03/26/15 1:20pm
Storytime is just one of the activities kids can look forward to at a Project Playdate. A dance party, open play, arts and crafts, dinner and a movie round out the night. Photo: Chika Ibe

Storytime is just one of the activities kids can look forward to at a Project Playdate Pajama Party. A dance party, open play, arts and crafts, dinner and a movie round out the night. Photo: Chika Ibe

Every weekend I lament the fact that we don’t have a consistent weekend date night sitter. When we do hire a sitter, it’s always for major events like weddings or birthday dinners. My husband and I never just get a casual dinner out on the town without children. So, that’s why I was thrilled to try out Project Playdate’s Pajama Party. This three-hour drop-off party happens every weekend at a different location around the city, and gives enough time for parents to truly have a leisurely night out. The best part? It costs the same as a babysitter: $20/ hour. Plus, the proceeds from the events go to donating supplies to family shelters in New York, so this is another way you can make a difference with your kids.

I signed my 5-year-old son up for the Friday night event at Park Slope Kidville (808 Union St.). The events are geared to kids between 2 and 7 years old, and at drop off my son seemed one of the oldest, with the sweet spot being between three and five. It was 6:30pm on the dot, and my son already seemed a little tired, so I was worried that a three hour party might send him into hysteria (especially since his usual bedtime is 8pm.) But I was willing to take that chance for the opportunity to eat an adult-only meal at Pork Slope, “a roadhouse-inspired” restaurant around the corner on 5th Avenue. We hung up his jacket, took off his shoes, and signed in with Amanda Raposo, the founder of Project Playdate, who immediately made me and my son feel at ease. In the blink of an eye, he ran into a padded gym room where about ten kids were already leaping and rolling on every surface. I peeked in to say goodbye and the babysitters–there was a 1:4 sitter/child ratio–were already swarming around the kids, making sure everyone was safe and having a good time. (more…)

09/30/14 8:57am
Practicing archery is actually surprisingly relaxing. Photo: Brooklyn Based

Practicing archery is actually surprisingly relaxing. Photo: Brooklyn Based

Welcome to Date Night, our new monthly series where we suggest a date that will shake up your night out routine. Whether or not it’s the kind of date that might end up between the sheets is entirely up to you–we’re just here to tell you about a good time that’s ready to be had somewhere in Brooklyn. 

The date: My new favorite night out with my husband is a trip to Gotham Archery in Gowanus, followed by dinner somewhere in the neighborhood (he favors Dinosaur BBQ, my vote is for Littleneck). If you really wanted to gild the lily, you could even follow dinner with a barrel-aged cocktail and a round of shuffleboard at The Royal Palms (or check their food truck schedule for dinner options there), and then a cone at Ample Hills. But let’s start simple.

If archery sounds like something that will make you feel frustrated and grumpy and un-datelike, take it from me, it won’t. I am the world’s worst sport at doing new things that I’m not good at, and I’m also competitive, and married to someone who is great at target shooting. I was sure the whole archery experiment would end in tears, or at the very least, bickering. Instead, it was mellow and fun and left me wanting to go back.  (more…)