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Fort Worth Out and About!

Gyms, spas and other hotspots have childcare facilities on-site or nearby
What ever happened to “me time”?
With little ones constantly in tow (or even after a long day at the office), it can be quite the challenge to find the time to squeeze in a cardio session or get that hot stone massage you so desperately need … and deserve! But luckily for all you busy moms, your local gyms, spa sites and other locales where you can enjoy a bit of leisure time are catching on—offering childcare services on-site, or nearby at a drop-in care facility. Here, you can leave the little ones to be looked after while you get that workout or massage treatment or perhaps catch that film you wanted to see … last month.
It’s made all the difference for Saginaw mom Rachel Ballio Henderson. “I don’t usually take my kids to a place where I’ll be doing something by myself … if it doesn’t have child care,” she says. As a mom of three, it’s no surprise. She raves about her local gym. “You can get things done … without having to stress and worry that your kids will dig in and break things. … I know they’re safe.”
Fort Worth mom Meredith Wilson Whitley has also taken advantage of the childcare services at her fitness center, and like Henderson, she appreciates that they take safety measures. “I love that they scan your card, and a picture comes up,” she points out. “They make sure only the right people are in there. …” But it’s not the safety that her 3-year-old daughter, Mae, loves. “It’s a nice area for her to play in,” Whitley says.
So whether you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for a respite, or a working mother who needs to finish that personal to-do list and keep an eye on the kids, we’ve rounded up a child-friendly selection of places around Fort Worth that can also provide care for the kiddies so you can get your own time out!
Looking to strengthen your core?  Like Henderson and Whitley, pack up that duffle bag and head for the gym. From that first step through the glass doors and that first swipe of your membership card, it may appear that the gym is a no-tyke zone—with bulky elliptical machines, heavy free weights and those fancy step machines spread throughout. But look closer and you may come across a workout center that’s also kid-care savvy. At family friendly facilities like these, you can leave the little ones with care providers who will entertain and keep a watchful eye on them—though they may interrupt you to change a dirty diaper or two. Try dropping the tots off at the child center at LA Fitness (3560 Alta Mesa Blvd., Fort Worth, 817/361-6775 or lafitness.com). They’ll be kept plenty busy watching Disney movies, letting out their energy on a play set with slides, playing with toys and crayons … and even doing a little reading. Kids ages 6 months to 12 years are welcomed. Kids will not be fed, but they are welcome to bring their own snacks. You can expect one adult per six
kids, with a maximum capacity of about 25. The child center is open from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Sat. Take the day off on Sunday. The cost for this service is $10 per month, per child.
Now that you’ve done your body good, feel free to take the night off. So what do you do when you want a date night with the hubby—dinner and a movie style? A Pixar flick doesn’t necessarily make for the most romantic of evenings. Pack up the van and bring the whole crew out to Harkins Theatres (1450 Plaza Place, Southlake, 817/310-0345 or www.harkinstheatres.com), where you can leave the kiddos to play while you take in some grown-up entertainment. The kids center is open from 12-8:30 p.m. daily (make sure to plan for movie night accordingly). But while you’re biting your fingernails or holding back the tears, the kids will be kept equally entertained with video games, arts and crafts, a reading area, movies (all G-rated) and more. The adult to child ratio at the center is one to eight, so they’ll get plenty of attention. There is an 18 child maximum, and kids ages 3-8 are welcomed. All children must be potty trained. For this service, you’ll pay $6 per child.
Now that you’ve gotten all the tough stuff (your workout) and the sweet stuff (hand-holding in the movie theater) … take some time for some real R&R. After a long day of errand running and toting toddlers around, what multitasking mom doesn’t have knots in her back or a furrow in her brow? Hunker down for some well-deserved TLC sans the little ones when you pop into Massage Envy at Arlington Highlands Village (3900 Arlington Highlands Blvd., Ste. 125, Arlington, 817/200-1743 or www. www.massageenvy.com). Prior to heading to your appointment, you can leave the kids to play at KidsPark—also located within the sprawling shopping and entertainment center. They’ll be plenty entertained with arts and crafts, a playhouse, relay races, basketball, jump rope, a train table, puzzles, books, LEGOS, , stencils and more. Kids ages 2 years to 12 years are welcome to pop in on a regular basis, or just once in a while. A few rules to keep in mind: Your tots need to be wearing socks, and don’t bring any peanut products. Open 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-12 a.m. Sat and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun. The child to adult ratio here is 11 to one, and the maximum capacity is 85 (though maximum-capacity days are very rare). Register your family for $39.95, then pay hourly each time at $7.50 for one child or $11.50 for two (non-member fee is $10 per child).
Now that you can get a relaxing massage, do some reps on the stability ball and finally see last year’s Oscar winner (and gain in a little peace of mind to boot!), you may just start to wonder how you got it all done before. Our best guess is that, with all these enticing out-of-the-house options, the kiddos are going to be dragging you out from now on. Not that anyone’s complaining.