We had a couple over this weekend that we hadn’t seen since 2018. In the intervening years, they had a daughter who is almost exactly the same age as my little guy. So we invited them over for a combo post-nap playdate plus early dinner.
Socializing with other adults can be challenging with little kids, but this concept seemed to work really well. They came over around 4 p.m. — the point on a weekend day when everyone is starting to go crazy and needs some change in direction. They brought appetizers, which was really nice. We had some snacks, then took the little ones up to the play room. They could play there while the adults all had some craft beers from the recent “Beer of the Month” shipment my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. Peach beer sounds a little strange, but it grows on you! Since both families had toddlers, and we were in the room with them, none of the adults had to skip out on participation to chase after the kids (well, there were a few escapes but nothing major).
Then I ordered pizza and salads from a local place. Thus no one had to cook, and the kids were all happy with the selection. Because the toddlers needed to go to bed, the evening was over by about 7 p.m.
Filling the hours of 4-7 p.m. on a weekend pleasantly — when one has toddlers — is no small thing. So perhaps we will try to repeat this model! My toddler was sufficiently tired out that he slept from 9 p.m. to 7:30 am., which counts as good over here.
In other news: The dining room chandelier I bought for the new house came in a giant box, which is filled with packing peanuts. The box had been sitting there for a few weeks since the chandelier got installed (I lost intensity with unpacking and getting rid of garbage) but the three younger kids just discovered it and have been having a ball with it. They call it the “ball pit” and keep diving in and covering each other in the packing peanuts. Good times.
We went to the Franklin Institute’s Harry Potter exhibit on Sunday. It was fun to see the costumes, and the Great Hall, though I felt like you really needed to have read the books/seen the films to get much enjoyment out of it. I mean, that makes sense, but since my 7-year-old has not done all those things yet, he was not terribly happy during the experience. Oh well. We managed to escape from the gift store, and spent far less cash on pretzels from a street vendor and everyone was OK.
I am reading King John in my Shakespeare reading project. This apparently has the distinction of being one of Shakespeare’s least staged plays.
I ran 6 swift-for-me miles on Saturday morning. And I am about 60 percent of the way through Malibu Rising, so it looks like I’ll probably finish this week. Good, since the book is due back to the library on Friday…
Photo: The “ball pit”
10 thoughts on “Weekend family playdates”
We had a play date this weekend, too. Our was in the morning at a Swedish museum that has an amazing play area on the lower level for kids. I only took the 4yo and met 2 friends w/ kids around 2.5-6. They had a blast and us moms were able to catch up. We usually do the late afternoon playdate + dinner combo and it works so well for that age group. And yes, time really starts to stand still around that part of the day. That was especially the case this past weekend as it was sooo cold! I’m so ready for reliably nice weather but it takes awhile to arrive here in Minnesota.
@Lisa – time standing still is about the way I think of it in that slot. And if the nap has been early (or non-existent…) oh boy…
We have been doing those 4-7pm weekend family play dates pretty much weekly for years! We have 5 kids and most have our friends have a similar number – having them over and then shooing the kids to the basement or outside is the only way we get adult conversation with them!
@Caitlin – wonderful! And yes, having other people with similar aged kids over is key. If you’re the only one with a toddler it is no fun…
Having company has been so hard – pandemic aside – because of my husband’s working schedule. He was always so tired by the end of the week that the weekend became all about family time and basically avoiding social contact.
But he’s currently on a 6-month sabbatical and my favourite discovery: Monday evening supper invites – which I would never have imagined loving.
We’ve done this two weeks in a row: people come over shortly after 5 and leave around 7:30 when it’s time to get kids ready for bed.
It is a very fun post-school, supper-time activity. The kids have time to get home and unwind, and I make some simple food and…we’ve had people over. The kids wander in and out of conversations (and in and out of doors). But having a natural “end” time – which happens on a school night with younger children – is so helpful!!
I still have hours free this evening, but feel like I put in great social time with some new-to-us-friends. I already have a plan for next Monday night.
Oh that’s lovely! And Monday is a smart move, before everyone gets tired and feels behind on everything at the end of the week.
@Cb – plus it sets the week up well – if Monday is rough you have something to look forward to at the end of it! What a great idea.
I love weekend playdates and need to schedule more of them. Making a note on my to do list to invite our local friends over for pizza dinner in a few weeks…
Loved that book!