By Melissa Epifano

Parenting is hard work, and all caregivers need a break now and then. But when family support is limited and your childcare options are few, getting in a movie or dinner with your partner or friend is flat-out tough. But there is hope! You may be surprised, like us, to discover that more than a handful of local businesses offer date night drop-off options for your kiddos. You are probably already familiar with many of these places, but I bet you’ll be surprised to learn that you can actually drop your kids off and leave for a few hours. Here is a rundown of several options in our area. Please check their websites regularly for updates to their current offerings.

  • The National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics offers Saturday night date night care from 6 to 10:30 pm. Kids age 4 to 14 can enjoy pizza, games, crafts, and loads of bouncing. $20 general public, $15 currently enrolled students and siblings. 1205 Oak Patch Rd., 541/344-2002,
  • Another great place for your kids to get out all their pent-up energy and have a blast running and jumping around is Bounce Gymnastics. They have a Parent’s Night Out every Friday from 6 to 10 pm for kids 4 to 12. They provide food, trampolines, and gymnastic how-tos as well as movies, arts and crafts, and games. It’s $18 for the first child, $12 per additional sibling. 329 W 3rd Ave., 541/343-4222,
  • Courtsports Athletic Club has a Parent’s Night Out once a month, with their upcoming dates to be determined. There are multiple activities for your kiddos to take part in such as swimming, Wii games, or volleyball, and dinner is included. You can look online at, check out their Facebook page, or check their monthly newsletter to find out the day, time, and sign-up information. 4242 Commerce St., 541/687-2255,
  • Willamalane Park and Recreation District offers a Kid’s Night Out event from 6:30 to 9 pm at the Bob Keefer Center in Springfield. It happens one Friday each month and has a theme like Beach Day, Dance Party, or LEGOs Galore. There are plenty of games for children age 4 to 10, and the evening costs $10 for kids in district and $12 for kids out of district. Light snacks are provided as well. 250 S 32nd St., Springfield, 541/736-4544, 
  • New School Eugene also offers a date night drop-off every first Friday of the month. From 6 to 9 pm, kids age 2 (potty trained) to 12 can craft, play games, and eat snacks. $18 per kiddo. Valley River Center, 541/650-7887,

To find out about other places for childcare and family events, visit Go Mom Go Eugene (, Parenting Now! (, and Lane Kids (