shop: This drop off care is perfectly poised just north of the Bellevue shopping district. Bellevue Square and Bellevue Place are just down the street. And Main’s only a few blocks from there. Take in the sights of the season in downtown Bellevue!

Adventure Kids Playcare Bellevue
1100 Bellevue Way N.E., Suite 1
Bellevue, Wa 98004

Times: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.–midnight; Saturday, 9 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: $12/hour for kids younger than 18 months; $10/hour for kids 18 months and up; $6/hour per sibling. Add $2/hour (for 18 months and up, and sibling rates) for non-members
Ages: 6 weeks–12 years

Great Play of Redmond
Great Play in Redmond has two awesome options for parents this holiday season. Their official Drop-n-Shop play time gives parents 3 hours in the evening to find those perfect presents and maybe grab a bite. And their Holiday Camp (the Monday before Christmas) gives everyone time to find those last-minute gifts that always seem to crop up. Each session includes a snack bookended by their most popular games and activities, plus a little arts and crafts thrown in for good measure. Sounds like the perfect mix to keep the tot lot engaged while you fly around town picking out presents for good little boys and girls. Just give them a call to reserve your spot. And if you didn’t quite have time to do everything, don’t worry, they’ve got Holiday Camps scheduled into the new year.

Great Play of Redmond PNO

Where to shop: Great Play’s convenient location makes it easy for parents to slip over to the Redmond Town Center for shopping and eats while the kids wear themselves out with games and activities.

Great Play of Redmond
16510 Cleveland St., Suite N
Redmond, Wa 98052

Dates: December 13 (Drop-n-Shop) & December 23 (Holiday Camp)
Time: 4:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. (Drop-n-Shop); 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. (Holiday Camp)
Cost: $35 for the first kid; $25 per sibling
Ages: 3.5-7 (Drop-n-Shop); 3.5–8 (Holiday Camp)

Word to the wise: Get your calendar out and register stat! All of these programs fill up quickly!

Do you have a favorite drop-n-shop program? Let us know about it in a comment below.

–Allison Sutcliffe

Photos thanks to: The Jungle Gym’s Facebook page, the Pacific Science Center, Penny Pumpernickel Pants Playcare’s Facebook page, Great Play of Redmond’s Facebook page, Seattle Athletic Club Northgate’s Facebook page, and Corey Ginsberg