Tri-State Area Parents’ Night Out Guide: The Best Babysitter Programs & Date Spots

December 9, 2011 6:00 AM

From fine theater to cuisine straight off a farm, the options for date night in the Tri-State area are seemingly endless. Here are our top picks for Mommy & Daddy Date Night in New York City and the surrounding area – including where to find a babysitter. By Holly Rosen Fink.

Playwright Horizons Playtime

Credit: SittersStudio.com

Playwright Horizon Theater’s “Playtime!” offers affordable childcare for you and your friends while you see the best theater NYC has to offer. They’ve teamed up with Sitter Studios, a bonded and insured company made of sitters who are working artists, which operates the program. The service is free to Playwrights subscribers and available to non-subscribers for a flat fee of only $15 per child. Life doesn’t end after you have children, there are creative ways to do everything that you want, including theater.

Kidnetic

Credit: KidneticNJ.com

Kidnetic is a safe, clean indoor playground for kids, with rock-climbing, relay racing and and a three-level playground. On Friday nights, from 6-9pm, you can leave off your child at “Kid’s Night Out.” They provide dinner and babysitting services. Fully insured, they require you to sign a release form to leave your child, or you can stick around and watch them enjoying themselves. While they’re being taken care of, head to the Barn Theater on 32 Skyline Drive for a night of theater.

The Gnarley Vine

Credit: TheGnarlyVine.com

Feeling nostalgic for the Lower East Side, but live in Westchester? Head to the Gnarley Vine in New Rochelle for a wide collection of wine, exotic beer and delicious starters including quesadillas, pizza flatbrads, a cheese platter and tuna tartar. They play really cool music and the atmosphere is hip and casual, always comfortable, and rarely overcrowded. When you’re done, head over to Alvin & Friends on 49 Lawton Street, a restaurant a few blocks away for Southern Caribbean cuisine that will complete the night. It’s almost as good as NYC, so if you’re feeling homesick for the city, this is a good choice.

Metropolitan Opera House (credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

There is no quintessential NYC experience like the Metropolitan Opera. It makes for a wonderful night to get dressed up and enjoy a glass of wine before or after the show. Performances are given in the evening Monday through Saturday with a matinee on Saturday. Several new opera productions are offered each season. This season’s productions include Aida, Anna Bolena, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Billy Budd, La Boheme and Don Giovanni. Tickets are available in all price ranges, from budget to expensive. 200 orchestra level “rush” seats are available for $20 for most performances Monday through Thursday. These tickets are available at the box office two hours before curtain on the day of the performance. $20 Orchestra standing room tickets are available for $20 beginning at 10 a.m. the day of the performance at the box office and online.

(credit: Stone Barns/Facebook)

Located in Pocantico Hills (a mere thirty miles north of New York City) is a complex of carefully restored barns and a 80-acre farm that is open every day. The restaurant, located in a restored cow barn, serves the farms’ naturally raised meat, poultry, and produce as prepared by chef Dan Barber. The space is elegant and the dinner is generally a prix fix, two to four courses. The menu changes frequently, based on what’s growing on the farm. You might find lobster-filled cannelloni, home made gazpacho, molten chocolate-and-caramel cake and passion-fruit souffle’. The tasting menus designed by Blue Hill at Stone Barns’ kitchen celebrates the seasons and the best ingredients the Hudson Valley has to offer, but it’s a bit of a splurge.

Popcorn machine at the Avon Theatre in Stamford (credit: Avon Theatre/Facebook)


Want to go to an independent or foreign film without going into the city? In downtown Stamford, there’s a historical film theater called the Avon that’s not-for-profit. In addition to movies, they host special events like guest speakers, documentary film nights and mini-film festivals. If you are craving a night of culture, this is a great choice. Be sure to check their schedule for show times as their programming is not daily.