A play centre in Melbourne has booked out their latest date night for parents, where children are supervised while the adults dine in the centre’s pop-up A la carte restaurant.
Basecamp Kids owner, Lelen Kemke, runs the night as an opportunity for parents to enjoy fine dining. The lights are turned low and apparently you can’t hear the children from the dining area.
“My husband and I, we’ve got kids of our own and we just found that sometimes parents didn’t feel comfortable leaving their kids with the babysitters, or they couldn’t find a babysitter,” she said.
“So with the children, we actually bring them into our workshop areas and we give them dinner and ice cream and drinks and movies, and we basically look after the children for the evening – which lasts about two and a half hours.”
Parents pre-order their meal. Image supplied.
There isn't a total ban on babies in the adult dinning section. Kemke says a few couples bring their babies to dinner.
"We haven’t really had any problems with babies making too much noise," she said.
Since becoming a parent, I have accepted that my days of fine dining are pretty much done. I have rarely left the house after 7pm in the last 18 months and I feel strange now when I am outside and it's dark.
On holidays, we ate out as a family in the "family friendly" resort's buffet restaurant where most tables had a good proportion of their food on the floor. The young couples there did not do their research.
My daytime visits to restaurants with a toddler are fraught with danger. The babychinos are not in plastic cups and even when I've ordered simple take-away finger food, I've somehow found myself in a sushi meltdown with avocado and tuna on my shoes.