Despite the fact that all of my children are practically perfect, people aren't exactly lining up to watch them for me while I gallivant around town on shopping expeditions. Of course, if you are a close friend or trustworthy relative who would like to volunteer, please sign up here.
I thought not.
IKEA gets it right in so many ways and here again, I love them. Smaland, located right at the entrance, is a supervised play area where you can drop your kids off for up to 1 1/2 hours (the schedule changes depending on day and time of year) and go shop. Quietly.
There are a couple of rules to follow. Kids must be 37"-54" tall without shoes. Yes, they check. And they must be fully potty-trained. For the first time ever this is a question I can answer somewhat confidently, or at least without visibly flinching. There are places to climb, pictures to color and a ball pit. Ahhh... the ball pit. My kids didn't even look back at me as they headed in. The best part is, it's completely free, at least not counting all the stuff you buy, now that you have a moment to think clearly. Come to think of it, this might be the most expensive free thing you can do with your kids.
8352 Honeygo Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21236