This admission won't win me any parenting awards, but here goes - I go to great pains to plan my shopping outings sans kids. With three under three, I have always considered shopping solo to be the path of least resistance, but a Memorial Day weekend trip to IKEA was nothing short of a revelation. I'll never go to IKEA without my kids again, and here's why:
- IKEA has the best shopping carts ever. Located at a corral by the main entry, the family-friendly carts seat two in the cart and two more in the car, complete with two steering wheels. It's almost enough to convince me to have a fourth kid. Almost.
- Smaland! If your kid is tall enough and potty trained, then they can spend an hour in IKEA's childcare facility, gratis.
- Food. IKEA's restaurant may not be Michelin material, but it's fast, cheap and kid-friendly. We prefer to pick up snacks on our way out, but don't tell your kid that the KEX biscuits are alphabet cookies. They will quickly figure out that there are only four letters in the box: I. K. E. A.
- Get your children involved in designing their own space. This is far and away the biggest deal about bringing the kids to IKEA. They can climb on couches, test drive patio furniture, tell you what they love.
(Image: Roni Shapira Ben-Yoseph)