Those are my 2 little kids during our Friday evening outing to Ikea.
Yes, their shoes and my daughter's coat are off and piled on the floor, so they can really relax in the display living room!
We've been to Ikea with the kids many times before, but I guess it's been a while because it all seemed new to them. And they were in love!
"I wish we could live here!" My daughter squealed as she tried out all the display rooms.
And then they were entertained with the little pencils and paper provided to write down things you want to buy. My 7 year old and 5 year old began making their lists.
The best part was that all three of my kids were eligible for the store attended play area/childcare (kids have to be within a specific height range and out of diapers and pull-ups). So when they got annoying (you know running around, yelling so we couldn't really shop), my husband and I checked them into the play area and got 45 minutes (there is a 1 hour maximum) to shop through the store without kids! We were even were able to begin and finish a few conversations!
All for free!! I have no idea why we haven't taken more advantage of this before!
My oldest only has another inch or so before he'll be too tall for their restrictions, so we are definitely going to have to capitalize on the magic window of free babysitting again soon!
Also we had a really good laugh about the childcare, because they give you a plastic bin to put your kids' shoes, jackets, hats, etc. in, then they stamp each kid with a number (to match the number stamped on the parent dropping them off). And when we got back to pick them up, the lady stood at the door and called each of their names one by one, checked their numbers, and gave them back their "belongings" from the bin as they exited. I whispered to my husband that it was like they were getting released on parole! But the childcare was not jail-like other than their procedures, the place was pretty fun with a ball pit and other cool things for the kids to do.
After that we ate dinner at the Ikea restaurant for the cheapest amount our family of 5 has ever eaten out -- around $15!!! And the food is a notch healthier than fast food. The kids had mac n'cheese, applesauce, and milk. My husband and I shared a huge plate of the famous Ikea meatballs with a couple side items and two drinks (the Ligonberry drink -- if I ever make it to the real Sweden and they do not serve the Ligonberry drink, I'll be disappointed). So a lot of food and drinks for more than half what we typically spend to eat out!
I think we found a new Friday night hang-out. And no Ikea has not/is not paying me to say that except with an hour of free babysitting (which is available to anyone whose kids fit the criteria) and all moms know that is, well, pure gold!